The Reckoning Reviews

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Time Out
October 30, 2006
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 2, 2004
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
April 1, 2004
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 26, 2004
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 26, 2004
A thoughtful, clever and well-acted diversion.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 25, 2004
An ambitious, energetic and wholly satisfying movie about the dawn of dramatic and personal freedom and much more.
| Original Score: B+
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
March 19, 2004
Celebrates the craft of acting both in its story and in fine performances by Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe and Brian Cox.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Misha Berson
Seattle Times
March 19, 2004
Once the actors set up shop, and Nicholas gets obsessively involved in proving Martha's innocence, melodrama and ponderousness encroach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 19, 2004
The filmmakers expertly capture the 14th century in wrenching detail, all its bleakness and misery, down to the dirt-caked fingernails of peasants and priests alike.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
March 18, 2004
An ambitious but ineptly plotted British import that attempts to fuse The Seventh Seal with a period whodunit like The Name of the Rose.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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March 18, 2004
Has its flaws, among them a certain self-righteousness and a complicated storyline, but it is never less than gripping thanks to its gifted international cast.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 18, 2004
A suspenseless amateur-sleuth movie.
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Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
March 12, 2004
Carries too heavy a burden to succeed as the trifle it really is.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 12, 2004
The Name of the Rose this ain't.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 12, 2004
Overstuffed and, in its own way, preachy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 12, 2004
The Reckoning has just a little too much of the whodunit and the thriller and not enough of the temper of its clash between cultures, but it works, maybe because the simplicity of the underlying plot is masked by the oddness of the characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 12, 2004
A listless avenger drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 11, 2004
The fascinating issue of the secularization of theatre is reduced to mere whodunnit pretext.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 11, 2004
Director McGuigan doesn't show much interest in tempo or character development, and the pace is numbing.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
March 11, 2004
An intriguing misfire, with heavy-handed direction threatening to obscure the efforts of a gifted cast.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
March 11, 2004
The central conceit of 'let's save lives by putting on a play' seems not only artificial, but also hollow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 8, 2004
The Reckoning is uneven sometimes, it's implausible, but I admire the chances it takes and I liked its bold heart.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
March 6, 2004
Beneath the ill-fitting title lies an intriguing if flawed medieval murder mystery.
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
March 5, 2004
Top-notch cinematography and set design that perfectly capture a hardscrabble medieval milieu, along with artful but sluggish direction by Paul McGuigan, make this a superficially faultless production that somehow lacks juice.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 5, 2004
Has so many ideas working in it that they all but suffocate its thin plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mike Clark
USA Today
March 5, 2004
A comparably lively wrap-up comes maybe 100 minutes in, which is mighty late for an already near-quaint drama to be getting its jump-start.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 5, 2004
A serial-killer movie without a car chase, a wise older cop, a pounding electronic score or even Ashley Judd. Apparently, miracles do happen.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
March 5, 2004
Fine cast delivers the goods, but the murkiness is thick and finally overpowering.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
March 5, 2004
For its first hour or so, the story moves at a steady clip, generating enough mystery to keep you guessing and enough atmosphere to keep you interested.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 4, 2004
A talky, sententious affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
March 4, 2004
Proceeds with such leaden literal-mindedness that it never seems more than a stodgy (and, at times, blatantly silly) paperback affair.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 3, 2004
Dafoe makes Martin's role as head of the company as naturalistic as that of any contemporary SoHo creative director.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ed Park
Village Voice
March 2, 2004
Emphatically acted, ponderous, and ultimately a little silly.
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AV Club
March 1, 2004