Kingdom of Heaven Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 16, 2007
Interesting subject matter, and capable (if overly glossy) cinematography, but something in this film just didn't come out right. I think there was too much build up to most events; though the plot was interesting, everything developed so slowly that the sting had been taken out of the events before they occurred. That, and I didn't buy Orlando Bloom in this part - too young and too pretty. Didn't reward the investment it required, and could have trimmed some fat to make for a better watch.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2012
Ridley Scott takes it slow and steady with Kingdom of Heaven.It is no secret that this film goes to great lengths to tell its story. The run time, for one, is a massive 3 hours. It isn't a quick sit through, nor does it feel like it with only a moderate pace. On the other hand, the costumes and set design are visually pleasing. When it comes to the story, there isn't a whole lot that can be deemed unnecessary, as most of it does fit nicely together.The violence is bloody and the action is as it should be. Nothing fancy when it comes to the choreography; just large clashes, especially in the final hour.The cast is solid. The supporting roles tend to outshine Orlando Bloom, but since the characters come and go, it is Bloom that ends up with the most to deliver. The likes of Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, and David Thewlis are just a few of the standouts throughout the picture.Kingdom of Heaven isn't a masterpiece, but it is a recommendable picture if one has 3 hours to spare.
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2006
The director`s cut of the film makes this a materpiece. It adds more accuracy and vison to Scott`s firece and bloody epic of dazzling power and dedication. An exhilerating and spectacular action-packed adventure epic. A stunning, stylish, deeply moving and jaw-dropping historical epic that ranks with Gladiator and Braveheart. Director, Ridley Scott has crafted another fine masterwork. It`s jammend with awesome and well-crafted battle sequences. A truly magnificent cast. Orlando Bloom is teriffic, crafting a surprisingly enduring and compelling performance. Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons are superb. Edward Norton is brilliant.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
As much as I enjoyed this, I think I would have liked it more had I watched the director's cut and not the flawed and disliked (by Scott himself) theatrical cut. Regardless, this is a sweeping epic that is beautiful to look at, has amazing costumes, sets, art direction, and cinematography, and features music that is a delight to listen to.

It's a given that this, and others like it, are historically inaccurate and fictionalized. That is to be expected. I may be a historian, and although the events and time depicted are not my speciality, I have taken a class on the Crusades, and can weigh in more easily about what is right and wrong with the depictions. Whether I have extensive knowledge of things in any historical film or not, I am generally very tolerant and understanding of things, and try not to do too much condemning.

I wished there was better character development and better plotting, both of which I hope the director's cut fixes. The performances were generally pretty good, and while I don't think Orlando Bloom can quite carry a film on his own yet (like he has to here), he's getting better .The supporting cast is terrific, with major props going to Irons, Green (despite murkiness with her character), the unrecognizable Norton, and the guy who played Saladin.

The battle scenes are terrific, and they are choreograped and executed quite well. It's also nice to note that the use of extras and real animals and props took place over CGI. Even though they are flawed, the non battle scens are good too; Maybe I happened to like them even more since I am a scholar, and can appreciate the dialogue heavy socio/political/religious content. Some of the dialogue is kinda bad, but the other great stuff makes up for it.

