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Beowulf (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure  |  16 November 2007 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 134,450 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 504 user | 287 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing towns, and later, Grendel's mother, who begins killing out of revenge.

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Title: Beowulf (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wealthow (as Robin Wright-Penn)
...
Paul Baker ...
Musician #1
John Bilezikjian ...
Musician #2
Rod D. Harbour ...
Musician #3
Brice Martin ...
Musician #4 (as Brice H. Martin)
Sonje Fortag ...
Gitte (as Sonja Fortag)
...
...
...
Cille (as Julene Rennee)
...
...
...
Wulfgar (as Sebastian Roche)
...
...
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Storyline

Set against the coming of Christianity, this is the story of the last hero: in 507, a monstrous troll wreaks havoc in the mead hall of the Danish king, Hrothgar. He offers rewards for the death of Grendel, so Beowulf, a great and boastful Geat warrior, arrives with his thanes. Beowulf sets aside his armor and awaits the monster; a fierce battle ensues that leads to Beowolf's entering the watery lair of Grendel's mother, where a devil's bargain awaits. Beowulf returns to Herot, the castle, and becomes king. Jump ahead many years, and the sins of the father are visited upon Beowulf and his kingdom. The hero must face his weakness and be heroic once again. Is the age of demons over? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | reward | demon | warrior | creature | See All (251) »

Taglines:

Pride is the curse. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,199,848 (UK) (16 November 2007)

Gross:

$82,161,969 (USA) (25 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | (IMAX version)

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the oldest known written story in a language purporting to be English. See more »

Goofs

Bards are mentioned in the movie, but bards only existed in Celtic culture. Germanic culture would have had "skalds". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
King Hrothgar: I want mead! Give me some mead, my queen!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face Off: Dragon's Breath (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Olaf Drinking Song
Written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary
Produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
Performed by Peter Lavin and Chris Coppola
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Better than I expected
19 March 2008 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

I didn't expect a lot from 'Beowulf', for lots of reasons, most of which were to do with the casting: incorrigibly cockney Ray Winstone as a warrior from what's now southern Sweden; wacky John Malkovich as a cynical counselor; loony Crispin Glover as a flesh-rending monster, and weirdest of all, Angelina Jolie as the monster's mother...thaet waes wundorlic castyng, as the poet might have put it. Then there was the way they did the whole thing in CGI, running the risk of making it all look a bit rubbery. Finally, Robert Zemeckis is the director and my great respect for him plummeted through the floor and into the crawlspace after he presided over the insufferable 'Forrest Gump'.

Nevertheless, this is a lot better than I thought it would be. I missed the 3D incarnation as we were watching the DVD rather than the cinema release, but after a while you stop looking at the CGI and start enjoying it. This is a 'Beowulf' where the story, although different from the poem, is actually very far from shabby.

Without giving too much away, the main difference from the poem is that in the poem, there is no connection between the monster Grendel and his mother on one hand, and the dragon in the latter half of the poem on the other hand. In the film, a connection exists. Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary do a professional job of tying it all together in a satisfying Hollywood way, without betraying the basic darkness and sadness of the story; it's not like Beowulf rides off into the sunset with Wiglaf at the end. Crispin Glover is genuinely scary as the tormented and raw-boned Grendel, whose main problem is that he just can't stand the sound of people having fun, although since most of this fun consists of hairy men singing lewd songs you can see his point. Angelina Jolie's animated self spends all her on screen time walking around without any clothes on, something that apparently gave Jolie a blush when she saw a cut of the movie. (One of the more eerie things about this film is that the cartoon Angelina Jolie looks marginally more realistic than the actress herself.)

Despite an accent that's more Stockwell than Geatland, Ray Winstone does a fine, sombre job as the hero, although my wife thought that the animated Winstone looked more like Sean Bean. Brendan Gleeson does a splendid job in the niche he's carved for himself of Hairy Sidekick. The acting honours, or at least the animation honours, go to Robin Wright Penn (or whoever worked on her character) as the pale and melancholy queen; she has moments of subtle hesitation and sadness that struck me as a triumph of CGI acting.

There is much excellent smiting, some of it unfortunately toned down a little in order to keep a PG-13 rating - so we don't actually get to see Grendel biting men's heads off, just people's reactions to him doing so. Most importantly, the story is not a travesty of the original. It's thoughtful and interesting, as you'd expect from a writer of Gaiman's quality (if not from the author of 'Killing Zoe') and contains some striking meditations on the power of legend and reputation. Plus, there's a really huge kick-ass dragon. 'Beowulf' is a strange and unexpected treat.


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