The 13th Warrior - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The 13th Warrior Reviews

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December 27, 2017
Fantastic adaptation of a great book
August 11, 2017
The film in question the 13th warrior is sadly highly underrated. In my opinion it is a great film with great characters, and good casting. You feel a sense of wonder and often out of place with the character Ahmed who is pulled straight out of what he is familiar with a forced to adapt to a new and strange place in the north. There are a few memorable moments in the film. My personal being at the end of the assault at night, Meade is offered to Ahmed but he denies because he can't drink anything of barly or grapes. To which the character beside him replies "it's honey!" This moment for me really shows your again how strange and unfamiliar this world he is in is. While the plot is perhaps a bit weak, the film is a must see if you enjoy vikings, mystery and suspense. Infact there is a lot of the latter in the beginning of the film. But all in all, I mostly enjoyed it ????
June 10, 2017
Boring, even the short action sequences are boring.
May 21, 2017
A good solid action movie with great performances by the main actors Plot could have been better fleshed out.
May 10, 2017
Despite production clashes between the director and Mr. Crichton, 13W delivers a solid adventure flick. It's not trying to be high cinema, but the characters, the combat, and the stakes in general make it one of the great fantasy romps. People who criticize it seem to have been expecting something epic/historic given Banderas' star power at the time. But I feel they are missing the point. This is the journey of a character who started as an effete and selfish person and became "A man and useful servant of God."
½ February 12, 2017
170212: This film has been christened one of the "biggest box office bombs in history" (Wikipedia). As of this date it is actually only 23rd but seeing as how that is my favourite number, I thought it worth mentioning. I'm not a big fan of Antonio Banderas but this film features some pretty neat bad guys in the Wendol (I'm sure named after the Wendigo), a cannibalistic tribe of warriors who appear as bears and live under the ground; where do they keep all their horses? Some decent action with characters, in particular the 12 Viking warriors, who grow on you. Worth watching even if only once.
½ January 27, 2017
This one was much more interesting than critics would have you believe. A case of bandwagon critique. It's not pure gold, but more than a guilty pleasure.
January 16, 2017
One of our favorite movies.....excellent story, but of course, in order to appreciate it fully, one must have an IQ above that of a fence post AND not HATE the main character just because of his nationality and religious beliefs (really, really hard for brainwashed Americans).
January 12, 2017
I've seen a lot of reviews boiling this movie down to cliches and narrow adaptation of the book it's based on. What I'm here to tell you is that even on my fourth consecutive viewing while getting drunk, and probably 50th time overall, that The 13th Warrior is a thrilling adventure that highlights overcoming differrences and personal problem.

Each viewing of this movie stirs within me something, though this review will go largely unnoticed, I hope that I can convince at least one person to give of a viewing. Whether you seek adventure adventure, a tale of risk to the challenge, or a simple hack-&-slash, this piece of master cinema will become quickly pne of the movies you always remember.

The movie is about Antonio Banderas and a bad of honorable northerners, but the experience makes you feel like the 14th warrior.
December 19, 2016
A more grounded version of the myth the fast pace and Antonio Banderas
October 29, 2016
An outstanding telling of a very interesting book from Michael Crichton based on an Arab diplomat having to team up with Viking warriors he was observing that now take on a creature that sends fear even through these fearless people.
September 15, 2016
just like Coppola Dracula, brilliant start that descends into utter bad acting, storyline and ending
September 13, 2016
One of my all time favorite films. I absolutely have to watch it every time it's on tv. Heroic action, a truly epic feel as warriors battle an ancient evil cloaked in superstition and myth. Great characters, and one of the most quotable movies of the late 90s.
September 3, 2016
I generally like Banderas, but he is wank in this. The battle scenes are fairly average as well and the overall story is pretty weak and boring.
July 28, 2016
this movie keeps on the edge from start to finish. and the cast was awsome
½ July 21, 2016
Pairing action legends John McTiernan and Antonio Banderas together as director and actor, The 13th Warrior sounded like a real adventure.

