The 13th Warrior (1999) Poster

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Totally unexpected, this was a great movie!
rklok5 May 2008
Don't believe the negative reviews on this one. Its easily the most underrated movie I have come across, and can best be described as a hidden gem for the ones who like historical adventure/action-movies (Braveheart/Gladiator/Kingdom of Heaven/Robin Hood) and fantasy-movies.

Others have described it better here on IMDb, so I am just going to say this: It is not a historical correct piece, and do not try to be. It should be viewed as a fantasy, even though the vikings portrayed and their buildings/settlement is the most realistic I have seen in any movie to date.

Btw: To all you who like the above-mentioned movies for the big battle-scenes and sword-fighting, don't expect this one to have its major impact in that area (even though it got them). On the other hand this movie portrays a much more realistic take on fighting in pre-medieval times. Instead of having the one super-hero defying all logic, you get a band of fighting comrades which together becomes a fierce force. There is a fantastic cast in this movie, with Banderas, Storhøi and Kulich making their characters come truly alive.

This is a great adventure of a movie, which should be regarded alongside the other movies I mentioned above.

9/10 - Must see for all who like adventure/fantasy
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Fantastic Epic
Ali H3 November 2007
The 13th Warrior was murdered by critics when it 1st came out. As one of the best Epic adventures ever, The 13th warrior is very entertaining and sweeping on every level. The final battle was nothing short of exhilarating, and it was a joy to see Omar Sharif on the big screen again. This movie is very underrated and it went unnoticed...I think the marketing for this movie sucked. My biggest disappointment is that Jerry Goldsmith's score in this movie never received any award and surely his work in this one is one of the best ever to be put on film..on par with Randy Edelman's work in the last of the mohicans. The movie is never boring. Running only for 90 minutes there is no one dull moment or space for you to sit back and relax..everything happens fast and straight to the point. The direction and the cinematography are all top notch, while the cast is great specially the actor who played Beowulf..his commanding presence on the screen totally ruled the movie.
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Good enough for what it is, fascinating for what it could have been.
LordBlacklist8 February 2006
This is an extremely well crafted film, but a poorly edited one. Much like The Ghost and the Darkness it has such a winning historical concept that it is easy to forgive a little narrative incoherency from time to time. This film is a bit muddled when it comes to plot and characterization but hits all the right notes in terms of creating an adventurous spirit and thrilling action sequences. Jerry Goldsmith's score is a real high point, as is the cinematography. This is an absolutely wonderful film to get all caught up in on a lonely night because it makes you feel as if you are on the journey with Banderas' character. It is an action thriller that is actually...thrilling. In particular the scene with the "fire dragon" is one of the more memorable battle sequences I have seen in any movie, and I really mean that. The only negative aspects of the film are the feeling that a lot of scenes were left on the editing room floor, which is true, and if there was ever a film that really deserved a director's cut this is certainly one of them so long as Jerry Goldsmith's music (the soul of the picture) remains in. (Greame Revell composed a score for the unreleased longer version, which I have heard and in no way compares to Goldsmith's thunderous adventure music). The lavish costumes, set designs, memorable characters, and brilliant camera work somehow allow this film to overcome its editorial handicaps. All being said, this is a film well worth watching.
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Very well made entertaining movie
ajlept2 September 2007
I found myself glued to the television despite my inability to understand most of the early dialog in The 13th Warrior. Curiosity kept me from turning away and the action hooked me. Antonio Banderas' performance is intelligent and understated. He may headline, but the unknown actors take the lead with very strong performances. Omar Sharif is certainly recognizable, but of limited exposure here. It's sad that he belittled such a great movie because of it's box office failure. This movie has a LOTR feel about it without the high end production. The production here is just right for the story and cast. The main attraction over LOTR is that it only runs 103 minutes. Beware, if you are easily affected by carnage. But, if you enjoy a classic tale of good vs. evil and competitive action, you will embrace this adventure.
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I loved this movie!
pharalinga19 April 2000
Action! Adventure! Incredible scenery and cinematography! But best of all a wonderfully powerful cast! As the deep and thoughtful chieftain Buliwyf, Vladimir Kulich was splendid. He played his part with dignity, power and intelligence. Another stand-out performance was that of Dennis Storhoi who played Herger the Joyous. Perfect timing and temperament. Really fun to watch. Antonio Banderas as the narrator of the piece and, incidentally, the 13th warrior was also fun to watch. He has a knack for humor and uses it well. The whole ensemble cast was a joy to watch as they moved through-out the film as a team of men who valued each others strengths and talents.

