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Black Death More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Bore of a Period Piece

Author: Gottfried Rittenbacher
7 January 2012

I was really expecting quite a bit from this, expected it to be one of those hidden gems that you come across. Was sadly disappointed.

The acting and cast seemed quite competent, and the overall look and feel of the film is good, but it just didn't seem to go anywhere. It is neither a horror movie nor a drama, but a pretty mediocre mix of both.

It raises a few controversial issues of Christianity, which have merit to them, but falls short of. Everything about this movie feels complacent and boring.

A rather lackluster film with no balls that you will forget quite soon after viewing.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

the BEST Bubonic Plague film of 2011

Author: twilliams76 from Kansas City, MO, USA
1 July 2011

Following a mere three months after the more-heavily hyped,wider-released and more star-studded Season of the Witch -- that one came complete with a paycheck-cashing Nicolas Cage (!) -- Black Death is the second film of 2011 that focuses on the mysterious cause(s) of the highly destructive Bubonic Plague which swept through the British Isles and Europe that resulted in tens of millions of deaths during the Middle Ages.

SotW took place in Central Europe while Black Death lures its viewers to 1348 England as it follows a fearless knight, Ulrich (Sean Bean - "Game of Thrones", TLotR: Fellowship of the Ring, Flight Plan) while he searches for an isolated town (it is surrounded by marshland) that has somehow survived the eradication of the plague. Just as in Witch, our knight is accompanied by a young and uncertain monk played by Eddie Redmayne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Good Shepherd, The Other Boleyn Girl) and a fellow warrior, John Lynch (Sliding Doors, The Secret of Roan Inish, Princess Caraboo). The villagers -- led by a questionable beauty (Carice van Houten - Valkyrie, Black Book, Repo Men) -- quickly try to dispel anybody new from entering into their quiet town as it has been rumored that they are necromancers who dabble in the black arts.

Is the town an isolated safe haven or does it house its own share of horrors? Black Death might not boast a $20-Million-Man but it is actually watchable (and it is easily the "BEST Bubonic Plague film of the year")! While I wish I could have vetoed parts of the formulaic/witch-y elements of the plot, there is little doubt the filmmakers behind Black Death might have actually attended a few history lectures back in the day. It should be mentioned in closing that one will NOT catch the plague and die (from either it or boredom) while watching this one.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A different approach.

Author: Matt_Layden from Canada
7 May 2011

The plague is taking over England and there is word of a small village, untouched from the disease. A small group of men are sent to uncover the truth, they bring a young priest with them to find the way.

This is the third film from director Christopher Smith that I have seen, the other two being the disappointing Severance and the good/bad Creep. Both of those films had some great elements, but ended up on the disappointing end of the scale. Black Death walks a fine line as well. Much like last years Season of the Witch, Black Death is a little known film that deals with the black magic. Much to my surprise, the film decided to leave out a lot of the fight sequences one would expect from this type of film and instead relies on a tension vibe that I ended up really appreciating.

The film felt like the Wicker Man at parts and it seemed to forget the fact that it was a period piece. For those expecting something along the lines of Neil Marshall's Centurion, you'll probably be disappointed. This film has one battle sequences, which is relatively short. The rest of the film sees the men trek across the land to get to this one location. The climax of the film is actually well done and suspenseful, despite the lack of action for those seeking it.

The characters are one dimensional. The only one really given anything is the priest. He is in love with a young woman, but is confused about whether or not he should love her, or his faith. Religion and God is mentioned a bunch of times and it's actually quite a huge part of this film. The men believe they are sent on a mission in the name of God. The village they seek appears to worship no God. It dealt with religion a lot more than I expected it to.

Black Death is a decent flick, it's much more focused on the story being told than trying to impress the viewer with some slick fighting sequences. This is both positive and negative because, even though I'm all for story, it does seem to drag in places. No one is given more to do than what is required, meaning we have a hero, wise-ass, inexperienced one, respected one, crazy one, etc. The film takes an odd twist in the last five or so minutes. I don't know if I like it or not. That will probably be the cast with most people, a love it or hate it ending. I would recommend the film to those who like the genre, but don't expect a blood bath.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: bigbo2000
28 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Expected a movie, instead it felt more like a Christian propaganda film. Extremely anti-climatic ending. The antagonist was difficult to discern if you aren't a Christian who perceives persecution from any person who doesn't think as you do. To everyone else who may view this movie, the protagonist are the ones trotting off into the woods causing trouble. The antagonist were just minding their own business, attacking only those who came to do them harm. Only reason I continued watching was to see what new and interesting way they had thought of killing Sean Bean. Since we all know there's no film mechanism in this world that can permit Sean Bean to survive a movie.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I just can't recommend this one

Author: cobbler88 from United States
17 June 2011

I have to stick to my guns here and say that, when it comes to movies, even the best journey is ruined by a horrible ending, and the ending of this one was one of the worst.

Just to get this out of the way, it's good to see that every obnoxious atheist with a keyboard and an opinion has seen clear to use the IMDb movie review section to harangue us with how evil religion is and how stupid are its practitioners. If they'd get out of their own way for just a moment they might have actually recognized the true thread - intended or not - in this tale. Regardless, dunce caps off to you all! And what was the point? It wasn't that organized religion is evil, nor was it that witchcraft - either real or contrived - is evil. It's that people can be bent to do all manner of things given a charismatic leader and the proper set of circumstances to exploit.

For the most part, this movie did a good job, the performances were fine and the story was decent if uneventful.

