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Dragonheart (1996)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 325,731

My Rating

Movie Info

A boy and his dragon unite to fight evil in this fantasy. Bowen (Dennis Quaid), a Knight of The Old Code in Medieval times, is summoned by Aislinn the Queen (Julie Christie) to the bedside of her son, Einon, who is also Bowen's student. Einon has been wounded and is near death; with his heart about to give out, Bowen calls upon Draco (voice of Sean Connery), the mightiest dragon in the land, asking for a sliver of his mighty heart so that the boy might survive. Draco makes Bowen pledge that when

Feb 24, 1998

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (15) | DVD (10)

A laughable disaster.

October 8, 2005 | Comment (1)
Fantastica Daily

Exciting fantasy flick has Connery voicing the dragon.

October 30, 2004

Harmless family entertainment, but not especially satisfying.

February 5, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Seeing a large CG dragon talk like Sean Connery is mildly disconcerting. What's weird is the big lizard actually kinda looks like our beloved bald Scot.

August 11, 2003 | Comment (1)
New Times

Morality tale with an unsual team of heroes.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The script and the direction drags a lot. It gets way too wordy at times.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for Dragonheart

I remember this coming out in 1996 and thinking they had just ripped off the film title from 'Braveheart' which came out the year before or 'Thunderheart'...just saying.

So an evil King gets killed by a small bunch of rebellious peasants. His ugly ginger son takes his place but also gets wounded so he's taken by good knight Quaid to a Scottish dragon which can heal humans apparently. He is healed and made to promise he will be good unlike his father, well he lies and turns out even worse, didn't see that coming huh. This angers Quaid as he feels the dragon twisted the young Kings heart so he vows revenge on all dragons.

The catch is that further down the line Quaid's knight realises that a worth while deal can be struck with the dragon for monetary gain. So they begin a partnership where the dragon scares the poor dumb peasants and Quaid rides in and saves them...for a few pieces of gold.

So the film is set in olde England and does have a reasonable realistic approach in that sense, or at least they try. Problem being the film doesn't look anything like England but in fact looks exactly like where they shot it, eastern Europe. I did get the feeling that most of the budget for this film was used on creating the CGI dragon as everything else looks pretty poor really. This King only seems to be King of a small valley, there is no other mention of the rest of England or any other people outside this valley. His castle is pokey, he doesn't seem to have many troops, there seems to be more peasants than troops or even buildings to house them, everyone wears the same outfits all the time, the wigs are all obvious and hilariously bad and the film keeps circling around the same grassy/rocky areas over and over.

The effects at the time were big, they were big time effects believe me, this film garnered much attention because of its CGI dragon. Looking back now its nicely done on the whole but obviously with time the cracks are now evident and the CGI shines through. There are some nice shots when 'Draco' is wet and when he breathes fire, plus the flying sequences are quite good but when he chats with humans it becomes a bit iffy. And yes Draco is his name, draco the dragon, surely they could come up with something a bit more original?.

The idea of a knight and a dragon teaming up for a living during the medieval period is a good one but it doesn't quite feel fully serviced here. We only get a very very bare bones look at other peasants, other villages and how they go about this agreement. No sooner have we seen one badly interpreted village scam the plot goes off down this rebellion route against the evil young King. We then get a very very very average looking final battle sequence against...I dunno, about 50 horseback troops and about 100 peasants who were conveniently trained up in the art of war not more than a few hours before.

There isn't really any decent lore in this film either, nothing on dragons much. The fact Draco can speak is hugely important I would of thought, it shows he is an intelligent beast, not just a dumb killing machine, surely humans could learn a great deal from this creature. I also want to know if all dragons can speak in this universe, they clearly have magic powers and possible immortality with a human, sheesh there is loads to discover here but we get nothing!. Why on earth would people wanna kill all these super intelligent sentient beings off?!!.

It really does all feel a bit low rent...accept for the dragon. In fact the dragon is the best thing in the film really, Quaid looks bad in his blonde wig, Dina Meyer looks ridiculous in her peasant garb, Isaacs is wasted, Postlethwaite is also wasted but Thewlis is actually a decent slimy King...in a bad ginger wig. The choice of Connery as Draco is a good one, no complaints there, in fact its perfect.

