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The 13th Warrior
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Reviews & Ratings for
The 13th Warrior More at IMDbPro »

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152 out of 181 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie!

Author: pharalinga from Southern Oregon, USA
19 April 2000

Action! Adventure! Incredible scenery and cinematography! But best of all a wonderfully powerful cast! As the deep and thoughtful chieftain Buliwyf, Vladimir Kulich was splendid. He played his part with dignity, power and intelligence. Another stand-out performance was that of Dennis Storhoi who played Herger the Joyous. Perfect timing and temperament. Really fun to watch. Antonio Banderas as the narrator of the piece and, incidentally, the 13th warrior was also fun to watch. He has a knack for humor and uses it well. The whole ensemble cast was a joy to watch as they moved through-out the film as a team of men who valued each others strengths and talents.

The camera work in this film is dangerous and thrilling. Our perspective is intimate and that lends a great deal of excitement to the movie experience. Thank you Mr. Menzes!

The 13th Warrior is for anyone who believes in honor, valor and courage. Also, for anyone who likes Vikings, horses, battles, blood and gore or men. Women who like men will like this movie!

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127 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

Beowulf meets Die Hard

10/10
Author: Gafke from United States
17 January 2005

In the early years of the 10th century, an exiled Arabian nobleman falls in with a band of Vikings. Disgusted by their poor hygiene and their barbaric ways, he nevertheless reluctantly agrees to accompany them to a distant kingdom, where an unspeakable menace terrorizes the land.

This is an interesting interpretation of the tale of Beowulf, with the monster Grendel transformed into the fierce Wendol, a tribe of cannibalistic Neanderthals who have somehow survived long past their time. Despite the fact that Banderas is the title character and credited as the star, he is not the hero here at all. The band of 13 is led by the huge and intimidating Buliwyf (read Beowulf), a hero among his people who must battle both the Wendol and their deadly "mother." Alexander Gudonov lookalike Vladimir Kulich is the hero of this film, and delivers a strong, amazing performance. Banderas spends much of the film bumbling, stumbling, screwing up and trying to keep up with the Vikings, who look upon him with contempt but finally, perhaps grudgingly, accept him.

Okay, so it's not entirely historically accurate and suffers from production problems and an occasional overdose of testosterone, but it's not a bad movie by any means. The casting is great, with standout performances by the aforementioned Kulich as well as Dennis Storhoi as Herger, Banderas's translator and only friend; the handsome Scottish actor Tony Curran (in an unlikely kilt, but who cares?!?!) as the Celt Weath and the woefully underrated Richard Bremmer as the intimidating tattooed redheaded (and damn sexy!) Skeld. The film was worth watching for these three men alone, but then, I am female and perhaps a bit prejudiced in my opinions. These guys are HOT! But, I digress...

Beautiful scenery, tense and bloody battles and a claustrophobic climax in a bone strewn cave lift this movie well above average. There's something for everyone here; fans of horror, fans of action, fans of classic literature should all find something to enjoy about this film. It may not be the best film ever made, but its still one of my very favorites.

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138 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

an excellent movie

Author: todd2u from Ohio
6 August 2000

The 13th Warrior is an excellent movie. The scenery is beautiful, and so was the cinematography. The music was great. The acting and directing was excellent. I have no clue why the critics gave this movie such bad reviews. I enjoyed this movie a lot. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good action movie w/ lots of gore.

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62 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Good enough for what it is, fascinating for what it could have been.

8/10
Author: LordB13 from United States
8 February 2006

This is an extremely well crafted film, but a poorly edited one. Much like The Ghost and the Darkness it has such a winning historical concept that it is easy to forgive a little narrative incoherency from time to time. This film is a bit muddled when it comes to plot and characterization but hits all the right notes in terms of creating an adventurous spirit and thrilling action sequences. Jerry Goldsmith's score is a real high point, as is the cinematography. This is an absolutely wonderful film to get all caught up in on a lonely night because it makes you feel as if you are on the journey with Banderas' character. It is an action thriller that is actually...thrilling. In particular the scene with the "fire dragon" is one of the more memorable battle sequences I have seen in any movie, and I really mean that. The only negative aspects of the film are the feeling that a lot of scenes were left on the editing room floor, which is true, and if there was ever a film that really deserved a director's cut this is certainly one of them so long as Jerry Goldsmith's music (the soul of the picture) remains in. (Greame Revell composed a score for the unreleased longer version, which I have heard and in no way compares to Goldsmith's thunderous adventure music). The lavish costumes, set designs, memorable characters, and brilliant camera work somehow allow this film to overcome its editorial handicaps. All being said, this is a film well worth watching.

