Beowulf & Grendel

Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 34

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,583


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.9/5

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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.


Critic Reviews for Beowulf & Grendel

All Critics (34) | 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.

Aug 12, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
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.

Jul 27, 2006 | Full Review…

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

Jul 14, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

Jul 13, 2006 | Rating: 2/4

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

Jul 12, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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.

Jul 12, 2006 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
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

this movie was really fun to watch. gerard butler is always good and it portayed the original story decently. the movie is little known so i assume they didnt have a lot of budget to work with, and it some ways that shows, but this is a pretty good movie.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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