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Reign of Fire (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  12 July 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 102,930 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 566 user | 138 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting everything ablaze, establishing dominance over the planet.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Moutter ...
Jared Wilke (as Scott James Moutter)
Eddie Stax
Burke (Tito)
Chris Kelly ...
Karen Abercromby


It is twenty years in the future, and the planet has been devastated by vicious fire-breathing dragons. The last vestiges of humanity now struggle for survival at remote outposts. In a ruined castle in the English countryside, Quinn is desperately trying to hold together a band of frightened, restless survivors. As a boy, Quinn watched his mother die protecting him from one of the beasts, and is still haunted by the memory. One day, a group of American rogues shows up, led by a brash, tough-guy named Van Zam. He claims to have discovered a way to kill the dragons once and for all, and enlists Quinn's help. But doing so will force Quinn to confront his own frightening memories. This, and Quinn's responsibilities to those that are under his protection, results in a battle of wills between the two men. In the end, events cause them both to realize that they must work together to defeat the monsters--both without and within. Written by LOTUSB1973

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Battle Ignites July 12 See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Where Heroes Go Down  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,632,281 (USA) (12 July 2002)


$1,720,747 (Japan) (6 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It was filmed in Ireland, in the Wicklow Mountains. They were only allowed to film there under the condition that they clean up entirely after themselves, without damaging the landscape. See more »


As Alex hovers her helicopter and bids farewell to Quinn, Van Zan's military convoy is seen in the background moving back towards the compound rather than towards London. See more »


[first lines]
Worker #1: Hello, Quinn.
Worker #2: Good morning, Quinn. How's is going mate.
Young Quinn: What's up, guys.
Worker #3: Working the late shift, are ya?
Young Quinn: Ha! Someone's got to clean up after you guys.
See more »


References Waterworld (1995) See more »


Walk Away
Written by Mad at Gravity and J. Lynn Johnston
Performed by Mad at Gravity
Courtesy of ARTISTDirect Records/BMG
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ashes to Ashes!
4 October 2002 | by (Longmont, Colorado) – See all my reviews

The usual quota of "surface reviews" here. Are we living in a totally one-dimensional society these days that has no time now for unsupported fantasy - "Just the facts Ma'am, Just the facts!"

We have here an adult fairytale no less, yet what do I read (and I include paid media critics here) but absurd negative comments such as "How did McConaughey and his intrepid band of marines come up with the fuel to cross the atlantic?" "Why are the children seemingly so well fed in a period of pestilence?" "Where does the seemingly limitless fuel come from?" etc etc. Who CARES????????? this is a DRAGON fantasy for God sakes! Someone want to set up a Government enquiry as to why fairies speak English? the possibility that Humpty Dumpty had a middle-ear infection? Perhaps the Easter Bunny has some communicable diseases that he should be tested for?

Ok REIGN OF FIRE is not up there with other sci-fi classics and the marketing department should be answering charges of misrepresentation for that poster showing an aerial armada of helicopters battling the fire-breathing beasties over central London - that just never happens but I gotta tell you REIGN OF FIRE has some of the greatest set designs and cinematography I have ever seen. It is extremely interesting to LOOK at from a technical viewpoint. The dragons themselves make the least interesting contribution to the film and except for the final confrontation which almost "gets there" they are really secondary to the film itself. If you were to actually record the amount of dragon "screen time" I doubt it would be 18 minutes....and most of them are not far off laughable. Curiously, that aspect alone should have wrecked it for me...but it didn't - I found the "wasteland asharamas" totally credible and involving.

I thought the much maligned McConaughey's role not without interest. Still haven't worked out whether or not "Mad Matt" was supposed to be some hybrid creation - part Patton, part Maximus, part Captain Ahab or just all "grunt." He certainly handled his last solo flight with flair and derring-do. Basil Rathbone himself never swung a meaner sword! Christian Bale replete with his best "know wot I mean" brit accent was pretty good I thought as Quinn the reluctant colony leader. What I couldn't believe is how the years have treated Izabella Scorupco the most beautiful Bond girl I ever saw (GOLDENEYE). I realise that a decade of fighting dragons and close-contact aeriel combat takes a lot out of a girl but she looked 20 years older! I would never have recognised her. Totally shattered an illusion I have maintained of her. If she said "Boys with Toys" now, I think I'd need a double vodka-martini!

But I digress. The dragon fx were just so-so, they saved the best for last sensibly. The script had its moments but the production work and set-design were simply awesome...SO good in fact, the rest of the film really didn't matter! Overall I would bequeath it a 6.9. Worth seeing if one is prepared to watch it in the spirit that it was made.

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