Zardoz (1974)



Critic Consensus: Zardoz is ambitious and epic in scope, but its philosophical musings are rendered ineffective by its supreme weirdness and rickety execution.


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Movie Info

A resident of 23rd-century Earth becomes involved in a revolution after discovering the hidden truth about society's rulers in director John Boorman's sci-fi drama. Sean Connery plays Zed, the central rebel, who begins the film as a member of the Exterminators, a band of skilled assassins who exact a reign of terror over the lesser Brutals. The Exterminators answer only to their god, a gigantic stone image known as Zardoz. Haunted by doubt about Zardoz's true divinity, Zed chooses to investigate. His disbelief is confirmed when the god proves to be a fraudulent tool of the Eternals, a secret society of brilliant immortals who pretend to divinity in order to exploit the masses. Knowing the truth, Zed sets out to reveal the hoax and destroy the Eternals' unjust rule. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Zardoz

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (2)

Such a wildly ambitious misfire that you can't help but root for it, or at least feel some twisted sense of affection for it.

Apr 1, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Boorman puts a lot of heavy concepts into Zardoz, but seems uncertain whether he takes them seriously himself.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Weird, fatuous and tedious fantasy futuristic sci-fi cult film.

Sep 13, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

While it can't hope to achieve its grand ambitions, it's smart, it has some sharp dialogue, and the surrealism-on-a-shoestring visuals are undeniably striking.

Jun 21, 2010 | Full Review…

Pretty contrived sci-fi with leathery Sean Connery.

Jul 13, 2006 | Rating: 2/5

Magnificently sensational. Love it!

Aug 14, 2005 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Zardoz


All sci-fi have the imprint of the times that made them and few as much as this one, a gloriously wild and futuristic party that ultimately goes nowhere. Society has found a way to cheat death, it appears, but that's about all. Nothing else seems worthwhile afterwards and so life becomes a bore, a party wherein everyone's heard all the jokes that there are. Connery's character, named Zed (get it?) is created then to kill the endless monotony, and everyone else. It's an ambitious work with a unique take on the future and interesting, particularly with it's partier's eye for entertainment (which matches succinctly with the view of most sci-fi devotees). Most worthy.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

An underrated futuristic social satire that is definitely self-indulgent but also more thought-provoking and smart than it appears to be, while its mind-blowing visuals and bizarre dialogue contribute to give shape to a surrealistic allegory that is both fascinating and original.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


An "outlander" mortal killer stows away inside a flying head to reach "the vortex," a land of bored immortals who view him as either a threat, a curiosity, or a savior. The crazy mix of high camp (Sean Connery running around in a red diaper), serious speculative sci-fi and budget psychedelic effects could only have been made in the 1970s; it's a highly entertaining cult movie time capsule.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

This is the weirdest sci-fi movie of the 70s, I think. The story is confusing until the end, and then you realize it was really stupid anyway. I hated it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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