Cromwell - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cromwell Reviews

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½ July 13, 2009
Lavishly made and historically accurate and very well acted. The film does however suffer slightly in both it's length and it's slightly too over dramatic feel, sounding more like a Shakespeare play than a feature film. However, this aside it is an enthralling portrayal of the two protagonists and is worth a look for both those interested in history and for those who just like a good story
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2009
"It's an odd thing, Mr. Ireton. Every man who wages war believes God is on his side. I'll warrant God should often wonder who is on his."
Director: Ken Hughes
Starring: Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley, Dorothy Tutin
Running time: 139 minutes
Country: UK
I had high expectations for this film because it stars two great and late actors who were both very talented but what I was mostly disappointed with in this film was that I don't think the acting from the actors were brilliant. It is good when it comes to action but when it comes to the story it feels sort of rushed. When the English Civil War ends it feels really rushed from then until the end. The Civil War ended about 1 hour 30 minutes and it had less than 40 minutes to try and write up and film the rest of the story with 2 hours 15 minutes duration. Well, that is what I think about it anyway. The costumes, art direction and cinematography were the best thing about this film apart from that is was pretty crap.
I wasn't that keen on neither Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell nor Alec Guinness as King Charles I because neither actor made Charles or Cromwell very believable like they were history and lived 400 years ago. Richard Harris was better than Alec Guinness but neither actor gave me that feeling where there was any proper emotion involved within the characters like that really was England 400 years ago.
Ken Hughes' direction wasn't brilliant to be honest because it wasn't as believable as I was anticipating. The epic action scenes in the English Civil War didn't really help it very much. I wasn't that fond of the script neither because it was more like a made-up story rather than historical England. I am disappointed with saying that but it is true though.
This film won the Oscar for Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Music Original Score but lost to Love Story. It was nominated for Best Music Original Score at the Golden Globes but lost to Love Story. Overall, Cromwell is a film that I found really disappointing. Alec Guinness was a legendary actor and his portrayal of King Charles I is at the moment his most disappointing. The late Richard Harris wasn't bad and wasn't good either but he was better. It is a film that is extremely underrated but should be considered for its technical design rather than its acting, directing and producing.
½ May 14, 2009
Whilst not overly accurate historically, it did follow the general gist correctly. Thought that Sir Robert Morley was brilliant as that bent MP who was feathering his own nest out of the public purse (just like a lot of our MP's today!). Liked the way that Richard Harris had all of those corrupt MP's ejected at the end of the film.
½ April 21, 2009
Historisk drama med Richard Harris som Oliver Cromwell, der i 16 hundrede tallets England spiller et forraederisk og blodigt politisk spil mod Kongen paa vegne af folket, som bringer landet ud i borgerkrig. Emnet er set med vore dagens demokratiske oejne stadig sine steder aktuelt og interessant og som film er det godt fortalt, fint lavet og trovaerdigt spillet. Filmen kan dog ikke undsige sig at vaere en anelse forsimplet og uden dybere psykologiske lag og det traekker lidt ned.
½ March 21, 2009
Mixed feelings about this film. As a history buff and Anglophile, I cannot help but be fascinated by the narrative and the actors' portrayals, but the inaccuracies and liberties taken by the production team irked me.
February 15, 2009
good version of this
½ January 27, 2009
Richard Harris is excellent, as is Alec Guiness. Good historical movie. Not for everyone, but history fiends will enjoy.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2009
Crowmell tells the story of the man who was the driving force behind the English civil war and the father of English democracy. Oliver Cromwell is played with great intensity by Richard Harris as an honourable and incorruptible man who stuck by his principles despite the burden of his conscience; the fact that he was also a bigoted religious zealot, bullying imperialist and war criminal are all conveniently glossed over. But it would be in a film called "Cromwell", wouldn't it. Alec Guiness juggles the arrogance and inflexibility of Charles I and his refusal to relinquish absolute power even though his life depended upon it, with his more human side as a loving father. It also has some (for the time at least) epic battle sequences but it is very stagy, and may not quicken the pulses of those without an interest in politics and history. A well made and well acted historical drama that resembles an illustrated (albeit not entirely accurate) history lesson rather than Braveheart-like popular entertainment.
January 17, 2009
wow umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch because u never know what 2 expect throughout this movie..i think that charles gray plays a good part throughout this movie..i think that the costumes are pretty good throughout this movie..i think that timothy dalton (who played james bond) plays a good part throughout this movie i think that the fight scenes are pretty kewl throughout this movie this is a good action/adventure/drama/classic movie 2 watch because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie n its really enjoayble throughout this movie
November 25, 2008
Not bad. It suffers from the same flaw that many other movies have when trying to portray such a lengthy period of time- no real gauge of how much time has passed. The lack of pacing would make it difficult to follow for those out there who haven't already studied that time in English history. Excellent job on the part of Harris and Guinness though, they elevated the movie far above what it would have been without them.
½ November 18, 2008
Not as inaccurate as people would like to claim. I felt that is covered a lot of the basic ideas behind the English Civil War without getting bogged down in dense specifics. It's only true historical fault is the fact that Cromwell's eventual reign as Lord Protector is left out, which was a reign that included the massacre of many people (mainly Catholics). The rest of the historical side can be cleared up easily by opening a book. Apart from all that, the two main performances are strong, especially Guinness, who adds some much needed sympathy for Charles' character. (Not that he was a completely innocent man, but he was not as awful as Cromwell made him out to be, either.) Harris is good as Cromwell, though his outbursts seem exaggerated at times.