So yeah, this version is heavily flawed, but I still enjoyed it. When it comes to epic film making, Ridley Scott is a modern master.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2011
A exceedingly good film, it was true, dramatic, and amazing. Orlando Bloom mightve been a wrong choice, but the rest of the cast was perfect in their roles, espically Edward Norton. This movie had an amazing plot, characters, and historical accuracy. On the bonus the action was awesome too, Kingdom of Heaven is a must see.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2011
Generally this isn't my kind of film but I thought Kingdom of Heaven was quite good. I didn't even begin to take the historical accuracies seriously though, for me it was all about the performances and the visuals. It was a little wishy washy at times but overall I enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2011
Kingdom Of Heaven follows perfectly well in the footsteps of Ridley Scott's previous epic / historical work, Gladiator. Both touch on epic subjects, except now the setting is the during the Crusades as the war against Palestine wages on to reclaim the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Story follows Balian of Ibelin(Orlando Bloom), a village blacksmith who is grieving for his wife who has just killed herself. He joins the Crusaders to find salvation and answers. He rises to knighthood, and protects and defends Jerusalem and it's people from the attacking Persians who seek to reclaim the Holy City back from the Christians. Kingdom Of Heaven has all the ingredients of a great Historical period epic. The sets and costumes look phenomenal, and theres plenty of sword combat throughout the film. A surprising casting choice was Edward Norton as King Baldwin Iv, at first I didn't know it was Edward Norton, and he really blew me away for the short time he was in the film. I have yet to view the director's cut of the film, but for what I have seen in the theatrical cut, I very much enjoyed it. I'm sure I'll prefer the director's cut, but I haven't gotten around to viewing it. Kingdom Of Heaven is flawed, but tells an almost accurate story, as they said it was loosely based on the exploits of Balian. If you love epic period pieces with lots of action and drama, such as Braveheart, Troy, Gladiator and 300, then give Kingdom Of Heaven a watch, it is a well crafted film with great storytelling and acting. One of the best period epics in a while.
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2007
great flick if youre into the era
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2010
My god I found this fantastically dull. Perhaps it is because I find the Crusades, boring and bordering on heathenish as a historical period, or maybe it because I am not a Christian, but yikes it took an effort to get through.
But something with Orlando Bloom, Edward Norton, Liam Neeson, and Ridley Scott directing, I'll sit through it. However I always manage to find redeemable qualities in every film and while story was rough, there were some fantastically beautiful shots. Excellent violence and great acting.
At times, I had several Lord of the Rings flashbacks. The setting fire to the towers was interesting. I think Orly learned it from being Legolas. Or that is how I entertain myself when I see actors in similar roles. I did like some of the religious liberty and lessons in it, but doubt that is even close to how it was in history.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2007
"There'll be a day when you will wish that you had done a little evil to do a greater good." My main problems with Kingdom of Heaven begin and end with Orlando Bloom. Both his character in the movie, and the actual actor. I'm sorry, but he was a terrible fit for this. I can buy him as an elf. I can buy him as Will Turner, pirate extraordinaire. But I didn't find him the least bit credible, in this role. This was way beyond him. Russel Crowe, he is not.

As for the actual character, his meteoric rise from village blacksmith to the heights of power is tough to swallow. Men of great power give Balian so much respect, trust, and incredibly important positions, based on...what? Who his father was? He just has no real character development to convince the audience that he's worthy of leading armies, or that his sudden (and frankly, unbelievable) relationship with Princess Sibylla is based on anything besides the writer's need to have it in the story. That kind of weak and shallow writing (which is sadly not only limited to the character of Balian, all of the characters are little more than caricatures) really irks me, and it definitely hurt the movie. Bland is not an admirable description of this kind of character.

On the positive side, the scale of the movie is beyond impressive. The battles are well- choreographed and appropriately epic, the desert and city setting are beautiful and authentic, and the excellent cinematography captures it all beautifully. I genuinely wanted to learn more about this time in history, after I watched it.

This could have been a great movie, with a better lead actor and better writing. As it stands, Ridley Scott failed to return to the success that Gladiator found. Visually, Kingdom of Heaven is a treat. The rest is adequate, at best.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2007
really good interesting exciting and very good alot of fit acors in there as well
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2006
A Dramatic Epicof the old school. Should have been a Great Movie but failed due to bad performances and historical inaccuracy.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2009
Such a great classically told story. The acting, writing and directing was flawless (yes, even Orlando Bloom). The action sequences are amazing, yet don't become the central part of the plot. It was very character driven, something a lot of Ridley Scott's newer films have been missing. The story is such an amazing ride, you can't help but lose yourself in the majestic qualities. It's actually, without a doubt, my favorite historical genre pieces about the medieval era. I don't think i've seen anything handle the time so flawlessly, capturing the heart and soul of the time.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2007
A young man who is wanted for murder joins the crusades. I thought this would be another 'Troy' with a good cast and director but the story was lame and I gave up watching half way through. Sorry Orly.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2009
"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong"

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Sir Ridley Scott has made a movie that does not fit easily in today's Hollywood where the dollar is king. This is a complicated masterpiece full of Scott's signature imagery of magnificent landscapes and breathtaking battle scenes. Orlando Bloom does wonders with a role that is more complex than Russell Crowe's in Galdiator and Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons and Ghassan Massoud bring immense power to their parts. Alexander Siddig once again proves that he is quietly emerging into one of the most gifted actors of recent years, with a role that displays both elegance and intellect. It is of note that considering his lower profile he grabs your attention throughout the action. Ed Norton does likewise in a role that commands your respect, in a part that must have been physically and mentally demanding. In an age where tolerance is considered a redundant concept, this is a courageous attempt to at least grab your attention and make you think beyond your comfort zone. I wish the longer version had been released on screen as the major problem stems from the obvious editing down from the original vision. However despite this minor fault, this film is a success. A movie that asks you to engage your brain is never a failure.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2007
"The world will decide. The world always decides."

