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Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

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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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5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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

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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crusades  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,530,445 (UK) (6 May 2005)

Gross:

$47,396,698 (USA) (26 August 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (director's cut roadshow)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The reason Jeremy Irons' character was renamed Tiberias (as opposed to his 'real' name, Raymond III of Tripoli) was because the studio felt audiences would get confused with two major characters both having names beginning with R (the other being Raynald de Chatillon (Brendan Gleeson), and so they ordered writer William Monahan to change the name of one of them. See more »

Goofs

When the priest's assistants are burying Balian's wife, the priest instructs them to behead the corpse. One of them picks up the axe but in the close-up of the corpse's face, the axe is still lying on the ground next to her. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gravedigger: Crusaders.
Squire: Clear the road, if you will.
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Crazy Credits

The opening 20th Century Fox logo has a ocher-yellow tint added to it. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Saa Magni
Performed by Oumou Sangare
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records/World Circuit
(directors cut only)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Credit the director and writer for balancing the guilt and horror among Christians, Jews, and Arabs.
2 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"There was a Knight, a most distinguished man, Who from the day on which he first began To ride abroad had followed chivalry, Truth, honour, generousness and courtesy. He had done nobly in his sovereign's war And ridden into battle, no man more, As well in Christian as in heathen places, And ever honoured for his noble graces."

Chaucer, "The Canterbury Tales"

In Kingdom of Heaven, Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a former blacksmith turned knight, at the siege of Jerusalem in the late 12th century. Director Ridley Scott takes care to make this knight every bit as ideal as Chaucer made his. In the process Balian becomes too perfect, perhaps because of Bloom's cross gender prettiness and the intonations of his dialogue, each word of which weighs heavily on the leader and the viewer. I probably missed a moment of light-heartedness, if there is one. This film could have used a good study of Chaucer to show how to intersperse gravity with levity.

In other words, Scott has forsaken the gritty toughness of Russell Crowe's Oscar performance in Gladiator for the saintliness of Bloom, which makes Kingdom of Heaven a parable of virtue rather than a hardscrabble tale of violence and intrigue. The violence makes itself known in every other scene, as to be expected in the genre, but with the quick cut, hand-held blurriness and slomo now characteristic of war films that eschew realism for artiness and thereby lose the sense of reality.

Kenneth Branagh's Henry V got battle just right with a camera that stayed in the action at a reasonable length for shots and ended with an Agincourt unforgettable for its camera tracking over the carnage and music something like a funereal choir at a midnight mass. Scott's fidelity to the war technology of the time with catapulting balls of oil and movable breaching towers is offset by a constant choir of angels so pervasive it loses its effect by the end of the final battle.

Credit the director and writer for balancing the guilt and horror among Christians, Jews, and Arabs. Jerusalem's King Baldwin (voice of Edward Norton) is a leper, hidden behind stunning silver masks, weakened but determined to the end to save his people from the overwhelming hordes of Muslims, led by the audience-pleasing Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). The "terms" between Christians and Muslims allow both sides to exit with honor.

It is clear no one owned Jerusalem in the Middle Ages, and no one owns it now, Palestinian protests notwithstanding. For a history lesson with modern relevances, see this epic; for a lighter touch, see Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale; to have it all, read Chaucer.


204 of 334 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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First time watcher....Original or Director's Cut? ccrenshaw2012
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