Critic Reviews

61

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
83
When it comes to crazy, violent, semidelirious, testosterone-laden, proto-Viking tales about a mute visionary one-eyed warrior who breaks skulls, Valhalla Rising is pretty great.
80
Valhalla Rising gets into your mind and stays there. You can argue what, if anything, it's trying to say, but it is impressive cinema.
80
Salon.com
Lots of movies about the Middle Ages can do the mud and blood -- though we sure see a lot of both here -- but in this movie it's like Refn has ripped you out of time and dropped you there.
80
Director Nicolas Winding Refn, the prankster of last year's "Bronson," has never reduced his craft to such a sledgehammer of minimalism. Electric guitars drone on the soundtrack, bones crunch, and a mystical religiosity gathers around One-Eye; there's a midnight cult here for those who yearn for one.
70
One is hard-pressed to imagine who the audience might be for this actually quite mesmerizing film. Its violence is way too intense for the art film crowd, and its glacial pacing and fascination with brooding on nothing will surely alienate those who've come for the blood and guts.
50
Mr. Refn, who can pull off stylish brutality (in the "Pusher" films and "Bronson" ), shows no knack for the kind of visionary, hallucinatory image making that would render Valhalla Rising memorable.
50
Village Voice
Frequently dull and stupidly obvious, you nonetheless have to applaud the misguided ambition of Refn's career turn. If nothing else, as the metal guitars get louder and louder, the synergy between Viking imagery and the pagan-obsessed metal freaks it spawned has never been clearer.
40
Variety
With very little dialogue, and even less plot, five chapter stops lend the movie a skeletal structure: "Wrath," "Silent Warrior," "Men of God," "The Holy Land" and "Hell." But any discussion of the Dark Ages conflict between paganism and Christianity is reduced to just grunts or insults.
38
Visually striking but portentous and pretentious.
25
Valhalla Rising is nothing more than an updated version of the kind of time-honored Hollywood Viking movie Kirk Douglas used to do in his sleep, which means lots of inhuman, bone-crunching violence and no plot.

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