6.5/10
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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)

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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

Tom Hardy (Straw) and Simon McBurney (Stephen) also appeared in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). See more »

Goofs

The troupe of actors is heading north, as they tell Nicholas at the campfire, but when they come to a collapsed bridge shortly afterwards and debate whether to go west or east along the river, they point to their right as being west, which is the wrong way round. 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

 
Why There Aren't More Films Like this?!
18 February 2004 | by UinatSee all my reviews

The Reckoning really is a medieval thriller. Most of the people you ask what do you expect from a medieval movie will tell you that they'll see a bunch of guys in metal armors with large swords beating the living daylight out of each other. The Reckoning is more like The Name Of The Rose (1986). All the `good' guys aren't goodie little two-shoes and all the bad guys aren't evil, malicious, arrogant royals with black hearts. There are a lot of similarities with In The Name Of The Rose (1986). A young runaway priest meets a group of actors, joins them and they set off for the nearest town. Upon arrival they witness the trial of a deaf-mute woman who supposedly killed a boy in a nearby woods. Driven by guilt (for setting a play with misinterpreted story) actors decide to take the case in their own hands and solve the murder. Cast is very good. Paul Bettany really is a good actor. He's come a long way since A Knight's Tale (2001) and A Beautiful Mind (2001). Willem Defoe is truly magnificent. He's one of those actors that can play any given part and in The Reckoning he plays the leader of the actors, with ideas way ahead of his time. Brian Cox although has little screen time cannot be unnoticed. Gina McKee sucks, and I don't know what is she doing in this movie. Probably the producers wanted a woman character in the story so writers made up Sarah. Blah. Vincent Cassel is excellent as a blue-blooded count. Not much lines dough. I strongly recommend this film, for it is one of the best thrillers that has appeared in a past few years. If you liked In The Name Of The Rose (1986), I think you'll love this film too. And vice versa.


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