Ridley Scott's attempt to gain the same success of "Gladiator" fails at some points, but in the end it's still mildly entertaining and a decent addition to the epic film genre.

To me, "Kingdom of Heaven" is too religious and political. It drags on a bit but on the positive side it has some very good scenes, like the final battle between the christian and muslim troops.

Some beautiful images are also added, at times it almost feels like the filmmakers had copied the visual image of "Gladiator". Even the music of the film seems similar to Ridley Scott's masterpiece.

In my opinion, the biggest flaw of the film is Orlando Bloom. He's not at all of the same caliber as Russell Crowe. The film features a lot of talent; Liam Neeson, Edward Norton, Jeremy Irons, just to name a few. The film also has the Finnish Jouko Ahola, "The world's strongest man" of 97 and 99, but that's about that...

"Kingdon of Heaven" resembles "Gladiator" but lacks the spirit that the latter movie had. But the film is not at all a disaster, some might love it or hate it, some might just find it entertaining enough to enjoy it.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2007
Have yet to see the theatrical cut, but I was very intrigued by this version.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2006

Balian: What is Jerusalem worth?
Saladin: Nothing. [walks away] Everything!

Well made epic about the crusades that was unfortunately overlooked during its initial release.

The story, which actually stays very true to the historical events that occurred, involve a young man, Balian played by Bloom, who works as a blacksmith in France. His wife has recently committed suicide and he himself is questioning life.

Things change when a knight, Godfrey, played by Liam Neeson, comes to town with other crusaders, alerting Balian that he is in fact his father and wishes him to fight with him in the crusades.

After some more Obi Wan moments, Balian arrives in Jerusalem by himself, seeking to do what he can as a knight himself now, and hopefully gain forgiveness from God for his wife and his own sins.

During this time we also meet actually historical characters such as Guy de Lusignan, Tiberias (Jeremy Irons), Sibylla (Eva Green), Reynald (Brendan Gleeson), and the leper king Baldwin played by an uncredited but very effective Edward Norton.

We are also shown the other side of the Crusades, the Muslim perspective, featuring their leader Saladin, and see his thoughts on the matter.

This movie is filled with good supporting characters, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, and David Thewlis are all kinds of cool, and even Orlando Bloom isn't too bad.

This is a Ridley Scott film, and he makes another ancient epic that is very well made with plenty of good crusader action. His visual style along with an amazing score by Harry Gregson Willaims work wonders at helping a long epic such as this remain entertaining.

Helping the story is how we are not given good and bad guys. The opposing forces both serve noble causes and are not shown to be particularly evil, but smart men with goals in mind for their people.

The director's cut, adding another 50 minutes to this movie is even better and here are some reasons why:

I can understand why the studios made cuts, all audiences would probably not appreciate the movie taking it's time to flesh out it's characters, but it does make a difference.

The beginning for example does a much better job to set up Bloom's character, and you see him in a better light throughout the film, he does not simply join up with Neeson, followed by a jump to an action scene, his character is built up as something more than action guy.

There is more of Neeson's character which is cool, as well as some more battle footage. There is also a few good subplots, one involving a new character not previously seen in the theatrical cut, but works both in the film and historically.

This is certainly the only version of the film that should be watched, and if it were to have initially come out, I can only imagine it would have gotten higher regard around awards season. This is a very good film, met with good character actors and solid direction from Scott.

Godfrey of Ibelin: Get up, lets see how well you fight.
Hospitaler: His hand is injured my lord.
Godfrey of Ibelin: I once fought two days with an arrow through my testicle.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2008
Wow, talk about violent bloody scenes! This movie had me shrieking and hiding behind my pillow!

The conclusion, the concept of the movie, the acting, casting and directing of the movie was all just so awesome!

David Thewlis is starting to get my attention more and more but I totally missed Edward Norton on here. Ill have to watch this again sometime!

I have a lot of questions about it tho, muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, so did they fight only for the strategic location of Jerusalem? Was it because it was the highest point in that location to worship??? How is Jerusalem "everything" for them???

Hmm, well a lot of you have recommended watching the directors cut, so I think Ill go ahead and look for it.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008
Does "God Wills It"?, according to the box office no, but respectable nevertheless cuz only movies like Wild Hogs sell.
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