The camera work in this film is dangerous and thrilling. Our perspective is intimate and that lends a great deal of excitement to the movie experience. Thank you Mr. Menzes!

The 13th Warrior is for anyone who believes in honor, valor and courage. Also, for anyone who likes Vikings, horses, battles, blood and gore or men. Women who like men will like this movie!
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The Norsemen and the Arab
thinker169114 September 2006
From the ancient scrolls of the Northland Vikings, comes this fantastic tale of Beowulf and Grendal the Sea Monster. However for the record the name of the legendary story, has been changed to "The Thirteenth Warrior." In this incredible epic, as narrated by the exiled lover of princess Shaharazad, the storyteller, an Arab poet, is appointed ambassador to the Nomads in the far-away Barbar country. On route, he is accepted as the thirteen warrior and invited to join a group of adventurous Vikings who are requested to return to the mother country to defend the villagers against a monstrous flesh eating peoples called the Wendol. (Also known as the Vendall or Cannibals) In the process, the fearless Vikings learn as much about the courageous Arab as he learns about them, their language, customs and their military skills. Antonio Banderas, plays Ahmed Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad and is convincing as the curious, but knowledgeable Arabian envoy. Vladimir Kulich, plays Buliwyf, The 1st Warrior and is capable and extremely formidable in his chieftain's role. With Dennis Storhøi as Herger the Joyous and Daniel Southern as Edgtho the Silent, the group encounter the Vandall, their leader and their mother. Although they fight to protect the Viking people, they in-turn risk their very lives against hoards of bear-face savages, who use both Witchcraft and horn blaring attacks. With nail biting action and mysterious drama, the film proves exciting and memorable. A great film for Banderas' fans. ****
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Devling into non-typical folklore
murphcsb12 June 2006
I found this movie to be quite satisfying. Combining the rich wisdom of the Persia Empire with Norse tradition when most of Europe of ravaged by Barbarian hordes allows for the audience to see the richness of cultures rarely put on screen. Arabians in that era were the keepers of incredible wisdom and this film displays that.

Loosely based on Beowolf, the Norse leader is one of the most intriguing characters I've seen in a long time. Director John McTiernan allows the viewer to see how this man truly is wise and brave.

The ending isn't as good as the rest of the film, but it doesn't destroy the film.
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Great Viking Fantasy
FlorianSchirner26 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Yeeeaaah!...This is definitely one of my Top 5 Favourites. Why? OK lets expound. First, the camera and editing. It's fabulous in my opinion. Fast paced, but not too fast,with great scenic shots. I don't like the modern MTV-Style of editing with its fast cuts and sweeps. I like it a bit more subtle. And this is done here. The scene at the watchtower for example, esp. the moment when the camera lingers a moment on Banderas, when he is looking for the mist. Great! Second, the scenery and production design. These guys should be very proud. Apart from one type of armor (Helfdane the fat), which is a bit too modern (It looks like a Spanish Conquistador-Armor), all look very neat and stylish (As a Live-role-player I have to say, I envy Bullwyf for his cloak). The weapons look real and authentic too. The buildings in the village and the great hall look like original replicas they have in Scandinavian museums. Third, the cast. Perfectly cast through all roles. My personal favourites are Diane Venora as the Queen, Sven Wollter as King Hrothgar and Kulich as Bulwyf. But all the others deliver peak performances. Last but not least is the script. I read the book "Eater of the dead" before I saw the movie. I liked the story and used it in several P&P RPG-sessions but after the film...whoooah. They took all, that is possible to put in the movie and made that movie. Personally, I rate the movie better than the, not better, more entertaining, since the book is more of a documentary.
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Based loosely upon historical fact
chris-range4 May 2003
The 13th Warrior may not match contemporary action film expectations and neither is it strictly a Beowulf allegory. While the film gives a nod to classic Epic literature, the real magic is grown of roots in history. In "Eaters of the Dead" the novel which inspired the film, writer Michael Crichton drew inspiration from the true story of Ibn Fadlan.

