Beowulf Reviews

Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
November 24, 2007
An excellent showcase for the advantages of computer-generated animation.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 19, 2007
I had a hell of a good time at this movie.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 19, 2007
Their story arc brings some legitimate dramatic interest to Beowulf's climactic battle with the dragon.
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
November 17, 2007
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 | Original Score: C
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 16, 2007
Ultimately, Beowulf feels a lot like a video game blown up large: noise, action and funny walking intact.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 16, 2007
You want to read Beowulf? Get the book, I'm not stopping you. You want bloody adventure with a brain, see the movie.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 16, 2007
Zemeckis has been seduced by the siren call of motion capture... Memo to Zemeckis: come back to earth!
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 16, 2007
It is --quite literally -- an epic achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 16, 2007
Beowulf is as dazzling a feast for the eyes as the hungriest eyes can take.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 16, 2007
Beowulf is many things, but boring isn't one of them.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jason Anderson
Globe and Mail
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: C+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 16, 2007
A bloody, silly-sexy action spectacle that shamelessly attempts to justify its excess by basing its violent bombast on the epic poem.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: A-
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 16, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
November 16, 2007
Comic-Con geeks and cinephiles alike will gape at the resplendent imagery (but don ye specs, and see it in 3-D).
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 15, 2007
Beowulf is ambitious, overbearing and hollow; it goes overboard to impress, yet it never feels truly inventive or imaginative.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 15, 2007
The adaptation replaces the two-dimensional characters of the epic poem with more human, nuanced individuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 15, 2007
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
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 15, 2007
Zemeckis, who blazed trails mixing live-action with animation in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, blazes not even a footpath here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 15, 2007
Zemeckis employs the same motion-capture technology that he first used in The Polar Express, to slightly better effect.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 15, 2007
I say the story works, but I wish they'd teach these avatars to act.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 15, 2007
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 | Original Score: 5/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 15, 2007
The fight sequences -- on land, in mid-air or underwater -- fulfill your most ardent expectations for 3-D thrills.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Luke Y. Thompson
L.A. Weekly
November 15, 2007
Think you already know the epic tale? Not this version, you don't.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 15, 2007
Beowulf can be a lot of fun to watch -- at least in the 3-D IMAX version I saw.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 15, 2007
Zemeckis springs so many pow 3-D surprises you'll think Beowulf is your own private fun house.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 14, 2007
Beowulf is a solemnly gorgeous, at times borderline stolid piece of Tolkien-with-a-joystick mythology.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
November 14, 2007
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.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
November 12, 2007
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.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 12, 2007
It may raise the eyebrows of English Lit professors but will quicken the pulse of everyone else.
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
August 4, 2007
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 | Original Score: 2/5