Nomad (2007)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Czech New Wave leader Ivan Passer picks up the torch originally ignited by Russian director Sergei Bodrov to bring Central Asia's first-ever event film to the light of the silver screen. Penned by Russian screenwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov, Nomad tells the tale of 18th-century Kazak military strategist Ablai Khan -- a forward-thinking visionary whose efforts to unify his country eventually helped to define Kazakhstan's borders. Warned by a mystical Kazak warrior named Oraz (Jason Scott Lee) that a child who will unite the warring local tribes and free his people is about to be born, invading Jungar leader Galdan Ceren (Doskhan Zholzhaxynov) -- whose soldiers are currently occupying Kazakhstan -- instructs his assassins to target Mansur (Kuno Becker), the son of a local sultan. After being saved from a grim fate by none other than Oraz, Mansur is raised to become a fearless warrior whose vision of a unified Kazak state drives him to fulfill the ancient prophecy. Tirelessly training alongside his best friend Erali (Jay Hernandez), Mansur leaps into action when love interest Gaukhar (Ayanat Yesmagambetova) is abducted by malevolent Jungar swordsman Sharish (Mark Decascos). Originally set to be helmed exclusively by Passer, Nomad was finished by director Bodrov after a production hiatus threw the fate of the film into question and the European production partner Wild Bunch stepped in to help assure that the film was eventually completed.
R (for violence)
Classics , Drama
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Kuno Becker
as Mansur
Mark Dacascos
as Sharish
Doskhan Zholzhaxsynov
as Galdan Ceren
Archie Kao
as Shangrek
Ron Yuan
as Abukhair
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Critic Reviews for Nomad

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

The film is stilted and lame. Worse, the acting is as grim as the story is primeval.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

It embraces every cliché in the epic-movie playbook, relies too heavily on stale dialogue delivered in somber tones and offers little to its actors besides the opportunity to fashion some great-looking Eurasian costumes.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The filmmakers don't appear to know what's important, let alone how to pace an epic for big drama and maximum thrills.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Kazakhstan supposedly spent $40 million in making this martial-arts epic. That bought a laughably corny Hollywood B-movie, gorgeous scenery, Hollywood B-actors and extras who plainly weren't members of the Screen Extras Guild.

April 26, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It harks back to those sand-and-sandals epics of the 1950s and '60s, with an international cast speaking in awkwardly dubbed English.

March 30, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Though it has a familiar inevitability, the journey is generally compelling, thanks to fierce battles, a gorgeous landscape and heartfelt performances.

Full Review… | March 16, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nomad

The gorgeous locations and epic fight scenes can't compensate for all of the bad acting, laughable dialogue and an awful plot full of clichés.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The story of a young warrior uniting the Kazakh tribes of the vast tundra plains against Mongolian invaders. Although it combines a few international B-movie stars to tell this tale, the film actually looks really good and far from cheap. The cinematography and landscapes are very beautiful, the soundtrack nicely pompous and fitting. Sadly, that's already the best you can say about this oddly boring film. Too many stereotypes and bad dialogues make it hard for the audience to get involved. The riding and sword fight action scenes are decent at best but have been done better and more exciting in many movies. Although things do get better towards the end it somehow leaves a stale taste in your mouth, considering how much better this could have been with a little more love for a decent story and lines.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


To my knowledge, this is the first film I've seen out of Kazakhstan, which turns out to be a historical epic adventure about Ablai Khan. This is not as good as the likes of 300 or The Lord of the Rings, but it isn't trash either.

The story is straightforward, but there are times where it gets a little choppy. I want to say that this choppiness helps because a good portion of this flick is boring. I think some of the boredom goes away because of this. I am not saying that this is a good thing either. It just so happens that it helps in this situation.

The first half of the film is the big letdown. The pace is slow and the action, which is decent at best, is at a minimum. The second half is more action, but it isn't enough to up the rating for this flick. The ending is lacking as well. There is sort of this big buildup right before it, but nothing BIG really happens.

There is a decent sword fight in the second half, not the ending, and the rest of the fights are a let down. Mark Dacascos is better than this.

The cast is questionable. This movie is from Kazakhstan, but you have the likes of Jay Hernandez, Jason Scott Lee, and Mark Dacascos showing up as the bigger characters. Jay Hernandez feels somewhat out of place, but Jason Scott Lee fits right in and becomes the best character of the movie. In case you are wondering, everybody speaks Kazakh, which is a huge plus.

I find this film to be a hit or miss amongst most people. If you like these historical warrior movies, then give this a shot.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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