The Reckoning (2004)
Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 52
A talky, ponderous movie.
Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 18
A talky, ponderous movie.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 4,686
Scottish filmmaker Paul McGuigan directs The Reckoning, based on the award-winning novel Morality Play by Barry Unsworth. Set in 14th century England, the story involves a priest named Nicholas (Paul Bettany) who leaves the church after committing adultery. He falls in with a troupe of traveling actors led by Martin (Willem Dafoe). Nicholas joins them and attracts the attention of Martin's sister Sarah (Gina McKee). The group ends up in a small town where a mute woman (Elvira Minguez) is accused
Mar 5, 2004 Wide
Aug 3, 2004
Paramount Classics - Official Site
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After a first hour slowed by exposition and a good deal of extraneous subplot development, the story catches fire in the second hour and keeps you engrossed.
It's not Shakespeare in Love, and it really has no third act, but there's wonder in the scenes of theatrical invention, of theater being made up on the spot, a play in the making.
A thoughtful, clever and well-acted diversion.
An ambitious, energetic and wholly satisfying movie about the dawn of dramatic and personal freedom and much more.
Celebrates the craft of acting both in its story and in fine performances by Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe and Brian Cox.
Once the actors set up shop, and Nicholas gets obsessively involved in proving Martha's innocence, melodrama and ponderousness encroach.
[It's] a film with a lot on its mind -- perhaps too much. ... As it is, philosophical dilemmas spread through the film like a plague until they finally claim its life.
It's disappointing that The Reckoning devolves into a costumed murder mystery a la Jean-Jacques Annaud's 1986 film of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.
Although raising intriguing questions about the moral obligation dramatists have to throw a spotlight on taboo subjects, The Reckoning offers simplistic solutions.
Builds cleverly as the mystery deepens, then struggles to bring it all to a conclusion.
A well-done murder mystery.
Wraps itself around Bettany's guilty secrets like a hot-water bottle, leaving more interesting characters in the moral cold
A multilayered snapshot of a decayed and disintegrating feudal system that richly develops themes and characters with an eerie modern resonance.
It is, despite the distractions, just a simple murder story, and the revelations in the end are hardly surprising or noteworthy.
As an existential awakening into the light and triumph of rational thought over superstition, it's an engaging film, but as a murder mystery it plods along as though weighted down by the heavens and more.
... the premise and setting that are intriguing, but the obvious foreshadowing and labored attempt to slowly unravel the facts surrounding the plot are drawbacks.
All that black, combined with the mundanity of the second act, induces us to close our eyes.
The interesting insights give way to undercover constables, and gut-spilling villains
Collapses under the weight of unlikely melodrama and over-pretty visual flourishes...
It's as if the filmmakers had a 14th-century audience in mind, one that had never seen a movie.
It's nothing new to see a film that is better in concept than execution, or a film that wastes a talented cast. Sadly, The Reckoning does both.
That rare period drama that enlivens a historical era rather than feeling mired in it.
A fascinating, dark mystery that echoes aspects of The Name of the Rose and TV's Cadfael.
Audience Reviews for The Reckoning
- Lord de Guise: Between faith and reason lies the only true God--power.
- Lord de Guise: We decide our destiny. Fate is the religion of the weak. And you don't strike me as weak.
- Nicholas: You soothe your conscience with grand phrases, but it's a weak, contemptible man who trades in the lives of others.
- Martin: I wish I was half the man my father was and half the father you deserve.
- Martin: For heaven's sake, we're actors, not judges.
- Nicholas: That's exactly what we have become.
- Jack Flint: Who dares play things that happen in this world?
- Tobias: It was just a question of time.
- Martin: But this is the way plays will be made in times to come.
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