Shadow of the Sword (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shadow of the Sword (2005)





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Also (and more pointedly) entitled The Headsman, Simon Aeby's scope period drama Shadow of the Sword uses its narrative to explore conflicts and tensions during the notorious 16th century Inquisition. Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Peter McDonald play Martin and Georg, two men who meet and bond as youths in a European monastery, then part ways and diverge paths; Georg becomes a cleric at a nearby abbey, Martin a soldier in the Army. The adult men reconnect following a fifteen year absence, and not long after, Martin (in the face of overwhelming dissuasion from Georg) falls head over heels in love with Anna - a social outcast because of her father's role as executioner. Martin and Anna marry, and - in a beat that recalls Berlanga's El Verdugo - Martin is forced to enter his father's line of work as a decapitator - a role he performs fluidly and effectively. Trouble brews, however, on two fronts: from Fabio, a handicapped local who covets Martin's new job, and from an Inquisitor (legendary playwright Steven Berkoff) who arrives to oversee George's execution when the local archbishop grows dissatisfied with him - forcing Martin to step in and act as George's salvation. Meanwhile, Brother Bernhard schemes to rob the church of stability.

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Steven Berkoff
as Inquisitor
Julie Cox
as Margaretha
Lee Ingleby
as Bernhard
John Shrapnel
as Archbishop
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Critic Reviews for Shadow of the Sword

All Critics (1)

The headsman of the title sure knows how to put on a good hack-job. No wonder, because he stars in one.

Full Review… | January 11, 2006

Audience Reviews for Shadow of the Sword

Good action, and story but isn't perfect. But it's interesting and entertaining, and that's plenty. I liked this movie, and those with an interest in drama, history, or both will find something there for them, too.

Pete Skeris
Pete Skeris

AKA: Henker. AKA released on DVD as Shadow of the Sword. Any movie that has three titles is not a good sign. The film is well enough made, good production but I found it endlessly boring. Looks nice but void of a compelling story. The acting is adequate. Unless you are really into movies set in the 1500's....

James Higgins
James Higgins

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