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The Eagle Reviews

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Best of all is Anthony Dod Mantle's breathtaking photography: the Scottish Highlands have never looked so eerily, threateningly beautiful.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

March 23, 2011
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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The story sags in the middle, as our wanderers traipse through the highlands-not a happy environment for Tatum, who, before his journey even begins, looks all at sea in this distant age.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

February 22, 2011
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Wild-eyed, long-haired Brits leap atop the Romans' shields as the soldiers blindly hack away, the bodies so close that you can barely tell the victor from the vanquished. The battles in the fog and rain have a hallucinatory power.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

February 14, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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However you slice it, The Eagle is hokum, but modern-day Scots may get a kick out of the film's depiction of their ancestors as mud-caked hellions. Modern-day Romans will have to settle for less.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C+

February 12, 2011
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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The latest sandals-and-swords outing, "The Eagle" has landed . . . with a thud.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2/4

February 11, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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There's a predictable arc, as the two enemies have to overcome their mutual mistrust to survive.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 11, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It's even less interesting than "Centurion."

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 11, 2011
David Germain
Associated Press
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It's hard to go along for the ride when the characters act more like statuary than people.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

February 11, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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A long slog through ancient muck, so-so sword fights and dumb luck.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 11, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Alas, from its scruffy period melodrama to its repetitious battles and endless cross-country shots, this film is all grandiosity with no real heft.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C-

February 11, 2011
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
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Becomes absurd precisely when Channing Tatum marches onto the scene as a Roman army commander.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 11, 2011
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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The Eagle makes for an okay parent-and-young-son film outing. But you'll want to get your youngster the Sutcliff paperback.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

February 11, 2011
Eric D. Snider
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Less epic than Gladiator, less ridiculous than last year's Centurion, less homoerotic than Top Gun (but just barely), this is perfectly acceptable matinee fodder.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B-

February 11, 2011
Scott Bowles
USA Today
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Despite some breathtaking scenery and documentary-like realism, The Eagle ultimately falls to some surprising contrivances that seem written by focus groups.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 10, 2011
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A muscularly entertaining adventure inspired by Rosemary Sutcliff's historical fiction The Eagle of the Ninth, hugely popular in middle schools in the mid-20th century.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 10, 2011
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Reader
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Exciting and even moving, this robust epic is filled with action, male bonding, and a terrifying sense of wilderness.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 10, 2011
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Anthony Dod Mantle's cinematography is kinetic when it needs to be, ruminative and pretty when it doesn't. It looks good.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

February 10, 2011
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
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If this episodic quest still manages to feel too flat and mild, at least it gives us the mysterious Highlands and the Celtic dirge of Atli Írvarsson's outstanding score.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 10, 2011
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Lumbering along for a bit less than two hours, which passes like three, it feels more like a chore than like an adventure.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 10, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila with an earnest furrowed brow that could indicate gravitas or constipation.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 10, 2011
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
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Tatum and Bell deserve more than the lethargic narrative that follows them across such exquisite wilderness.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 10, 2011
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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This is a movie that needs a great or gonzo performer to give it depth or heft. In Channing Tatum, it has an actor who gives it camp.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

February 10, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Macdonald falls back on decently choreographed action sequences and predictable confrontations that add violence and subtract depth. Casting Tatum in the lead doesn't balance that equation.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

February 10, 2011
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
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The Eagle fails to soar, thanks largely to Kevin Macdonald's unimaginative direction and Channing Tatum's charisma-challenged performance.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 2/5

February 10, 2011
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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The greatest impediment of all is the square-jawed, flat-talking Tatum, who is so wooden he presents a fire hazard.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

February 10, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Too often in "The Eagle," in which the Romans are played by American actors and the Britons are played by Brits, Tatum comes off like "second Roman warrior from the left" rather than "Roman warrior the film is about."

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 10, 2011
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Tatum has the strong-jawed good looks and stoic demeanor of a natural-born movie star. What he lacks is a sense of inner life, a spark of internal fire: When the camera trains on him, you can practically hear the wind whistling through his head.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

February 10, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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"The Eagle" is a rip-snorting adventure tale of the sort made before CGI, 3-D and alphabet soup in general took the fun out of moviegoing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

February 10, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
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"The Eagle" would be a lot more enjoyable if it weren't for the utterly incoherent action scenes and the side-of-beef performance from rising young hunk Channing Tatum as its supposedly brooding and wounded hero.

Full Review Source:

February 9, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The director's documentary background informs his almost reportorial attention to landscape, fighting technique, and especially the wild, fascinating otherness of the peoples beyond the reach of Rome.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

February 9, 2011
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
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To its credit, the film does attempt to grapple with the ambivalence that Europe and America feel toward the Roman Empire. We admire its cultural achievements while condemning its brutality, and in that tension we see our own ideals and failures reflected.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/4

February 9, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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A codpiece-and-crossbow saga of relentlessly exciting battle sequences sandwiched between tedious, unconvincing chatter about cantankerous centurions, fiery feudal warriors and camera-ready six-pack abs modeled by hunky pinups...

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 2/4

February 9, 2011
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Do you like movies about gladiators? Well, lend me your ears: The Eagle will more than gratify your sword-and-sandal cravings.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

February 9, 2011
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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A thunderous boys' adventure of the old-school type.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

February 8, 2011
Brian Lowry
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An earnest throwback to an earlier brand of filmmaking.

February 7, 2011
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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Engaging, if straightforward and one-dimensional.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

February 7, 2011
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