Notorious for being one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, The 13th Warrior is a big-budgeted film which boasts the potential of a real spectacle. I say potential because it never reaches it, and that really went over my head. The 13th Warrior has a budget estimated to be close to $100 million, and yet I just struggle to believe that. For a film this simplistic to actually cost that much can only signify that some severely misguided direction was behind the production.
Frankly, the production values of this $100 million films seem only slightly higher than the ones used in another story of century-old swordfighting, Highlander (1986). Highlander had a budget of merely $19 million, a fraction of the massive budget behind The 13th Warrior. Both films had convincing costumes and ideal scenery, though there is a difference in cinematography technique. However, Highlander utilized its setting for far greater value as it actually took the time to show off its production values. Most of the time in The 13th Warrior the entire film is shot up so close that all you can see is the faces of actors who do little more than deliver certifiably melodramatic performances thanks to a lifeless screenplay. This makes the entire scale of the story feel too insignificant to make any kind of impact as a spectacle, and it shows off none of the imagery that should be synonymous with a film of such an overblown budget. It's actually difficult to say that I remember any imagery whatsoever in The 13th Warrior because the film was a lesser experience than John McTiernan's Last Action Hero (1993) which was seemingly far more overblown but actually managed to use its set pieces for something distinctive.
The problem with the visual style is that it wants to really focus intensively on the characters and uses a series of close-up techniques to convey their intense emotional state of mind. The only problem is that apparently the director of photography is not aware of the screenplay's shortcomings because there is nothing interesting about the characters in The 13th Warrior. Characterization is not a key strength of the film and everyone is reduced to being a generic archetype thrown into a series of melodramatic ramblings or occasional swordfights, the latter of which the cinematography should be focused on. Director of photography Peter Menzies Jr. does not seem aware of this and fails to grasp the larger scale which he conveyed far more skilfully on Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), another collaboration with John McTiernan. As a result, both the screenplay and the visual style of The 13th Warrior come up extremely short and neither of them compensate for each other. In the case of films with a budget such as The 13th Warrior, the visual experience can frequently make up for the lack of supportive writing. This is not the case this time, and with a man like John McTiernan as director I must say that I am very surprised in the worst sense of the word.
For a film that collaborates action filmmaker John McTiernan with action star Antonio Banderas so have such severe shortcomings in the quantity of action is truly shoddy. There is a modicum of brief swordfighting scenes in the film where we see the actors pitted against each other and performing in an intense state of mind, but they are extremely brief and captured with technique too shoddy to be anything distinctive. Still, I might have tolerated them more of there was more of it to actually embrace. The 13th Warrior is ultimately so short on action that the use of the word "warrior" in the title is a betrayal to anyone who dares to watch it. The 13th Warrior is a big betrayal to the generic contract it promises with the presence of its central actor and director, and there is nothing spectacular about the experience outside of the atmospheric strength brought in by Jerry Goldsmith's musical score. With all the slow motion and melodramatic panning in the visual experience, The 13th Warrior manages to capture the melodramatic angle of the film with an emotional spirit to it that ensures there is at least sparks of feeling spread out during the film.
The 13th Warrior feels like a wasted opportunity. It could have been a harrowing portrait of violence, but the script has no interesting commentary to make. It could have been an interesting story about Adhem ubn Fadlan, but it seems like the filmmakers are no more aware of his historical relevance than I am. Given that the text is based on a piece of historical fiction I can understand why the latter faltered, but the story's focus is so scattershot throughout its generic collection of archetypes that it doesn't give Antonio Banderas an opportunity to shine. While the characters have flashy costumes to wear and nice scenery to stand against the backdrop of, they have nothing interesting to say. And even then, everything is lit too poorly to really get the full experience of their performances. Yet since the feature does not even know how to exploit the gimmicks of its cast, it is a waste of their time more than ours. Antonio Banderas rarely engages in any combat, opting instead to recite the philosophical poetry of an 8th grade history student. Every supporting cast member ends up as generic and forgettable as each other, a fate that even befalls an actor as legendary as Omar Sharif who was so dissatisfied with the experience that he temporarily retired from acting as a result.

The 13th Warrior is a stunningly misguided flop which serves as some of John McTiernan's worst work, spending copious millions of dollars on poor cinematography and a shortage of action scenes while shifting the focus onto a lifeless screenplay full of stock characters and cheap melodrama.
May 8, 2016
There are some fun parts but now is completely outdated and very difficult to follow as to what is the actual plot
April 26, 2016
The 13th Warrior would have benefitted from better character development and story, but the design and direction of the film are all but too lavish and amazing to ignore.

V: 52%
½ April 11, 2016
Screw critics, this movie is awesome.
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