The sets are impressive in this and the battles are adequate, though I doubt anyone is really watching this these days for the battles. Just remember, open a book after reading it and clear up the details. (Look into the Rump Parliament and look at who Cromwell really was.)
½ November 10, 2008
Not entirely accurate, however, it was an excellent film and I would highly recommend it
September 20, 2008
Makes me want to be a fanatic religious zealot, performances by Sir Alec Guinness & Richard Harris are phenomenal!
½ August 17, 2008
They don't make them like this anymore. Rather ropey warts and all.
August 3, 2008
Impressive, but unfortunately historically inaccurate. Harris seemed to have been really an angry young man for this movie.
½ July 5, 2008
Going by the title of the film you would be forgiven for thinking that this film was to be a chronicle of the life of Cromwell himself. Instead what we receive is a loose account of the English civil war and the events leading up to the creation of the Protectorate. Sadly the film doesn't try to be too historically accurate, most notably elevating Cromwell's position in events leading up to the war and skewing his political views along the way, but the political issues and battles are as stirring now as they were then.

Most notably Alec Guinness (Charles I) and Richard Harris (Cromwell) deliver strong performances as the prominent historical figures of the age. I was actually surprised to find that, thanks to Mr Guinness' performance, I had a great sense of sympathy for the King. I also found Cromwell's firebrand rhetoric and praising of God every five minutes to be immediately jarring. Perhaps a necessary reminder of the deeply religious roots of the civil war but nether the less disconcerting for a generation that is not used to such fanatical religious adherence.

It could be argued that the events of the civil war, both the politics leading up to it, the battles and the political wrangling after it are too vast to commit faithfully to film but I feel a stronger narrative line could be achieved than was done here. However my gut feeling is that anything short of a TV-mini series ala Band of Brothers will never do the subject justice.
June 17, 2008
If you can get over the hilariously dramatic music and very dated battle scenes, this film is rather enjoyable. Alec Guinness (who looks remarkably like all the engravings I've seen of Chalres I) is excellent opposite Harris. For as much as Cromwell stands up for "the common man" (a driving theme in the movie) the audience never gets a picture of what life was like outside of court for the middle and lower classes, during a period of dramtic social, political, and cultural upheaval. Harris delivers some really poetic lines and , as one of the only films about the English Civil War, I dug it.
June 5, 2008
This film sets its English Civil War on a much larger canvas than the more recent "To Kill A King". Here, with a relatively bigger budget, you get the sweep of the battles too. With Richard Harris as Cromwell and Alec Guiness as Charles I you get two very strongly acted lead roles. The supporting cast is also very impressive.
May 13, 2008
It's the performances of Alec Guinness as Charles I and Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell that make this film worth watching. Historically inaccurate and much too sympathetic to Oliver Cromwell, and the battle scenes which are much admired by other reviewers were fast-forwarded by me.
May 9, 2008
The finest man who ever lived. We need another Cromwell today.
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