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Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (2009)

tomatometer

50

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

36

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 12,189

My Rating

Movie Info

In the 11th century, Vikings, Indians, and Irish monks collide on the shores of North America in a historical epic adventure of exploration, personal glory, and religious dominance. Abandoned by a Western exploration party and stranded in the New World, two lone Vikings wade through a grand primeval landscape, struggling for survival while still in the grip of their Norse ways. An impressive DIY epic, "Severed Ways" features a frosty black-metal soundtrack, including Burzum, Morbid Angel, Judas

Jul 28, 2009

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (13) | DVD (1)

Stone's admirable and persuasive evocation is unfortunately marred by his self-defeating resort to flurries of claustrophobic, fragmented hand-held shots that obfuscate just about every crucial plot development in the film.

July 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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A must-see.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Severed Ways is one of the oddest movies I've seen in a while -- and that's a good thing.

March 13, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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If nothing else, Mr. Stone, from his tangled hair to dirty feet, has taken himself and his story into the beyond -- way, way beyond.

March 13, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Largely lacking in dialogue (if not unintentional hilarity), this intensely personal project is proof positive that Bill and Ted grew up to become filmmakers.

March 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comment (1)
Time Out New York
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The spectacle of two dudes mucking about in the primal forest becomes tedious...

March 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More or less what you'd have if Ingmar Bergman had shot The Blair Witch Project...

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Severed Ways exudes a specific and unique vibe, and youre either going to get into it or youre not...If youre willing to just stop, look and listen, you might have a good time.

August 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

One of the more beautifully shot films of the year...so long as the camera is standing still.

July 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

That director Tony Stone concocted and nearly pulls off this gruff, truly indie flick, maintaining our interest -- mostly -- through slow, wordless curio makes him a director to watch.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Captivating locations can't overcome deplorable scenes of defecation and actually killing a hen onscreen. This is so slow and lacking in pace it tries one's patience.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: tonymedley.com

Gorgeous cinematography of fabulous wilderness landscape cannot compensate for the self-indulgence and viewer-alienating technique of a clueless rookie director/writer/actor.

March 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A pretentious, tedious, jarring and grueling test of a viewer's patience.

March 15, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Seems more informed by low-budget History Channel programs and the proto-metal Norse lore of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song."

March 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Minimalist independent cinema doesn't get much more low fidelity than debut writer/director Tony Stone's garish vision of 11th century Vikings discovering North America.

March 10, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

If all Vikings acted like the two principals in this glacial-paced film, Valhalla must be an empty, desolate place.

March 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

Minimalist retro-dialogue in Old Norse, a closeup of human defecation in real time, choked chickens for dinner, and man rape of a dumb blonde macho Viking dragged off by a native woman warrior in heat to her tepee where she, well, makes him her squaw.

March 7, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

Audience Reviews for Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America

"Severed Ways" is an almost entirely wordless long-form video set to Metal and Goth music. It tries to imagine what it must have been like to be a Norseman exploring North America in 1000 AD. Writer/director Tony Stone (who also plays the lead role) appears to know a lot more about music than filmmaking, screenwriting or acting.

Mostly what you get is interminably long scenes depicting such things as the building of a house. There are also many endless sequences depicting our two Norse heroes walking through the wilderness. One thing the film does do is evoke a mood. You really do feel like it's 1000 AD and you're in a forest. The film does get more interesting as it goes, with our Noresemen encountering two Christian monks and then a couple of natives.

But as soon as something interesting starts to happen in these storylines, Stone reverts to another panoramic nature sequence. He seems to be allergic to thought. It's too bad, because I get the sense that he's got some interesting ideas somewhere underneath all that hair.
November 20, 2009
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

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