Ahmed Ibn Fadlan was a poet and diplomat who lived in the caliphate of Bagdhad in the 10th century. He received a deputation in the year 921 A.D. to journey to the King of the Bulghars of the Volga as an emissary of the Caliph al-Muqtadir. Fadlan outlined the details of this journey in his 'risala' or 'kitlab' (diary/history). Somewhere along the way Fadlan found himself in the extensive company of an Eastern Scandinavian tribe called the Rusiyyah. The Rus were being raided by the Varangians, a more barbarous tribe with customs rooted in pre-history. In his story, Crichton calls the Varangians by the name of another barbaric European tribe, the Wendols. From their name we get the English words vandal and vandalize - so one can imagine in what sorts of business they engaged.

So this is the background for the film. Is the movie history? No, but if one puts aside obvious errors such as Bulwyf's German plate armour (500 years ahead of its time) or another warrior's Roman helmet (500 years after its time) - the movie is enjoyable. The Rus were not Vikings with a capital V. They were Slavs who went a' viking, meaning raiding. Ibn Fadlan spent years among the Bulgars, Khazars and other Slavic tribes of the North. In all his travels, he gave no more detail than what he wrote of his time with the Rus and of their battles. What Crichton has given us is not history, but it is an entertaining point of departure from which to consider history. Next time you watch this movie, imagine you are Ibn Fadlan, come from a life of civilized luxury and suddenly thrown into this strange world. Try listening to the language, understanding his fear. Imagine that you must face cultures and battles entirely alien to your experience. That is what the 13th Warrior is all about. It is the tale of the journey, of the stranger in the strange land. It is a great adventure film, one I've enjoyed dozens of times.
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Beowulf meets Die Hard
Gafke17 January 2005
In the early years of the 10th century, an exiled Arabian nobleman falls in with a band of Vikings. Disgusted by their poor hygiene and their barbaric ways, he nevertheless reluctantly agrees to accompany them to a distant kingdom, where an unspeakable menace terrorizes the land.

This is an interesting interpretation of the tale of Beowulf, with the monster Grendel transformed into the fierce Wendol, a tribe of cannibalistic Neanderthals who have somehow survived long past their time. Despite the fact that Banderas is the title character and credited as the star, he is not the hero here at all. The band of 13 is led by the huge and intimidating Buliwyf (read Beowulf), a hero among his people who must battle both the Wendol and their deadly "mother." Alexander Gudonov lookalike Vladimir Kulich is the hero of this film, and delivers a strong, amazing performance. Banderas spends much of the film bumbling, stumbling, screwing up and trying to keep up with the Vikings, who look upon him with contempt but finally, perhaps grudgingly, accept him.

Okay, so it's not entirely historically accurate and suffers from production problems and an occasional overdose of testosterone, but it's not a bad movie by any means. The casting is great, with standout performances by the aforementioned Kulich as well as Dennis Storhoi as Herger, Banderas's translator and only friend; the handsome Scottish actor Tony Curran (in an unlikely kilt, but who cares?!?!) as the Celt Weath and the woefully underrated Richard Bremmer as the intimidating tattooed redheaded (and damn sexy!) Skeld. The film was worth watching for these three men alone, but then, I am female and perhaps a bit prejudiced in my opinions. These guys are HOT! But, I digress...