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66 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Scandinavian myths and mysteries, brought in a very decent way.

7/10
Author: Philip Van der Veken from Tessenderlo, Belgium
6 April 2005

I guess every region has its own legends and saga's, but I've always found the Scandinavian legends about trolls, monsters and ghosts even more intriguing and interesting as ours. It's no wonder that these people have created these legends once. If you've been there and if you've seen the impressive nature with its immense forests and lakes, the fact that the sun never rises in winter and stays 24 hours a day in summer... makes it easy to understand why this is the land of such creatures.

The movie tells the story of an Arab courtier / diplomat who was sent to the barbaric North as a punishment for falling in love with the wrong woman. In AD 922, this could be seen as an execution, because there was no way he would return (it's the same reason why the Catholic Church sent people who had committed awful sins, as pilgrims from our region to Santiago De Compostella in Spain). When they are about to get robbed and killed somewhere in the fields, they manage to escape and accidentally stumble upon a group of Vikings, which saves their lives, because the Barbarians are terrified of these vicious warriors from the North. They soon get befriended and are able to stay with the Vikings, when a young boy, a messenger from the North, comes to the Vikings to ask for help. In their home country many people die because of "an evil whose name should not be pronounced". They consult an oracle who tells them that they should send 13 warriors, but that one of them shouldn't be a Viking. The Arab, however not believing that these mythical creatures from the forests really exist, joins them in their battle against the Wendol...

Normally I'm not too much of a fan of Antonio Banderas' work, but this time I really liked him as the Arab with the impressive name of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad (I guess you better don't try to say that 10 times in a row). The other actors all did a very good job as well, even though I have to admit that I've never heard of most of them before.

The story is nice and well written, the way it was all shot is done properly and overall I must say that I really enjoyed watching this movie. I'm sure that many will not agree, but personally I liked it more than the "The Lord of the Rings" movies. I like legends and mystery in movies and this movie gave me both. I give it a 7.5/10.

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75 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

WOO-HOO!! Viking-Violence!!!

7/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
20 January 2004

I'm really wondering why there aren't making more movies like this! What is in more interesting than the history of the Scandinavian countries? What is more fascinating than the tales of Northern myths and their legendary Gods?? Well, in my personal opinion, nothing is and that's why I was so enthusiast when I first heard about this Thirteenth Warrior being released! And even though I'll admit the film is flawed on several levels, I enjoyed it very much and I'd like to encourage as much people as possible to find out more about the North men and their intriguing history. Co-producer Michael Crichton who also wrote the screenplay bases the 13th Warrior on his own `Eaters of the Dead' novel. It's a tale of a banished Arab man who joins twelve North men on a conquest against an ancient form of evil. He learns their language and becomes a warrior during the journey, he fights along against the `Wendol'…These are giant bear-like men who're extremely violent and savage. The good thing about The 13th Warriors is that it contains multiple impressive battle sequences and extremely interesting characters. For example the leader of the North men - Buliwyf - who's a truly overwhelming personality. The costumes and geographical settings are breath taking and perhaps even the most succeeded aspects in the entire production. And, of course, you can't tell a Viking tale without the use of explicit violence…the battles are pretty gruesome and the shed of blood is enormous. I didn't have a problem with that, though. I even love it but it might be something to keep under consideration when you have a weak stomach and you're planning to watch this film. Yet, it's only fair that I name a few of them negative elements The 13th Warrior suffers from. The largest parts of the script – and especially the dialogues – are very poorly written. The film also desperately tries to insert humor that is painfully unfunny and even embarrassing at times. Even the entire last battle scene may have been skipped since it's too heroic and a bit too much. Terrifically shot, though. Antonio Banderas will never be a class-A actor, neither…luckily for him, the accent works out well enough in stories like this. Nonetheless, The 13th Warrior is good entertainment and the background of it is food for education! Vikings rule!!

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65 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Personal Review

10/10
Author: delereum from new jersey, usa
28 December 2003

i have read the book and also seen the theatrical movie. hopefully this makes me more of an objective critic. through following this story there are two points i wish to address, first being the authenticity of the story.

from what i have read. the movie does justice to the documentation provided by the book. there are of course items in the book which cannot be properly illustrated by the film only because much of what occurs is due to the readers fantasy, i have not known any director to be able to illustrate this without some variants. it even seems improbable that a director could make it echo that of your specific account, in reading the subject.

