Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
The film's near-fatal flaw is its dialogue, which had to be invented wholesale from the Old English text. It alternates between sounding stagy and anachronistically hip -- with more overuse of the F-word than any two Samuel L. Jackson movies. It's a big mistake.
New York Daily News
Credit Icelandic director Sturla Gunnarsson for having an ambitious vision: He took a look at the eighth-century epic poem "Beowulf" and decided he could cut it down to size. And he has, for better and worse.
Village Voice
It's good, bloody fun that stirs the intellect whenever it feels like it, and as a swashbuckler, the dead-game Butler outswings just about anyone in Troy or Kingdom of Heaven or Tristan & Isolde.
Gunnarsson's film ultimately lacks the grandeur and wit necessary to make the legend fully come alive. Still, the film does offer certain kicks to those who like their action films infused with fantastical elements and benefits greatly from its highly effective lead performances.
We're more likely to snicker at this marauding monster than scream.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
To be very generous toward the filmmakers' intentions, Beowulf & Grendel might be seen as a misguided attempt to lend some modern nuance to a traditional tale of good and emphatic evil. But why pussyfoot? The movie is a lumbering and ludicrous mess.
Director Sturla Gunnarsson seems aware of the savagery intrinsic to the story, but is unable to mine it deeply, proving too genteel in the end to make a genuinely creepy or disturbing film.
With all the mystery and meaning sucked from the story, the filmmakers do what filmmakers often do when faced with their own lack of imagination: they toss a little sex in with the violence.
New York Post
Beowulf & Grendel has its moments, as well as its debits. Among the later is the grating Canadian accent of Sarah Polley, who plays a witch named Selma.
Imagine the worst "Deadwood" episode ever, and you'll get an idea of the general tone of Beowulf & Grendel, which is full of anachronistic cursing, tortured syntax, dark humor and lots of hairy, homely, filthy-looking people.

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