6.5/10
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49 user 39 critic

The Reckoning (2002)

R | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 4 June 2004 (UK)
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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 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$256,620, 20 June 2004
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

Jared Harris was offered a key role. 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.
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User Reviews

A well told well acted story.
23 November 2004 | by gigabyte-meSee all my reviews

A gem of a film. Artistic without being pretentious, moving without being cliché. Paul Bettany is completely believable as a tormented priest, Willem Dafoe is as always intense and a joy to watch. The movie takes place in the dark ages mostly in a small outpost in the English countryside. A woman is wrongly accused of murder and a traveling troupe of actors, lead by Dafoe, enters the town and becomes involved in clearing her name of the accusation.

I was most impressed with the set they used for the village, it's incredible. The set immerses you in the desperate and dramatic feel of the film properly. The film has an authentic theatrical feel to it. More like it's being acted on stage rather than on location. I recommend this well acted tale.


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