There Be Dragons (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Tells the story of London-based investigative journalist Robert Torres (Dougray Scott), who visits Spain to research a book about Josemaría Escrivá (Cox), the controversial founder of Opus Dei. But Robert hits a wall, both professionally and personally, when his most promising source-his own father, Manolo Torres (Bentley), turns out to be his least cooperative one. Robert begins to unearth his father's toxic secrets when he learns that Manolo was not only born in the same Spanish town as Josemaría, but that they were childhood friends and attended the same seminary. The two men take radically different paths in life, with Josemaría dedicating his life to his faith while Manolo is swept into the brutal and tumultuous Spanish Civil War. Manolo descends into a dangerous and jealous obsession when the beautiful Hungarian revolutionary Ildiko (Olga Kurylenko) doesn't return his affections and instead gives herself to the courageous military leader, Oriol (Rodrigo Santoro). As Robert continues to unearth the secrets of Josemaría's life and Manolo's mysterious anger, their overlapping journeys are revealed with the truths and sorrows of their past choices, which compels Manolo to confront his own secret with one last opportunity of forgiveness. -- (C) Samuel Goldwyn
PG-13 (for violence and combat sequences, some language and thematic elements)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Charlie Cox
as Josemaría
Wes Bentley
as Manolo
Dougray Scott
as Robert
Jordi Molla
as Don José
Derek Jacobi
as Honorio Soto
Unax Ugalde
as Pedro Casciano
Ana Torrent
as Doña Dolores
Charles Dance
as Monsignor Solano
Lily Cole
as Aline
Alejandro Casaseca
as Jaime Torres
Yaiza Guimaré
as Pilar Torres
Robert Blythe
as Archbishop Valencia
Carlos Léal
as Captain Jorge
Juan Cruz
as Young Josemaria
Felipe Agote
as Young Manolo
Pablo Lapadula
as Isidoro
Alfonso Bassave
as Juan Jiménez Vargas
Jan Cornet
as Ortiz
Horacio Nin Uria
as Santiago Escrivá
Augustin Rodriguez
as Santiago Escrivá (Child)
Michael Feast
as Vicar General
Luciano Suardi
as Father Pedro
Zoe Trilnik
as Carmen Child
Harry Havillo
as Father Guzmán
Iván Speche
as Rector
Alejandro Paker
as Julián Ayala
Carlos Scomik
as Colonel Lizárraga
Pietro Gian
as Colonel Reyes
Uriel Milsztein
as González
Tomás Decúrgez
as Francisco Botella
Martín Balaguer
as Policeman
Lito Cruz
as Man Underground
Dina Fisher
as Old Woman
Gonzalo Ramos
as Miguel
Emilia Paino
as Militia Man
Ernesto Rowe
as Driver 1
Diego Lipovich
as Driver 2
Paul Perry
as Militia Man at Control
Marcos Montes
as Acarons
Elena Gowland
as Psychiatric Doctor
Andrew Cox
as Josemaria in Rome
Abian Vainstein
as Taxi Driver
Danila Terragno
as Torres Maid
Marcos Woinski
as Old Man 1
Carlos Martino
as Old Man 2
Rolando Dumas
as Old Man 3
Vanesa González
as Battle Medic
Ted McNabney
as Scared Priest
Vadym Abramenko
as Russian 1
Timur Naskidayeu
as Russian 2
Timur Naskidayeu
as Russian 2 [Archival Appearance]
Rusty Lemorande
as Father Lázaro
Bendita Berlín
as Doña Preciado
Rocío Isart
as María A.
Martina Calisi
as María D.
Juan Ignacio Mancinella
as Boy Playing 1
Iván Francisco Soriano
as Boy Playing 2
Mateo Rolon Riguetti
as Boy Playing 3
Juan Ignacio Gargano
as Boy Playing 4
Gerónimo Macías
as Boy Playing 5
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Critic Reviews for There Be Dragons

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (18)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Joffe, working from his own script, presents the men's lives as evidence of difficult choices, but this pedantic movie is never fully invested in any of them.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Few films about the Spanish Civil War have been any good -- Pan's Labyrinth being the big exception.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Joffé is out of depth when it comes to Escrivá's religious experiences. It's clear he wants the film to show how faith works within us, but he does it by resorting to the most hackneyed imagery.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Clunk, clunk, squish. That is the sound of the dead language in Roland Joffé's screenplay for "There Be Dragons" as it tramples his would-be epic of the Spanish Civil War into an indigestible pulp.

May 5, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

I like grandeur and richly nuanced storytelling. I also like lobster bisque. But I don't want to drink a gallon of it in a single sitting.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for There Be Dragons


The story of Father Josemaria Escriva and the Opus Dei movement was an important development of the 20th Century, and "There Be Dragons" gives us a dramatized depiction of the group's struggle to survive during the Spanish Civil War. "There Be Dragons" is engrossing. The battle scenes are uneven, but some succeed in creating hellish images, The movie's theme of unconditional love & forgiveness gets muddled by uneven pacing in the final act of the story.

Mark Soppet
Mark Soppet

In 1982, Roberto Torres(Dougray Scott) returns to his native Madrid to research a book about Josemaria Escriva(Charlie Cox). Luckily for Roberto, his father Manolo(Wes Bentley) still lives in the city. Unluckily for Roberto, they have not spoken in eight years. Regardless, Manolo sends him whatever relevant material he has, as he and Roberto were friends when they were growing up, even studying in the same seminary at one point. Once upon a time, writer-director Roland Joffe had a flair for historical epics when he made sweeping and excellent timeless films such as "The Mission" and "The Killing Fields." Sadly, that was a long time ago and with the exception of neat cinematography(credit to Gabriel Beristain), especially with Manolo coming into focus in a mirror, there is not much to like in "There Be Dragons," as it serves mostly as just a banal distortion of history. For example, in reality, the Catholic Church was on the side of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, so at least they were not totally persecuted as shown here.(For the record, if somebody is too good to be true, they most likely are.) That's not to mention a dueling lumbering narrative that does little to advance the movie's central themes of forgiveness. Remember, some times you do have to take a side.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


This movie had great potential, but I think that it must have suffered from poor editing. Visually speaking, it was very good...but, that wasn't enough to help the storyline endearing.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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