Centurion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Centurion Reviews

Page 1 of 106
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2010
amazing visuals and a decent story but somehow feels like it could have been so much better.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2014
Centurion is an average movie with good performances and it's a film that could have been much better considering its subject. I found the film to focus more on visual style than story, and it's a great shame because this film really could have stood out. I liked the film, but I expected a bit more as well as I have a great interest in the Romans. If you're like me, don't expect this one to be an accurate portrait of the Romans, because it's far from it, it'[s an action film first and foremost and it takes liberties to make this enjoyable for the viewer. The film had some good ideas as far as the story is concerned, but it kind of feels rushed a bit too. Centurion should have been better and though I found it entertaining, I really felt something was missing to make this a truly memorable film. The film is worth seeing due to well constructed action, which the film has plenty of, and the performance of Michael Fassbender. However, the plot just seems unfocused at times, and it loses steam halfway through the film, and that's where the action really makes you forget that the film average. The film is no Gladiator, and it should be seen as mindless popcorn action, which is what in the end this film is about. Centurion isn't awful, or mediocre, but it should have been better too. Fans of historical epics, might be disappointed in this film, but for action fans, there's still plenty to enjoy if you can forget the lacking story and average ton e of the film. Centurion is, despite its imperfections good entertainment that is average considering the potential the film possessed.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2010
This very gory but deeply entertaining adventure film about the disappearance of the 9th Roman Legion in Northern Scotland takes no prisoners. It throws you right into the moral dilemma of cheering for the last few survivors of the grand invading army trying to make their way back through hostile territory, hunted by the barbarians who do a little more than just defend their homeland. While the characters and plot are not without stereotypes, the fights are fun, the story enthralling and Fassbender makes another strong point of being the next big leading man in Hollywood. Much like a pulp comic, this may be a guilty pleasure, but an enthralling, fun and beautifully filmed one nonetheless.
Super Reviewer
October 31, 2012
The last survivors of a Roman garrison wiped out by the Pict warriors whose lands they have invaded attempt to reach friendly territory with a war party in hot pursuit. What we have here is a western which exchanges Romans and Picts for cowboys and indians. In fact, in Neil Marshall's tradition of ripping off classic films there is more than a nod towards Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid at one point but it has the world weary tone of tough guys sick of war and betrayal rather than the light heartedness of George Roy Hill's film. The film has a nice gritty quality about it with solid performances from Fassbender and West, although Marshall seems rather more interested in evisceration than characterisation meaning we don't ever really connect to the characters on any emotional level. There's plenty of glorious scenery to admire however and it's a decent enough historical action film that's no Gladiator, but if you enjoyed King Arthur despite its obvious shortcomings, you should enjoy this too.
Nathan H.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2011
"This is neither the beginning nor end of my story" Centurion answers the question of what happened to the ninth legion. Its full of violence, blood, and history. Michael Fassbender performs very well as a roman hero. The rest of the cast performs admirably enough. The plot is thin, but intriguing. The movie brings to mind films like King Arthur or The Eagle, yet surpasses it easily, falling right underneath excellent tales like Gladiator, Braveheart, or Kingdom of Heaven (d.c.). If a fan of the genre, one will enjoy.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2010
26/06/2011 (PS3)

Suitable for a good night at home! Action and brutality, risks and despair, hope and fear. Although I've seen this plot a many times I still find myself amused when it is done well.

Truly Barbaric and no shortage of warriors hacking limbs and skewering their enemies hearts or kidneys. The movie looks awesome and the scenery is very fitting to the story.

No disappointments but then again no bars raised in my personal interests. Still... Its not a bad sitting at all.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
Cool time period, costumes, etc. The story was alright. It somewhat fell apart after a while, but overall I enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2011
A relentless, self-indulgent mess of a film that is light on plot and heavy on action. Really heavy on action.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2010
Fight or die.

Great Movie! It has it all. Well made and some good acting. Nice cinematography and good story, loved it because it caught me off guard.

It is A.D. 117 and the Roman garrisons are struggling to contain the Picts, the Celtic inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands. The Picts under their king, Gorlacon, are perfecting guerilla warfare and are eliminating Roman outposts one by one. Centurion Quintus Dias is the only survivor of a Pictish raid and is taken prisoner. In the meantime, the Roman governor of Britannia wants to obtain favour with the central administration, hoping to secure a transfer back to the comforts of Rome. He dispatches the Ninth Legion to the front under General Titus Flavius Virilus, providing him with a mute female Brigantian scout, Etain.