Beautiful scenery, tense and bloody battles and a claustrophobic climax in a bone strewn cave lift this movie well above average. There's something for everyone here; fans of horror, fans of action, fans of classic literature should all find something to enjoy about this film. It may not be the best film ever made, but its still one of my very favorites.
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Scandinavian myths and mysteries, brought in a very decent way.
Philip Van der Veken6 April 2005
I guess every region has its own legends and saga's, but I've always found the Scandinavian legends about trolls, monsters and ghosts even more intriguing and interesting as ours. It's no wonder that these people have created these legends once. If you've been there and if you've seen the impressive nature with its immense forests and lakes, the fact that the sun never rises in winter and stays 24 hours a day in summer... makes it easy to understand why this is the land of such creatures.

The movie tells the story of an Arab courtier / diplomat who was sent to the barbaric North as a punishment for falling in love with the wrong woman. In AD 922, this could be seen as an execution, because there was no way he would return (it's the same reason why the Catholic Church sent people who had committed awful sins, as pilgrims from our region to Santiago De Compostella in Spain). When they are about to get robbed and killed somewhere in the fields, they manage to escape and accidentally stumble upon a group of Vikings, which saves their lives, because the Barbarians are terrified of these vicious warriors from the North. They soon get befriended and are able to stay with the Vikings, when a young boy, a messenger from the North, comes to the Vikings to ask for help. In their home country many people die because of "an evil whose name should not be pronounced". They consult an oracle who tells them that they should send 13 warriors, but that one of them shouldn't be a Viking. The Arab, however not believing that these mythical creatures from the forests really exist, joins them in their battle against the Wendol...

Normally I'm not too much of a fan of Antonio Banderas' work, but this time I really liked him as the Arab with the impressive name of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad (I guess you better don't try to say that 10 times in a row). The other actors all did a very good job as well, even though I have to admit that I've never heard of most of them before.

The story is nice and well written, the way it was all shot is done properly and overall I must say that I really enjoyed watching this movie. I'm sure that many will not agree, but personally I liked it more than the "The Lord of the Rings" movies. I like legends and mystery in movies and this movie gave me both. I give it a 7.5/10.
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From then to now this is what I think.
tarra_lyn158 February 2006
From the first time I've seen this movie to this day, I just love the way this movie was filmed. I like how it used the vikings and one of their superstitions! It added a humor in with all the violence that had gone on. There was a wish to stop the "monsters" and protect the brethren. I loved the prayer that was said when the Princess was burned with the father at the beginning of the movie, and when they remaining Warriors at the end of the movie. When The movie began I thought it was going to be boring, but as it went on it got better and more enjoyable. I found the humor amusing just by the way it was put in. For Example: the vikings laughing and barking at his horse, because it was smaller than theirs. Slowly I stated to understand the plot and the point of the movie and just found it all interesting and great to watch.All around it was interesting to watch and see what people believe the Vikings did for one another.
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13th warrior was a good movie overall
emoxbabiix12 April 2009
I'm writing a review for 13th warrior. The actors were very good, they acted hard and tough. The setting was very realistic and matched the movie very well. The clothes they wore were very old fashion and great for this movie. They fit in very well. The dialogue was very good, and you couldn't tell they weren't from that time period. The movie wasn't my taste, but it was still a good movie for people that like those kinds of movies. I would recommend it to friends or somebody that is working of stuff Beowulf. 13th warrior is similar to Beowulf, because there are big monsters destroying both of their villages, and wrecking their lives. This movie represents Grendel and the dragon from Beowulf. The cannibal bear people would kill everybody and then eat them alive just like Grendel. The dragon is represented by warriors descending from the mountain with torches. These interpretations are very unique.
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Swallowed by its charm
SpookyDuke17 November 2006
I have a strange feeling that the authors wanted to make a small, average movie, with no big expectations, never-mind Michael Crichton's part in it. To our great joy they failed! The film is fantastic in many ways and I think I can draw a quality parallel with another "small" movie - Mothman prophecies. To me both movies are now of a rare kind - mesmerizing, strangely unique, hypnotic. For no matter how many times they put it on some TV program I always stay there being swallowed by its charm. I mean - isn't it strange that Antonio Banderas, who in my opinion ruined a promising career after a splendid international start (Mambo Kings) raises high with his Arab part. Don't you agree it took guts and charisma to stand above all those never-before-in-film perfect and powerful Vikings? Just like Richard Gere "dancing" on an equal footing with an acting greatness of Laura Linney in the Mothman. And what about the scenery, the photography, the middle ages colours and heroic costumes, what about the extras' faces, battles on a Gladiator or LOTR levels, .... amazing. Yes, this is one of those small, but big big movies, made with heart, strength and honour. And vision.
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Among my all-time favorites
jfelbeck12 March 2012
I have as much esteem for The 13th Warrior as I do Saving Private Ryan. Both are among my all-time favorite films.

