It's overlong, but Ironclad provides a righteous jolt, working as a gritty work of period recreation and as a sword-swinging marathon of squirting blood and flying severed limbs.
| Original Score: B
Unfortunately, a narrative needs characters as well as plot, and that's where Ironclad falls off its horse.
| Original Score: C+
When they named 'em the Dark Ages, brother, they weren't kidding.
| Original Score: C
This bloody, messy action film devolves into a plain ol' bloody mess.
| Original Score: 1/5
The script is so sodden and the action so agitated and fragmented that Ironclad simply seems like so much swordplay silliness.
An utterly joyless exercise in blood and dirt.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
While Ironclad captures the casual cruelty and flesh-and-bone violence of the 13th century, it fails to do the same in the more intimate material set in the downtime between assaults.
Like most of Ridley Scott's medieval adventures, the film subscribes to such a stark good-versus-evil setup that it's devoid of any nuance or suspense.
Character study, history lesson, and bloody war story, "Ironclad" adds up to more than the sum of its violent parts if only just barely.
| Original Score: B-
English has imbued proceedings with a gratifying brutality; a grubby, washed out, theatre of nastiness...
| Original Score: 2/5
Ironclad is the sort of movie where they behand three people in a row.
It may be rooted in historical fact, but Ironclad is about as likely to be confused for a history lesson on 13th Century England as Gladiator would for Ancient Rome.
Would be forgivable for a genuine first timer, but Johnny English has directed before and produced enough to know the business. If you get production value and an A-list cast together, you've got to get your act together.
It's a persuasive portrayal of a violent era and its harsh privations.
| Original Score: 3/5
Medieval history lesson with lots of shattered bodies and splattered limbs.
The characters and dialogue lack the vibrancy of the action but, all in all, this is much more enjoyable than Ridley Scott's po-faced Robin Hood.
A topical history lesson in the form of a horror comic.
Ugly, monotonous and involving a lot of waiting, no matter how many tantrums Giamatti throws or gory interludes the screenwriters sandwich in.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Ironclad might be the perfect actioner for gorehound fanboys gaga for medieval trappings, but all others may find this British-American-German co-production a bit of a drag.