A fun cheerful fantasy with a surprisingly stirring orchestral score no doubt, but looking back its all very hokey and quite poorly made if you look closer. The selling point is Draco obviously and without him I think this would have been a disaster. Its a B-movie with an A grade effect in it basically.
March 7, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

I've been making a point of watching many films that have been on my 'Been meaning to catch since it came out ages ago' list and Dragonheart has been at the top for quite a while now. It's nice then that when I did finally get round to it I actually really enjoyed it. It's easy to date it as a mid 90's film when you've watched as many films as I have but the mid 90's was not a great time for cinema with very few great films to show for it. This isn't a masterpiece but it is a fun film full of action, light comedy and good old fashioned fantasy.
November 11, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Dragonheart is a thrilling fantasy adventure that tells the story of King Einon who was wounded and summons Draco, one of the last living dragons in the land. Unfortunately when Einon grows to be an adult, he becomes a cruel king, with no compassion. I first saw Dragonheart when I was young, and it was a film that captured my imagination. I've seen a second time in the past years or so, and I still thought the film was just as exciting as it was the first time that I saw it. The film has a great cast of talented actors, great action, a well developed story, and if you're looking for a wonderful Fantasy film about dragons; then Dragonheart is the film for you. The story I thought was very compelling with plenty of action and drama elements that was necessary to tell a terrific story. Although he only voiced the CGI dragon, Sean Connery was wonderful, and I thought he was a key player to making this a wonderful film experience. Other actors who shine here are David Thewlis in the role of King Einon and Pete Posthwaite. Though by today's standards, the CGI looks primitive; Dragonheart is still a thrilling Fantasy Action Adventure film that delivers terrific entertainment. I never really cared for Dragon films to be honest, but Dragonheart is a film that stood out for me and I thought it was a wonderful and fun film to watch. With lots of action, adventure and drama; Dragonheart is a classic of the genre, and is quite frankly underrated. A wonderful film that has elements will appeal to everyone.
August 28, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Just a weird movie, even when you know it's about dragons. The fact that the script is so bizarre and inhuman makes for one incredibly corny and dumb movie. It essentially has no beauty or style, it's just a mess all around. I think this marked the temporary downfall in Dennis Quad's career and the start of unnecessary CGI. You can't even laugh at this movie, it's just too unlikable.
May 23, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

    1. "Draco": You must have hated us very much.
    2. Bowen: I only hated one of you. These I killed because I wanted to kill him. But I never found and I never will. Since you're the last, he must be dead.
    3. "Draco": Tell me, what was he like, this dragon you hated?
    4. Bowen: He only had half a heart, but even that was enough to pollute an innocent boy.
    5. "Draco": Einon was no innocent! HE polluted the heart!
    6. Bowen: How do you know that? How do you know that, dragon?
    7. "Draco": [trying to carefully choose his words] All dragons know that story. What was to be their hope became their doom; a spoiled ungrateful child was given a great gift and destroyed it!
    8. Bowen: No! I knew Einon. I was his mentor, I taught him the ways of right of honor.
    9. "Draco": Then he betrayed you just as he did the dragon whose heart he broke.
    10. Bowen: That's a lie, dragon!
    11. "Draco": STOP CALLING ME DRAGON! I have a name.
    12. Bowen: Well what is it?
    13. "Draco": It's impossible to pronounce it in your tongue.
    14. Bowen: Try me.
    15. "Draco": It's... [a fiery pain in his left shoulder sends him to the ground]
    – Submitted by Jordan P (19 months ago)
    1. Bowen: [teaching Gilbert to archer] Draw your bow, sight along the arrow, release! [releases the arrow, arrow sticks in the dummy's head]
    2. Hewe: Beginner's luck. Try again!
    3. Bowen: Steady... [releases the arrow, arrow sticks in the wooden dummy's crotch] [impressed, laughing] Brother Gilbert, you're a natural!
    – Submitted by Francis L (23 months ago)
    1. Gilbert: [to the cannidbal-threating mob having just learned of Bowen's scheme, suspecting his involvement] Peace, brothers! Peace! [the mob keeps coming, he turns to run] Heathens!
    – Submitted by Francis L (23 months ago)
    1. Bowen: [the villagers pelt Kara when she alls for rebellion] Why waste good food on bad rhetoric?
    – Submitted by Francis L (23 months ago)
    1. Gilbert: [voiceover] And in the days following Draco's sacrifice, Bowen and Kara led the people in a time of justice and brotherhood. As I remember it now, those were golden years warmed by an unworldly light. And when things became the most difficult, Draco's star shown more brightly for all of us who knew where to look.
    – Submitted by Francis L (23 months ago)
    1. Gilbert: [Bowen has just pretended to kill Draco for a second time] Well done, Bowen! You've done it again! What a brute! That's even bigger than the last one!
    2. Bowen: Actually, he's about the same size.
    – Submitted by Francis L (23 months ago)
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