As the legion marches north, they encounter and save Dias, who has escaped. Etain betrays the legion to Gorlacon: the Romans walk into a trap and are annihilated. Dias, with six others, elude death and capture. They learn that Virilus has been taken prisoner and set out to rescue him. They find the Pictish settlement and sneak in at night, but fail to break the general's chains. As they retreat, one of them kills Gorlacon's young son. The next morning, after the dead boy is burned, the general is given a sword and made to duel with Etain, who kills him.

The seven decide to return south via a long detour over the mountains, while Etain with a Pict detachment are sent on horseback to track and kill them, in revenge for the king's son. They eventually catch up with the fugitives, who have to jump off a cliff and into a stream. One is killed by arrows while two separate, pursued by wolves. Dias and his best fighter attempt a night raid on the Pictish camp, while Etain and her warriors do the same. Several men are killed. Dias and his two followers happen upon a hut in the forest and befriend Arianne, who lives there. She shelters them and when Etain comes, she confronts her while the Romans hide under the floorboards. The next morning they leave Arianne and find the closest garrison abandoned: an order on a wall informs them that Roman troops have retreated south, to Hadrian's Wall. As they see Etain approach, they set up a trap inside the fort. A battle ensues, Dias kills Etain, and he and one wounded companion emerge victorious. By chance they reunite with one of their lost companions, who earlier killed Gorlacon's son, and wounded another Roman soldier to leave as bait for a pack of wolves hunting them. Upon reaching Hadrian's Wall, the lost companion worries Dias, who says that he will report his crimes and the two men fight with Dias as the victor. Dias' other companion, in Pictish clothing, is shot by Roman soldiers by mistake. When Dias enters the camp he reports the situation to the governor. The governor has decided to have all Ninth Legion veterans killed, so that his record is not tainted by a military failure. The governor's daughter is trusted with making sure that Dias is also killed. Dias evades the attempt on his life and returns to Arianne in the forest.
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2010
Gritty little medieval film gets knocked down half a star by using CG BLOOD. Grrrrr. I hate that! Sucks you right out of the film. Practical effects are where it's at. The film would have been far more visceral.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2010
The "Legend of the Ninth Legion" is a very popular story, so popular in fact that two films about it exist, with both being released within a year of one another. First was this one, next will be the upcoming "The Eagle". I get why it's a popular story: it's filled with mystery, intrigue, action, it's open to interpretation and speculation, and it deals with an interesting chapter in Roman history. Plus, hisotircal epics are just fun movies anway.

This film however, is less of an epic, and more of a historical action film. I would expect no less than that from Neil Marshall- a director whose work I've come to really enjoy, because it is entertaining and aesthetically pleasing, but also because Marshall is a good director who has talent and fulfills an audiences desire to see gore and action done with style, flair, and craft.

Since there's no real consensus as to what happeneed to the Ninth, this allows for a lot of leeway. This particular film is basically a giant chase film. Think Apocalypto but with Romans and Picts with a major lift albeit an earned one) from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and that's what this movie delivers. It tires to blend nonstop action with a but of commentary on honor, duty, and deep themes about war, politics, man versus nature, and man versus man, which I commend the filmmakers for, but in the end, this is really just a superbly well made blood and guts actioner. I'm all for blending pure action with substance, but it is hard to do well, and, even though I consider myself a fan of Marshall's work, I don't think he has quite the chops (yet) to pull this off convincingly. He is at least a little less ambitious and more focused here than he was with Doomsday, which is good, but the film doesn't quite earn the 4 stars I would love to give it. It comes close though.

Perhaps had the story and characters been fleshed out more, then I'd be able to comfortably change my grade. With that said, the performances are pretty good. There's nothing Oscar worthy here, but all things considered, the performances are pretty decent. Even Olga Kurylenko is good. Maybe it's telling that her character has no tongue, but I thought she did alright playing the role of the revenge driven warrior woman archetype. West and Fassbender fill out their roles nicely aswell.

