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Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  6 May 2005 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 173,402 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 920 user | 239 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

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Title: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

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4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

It is the time of the Crusades during the Middle Ages - the world shaping 200-year collision between Europe and the East. A blacksmith named Balian has lost his family and nearly his faith. The religious wars raging in the far-off Holy Land seem remote to him, yet he is pulled into that immense drama. Amid the pageantry and intrigues of medieval Jerusalem he falls in love, grows into a leader, and ultimately uses all his courage and skill to defend the city against staggering odds. Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a great knight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France from fighting in the East. Revealing himself as Balian's father, Godfrey shows him the true meaning of knighthood and takes him on a journey across continents to the fabled Holy City. In Jerusalem at that moment--between the Second and Third Crusades--a fragile peace prevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king, Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

crusader | knight | jerusalem | king | sword | See more »

Taglines:

Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and epic warfare | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crusades  »

Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$945,994 (Japan) (13 May 2005)

Gross:

$47,396,698 (USA) (26 August 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) (Blu-Ray Disc) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ridley Scott received many letters of thanks and congratulations from Muslim groups for his even-handed depiction of the religion. See more »

Goofs

During the ambush on the road in France, archers are shown using bows which are at least five and possibly six feet long. Such weapons would not be used in Europe for more than one hundred years, and even then they were only common on the British Isles. The bow in use at the time was shorter and had a relatively low pull weight, which was of very limited use against a well armored target. Further, in France, the bow was considered a weapon of war, and its use was prohibited by all but the ruling elite (and then only for hunting since the bow was not an honorable weapon), so archers (vice crossbowmen) were very rare. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gravedigger: Crusaders.
Squire: Clear the road, if you will.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kingdom of Heaven: Press Junket Walkthrough (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

FAMILY FEUD
(from Blade II (2002))
Written by Marco Beltrami
Courtesy of New Line Productions, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Kingdom of Heaven
4 May 2005 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Kingdom of Heaven in 2005 will be what Gladiator was in 2000. Ridley Scott has delivered a worthy follow up to his Oscar winner, which is also based on medieval times, with a central heroic character, and supporting casts of characters based on history.

The sets are as spectacular, instead of just Rome and the Collesuem, we have the Middle East and Jerusalem. The costumes are beautiful, from intricately remade Knights armour, to the desert garb of the Muslim warriors. The soundtrack is a mixture of sounds with middle eastern influences, but somehow pales in comparison with Gladiator and lacks a central theme.

Much is said about how the film portrays religion, given the sensitive subject of the Crusades, but I feel that Ridley has achieved a wonderful balance between how Christianity and Islam are portrayed. Both are given fair airtime on their ideologies, and the film tries to preach (pardon the pun) about tolerance, yet highlights the dangers of fanatical followers of both religions, of misguidance from men in search of worldly power.

Which Christianity took a beating - where senseless battles are waged in the name of Christ, where insensitivity breed contempt. Preists are cast in negative light and given lines like "convert to Islam, repent later" when all around seems lost. It is emphasized in the show that what matters is in your head and in your heart - that noble actions speak louder than mere empty and repetitive "praise the Lord" chants, as if that will protect you during Judgement Day.

Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a blacksmith who became a fugitive, but inherited land and army from his father, Godfrey, played by Liam Neeson. The film can be broadly categorized into 3 acts - the first in which Balian searches for his identity and new life in Jerusalem, the second in which the focus is on religion and politics of the time, and the last, the spectacular siege and war.

Bloom puts up a commendable performance, so to his detractors out there, you're in for a big surprise. Edward Norton had the difficult task of acting through a mask as leper King Baldwin, and I applaud Ridley's decision of casting real Muslim actors to learn from them.

Fans of Eva Green might be disappointed that the relationship between Balian and Queen Sibylla was played down to focus on the battles, but I feel it's a fair trade off.

Firstly, some of you might not like the quick-cut-MTV style editing in Gladiator's fight scenes, especially the close ups. This is repeated here though, in a blood splattering manner. The pan-out and general landscape sweeps are mindblowing, and will leave you wanting more. Think about the battles that you see Lord of The Rings Two Towers and Return of the King - the siege on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith - Kingdom of Heaven delivers the equivalent, probably even better (without the fantasy elements). This is one medieval war movie whose battles will stick in your mind for some time.

The audience were the only disappointing experience for me - they were laughing at a dialogue near the end, where a "knight" asked who Balian was, and he answered "I'm the blacksmith", in which the "knight" answered "I'm the King". Laughter was abound in the theatre. I was like, HELL-O people! See that lion motif on his armour? That's Richard the Lionheart! D'uh! The Crusades didn't end there, it waged on...

What is Jerusalem worth? Nothing, everything. Watch this, and in my opinion, it has Oscar written all over it. Now to hit the library and research more on the subject!


433 of 673 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Where were they riding to in the end? hometownhorn
Armor is useless! Galahad19
Director's Cut? andreww401
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more successful with a different lead? mrboxeater
Saladin-the best character in the movie? WhiskeyRiver-AZ
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