Then they had to tack on an ending. My distaste for how they chose to conclude this movie doesn't have anything to do with whether I like happy or dark endings. Either can be fine given the right circumstances. Suffice it to say that it was silly and was a departure from what little character development had taken place up to that point. To you older folks, consider it a M*A*S*H ending. How much sense did it make for Hawkeye to possibly be going crazy at the end, considering he'd been an anchor throughout the entire war? It's similar in this flick. Characters are one way throughout the movie ... then the last two minutes the writer just sort of wings it.

If you're all about the journey, this isn't that bad of a movie. But if you want that journey to actually lead somewhere and wrap itself up at the end - even if it leaves the true end in question - you're likely to be disappointed.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A dark odyssey to hell

Author: GUENOT PHILIPPE ( from France
1 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am very happy to have watched this outstanding fierce and cruel tale of a bunch of men on rampage for a desperate mission. It makes me think of Paul Verhoeven's FLESH AND BLOOD or John Mac Tiernan's THE THIRTEENTH WARRIOR. But it is obvious that this very movie is far more devastating, hopeless, with a downbeat ending. I love this one. I recommend it. The actors such as Sean Bean - here at his best - give powerful performances. In the audience, I am sure that many of the viewers will shake on their seat in front some unforgettable sequences. And we are used to this kind of features, see GLADIATOR, CENTURION and many other items. But this film is very special. It's such a shame that it has not been released in France.

They prefer silly Comic Books and super heroes crap movies.

I am not like these jerks. I would prefer be dead !!!

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9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Dull, pointless, and overall just disappointing.

Author: Nicholas Talley ( from Australia
12 November 2010

Looking at the blurb, you would assume the movie would be an exciting adventure-esk movie. Wrong. Very little about this movie screams excitement; there are a few good action scenes, which may be the silver lining to this wreck.

The beginning of the film is obviously rushed, much like that of modern day video games or children's novels, such things as "Follow me!" "Ok!" "Do this!" "Ok!". There is such little character building (all of it frankly is given in a 5 minute scene, which is beyond cliché). The acting was far too melodramatic, the plot was dull and the end of the movie was also dull and overly similar to The Last Samurai (if you have watched it you will understand exactly where they have stolen the idea).

I couldn't help but have an enormous grin on my face whilst watching the beginning of the movie as you would have seen similarities also in other movies. Call this movie a "what you want to avoid when making another medieval film". The title Black Death is purely a marketing ploy, as it would be more appropriately called "Viewer Death".

I say save yourself 90 minutes and watch a proper medieval movie such as Robin Hood (2010) or Monty Pythons Search for the Holy Grail. I did however enjoy the religious fanaticism and the overused "Ooohh spooky, don't go over there!" (gist) monologues.

I give this movie a 3/10 as it does have some nice visuals and the concept was well thought but very poorly executed.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

dark muddy moody

Author: SnoopyStyle
20 August 2015

It's 1348 England. The plague has descended on the lands. Novice monk Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) volunteers to lead a group of knights led by Ulric (Sean Bean) on a quest to find a rumored sanctuary village in the marsh. Osmund is conflicted about his love for a village girl. After a long disturbing journey, they find the isolated village protected by herbalist Langiva (Carice van Houten).

This is the muddy dark middle ages in a semi-realistic fashion. It's ugly and filled with superstition. Redmayne and Bean are compelling leads. The dark brooding pace does take its toll. It's not really an exciting romp. The village has a slightly eery feel. This is an anti-supernatural horror.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the better B-movies of recent years

Author: Adam Peters from Birkenhead United Kingdom
18 March 2015

(56%) A worthy for most cinema fans smallish produced period drama/horror that's perfectly well made, nicely shot, with a cast of quite big name stars. The plot is pretty basic stuff focused mainly around Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne playing a young monk in training, escorted by the perfectly cast Sean Bean to uncover the a mysterious village lead by the great Tim McInnerny. The plot heats up very nicely once the Christian and Pagan worlds collide, as this switches gear from action adventure into horror. Above all else this is an interesting sit that offers more than just plain and simple 14th century set blood and gore.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Black Death was swift...almost as swift as this movie...

Author: Lexi Wolfe from United Kingdom
16 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Really really wanted to like this movie, and assumed I would. It has all the elements to make it an awesome movie to my taste - Sean Bean in medieval garb, looking and being a bad-ass (though he at no point says the word 'Bastard - a real let-down!); a little bit of the mysteries and God vs. Pagan religion argument as seen from the Middle Ages' experience; and a nice healthy dollop of blood, gore and excruciatingly painful death.

However, the story itself plunged so quickly in at the deep end, and the characters we were swiftly introduced to were given so little time for real depth, that I found it very hard to find my empathy for them. Eddie Redmayne's character came across as whiny, where I'm sure I should be feeling greatly sorry for him. Sean Bean's Ulric was a little too ruthless, and the other soldiers in their troupe weren't that knowable, so by the time we get to the village, I really don't feel I have a side. In fact, to see Lord Percy - sorry - Tim McInnerny turn up, I almost felt like I should be on his.

Overall, it was a nice watch. I liked the story, but it all took place so fast, I wanted more time to get to know the knights under Ulric, and the person I felt most sorry for was Averill.

I wasn't sure I quite liked the ruthlessness of the pagans either - sure, it's a Kill or Be Killed situation overall, but still, the amount of times I've seen bloodthirsty, bedevilled, brainwashed pagans (speaking as a modern pagan myself) is beginning to wear more than a little thin.

I'm also pretty sure that Carice Van Houten got cast as Melisandre on these merits.

The story arc is good, just too short. The script has a nice, authentic flavour to it, with some nice little twists, and the acting is consistent and engaging throughout - but without a real feeling for who to root for and exactly why, I'm not this film's biggest fan, I regret to say.

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