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The 13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior (1999)



Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 87
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 58

Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 13

Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 116,854

My Rating

Movie Info

A cultured diplomat joins a band of savage warriors in time to meet an even more fearsome enemy in this historical adventure. In 922 A.D., Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) is a Muslim emissary from Baghdad en route to meet with the King of Saqaliba when he is captured by a gang of Vikings. While Ibn and his people are intelligent and well-mannered, the Vikings are a rowdy and sometimes unpleasant lot, with an unquenchable appetite for food, alcohol, and women. However, in time he develops an

Jan 15, 2002

Buena Vista Pictures

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All Critics (91) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (58) | DVD (15)

Michael Crichton's story is underdeveloped and narrow in range, resulting in a tale more curious for its odd confluence of elements than for their edifying deployment.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At its best, this achieves the beauty and grandeur of a Kurosawa epic -- at its worst, however, it feels like a Python remake of The Vikings.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is fascinating to watch, but I can hardly say what it's about, other than people killing each other.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Comments (2)
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A big cathartic blast.

March 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a budget said to be more than $100 million, it displays a lot of cash on the screen, but little thought.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Loaded with potential, it's puzzlingly overblown and distant, as if its huge budget were an albatross around its neck.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Comment (1)
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Exciting battle sequences, intriguing period costumes, fascinating cinematography, and stirring background music contribute to the epic nature of 'The 13th Warrior.'

July 10, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

"The 13th Warrior" is a brazen attempt to brand Antonio Banderas as an A-lister with a C-grade script. Failure attends.

November 28, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)

Jerry Goldsmith's rousing score exhibits more personality than any of the actors--or anything else in the film, for that matter.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source:

Mr. Crichton may have found the perfect venue for his particular brand of character underdevelopment.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Shelved for over a year and probably heavily edited, it's better than it could have been.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

If you're in the mood to watch heads, arms and other appendages getting chopped off, this movie is for you.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It harks back to the late 1950s when people actually made movies about Vikings and other seafaring heroes named Sinbad and Jason.

May 30, 2003 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

An entertaining and serviceable adaptation. Dennis Storhoi delivers an awesome performance. Weak aspects of story made up for by great action.

March 23, 2003

Although the subject matter is not too pleasant and the gore is turned up to 11, Crichton's film is an excellent Nordic war story.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online | Comment (1)
Film Quips Online

The film is based on Eaters of the Dead, possibly the worst novel Michael Crichton has ever written, and this film isn't even a passable adaptation.

November 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

For fans of the genre, it's an inexorably primal exercise almost like cinematic steroids: qualitatively lacking, if not harmful, yet superficially irresistible.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A sensação que fica, ao final da projeção, é a de que vimos um filme vazio - e sobre o personagem errado. E o que é pior: no qual nada acontece.

May 31, 2002
Cinema em Cena

The screenplay effectively communicates the cross-cultural tensions between the Arabs, the Vikings, and the pagan Wendols.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

everything is first rate except the characters and the story

April 3, 2001 Full Review

Mediocrity should never be encouraged.

April 2, 2001 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Stay home and watch the WWF. The only difference is; they don't fight with swords

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Audience Reviews for The 13th Warrior

Historical Vikings vs barbarians, hack n slash flick made by 'Die Hard' director John McTiernan? should be kick ass right? well sort of, it is a decent flick but its a bit messy and not overly as memorable as you'd think. Based on a Michael Crichton novel (which was all the rage back in the 90's) which involved the curious mix of a travelling exiled Arab poet who befriends and joins a small village of Norsemen (Vikings) and ends up fighting a tribe of barbarian cannibals that dress as bears because they believe they are bears.

The film isn't accurate of course, it is based on actual fact but has been hugely exaggerated and made more exciting for both the novel and film. The lead character 'Fadlan' was a real Arabic traveller and he did go north and experience Viking life but all the battles with cannibals (based on the 'Beowulf' folklore) is complete fantasy.