I recently bought it on iTunes and saw it again, and was again incredibly impressed. There are a number of things about this film that just resonate with me - much of which I can't explain. To me, it strikes a very deep chord relating to courage, honor, faith and camaraderie.

Clearly, this film cannot resonate in such a way with everyone, but it did for me. It's definitely a "guys film". My wife has zero interest in movies like this, but that's cool. The film has a substantial "creepy factor", but it's pivotal to the storyline - and setting up the backdrop of fear and uncertainty.

Being based on an excellent novel by Michael Crichton, the storyline is very gripping. The acting, directing and camera work are also excellent across the board.
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Inspiring and entertaining
Robin28 September 2008
A lot of people slate this movie for its lack of plot, its supposedly weak story line and apparently poor acting and minimalistic scenes. I would like to remind those people that 13th Warrior is set in a place where expansive scenarios don't just appear and landscapes are not necessary when the movie is based around such a small area. The acting was exactly as I imagine it would be if the characters in the film were real people and the events that took place were real. Every one of the characters in the film seemed on cue in my opinion - which is obviously what these reviews represent - my opinions. And in my opinion, you cannot fault the acting. As for plot... The 13th Warrior is a superb fest of testosterone, larger than life characters and a simple course of events as seen from an outsider. There is no need for complex or boring plots and stories. The film isn't meant to satisfy only those who want such complexities; the same people who would discard any fantasy movie as being too "unreal". The 13th Warrior delivers. The inspiration I receive every time I watch this film - and I believe it is about once a month that I put it on again - is staggering. I love it entirely and cannot find a single reason to fault it - other than it is too short.

If you can suspend your belief's and allow yourself to just absorb an action fantasy film, this should delight. If it doesn't, then I pity you.
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Keeps getting better with each viewing
severin7229 December 2006
This film makes one wonder what would have happened if, after the superb understated little gem that was "Nomads" Mctiernan had made something other than "Die Hard". Apparently assorted screenplays for an adaptation of Michael Crichton's pseudo-historical novel "Eaters of the Dead" had been knocking around Hollywood for years before Crichton's name become forever associated with "Jurassic Park". At that point the smell of money began to emanate from the project and so, away we went. This could very easily have been awful. That it is actually an emotionally and structurally complete and satisfying film is, in no small part, due to its respectful and level-headed treatment of two disparate and under-explored cultures, both foreign to western audiences namely Umayad Arab and Viking. Anonio Banderas is as good as he has ever been as Ibn Fahdlan, an unwilling ambassador to the Norsemen who finds himself part of a band of unusually believable heroes defending a crumbling Scandanavian kingdom against a possibly supernatural menace. The casting of (to Americans at least) unknown European actors as the viking warriors is key to making them seem to be so real and thus to committing the audience to their fate. Czech actor Vladimir Kulich as leader Buliwyf is a dominating presence and equal credit goes to the Norwegian Dennis Storhoi as the charmingly phlegmatic Herger the Joyous. Accepting that, at some level, this is "The Seven Samuraii" with longboats this is an original and entertaining experience. McTiernan, making intelligent use of night and a rain machine, films some of the better battle sequences in recent memory. He also presides over the most thoughtful (if not totally plausible) handling of different languages that I can recall seeing. It's sort of the next logical step from his transitioning from Russian to English on board the Red October. An interesting tale in a gorgeous and well thought-out historical context. Entertaining without being mindless. In other words, a rarity.
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A few comments (long)
bdiebold26 September 2002
I feel the need to comment to a few of the reviews I read from the first page, which I must say were totally off-base.

