Henry V

Critics Consensus

Pehaps Kenneth Branagh's most fully realized Shakespeare adaptation, Henry V is an energetic, passionate, and wonderfully acted film.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 38

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,441
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Movie Info

Kenneth Branagh makes his feature-film directorial debut with this adaptation of William Shakespeare's +Henry V. After the Chorus (Derek Jacobi) introduces the play, young king of England Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) begins an angry dialogue with King Charles of France (Paul Scofield). The king's son, Dauphin (Michael Maloney), insults Henry and the argument escalates into war. In flashback, Henry is seen as a young man drinking in a tavern with Falstaff (Robbie Coltrane), Bardolph (Richard Briers), Nym (Geoffrey Hutchings), Pistol (Robert Stephens), and Mistress Quickly (Judi Dench). Meanwhile, Henry and his captain, Fluellen (Ian Holm), assemble an army and invade France. The French greatly outnumber the British troops, yet Henry leads them to victory in the Battle of Agincourt after delivering his famous St. Crispin's Day Speech. Throughout this struggle, Henry also courts Katherine (Emma Thompson) and eventually wins her over.

Cast

Ian Holm
as Fluellen
Simon Shepherd
as Duke of Gloucester
James Larkin
as Bedford
Paul Gregory
as Earl of Westmoreland
Charles Kay
as Archbishop of Canterbury
Alec McCowen
as Bishop of Ely
Edward Jewesbury
as Sir Thomas Erpingham
Danny Webb
as Capt. Gower
John Sessions
as Capt. MacMorris
Pat Doyle
as Court
Richard Briers
as Lt. Bardolph
Robert Stephens
as Ancient Pistol
Robbie Coltrane
as Sir John Falstaff
Christian Bale
as Falstaff's Boy
Judi Dench
as Mistress Quickly
Paul Scofield
as French King
Richard Innocent
as Duke of Burgundy
Richard Clifford
as Duke of Orleans
Colin Hurley
as Grandpre
Richard Easton
as Constable of France
Emma Thompson
as Princess Katherine
David Lloyd Meredith
as Governor of Harfleur
David Parfitt
as Messenger
Nigel Greaves
as Duke of Berri
Mark Inman
as Soldier #1
Chris Armstrong
as Soldier #2
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News & Interviews for Henry V

Critic Reviews for Henry V

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (38)

  • There is a great deal of value in Branagh`s version, not least in his own lead performance as a soft, indefinite Henry who defines himself over the course of the play.

    Nov 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • If Olivier gave us the glint of sunlight on armor and the wind roaring through the pennants and flags, Branagh gives us the rot, the mold, the wounds and the crusted blood underneath.

    Nov 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • A stirring, gritty and enjoyable pic which offers a plethora of fine performances from some of the U.K.'s brightest talents.

    Jul 1, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The cast -- including Derek Jacobi as the modern-dress chorus, Paul Scofield, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Emma Thompson, and Robbie Coltrane in an effective cameo as Falstaff -- is uniformly fine without any grandstanding.

    Jul 1, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Branagh succeeds in his blunt, robust portrayal of the Soldier-King, hauling the film along in the wake of his own gung-ho performance.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Branagh's Henry has psychological heft and intellectual weight.

    May 21, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Henry V

  • Feb 21, 2015
    It's probably good if you're into Shakespeare. It went right over my head.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 11, 2013
    The Branaugh take on Shakespeare starts here with the film that had everyone comparing him to Larry Olivier. It is possible that we embraced this first very good Shakespearean film since Olivier a little easily. Branaugh is no Olivier after all and this film is not as good as Larry's in '44.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2012
    Good. But too much left out.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2012
    Worth watching just for Branagh's rousing Agincourt speech.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer

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