6.5/10
5,591
49 user 40 critic

The Reckoning (2002)

R | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 4 June 2004 (UK)
A priest on the lam takes up with a traveling band of actors, who then discover a murder has occurred and try to solve it by recreating the crime in a play.

Director:

Paul McGuigan

Writers:

Barry Unsworth (novel), Mark Mills (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Bettany ... Nicholas
Marián Aguilera ... Nicholas' Lover
Trevor Steedman Trevor Steedman ... Jealous Husband
Simon McBurney ... Stephen
Tom Hardy ... Straw
Brian Cox ... Tobias
Willem Dafoe ... Martin
Gina McKee ... Sarah
Stuart Wells ... Springer (as George Wells)
Vincent Cassel ... Lord De Guise
Elvira Mínguez ... Martha
Richard Durden ... Town Justice
Ewen Bremner ... Simon Damian
Mark Benton ... Sheriff
Hamish McColl Hamish McColl ... Innkeeper
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Storyline

In 14th-century England, a young monk breaks his vow of chastity and flees the wrath of his bishop and fellow monks. A fugitive priest, he then witnesses the murder of a traveling performer--and subsequently, the mourning of actor by his fellow troupe members. He eventually becomes initiated into the troupe as a player, replacing the murdered man. They travel from town to town performing their standard morality play. They arrive in a town where a boy has been killed and a young deaf-mute girl has been imprisoned for the crime--sentenced to death for witchcraft and murder. Discarding the expected bible stories, the actors stage a performance based on the crime. Through the performance of the play, they discover that the townspeople know the young woman did not, in fact, commit the murder. The stage becomes a place where vital human truth is told. Thus, simultaneously, the fugitive priest comes to terms with his own crime and makes a powerful sacrifice, thereby redeeming himself. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The truth shall come to light

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Spain

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

4 June 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Morality Play See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,044, 7 March 2004

Gross USA:

$257,252

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,152,528
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Largely shot in a disused gold mine in Spain. See more »

Goofs

The climactic cathedral showdown between Lord De Guise and Nicholas has many discontinuities and a moment where De Guise speaks when his mouth is shut. This is a deliberate artistic styling to make the scene disturbing and disorienting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nicholas: Seek those things that are above, not those things that are upon the earth.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
well acted medieval mystery, losing interest towards the end
3 December 2004 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

Director Paul McGuigan gathers a team of excellent actors in this medieval mystery drama. This is not an easy genre, although there are excellent books to start from and at least one film to remember, 'The Name of the Rose' that was a great success a couple of decades ago. In 'Reckoning' the staging of the action is very good, the characters are strong and credible, and the atmosphere of the time - 14th century England - makes it to the screen. The story of an ex-priest joining a group of actors who get involved in a crime and wrong justice story in a village they perform is quite interesting, at least at the beginning. Paul Bettamy and William Defoe give good performances, and the rest of the team is not far behind. The problem is with the story - it starts well leading to a theater in movie scene which is the key of the whole movie. The mistake in the script is that this scene comes too early, and the rest of the story is too easy to predict and not interesting enough. I lost interest in the second half, and it looked like the director also ran out of ideas, most of the best visuals are in the first half, the second just repeats what we saw in the first and in many other films. Overall a movie above average, 7 out of 10 on my personal scale.


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