A few notes, at random, and in no particular order.

Several reviewers are evidently confused about the relationship of the movie to a textual source. Specifically, they don't get the point, because they misunderstand what it's trying to do. The movie is based on the novel "Eaters of the Dead", by Michael Crichton. This novel is a fictionalized history, written in the form of an epic translation (which it isn't), and recounts what happens when a group of Norsemen, accompanied by an Arab observer end up at war with a remnant population of Neandertals. Yes, Neandertals. It's not completely ridiculous, though the most recent evidence for neandertals that I know of (I'm an archaeologist) in northern Europe is about 25k before present. It didn't happen -- it's just Crichton's device, and it's a fun one. Neandertals are very close to modern people, but not the same. They are in some sense Other, and to xenophobes like medieval Norse they must have seemed, well, something like Grendel is discribed in Beowulf. When Crichton wrote this, originally in the 1970s, even less was known of Neandertals than now, thus the brutish characterization, exaggerated a bit by the movie.

Once this background is adequately understood, several criticisms should disappear:

A. One reviewer complains that the movie isn't faithful enough to the original text, apparently believing in this case the text written by Ahmed ibn-Fahlan, and published a few years ago. This reviewer appears unaware that this is a literary conceit on the part of the actual author, Michael Crichton.

B. Meanwhile, a second reviewer complains that the movie is insufficiently close to the Beowulf myth. As implied by the above, this criticism goes nowhere, because it is not a simple retelling of Beowulf. "Eaters of the Dead" is Crichton's effort to fictionally historicize Beowulf by placing it in the context of a struggle of Norse against a remnant population of neandertals. "The 13th Warrior" is a pretty accurate retelling of the encounter as envisioned by Crichton, and its relationship to Beowulf is as tangential as Crichton's.

C. A review complains about the ragged mobs of bad guys, clad in bear skins for no good reason. The reason is that there is good evidence to suppose Neandertals had a ritual life oriented in some way around cave bears. They might be ragged mobs because the book, and movie, are emphasizing their primitiveness, relative to the modern humans they are fighting. I had more difficulty with Neandertal cavalry, but there isn't any particular reason to believe a remnant population of Neandertals couldn't observe the use of domesticated horses, steal some, and figure it out from there.

D. I didn't think that was the lamest love interest subplot ever by far. First, the woman was gorgeous, so it can't be a waste. (heh, okay) Second, it underscores the relatively casual attitude of the norse toward sex, especially as initiated by women. This is obviously not a universal trait in medieval western cultures, and is a nice historical touch. It would have been sappier if he'd stayed or she'd followed, but neither happens. It's a moment of comfort and connection in a hopeless situation, and works well in that context.

E. We have no idea how a complex Neandertal society might work -- there's no evidence to suggest they might ever have had one. For them to coalesce briefly around a few charismatic leaders, and disperse when those leaders die, is no stretch at all. In fact, it's the most likely scenario. I'm not that'd happen in the middle of a battle, but maybe it would. Who knows? After all, if they had a structured society that *didn't* depend on the presence of charismatic leaders, they'd be more visible in the archaeological record, and might have been more of a threat. It'd be a different situation, certainly. Anyway, it's Crichton's story and it works.

I have no particular rebuttal to those who didn't like the characters or the acting or whatever, except to say I think they're dead wrong. And the reviewer suggesting this as MST2K material ... well...evidently doesn't know much about 13th Warrior OR MST2K. (Trying to be nice here). Hint: MST2K makes fun of *bad* movies, not good ones. I love the characters and thought the chemistry was terrific. Visually, it's stunning.

