A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting everything ablaze, establishing dominance over the planet.


Rob Bowman


Gregg Chabot (story), Kevin Peterka (story) | 3 more credits »
903 ( 824)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Quinn Abercromby
Matthew McConaughey ... Denton Van Zan
Izabella Scorupco ... Alex Jensen
Gerard Butler ... Creedy
Scott Moutter ... Jared Wilke (as Scott James Moutter)
David Kennedy ... Eddie Stax
Alexander Siddig ... Ajay
Ned Dennehy ... Barlow
Rory Keenan ... Devon
Terence Maynard ... Gideon
Doug Cockle ... Goosh
Randall Carlton ... Burke (Tito)
Chris Kelly Chris Kelly ... Mead
Ben Thornton ... Young Quinn
Alice Krige ... Karen Abercromby


In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn Abercromby witnesses the awakening of a hibernating dragon from a centuries-long slumber, the result of a construction dig supervised by his mother and an incident for which Quinn feels partially responsible. Twenty years later, the adult Quinn (Christian Bale) is the fire chief of a refortified castle community, responsible for dousing the blazes lit by the dragon's prodigious number of flame-spewing offspring, airborne juggernauts that have wreaked havoc across the globe, torching civilization and turning humans into an endangered species. Hope arrives in the form of Denton "Dragon Slayer" Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), an American known to be the only man to ever kill one of the dragons, and Alex (Izabella Scorupco), a scientist/pilot who's a member of Van Zan's army, a zealous fighting force that includes a secret weapon: the Archangels, paratroopers using themselves as bait to attract and then dispatch the deadly beasts.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Fight Fire With Fire See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Despite top billing, Matthew McConaughey does not appear until 30 minutes into the film. See more »


In the opening scenes, the small boy appears to be walking in London around the new Underground building site, but clearly in the background two red and white chimneys are visible. These chimneys are located in Ringsend, Dublin (where this scene was filmed), and not London. See more »


[first lines]
Worker #1: Hello, Quinn.
Worker #2: Good morning, Quinn. How's is going mate.
Young Quinn: What's up, guys.
Worker #3: Working the late shift, are ya?
Young Quinn: Ha! Someone's got to clean up after you guys.
See more »


Spoofs The Lion King (1994) See more »


Walk Away
Written by Mad at Gravity and J. Lynn Johnston
Performed by Mad at Gravity
Courtesy of ARTISTDirect Records/BMG
See more »

User Reviews

Commode - o - Dragon
4 September 2020 | by southdavidSee all my reviews

What a cast this films has looking back at it now. Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler, Alice Krige - it's a shame that the film itself is a little underdeveloped to match that star power.

Set in a desolate future, when long-hibernating fire-breathing dragons have been awoken and have all but destroyed all forms of life on the planet. Quinn (Christian Bale) desperately hangs on with a small group of survivors, based at a castle in the North East of England. His hopes of survival seem lost when his vital crop field is discovered and destroyed - but then an American military unit, let by the brutish Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) arrives. But are they saviours, or just another threat?

Director Rob Bowman earned his moment in Hollywood directing and producing episodes of "The X-Files", which got him this film, and then "Elektra" which seems to have consigned him back to the small screen for the rest of his career. It's a bit of a shame, as "Reign of Fire" isn't a bad film -- the visual effects are actually pretty good, for a film that's nearly 20 years old. The performances are pretty good too, particularly from our three leads - in fact it might it's those actors that elevate the film from being little more than a B-movie.

The films just a little off pacing wise and is missing a beat or two of action in the middle. There's a scene involving Bale discovering an egg in the killed Dragon that feels like it was meant to mean more to the plot, but then that doesn't go anywhere and the film doesn't cover off any of the logistical arguments such as where Van Zan's endless fuel supply comes from. Also if you have any understanding of the geography of the UK, some aspects of the film become downright baffling.

If the action was a little better and the plot a little clearer then this might be a class film, but as it is - it's just alright alright alright).

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | UK | Ireland



Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where Heroes Go Down See more »

Filming Locations:

Black Castle, Wicklow, Ireland See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,632,281, 14 July 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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