You might think I'm treating what on the surface (and for the most part basically is) appears to be just a standard priod piece action film too kindly or in the same manner that I would an art film, but I call them like I see them. Marshall might make genre films, but he treats them like critically lauded auteurs treat their film. This type of praise is earned because he, like Rob Zombie, does actually show skill and craftsmanship, even if they use it for the types of movies most disregard.

I like the blood and mayhem, but would have liked a bit more (and better handled) substance. But that's fine because the cinematogrpahy is excellent, the pacing is just right, and the music is fitting as well. I'm torn on a specific grade, so let's just call it a split between a straight B and a low B+.

It's a step back in the right direction, but here's to hoping Marshall's next film really puts him back on track.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2010
"Now she hunts Romans. Now we are the prey."

Centurion isn't a historical epic, it's a historical action flick. You won't get the grandeur and scope of a movie like Gladiator, but if you're looking for some violence and would like to substitute swords and arrows for shotguns and Uzis, then you could do a lot worse.

Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko star on opposite sides of this movie. Fassbender is a Roman centurion in Britain who has been among the only survivors of two attacks by the warring Picts on his fellow soldiers. Kurylenko is a mute Pictish woman working with the Romans, who turns out to be more than she seems. Both of the stars prove credible in their action scenes, which are the main showpieces of the movie.

The battles are what you'd expect from (director) Neil Marshall - visceral, brutal, and with copious amounts of blood. They occur frequently, and they never fail to have a high body count. If you're at all familiar with the story/legend of the Ninth Legion (which Centurion was adapted from), then you know not to expect many of the main characters to survive. You also probably know that there really aren't any true "good guys". The Romans are fighting to control the territory they've conquered, and the Picts are fighting for revenge and freedom. Both sides do some terrible things, but the Romans are presented as our main characters here, and therefore, our protagonists.

This is a much more simple and conventional movie than Marshall's other work like The Descent and Doomsday, and it's probably his most mainstream flick, as well. But, there's nothing wrong with a straight-forward action movie if it's entertaining. I probably won't rush to own Centurion or see it again, but it was certainly worth seeing once. Fans of Imogen Poots will definitely want to check this out, as she has a nice (if somewhat brief) role.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2010
Centurion Quintus Dias: In the chaos of battle, when the ground beneath your feet is a slurry of blood, puke, piss and the entrails of friends and enemies alike, it's easy to turn to the gods for salvation. But it's soldiers who do the fighting, and soldiers who do the dieing, and the gods, never get their feet wet.

A fine enough chase film that uses the 2nd century Roman conquest of Britain as its backdrop. While there is solid action throughout the film, once it settles down on its B-movie-like plot, the film works quite well. However, while some of the storytelling is a bit clunky, the visuals present in this film make up for it. Some great scenery is blended with ample amounts of bloodshed that is shot in a very brutal manner. It doesn't hurt that a few good character actors head up the cast either.

Michael Fassbender stars as Centurion Quintus Dias, a Roman centurion who essentially goes through hell, getting beat up constantly along the way. Quintus manages to get captured during a raid of his camp, only to be taken to the stronghold of barbarians known as the Pict. However, Quintus does manage to escape and make his way back to a legion of soldiers lead by General Titus Virilus (Dominic West). This legion is being helped by a Pict tracker known as Etain (Olga Kurylenko), who is a warrior woman with no ability to speak due to the lack of a tongue, as it was ripped out by Roman soldiers when she was young. Things turn for the worse when it turns out that Etain has been leading the legion into a trap, leaving almost all the soldiers dead and the General captured. It is soon up to Quintus and a small group of remaining soldiers to rescue the General, as long as they can survive being chased by the vicious group of warriors now led by Etain.

The film was directed by Neil Marshall, who previously made the spelunking horror film, The Decent, and the messy but entertaining sci-fi flick, Doomsday. The thing that holds true between all of these films, is that Marshall is a fan of delivering some pretty violent movies. Here he has made a sword and sandals film that gets to the point and works as a fairly straight-forward action flick. The way he shoots his action is in a way that is up close but still comprehensible, which is fine. It is a visceral sort of take on the material that makes it all the more effective.