The movie just works great on a lot of levels. It's just a quietly great movie. Certainly on my top 10 list, and probably top 5. A lot of my friends avoided it in the theater, but when I show them the video, I haven't seen anyone not like it. I think it will have a solid second life. It should.

(Apologies for length)
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A rare but good Viking movie.
CharltonBoy6 May 2002
I was thinking while watching this movie, why are there hardly any viking movies made? There is a good recipe for an action movie with Vikings what with the fighting,raping and pilliging and the 13th Warrior is a good action movie, although the Vikings are the good guys in this. Antonio Banderes plays an arab who is picked to fight as a warrior against an unknown race of people who attacked a village of Vikings. This has the feel of the Seventh Samarai of the Magnifiscent Seven ,the few oppressed against the many. While this film has nothing it it to make it a brilliant film it is very watchable and i would advise you to watch this if you are into war/action/adventure movies. 7 out of 10.
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One of the most all-around entertaining movies ever made!
boochild200122 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I can't count the number of times my family and I have enjoyed this movie. I only regret that we didn't get to experience it at the theatre. Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL settings and sets, with wonderful work done by the costumers and make-up artists. The production designer, the cinematographers, everybody worked HARD to make this a visually stunning movie, and it shows. What a joy to be able to say that the acting and directing strove to meet the same standards, and succeeded! All of this is topped off with an intriguing and thought provoking story that is scripted to be humorous, informative and very engaging. What a wonderful way to peek in to other cultures and world history. We've used this movie as a jumping-off point for a wide range of discussions and further study. The fact that this is the story of Beowulf adds to the value, as it will entice almost anyone into wanting to pick that worthy tome up again! There are a few bloody battle scenes and one rather nasty scene leading up to the battles, but none of it is gratuitous. I recommend this movie to everyone, especially those families that watch movies together.
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an excellent movie
todd2u6 August 2000
The 13th Warrior is an excellent movie. The scenery is beautiful, and so was the cinematography. The music was great. The acting and directing was excellent. I have no clue why the critics gave this movie such bad reviews. I enjoyed this movie a lot. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good action movie w/ lots of gore.
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Severelly underrated masterpiece
Optimus_4 June 2012
OK, let's get things straight: The 13th Warrior isn't a masterpiece in the sense we use for "Citizen Kane", for example. As some have already pointed out, the plot is quite thin (even if you have to be totally illiterate in order not to figure out this wants to be a re-interpretation of Beowulf) and has some bad inconsistencies. Of course there's no way an Arab (speaking a semitic language) would learn old Norse (indo-european language) in a few weeks by just listening etc etc etc.

HOWEVER, this isn't what this movie is about. The 13th Warrior is just a vehicle made to get the modern-day man in touch with the "kill or be killed", "stand your ground or everyone in your village dies" spirit. I mean, if the scene where Buliwyf barely drags his feet (and his sword) to stand in the way of the incoming onslaught of the primitive's cavalry charge doesn't fill you with adrenaline (and with the sudden urge to grab a damn spear or something) it means that you're either a old woman or... (well, let's not go there, you know what I mean :D )

On top of that, I'm willing to bet that many of the bad reviews are actually caused by the very positive depiction that this film gives to Arabs. Add positive view on Arabs to Norse mythology and you easily can figure out why some critics will rate this movie as complete crap. Well, it isn't.

Someone wrote here (with acted disgust) that this is a movie for men who like to bang their chest with their fists (gorilla style). Well, I ask you: should we completely forget what we're actually made of? :D
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Reasons to watch The Thirteenth Warrior
speedo5816 May 2008
It is so very rare in film or stage to have the serendipity of a very fine actor physically, vocally, and energetically, melded with the character he is depicting to become one of the few who elevate acting into something mystical and deeply memorable. It could be compared to the philosophy at the heart of the movie, "Camelot": for one brief shining moment an apex is attained. Dennis Stohoi's Herger the Joyous in "The Thirteenth Warrior" accomplished that.

