Beowulf & Grendel (2006)



Critic Consensus: Despite the impressive Icelandic scenery, Beowulf And Grendel fails to find its footing in the transition from epic tale to the big screen.

Beowulf & Grendel Photos

Movie Info

One of the oldest epic poems in the English language gets a robust visual interpretation in this historical epic shot on location in Iceland. Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgård) is a Danish king who murders a troll that has been terrorizing his countryside. But Hrothgar spares the life of the troll's strange young son, who with the passage of years grows to become Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), a fearsome warrior intent upon avenging his father's death. As Grendel begins his slaughter of the king's closest confidants, Hrothgar realizes his life is in danger, and he calls upon the brave and fearless Beowulf (Gerard Butler) to track down and kill Grendel. As Beowulf and his band of warriors search for the vicious and elusive Grendel, he crosses paths with Selma (Sarah Polley), a beautiful and sensuous witch whose alliances are divided between Beowulf and his archenemy. Produced by Canadian, British, and Icelandic concerns, Beowulf & Grendel was a major box-office success in Canada before crossing south to American theaters in the summer of 2006.
R (for violence, language and some sexuality)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Gerard Butler
as Beowulf
Stellan Skarsgard
as King Hrothgar
Eddie Marsan
as Brendan the Celt
Tony Curran
as Hondscioh
Martin Delaney
as Thorfinn
Rory McCann
as Breca
Ronan Vibert
as Thorkel
Hringur Ingvarsson
as Young Grendel
Spencer Wilding
as Grendel's Father
Philip Whitchurch
as Fisherman
Mark Lewis
as King Hygelac
Benedikt Clausen
as Selma's Child
Matt John Evans
as Great Warrior
Arnór Hákonarson
as Rock Throwing Kid
Thordur Helgi Gudjonsson
as Rock Throwing Kid
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Beowulf & Grendel

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (16)

Trying to give us the true story behind the epic, the movie only reminds us of why humans write epics in the first place.

Full Review… | August 11, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

[You can] feel the filmmakers yearning to have Beowulf and Grendel go all Rambo on each other. Instead, they keep pulling back for more Old English angst, as if they're torn between commerce and winning the approval of their high school English teacher.

Full Review… | July 27, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A semi-mythic period piece, Beowulf & Grendel offers sublime scenery that's breathtaking and bone-chilling.

Full Review… | July 14, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

This gristle-intensive R-rated version of Beowulf travels a predictable revisionist route.

July 13, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A muscular, ardently naturalistic retelling of the ninth-century Anglo-Saxon saga.

Full Review… | July 12, 2006
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Andrew Rai Berzins' script spruces up long stretches of Old English with unexpected bursts of cussing and gleeful vulgarity that feel as misguided as everything else in the film.

Full Review… | July 12, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Beowulf & Grendel


Well done, but hard to understand. No subtitles available, so why certain things happened aren't really clear to me. But, the attempt at storytelling was really good..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Ah, pretty fast and loose with the source here. Which sometimes is not disastrous. This is not a full-blown disaster, but it's definitely not Beowulf either. Call it a fully blown half-blown disaster.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Decent retelling of the classic tale

John Manard
John Manard

Super Reviewer

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