The Eagle

The Eagle

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth. 2.7 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
The Eagle

Omniscore:

Certificate 12A
Genre Drama
Director Kevin Macdonald
Cast Mark Strong, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland Channing Tatum
Studio Universal Pictures
Release Date March 2011
Running Time 114 mins
 

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Tatum’s acting, or lack of, is a major problem. Facing each fresh adventure challenge, he wears the sullen, lockjawed look of Gordon Brown cornered by a cabinet crisis. ..The hero of the whole production is cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle.

24/03/2011

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

The movie runs out of narrative steam a little in its third act, and becomes a faintly ridiculous bromance. But its robust form stands up well, with elements of Ridley Scott's Gladiator and Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans.

24/03/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Kevin Macdonald's macho drama of empire and honour, The Eagle, marches as straight as a Roman road, determinedly, as if to pause on hidden meanings and subtexts might ambush the film's stride. But if it never really soars, there is much in its lowdown grime and grisliness to admire...

25/03/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

The story, though, isn't as impressive as the world Macdonald has created. It may be rip-roaring in the source novel, Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth, but on screen the quest becomes a picturesque though hardly urgent montage of hiking and horse-riding through the Highlands.

27/03/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

The Eagle inevitably invites comparison with two recent movies that touch on the same subject of lost Romans in the gloaming on the barbarous banks of Clyde: the disastrous The Lost Legion and the passable Centurion. In every respect – the language, the characterisation, the staging of the action sequences and the historical resonance – The Eagle is superior.

27/03/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Sukhdev Sandhu

...always enjoyable, if not always successful ...

24/03/2011

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

For 100 minutes, this is near-flawless: the adaptation is smart, the performances are solid and the decision to cast American actors as Roman occupiers is thematically as well as economically astute. Best of all is Anthony Dod Mantle’s breathtaking photography: the Scottish Highlands have never looked so eerily, threateningly beautiful. So it’s frustrating that Macdonald can’t sustain the momentum

24/03/2011

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The Times

Kate Muir

It should be more thrilling and uplifting, but the journey is meandering. The film sits in an uncomfortable position between being family friendly with its 12A-rated goreless beheadings, and a splatterfest battle epic. Macdonald does well with a smallish budget, and no doubt Tatum will be an American box-office draw. But he just seems more quarterback than centurion.

25/03/2011

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Might it be that, in his love for his slave, this Roman is a touch Greek? In the novel, he has a female friend, but she’s nowhere to be seen here. The film’s vagueness on this point is the only thing that might count as innovation in what is otherwise an average sword-and-sandals effort.

27/03/2011

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Total Film

Total Film

More mud and rain than blood and brains, this is an intriguing, enjoyable adventure dressed up as a Roman epic. Vivid cinematography and bromance between Channing and Jamie keep it standing strong.

15/03/2011

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Variety

Brian Lowry

An earnest throwback to an earlier brand of filmmaking, "The Eagle" plays like an amalgam of past toga-wearing adventure films. Anchored by a quest element, director Kevin Macdonald's take on Rosemary Sutcliff's 1954 novel requires the audience to participate in considerable spackling to help fill in the story's emotional arc, beginning with the central bond between slave and master. While the movie doesn't wholly succeed, there's enough to like here -- including Channing Tatum's credible performance as a tradition-bound Roman soldier -- to prove modestly satisfying

07/02/2011

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

...treads the boundary between old school and retrograde... It is strange to witness a spectacle of exaggerated manliness so determined to avoid any hint of camp or homoerotic implication.

10/02/2011

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Empire Magazine

Helen O'Hara

Good fight scenes, but a confusion of plot, culture and accents make this a lesser example of the sword ’n’ sandal epic.

27/03/2011

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The Los Angeles Times

Sheri Linden

Director Kevin Macdonald, who has explored extreme personalities in such memorable work as "One Day in September," "Touching the Void" and "The Last King of Scotland," hews so faithfully to genre storytelling in his new feature that it often feels like a missed opportunity.

11/02/2011

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

The film’s big asset is its look.... Tatum (who last starred in the brainless G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra) seems to have been employed with both eyes on the U.S. box office. He’s B-movie beefcake, inexpressive and outclassed by Jamie Bell in every one of their scenes together.

27/03/2011

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The New Yorker

Anthony Lane

Where Sutcliff’s novel took root in the soil of the past, “The Eagle” yields to the gradual drift of fantasy.

14/02/2011

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