It is also a travesty that such a performance is not given its full recognition and stature in the world of film-making. I would like to see it listed as one of the great performances of all time. Or at least to have a 10th Anniversary extended DVD.

There are ten reasons to watch this film:

1. Dennis Storhoi 2. Dennis Storhoi 3. Dennis Storhoi 4. Dennis Storhoi 5. Dennis Storhoi 6. Dennis Storhoi 7. Dennis Storhoi 8. Dennis Storhoi 9. Dennis Storhoi 10. Dennis Storhoi

In my opinion, his "Herger the Joyous" is one of the luminous portrayals in film, and certainly my all time favorite.

Dennis Storhoi's Storhoi Norwegian official site is:
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WOO-HOO!! Viking-Violence!!!
Coventry20 January 2004
I'm really wondering why there aren't making more movies like this! What is in more interesting than the history of the Scandinavian countries? What is more fascinating than the tales of Northern myths and their legendary Gods?? Well, in my personal opinion, nothing is and that's why I was so enthusiast when I first heard about this Thirteenth Warrior being released! And even though I'll admit the film is flawed on several levels, I enjoyed it very much and I'd like to encourage as much people as possible to find out more about the North men and their intriguing history. Co-producer Michael Crichton who also wrote the screenplay bases the 13th Warrior on his own `Eaters of the Dead' novel. It's a tale of a banished Arab man who joins twelve North men on a conquest against an ancient form of evil. He learns their language and becomes a warrior during the journey, he fights along against the `Wendol'…These are giant bear-like men who're extremely violent and savage. The good thing about The 13th Warriors is that it contains multiple impressive battle sequences and extremely interesting characters. For example the leader of the North men - Buliwyf - who's a truly overwhelming personality. The costumes and geographical settings are breath taking and perhaps even the most succeeded aspects in the entire production. And, of course, you can't tell a Viking tale without the use of explicit violence…the battles are pretty gruesome and the shed of blood is enormous. I didn't have a problem with that, though. I even love it but it might be something to keep under consideration when you have a weak stomach and you're planning to watch this film. Yet, it's only fair that I name a few of them negative elements The 13th Warrior suffers from. The largest parts of the script – and especially the dialogues – are very poorly written. The film also desperately tries to insert humor that is painfully unfunny and even embarrassing at times. Even the entire last battle scene may have been skipped since it's too heroic and a bit too much. Terrifically shot, though. Antonio Banderas will never be a class-A actor, neither…luckily for him, the accent works out well enough in stories like this. Nonetheless, The 13th Warrior is good entertainment and the background of it is food for education! Vikings rule!!
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Personal Review
delereum28 December 2003
i have read the book and also seen the theatrical movie. hopefully this makes me more of an objective critic. through following this story there are two points i wish to address, first being the authenticity of the story.

from what i have read. the movie does justice to the documentation provided by the book. there are of course items in the book which cannot be properly illustrated by the film only because much of what occurs is due to the readers fantasy, i have not known any director to be able to illustrate this without some variants. it even seems improbable that a director could make it echo that of your specific account, in reading the subject.

I think that this theatrical attempt is one of the best, true to text efforts that you will find. the movie provides a vehicle to learn or experience the characters in a different manner than reading about the events, which from the account of the narrator are somewhat bland and overly factual.

this is a great effort to stay true to the story provided and i personally find that the strange connection and distance that you encounter with the main characters convey the true meaning of what it would be like to experience an event like this - that is without the language and social skills of the environment one is thrust into.

so on the whole i think that this is a respectable attempt to recreate the story as documented, without taking too much license at "artistic additions" in the film version. i find that you become attached to the characters even without knowing their names or understanding them on a "language" scale. this story is truly about a foreign interaction and a textbook style accounting of the events that haunted the main character even after the experience.

excellent for those looking for a real story and not just special effects to entertain.
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