From a narrative perspective, there is a bit more to be desired. It takes a bit of time before the real plot sort of takes hold, having an extended start up of sorts, being sure to handle all of the elements that lead up to its second half. I could somewhat compare this to how Apacolypto builds into its extended third act, which is entirely a chase. In addition, the film doesn't exactly present the strongest sort of characters, beyond some basic traits for each, but the actors involved make up for it, for the most part.

Now, with all that being said, the film works in terms of how well filmed it is. The look of this film, as the soldiers travel across various wintery countrysides, forests, and mountains is all nicely done. While this film didn't see a wide release in America, it certainly has the look of an epic, with all the wide shots of these soldiers. That being said, the film is less than 100 minutes, and knows how to get down and dirty with its violence, without too much fat on the bones of this film.

I must also make a special note about Kurylenko as Etain. While I have not really enjoyed her as the latest Bond girl or in films such as Hitman or Max Payne, I did find her quite effective here. It may have been due to the fact that she only needed to intimidate foes based on here looks and present a physical presence. As she was not required to speak, maybe that was for the better.

The film is overall a little mixed in telling a great story, but the way the action is shot and the fun involved in the whole chase element of the film makes up for it. I have enjoyed Marshall's style as a filmmaker thus far, and continue to hope for more genre exercises in the future from him.

Soldier: He's a ruthless, reckless bastard. And I'd die for him without hesitation.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2010
Amazing action film of epic scale. Spectacular body-part severing and gruesome hand-to-hand combat allows for plenty of what he does best. Rather than disintegrate into the sort of sweeping mish-mash seen in Ridley Scott's recent output, this epic is pared into a good old-fashioned cat-and-mouse chase (while still maintaining grandeur). Director Neil Marshall also continues his penchant for ensembles, perfected here by the inclusion of charismatic Michael Fassbender and Dominic West.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2010
Fun, but not amazing.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2010
Wow. EVERYONE IS A CRITIC!! There was absolutely nothing wrong with this movie..other than the tendency to throw in bright red CGI blood splatters during battles, etc. Ignoring that, the movie was well done. Come on....what do we all watch a movie of this type for anyway??? It appeared to me to be a very accurate depiction of life as I have read it to be in the late Roman occupation of the British Isles. It was certainly full of action, bloody battle scenes, great acting, and beautiful cinematography. I enjoyed this. Great ending, too.
Super Reviewer
½ December 21, 2010
Okay, LOVED the coloring and the contrast. Really conveyed the icy cold. And I liked the historical details. Great action. Gritty violence They must have spent a fortune on blood packs.
I think it could have been a lot better all things counting. The story was missing a little oompf. Reminded me of King Arthur, but I liked King Arthur better.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2010
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke, David Morrissey, JJ Feild, Axelle Carolyn, Imogen Poots, Ulrich Thomsen, Dave Legeno, Riz Ahmed

Director: Neil Marshall

Summary: In 2nd-century Britain, Roman fighter Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) is the lone survivor of a Pictish attack on a Roman frontier post. Eager for revenge, he joins the Ninth Legion -- under General Virilus (Dominic West) -- and journeys north on a mission to destroy the Picts.

My Thoughts: "Writer-director Neil Marshall's sword-and-sandals film is an entertaining, action packed, bloody adventure. Great fighting scenes too. I may be alone on this, but I think Olga Kurylenko resembles Catherine Zeta Jones a bit. She could be her daughter. Once again, I may be alone on that thought. I usually do not lean toward films like these, but I have been watching more of them lately. My reasons are I just don't want to miss out on a possible good film. Trying to expand my movie taste. So I am happy that so far I am liking these types of films. I find them to be more interesting then I had previously thought. This film leaves promise of a sequel, which I am hoping for. I really would like to see were the character Centurion goes from where the film left off. If you like action-adventure and some gore mixed in with it, then this is a film for you to see."
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2010
All kinds of awesome and exactly what you'd want from an action epic. The violence is so extreme and detailed in its delivery, sometimes it's almost unbelievable. Niel Marshall's style works undoubtedly best here, at no point did I feel like there was anything lacking as I did with The Descent. The characters are almost superhuman in their ability to endure such pain. Michael Fassbender's blade dodging and Olga Kurylenko's trident of death were some of the more standout features. The story is simple, but really effective and perfect for the feel that they were going for. It's pretty perfect.
Page 1 of 106