So the film has a touch of grounding in reality which makes it more interesting and urges you to learn more which is good, the film itself isn't too bad, compared to the novel I don't know but there isn't too much happening in the film other than time wasting dialog inter-spursted with pitched battles. The dialog is very wooden really and somewhat 'state the obvious' all the time, the film does feel a little rushed and choppy probably due to the problems whist being made and really the battles, which are the focal point, aren't all that good either.

The film is solid and is reasonably interesting but it just feels very underwhelming, as if there is a really really good kick ass film somewhere in there wanting to get out. Banderas looks the part of the Arab and the Viking cast also look good as does the cold looking muddy location work but Sharif seems to have been stuck in there simply for big name status and to try and elevate the film to epic levels as he does pretty much nothing of importance and disappears very quickly.

The film does get slightly more silly as it progresses towards the end but all in all it just about does the job of keeping you entertained. The barbarian hordes the Vikings fend off are too unrealistic really I think, that's the problem, and of course most of them are all just sword fodder for the heroes so the usual thing. I think 'Pathfinder' does it better.
September 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Interesting action film that delivers on action and thrills. Although at times lacking, The 13th Warrior is good entertainment. Although lacking at times, the film has some solid action, and in the end it's what makes this film worth watching. The 13th Warrior is a mindless action romp set against a historical background. Directed by John McTiernan, director of Die Hard, this film delivers action and thrills that will please any action movie fan. Antonio Banderas is pretty good here, and along with The Mask of Zorro, this is one of his more enjoyable film. Although lacking at times in story, the film delivers effective action that makes this film worth watching. There's a good cast here, nothing ever too grand, but they all give decent enough performances to make this film interesting. The film relies on the action to deliver the thrills, thus the 13th Warrior is short on a epic story, but in the end it's not a big deal. The film is a popcorn flick in the end, and it most certainly delivers the action you'd expect. Despite its imperfections, this is a well made actioner that's simply designed to entertain you. 13th Warrior is fun from start to finish and is very violent, action packed and moves at a fast pace.Not a great film, but still worth watching for an entertaining evening of mindless action.
April 12, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A very average swordplay action film but has an ok cast.
June 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

An awesome and intense epic thrill-machine. A solid and adrenaline-charged action-packed adventure thriller. It's bold, thrilling and exhilarating all the way to it's amazing finish. An edge of your seat adventure that's flat-out spellbinding with searing suspense and brutal action sequences. An explosive, bone-chilling and heart-pounding movie that's just spectacular to watch. I loved this movie. This stands with some of Director, John McTiernan's action classics like Die Hard. A supremely well-crafted and brilliantly performed film. Antonio Banderas is at his best.
February 16, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Ibn Fadlan: I can taste neither the fermentation of grape, nor of wheat.
    2. Ibn Fadlan: What? Why do you laugh?
    3. Herger the Joyous: Honey! It's made from honey.
    – Submitted by Sim R (17 months ago)
    1. Herger the Joyous: Did she finish you? Or bring you back to life?
    2. Ibn Fadlan: A gentleman doesn't discuss such things.
    – Submitted by Donna L (2 years ago)
    1. Buliwyf: Luck often enough, will save a man, if his courage hold.
    – Submitted by Al M (2 years ago)
    1. Herger the Joyous: He All-Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer. Your fate is fixed. Fear profits a man nothing.
    – Submitted by Al M (2 years ago)
    1. Ibn Fadlan: Merciful Father, I have squandered my days with plans of many things. This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness.
    – Submitted by Al M (2 years ago)
    1. Ibn Fadlan: Have we anything resembling a plan?
    2. Herger the Joyous: Mm-hm. Ride till we find them... and kill them all.
    – Submitted by Al M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Latest News on The 13th Warrior

November 5, 2008:
Michael Crichton Passes Away (1942-2008)
Best-selling author, screenwriter, and director Michael Crichton has passed away at the age of 66....
July 26, 2006:
Viking Epic Gets Banished to January
Marcus Nispel's "Pathfinder" was just bumped back from September 8th to January 12th, the...

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