Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
Britain, A.D. 117. Quintus Dias, the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the Earth and destroy their leader, Gorlacon. Written by
Prosthetics designer Paul Hyett was thrilled to be part of the production as it afforded him the chance to make slashed throats, chopped arms, decapitations, head slicings, arrows in necks, axes in necks, burnings and head crushings. He ultimately went through over 200 liters of fake blood. See more »
The spear the IX Legion carries is a period-correct piece of Roman military equipment, known as the hasta. While certainly less well-known than the pilum (plural pila) throwing spear, the hasta would be a better tactical choice for a legion marching into heavy forest where the space required to bring up and throw a pilum properly is not guaranteed. The hasta, being basically a "typical" spear, is a more versatile weapon. It should be noted that every legionary was issued both a pilum and a hasta, though the pilum featured more prominently in the Romans' preferred open-field strategies. See more »
Centurion Quintus Dias:
My name is Quintus Dias. I am a soldier of Rome, and this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story.
See more »
The end of the closing credits state that "This film is based on a 2000 year-old legend", referring to the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Hispana or Ninth Spanish Legion in Roman-occupied Britain around 117 CE. See more »
Historical fiction doesn't get more exciting than this
Centurion is a great film, and I suspect it's going to be totally underrated by the cinema-going public. I saw it at my local Odeon last night, the only cinema in town showing it, and I strongly suspect it won't be on next week. This is an example of a really good British film from a director with a strong pedigree not getting the kind of publicity and public interest that is frequently given to the most heinous rubbish that Hollywood can produce. Granted, many people don't share my director-centric view of forthcoming features; I'm prepared to risk getting my fingers burned occasionally in avidly chasing any films made by a select bunch of my favourite directors, but my approach is usually rewarded with excellence, like Centurion. In structure it is a very simple story, beautifully shot and honestly told. The bloody battles are very realistic - you get a good feel for what it might actually have been like to fight hand-to-hand in ancient times, frantic and deadly. The characters are simply drawn, and develop through their actions rather than words (quite literally in the case of Olga Kurylenko's "Etain"). There is good and bad on both sides of the conflict, which is true to every war in human history. Ultimately, it offers a quite believable scenario to explain the mysterious historical disappearance of the 9th Legion in Hibernia.
179 of 282 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?