I think that this theatrical attempt is one of the best, true to text efforts that you will find. the movie provides a vehicle to learn or experience the characters in a different manner than reading about the events, which from the account of the narrator are somewhat bland and overly factual.

this is a great effort to stay true to the story provided and i personally find that the strange connection and distance that you encounter with the main characters convey the true meaning of what it would be like to experience an event like this - that is without the language and social skills of the environment one is thrust into.

so on the whole i think that this is a respectable attempt to recreate the story as documented, without taking too much license at "artistic additions" in the film version. i find that you become attached to the characters even without knowing their names or understanding them on a "language" scale. this story is truly about a foreign interaction and a textbook style accounting of the events that haunted the main character even after the experience.

excellent for those looking for a real story and not just special effects to entertain.

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49 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

A rare but good Viking movie.

7/10
Author: John Taylor (jdtaylor@btinternet.com) from Bedfordshire, England
6 May 2002

I was thinking while watching this movie, why are there hardly any viking movies made? There is a good recipe for an action movie with Vikings what with the fighting,raping and pilliging and the 13th Warrior is a good action movie, although the Vikings are the good guys in this. Antonio Banderes plays an arab who is picked to fight as a warrior against an unknown race of people who attacked a village of Vikings. This has the feel of the Seventh Samarai of the Magnifiscent Seven ,the few oppressed against the many. While this film has nothing it it to make it a brilliant film it is very watchable and i would advise you to watch this if you are into war/action/adventure movies. 7 out of 10.

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69 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

All time Favorite

10/10
Author: chimi00274 from United States
2 June 2001

I thought this movie was one of the best I have seen in a long time. I am not a big action film lover, and really did not want to see this, but it had me at the edge of my seat and enjoying it the whole time. There is enough dry humor thrown in so it does not get to dark. This movie will definitely be added to my DVD collection!

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39 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Looks Terrific!!!

Author: Steve Baker (s.baker@iig.com.au) from Cairns Australia
13 March 2000

Sword epics with Vikings will always be a favourite for me.

The swish of one of those huge broad swords and the metallic ring as they slice through a neck rank right up there with the cinematic, machinic, muted roar of spaceships and the false squeal of tires on dirt roads.

Leif Ericson in The Tales Of The Vikings 1960's T.V. series helped fill my young world. I suppose that imagining that I was Nordic and lopping off English heads was preferable to being a cowboy and picking on the hapless Red Indians.

The likes of Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Thring and Janet Leigh in movies like The Vikings (1958) made for pretty good childhood fantasies and I reckon that sometimes it's O.K. not to grow up.

In The 13th Warrior Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas stars as Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan. Other characters include Herger The Joyous, Buliwyf (perhaps he was the red headed one with the Scottish accent), Melchisidek (Omar Sharif in a cameo) and Queen Weilew who was played by the less glamourously named Diane Venora.

Don't worry too much about her though. She's just there to pat Ibn's brow, and other things belonging to Ibn, between battles.

But those names do have a certain broad sword ring to them don't they.

The idea is that Arab poet Ibn (Banderas) has been lusting after the wrong woman in Court and has been sent off as some sort of diplomat to the Vikings who have a spot of bother. A village is being besieged by mad demons. 13 warriors must go and Banderas must help out. And so the carnage begins. This I repeat is the only reason for the movie.

The romantic bits are only by play, bloody foreplay for the real thing.

Big, sweaty, longhaired, fellows with names that these days would end in son do heroic battle with very nasty adversaries who delight in taking the heads of their victim's home with them as keepsakes.

The plot is that simple. Michael Crichton's novel upon which the film was supposedly based (it's now over 25 years old) was I'd imagine thrown onto a fat splattered campfire early in the production and the blood letting began. And Crichton is a co-writer of the film.

The 13The Warrior was directed by John McTiernan who's credits include Predator, The Hunt For Red October, The Thomas Crown Affair and Die Hard and it was filmed by Peter Menzies Jr. I mention this because this film looks superb.

This cross between The Last Of The Mohecans, The Conan films and Indiana Jones won't excite your thinking processes but lovers of the art of action cinematography are in for a treat.

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