The 13th Warrior 1999

The 13th Warrior

Critics Consensus

Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 88

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 117,964

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Movie Info

A Muslim ambassador exiled from his homeland, Ahmad ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) finds himself in the company of Vikings. While the behavior of the Norsemen initially offends ibn Fadlan, the more cultured outsider grows to respect the tough, if uncouth, warriors. During their travels together, ibn Fadlan and the Vikings get word of an evil presence closing in, and they must fight the frightening and formidable force, which was previously thought to exist only in legend.

Cast & Crew

Antonio Banderas
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad
Diane Venora
Queen Weilew
Dennis Storhøi
Herger the Joyous
Omar Sharif
Melchisidek
Anders T. Andersen
Wigliff - King's Son
Richard Bremmer
Skeld the Superstitious
Tony Curran
Weath the Musician
Mischa Hausserman
Rethel the Archer
Asbjørn "Bear" Riis
Halga the Wise
Ethan Dubrow
Executive Producer
Andrew G. Vajna
Executive Producer
Ned Dowd
Producer
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Critic Reviews for The 13th Warrior

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (59)

  • Akira Kurosawa's brilliant samurai movies -- especially 1957's Throne of Blood -- are a visual influence. But the script lacks the dignity that infuses Kurosawa's equally blood-thirsty characters.

    February 6, 2018 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • Michael Crichton's story is underdeveloped and narrow in range, resulting in a tale more curious for its odd confluence of elements than for their edifying deployment.

    June 17, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • At its best, this achieves the beauty and grandeur of a Kurosawa epic -- at its worst, however, it feels like a Python remake of The Vikings.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film is fascinating to watch, but I can hardly say what it's about, other than people killing each other.

    July 21, 2005
  • A big cathartic blast.

    March 22, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • The 13th Warrior seems like a made-for-TV warrior movie without enough money to get really epic.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for The 13th Warrior

  • Nov 29, 2013
    The film is full of interesting elements but not a coherent combination of them. Any movie that features a Muslim ambassador banished from his homeland, Vikings, cannibalism, witchcraft, and a re-working of the "Beowulf" myth shouldn't be so tedious.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2013
    Kind of boring really. I like how it's sort of Beowulf-related, as the mythology gives this some background, but I just wasn't that interested. I bet the book is a lot better.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2012
    Interesting action film that delivers on action and thrills. Although at times lacking, The 13th Warrior is good entertainment. Although lacking at times, the film has some solid action, and in the end it's what makes this film worth watching. The 13th Warrior is a mindless action romp set against a historical background. Directed by John McTiernan, director of Die Hard, this film delivers action and thrills that will please any action movie fan. Antonio Banderas is pretty good here, and along with The Mask of Zorro, this is one of his more enjoyable film. Although lacking at times in story, the film delivers effective action that makes this film worth watching. There's a good cast here, nothing ever too grand, but they all give decent enough performances to make this film interesting. The film relies on the action to deliver the thrills, thus the 13th Warrior is short on a epic story, but in the end it's not a big deal. The film is a popcorn flick in the end, and it most certainly delivers the action you'd expect. Despite its imperfections, this is a well made actioner that's simply designed to entertain you. 13th Warrior is fun from start to finish and is very violent, action packed and moves at a fast pace.Not a great film, but still worth watching for an entertaining evening of mindless action.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2011
    Historical Vikings vs barbarians, hack n slash flick made by 'Die Hard' director John McTiernan? should be kick ass right? well sort of, it is a decent flick but its a bit messy and not overly as memorable as you'd think. Based on a Michael Crichton novel (which was all the rage back in the 90's) which involved the curious mix of a travelling exiled Arab poet who befriends and joins a small village of Norsemen (Vikings) and ends up fighting a tribe of barbarian cannibals that dress as bears because they believe they are bears. The film isn't accurate of course, it is based on actual fact but has been hugely exaggerated and made more exciting for both the novel and film. The lead character 'Fadlan' was a real Arabic traveller and he did go north and experience Viking life but all the battles with cannibals (based on the 'Beowulf' folklore) is complete fantasy. So the film has a touch of grounding in reality which makes it more interesting and urges you to learn more which is good, the film itself isn't too bad, compared to the novel I don't know but there isn't too much happening in the film other than time wasting dialog inter-spursted with pitched battles. The dialog is very wooden really and somewhat 'state the obvious' all the time, the film does feel a little rushed and choppy probably due to the problems whist being made and really the battles, which are the focal point, aren't all that good either. The film is solid and is reasonably interesting but it just feels very underwhelming, as if there is a really really good kick ass film somewhere in there wanting to get out. Banderas looks the part of the Arab and the Viking cast also look good as does the cold looking muddy location work but Sharif seems to have been stuck in there simply for big name status and to try and elevate the film to epic levels as he does pretty much nothing of importance and disappears very quickly. The film does get slightly more silly as it progresses towards the end but all in all it just about does the job of keeping you entertained. The barbarian hordes the Vikings fend off are too unrealistic really I think, that's the problem, and of course most of them are all just sword fodder for the heroes so the usual thing. I think 'Pathfinder' does it better.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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