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Beowulf Reviews

Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 17, 2011
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out New York
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If we must have mead halls, let them be populated by rogues like John Malkovich.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

January 18, 2008
Tom Charity
CNN.com
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An excellent showcase for the advantages of computer-generated animation.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

November 24, 2007
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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I had a hell of a good time at this movie.

November 19, 2007
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Their story arc brings some legitimate dramatic interest to Beowulf's climactic battle with the dragon.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 19, 2007
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
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The film strives for mythological depth and epic breadth, but it's hard to get below the flat, shallow gloss over every surface.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

November 17, 2007
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Ultimately, Beowulf feels a lot like a video game blown up large: noise, action and funny walking intact.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

November 16, 2007
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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It's imaginative, and it has the barreling forward motion and lurching thrills of a Dark Ages theme park, even when it's exercising battle-worn clichés.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 16, 2007
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Heads roll, arteries gush and spleens spill across the IMAX screen in Beowulf, just as you'd expect in a screen adaptation of the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 16, 2007
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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You want to read Beowulf? Get the book, I'm not stopping you. You want bloody adventure with a brain, see the movie.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

November 16, 2007
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It's the Beowulf saga once again, and the movie becomes tiresome and trivial -- well done within the narrow limits of its aspiration but not worth the inflated effort.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

November 16, 2007
David Ansen
Newsweek
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Zemeckis has been seduced by the siren call of motion capture... Memo to Zemeckis: come back to earth!

Full Review Source: Newsweek

November 16, 2007
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It is --quite literally -- an epic achievement.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

November 16, 2007
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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Beowulf is as dazzling a feast for the eyes as the hungriest eyes can take.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 16, 2007
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Beowulf is many things, but boring isn't one of them.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

November 16, 2007
Jason Anderson
Globe and Mail
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As it stands, Zemeckis's movie is only the beta version of the blockbuster of the future, ridden with imperfections that will presumably be corrected in later upgrades.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 16, 2007
Tom Long
Detroit News
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It's more dazzle than disaster, but the technical ambitions of Beowulf work too sporadically to be completely effective, while the screenplay adaptation of the classic story suffers from serious bouts of corn poison.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C+

November 16, 2007
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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A bloody, silly-sexy action spectacle that shamelessly attempts to justify its excess by basing its violent bombast on the epic poem.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

November 16, 2007
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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I can't speak for the standard-issue version, but the souped-up extravaganza is one of those experiences that remind you of the magic that movies are capable of conjuring.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

November 16, 2007
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Not all of it works -- and not all of it works the way the target audience of jacked-up young males might want it to -- but the movie is hugely provocative fun, and I'm pretty sure that's on purpose.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

November 16, 2007
Dana Stevens
Slate
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Comic-Con geeks and cinephiles alike will gape at the resplendent imagery (but don ye specs, and see it in 3-D).

Full Review Source: Slate

November 16, 2007
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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As envisioned by director Robert Zemeckis, Beowulf is a sight to behold: The landscape and visuals are powerfully sweeping, the action sequences exhilarating and kinetic.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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If you want to understand what the pressure of Hollywood does to talent, if you want to experience where the movie business is heading in a big way, this benighted but likely remunerative film is the place to start.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

November 15, 2007
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Beowulf is ambitious, overbearing and hollow; it goes overboard to impress, yet it never feels truly inventive or imaginative.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 15, 2007
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The adaptation replaces the two-dimensional characters of the epic poem with more human, nuanced individuals.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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You don't need to wait for Angelina Jolie to rise from the vaporous depths naked to know that this Beowulf isn't your high school teacher's Old English epic poem.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 15, 2007
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Beowulf is being released in standard 2-D and a non-Imax 3-D version, neither of which I've seen, and neither of which I would recommend as long as there is an opportunity for the sensory overload of Imax 3-D.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Regardless of the medium, this is an effectively brutal story of swords, sorcery, demons, and heroes, with an Oedipal hint or two thrown in for flavor.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Am I the only one who suspects that the intention of director Robert Zemeckis and writers Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary was satirical?

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
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To the shock of cynics in the audience waiting for this film fantasy to be lame, Beowulf turns out to be exciting, fun and occasionally breathtaking. No question it's a popcorn flick, but it's cheesy only when it chooses to be.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

November 15, 2007
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Zemeckis, who blazed trails mixing live-action with animation in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, blazes not even a footpath here.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2/4

November 15, 2007
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Zemeckis employs the same motion-capture technology that he first used in The Polar Express, to slightly better effect.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

November 15, 2007
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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I say the story works, but I wish they'd teach these avatars to act.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 15, 2007
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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As far as cinematic mythology goes, this film flies only so high. And call me anti-Geat, but I was rooting for Crispin Glover's Grendel all along.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

November 15, 2007
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Zemeckis has found the dark psychological underpinnings of this Dark Ages tale, and his version of it will endure even as the technology he used to tell it is replaced by something even more stunning.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

November 15, 2007
Gene Seymour
Newsday
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The fight sequences -- on land, in mid-air or underwater -- fulfill your most ardent expectations for 3-D thrills.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Luke Y. Thompson
L.A. Weekly
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Think you already know the epic tale? Not this version, you don't.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

November 15, 2007
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Beowulf can be a lot of fun to watch -- at least in the 3-D IMAX version I saw.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 15, 2007
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Zemeckis springs so many pow 3-D surprises you'll think Beowulf is your own private fun house.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

November 15, 2007
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Beowulf is a solemnly gorgeous, at times borderline stolid piece of Tolkien-with-a-joystick mythology.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

November 14, 2007
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Beowulf bellows 'I am Beowulf!' so many times, it could be a drinking game; it certainly rivals 'This is Sparta!' as the year's preferred macho catch phrase.

November 14, 2007
Justin Chang
Variety
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For all its visual sweep and propulsively violent action, this bloodthirsty rendition of the Old English epic can't overcome the disadvantage of being enacted by digital waxworks rather than flesh-and-blood Danes and demons.

Full Review Source: Variety

November 12, 2007
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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It may raise the eyebrows of English Lit professors but will quicken the pulse of everyone else.

November 12, 2007
Wally Hammond
Time Out
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The final, kinetic aerial battle scenes are eye-poppingly spectacular -- especially in the 3D IMAX-version under review -- but they come way too late to save the film.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

August 4, 2007
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