Black Death (2011)



Critic Consensus: Black Death delivers the fire and brimstone violence its subject matter warrants, while posing some interesting questions of faith and religion.

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The year is 1348. Europe has fallen under the shadow of the Black Death. As the plague decimates all in its path, fear and superstition are rife. In this apocalyptic environment, the church is losing its grip on the people. There are rumors of a village, hidden in marshland that the plague cannot reach. There is even talk of a necromancer who leads the village and is able to bring the dead back to life. Ulric (Sean Bean), a fearsome knight, is charged by the church to investigate these rumors. He enlists the guidance of a novice monk, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) to lead him and his band of mercenary soldiers to the marshland, but Osmund has other motives for leaving his monastery. Their journey to the village and events that unfold take them into the heart of darkness and to horrors that will put Osmund's faith in himself and his love for God to the ultimate test. -- (C) Magnolia Releasing
Art House & International , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
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Sean Bean
as Ulric
John Lynch
as Wolfstan
Andy Nyman
as Dalywag
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Critic Reviews for Black Death

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (11)

"Going medieval" on your enemies isn't just a figure of speech in Christopher Smith's stylish spatter-horror exercise, which uses desperation-fueled religious fervor to interrogate the intersection of fear and faith.

Full Review… | March 12, 2011
Top Critic

There's something here for just about everyone, or at least for everyone who looks back fondly on the similarly themed Wicker Man from 1973.

Full Review… | March 11, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Slams Christians against pagans with little love for either.

March 10, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Though deadly serious, Christopher Smith's European-made bubonic- plague melodrama provides good value with lots of blood and guts, as well as a solid cast.

Full Review… | March 10, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Early on "Black Death" falls victim to its own sluggish sickness, its narrative drive proving no match for the aggressively rotted pallor, dour acting and tiresomely handheld you-are-there aesthetics.

Full Review… | March 10, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Smith effectively recreates the chaos of the medieval era, where the educated and ignorant alike make life-and-death decisions based on superstition.

Full Review… | March 10, 2011
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Black Death

Bleak, intelligent and highly thought-provoking, this unfairly neglected blend of medieval drama and horror should have gotten a lot more attention than it did. Full review on filmotrope. com

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Totally bleak and very realistic, this historical story set in the time of the bubonic plague which really is quite depressing. The plot is of course religious based and see's a group of warriors and a young monk off to a small village untouched by plague. The reason? because they think a witch is there and keeping the plague out, which would seem beneficial really, but that's not Christian damn it!. Sean Bean heads a good character driven cast (including Tim McInnerny of 'Blackadder' fame) despite still looking like 'Boromir' of 'LOTR'. His mates are a dirty ugly bunch all set on pushing the Christian faith through England and that's it. The plot is basically just a gang of warriors on a mission getting taken down one by one, usual affair, but its niche is it being set in the time of the bubonic plague and rather grotty. Last man standing film ritual really, nothing new. It looks great, you can almost smell the rotting filth in the air and taste the mud the group slowly wades through, all accompanied by that typical eerie chanting you tend to hear in old fashioned Abbeys by monks. The musical score is very spiritual, deep and haunting with an ethereal essence about it, it works very well for the era. Its just a shame the ending gets a little bit silly and kinda 'Wicker Man-ish'. Still its a good film that has gone under the radar probably because its a British/German production, I don't think the Yanks know what the bubonic plague was.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

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