Nomad: The Warrior (2005) Poster

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Good historical war film
RedKnight073 October 2007
If you've seen all the Hollywood blockbuster war films and are looking for more, this is an interesting period film with loving care put into costumes and sets. True, it didn't have a huge budget, but they clearly put a lot of time into it. If you only want blockbusters, you can skip this film. But if you want to see some history (and learn a little, too, if you're not Khazakh), then it's worth watching. It might be noted that Mansur appears to be an important historical figure for Khazakh - and a lot of their national agencies are listed in the credits. This makes it historical in more than one way - such a film probably wouldn't have been possible during the days of the USSR.
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Scenery/Action Over Character ...A Shame
fwomp29 January 2008
Certainly NOMAD has some of the best horse riding scenes, swordplay, and scrumptious landscape cinematography you'll likely see, but this isn't what makes a film good. It helps but the story has to shine through on top of these things. And that's where Nomad wanders.

The story is stilted, giving it a sense that it was thrown together simply to make a "cool" movie that "looks" great. Not to mention that many of the main characters are not from the region in which this story takes place (and it's blatantly obvious with names like Lee and Hernandez). If movie makers want to engross us in a culture like the Jugars and the Kazaks, they damn well better use actors/actresses that look the part.

Warring tribes, a prophecy, brotherly love and respect, a love interest that separates our "heroes", are all touched on but with so little impact and screen time that most viewers will brush them aside in favor of the next battle sequence, the next action horse scene, or the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

It is worth mentioning that there were some significant changes made to Nomad during its filming, specifically the director and cinematographer. Ivan Passer (director) was replaced by Sergei Bodrov, and Ueli Steiger (cinematographer) was replaced by Dan Laustsen. In one respect, Laustsen seems to have the better eye since his visions of the lands made the final cut that we see here. Definitely a good thing. However, the changing over to Bodrov as director may not have been the wisest choice. From what I'm seeing here, the focus is on the battles and not the people, which I sense comes from Bodrov's eyes and not Passer's. A true travesty.

The most shameful aspect is that this could've been a really fantastic film, with both character and action focuses. Unfortunately, the higher-ups apparently decided that action was what was needed and took the cheap (intellectually speaking) way out.

Even though I can't give this film a positive rating, it is worth watching simply for the amazing cinematography work. But that's all.
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Beautiful photography, sweet action, and it's in English!
Deepfried-Egg17 March 2007
Other reviewers before me saw this in Kazak language with English subtitles. My review is for the English version which was released in 40 US theaters this weekend. Only the greetings were in the Kazak language. Being a fan of Hong Kong flicks, I've seen my fair share of bad dubbing, and I could not tell that this was dubbed, period! Maybe it wasn't as most of the main actors are American. It was a wonderfully filmed historical epic that contains some minor ripoffs from Return to Snowy River, Gladiator and Musa(2001), but those scenes worked very well. If you're a fan of warriors on horseback this is definitely a must see for you. To be honest I wasn't expecting it to be so good, and the only reason I drove out of my way to see it was because Mark Dacascos was in it. He plays a menacing warrior and was definitely cast well as his character! Way to go Mark! The girls in this flick are pretty and their acting is well done! This film is definitely soft on the eyes and full of epic eye candy. They spent the 40 million production dollars well. The actors' performances were believable even the unknowns. My only complaint with this film is the 2 main heroes. You could tell they'd been trained well with sword fighting as I'm sure Jason Scott Lee and Mark helped out with that. But I really didn't think the two main heroes were cast well as Kazaks seeing how most everyone else in the film at least looked half Oriental including the Kazaks. Aside from that, I have no complaints and only praise for this foul-language-free and nudity-free sweeping historical epic shot on location which is a definite plus in my book!
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A visually spectacular, but far from original epic
Max_cinefilo8928 January 2007
Nomad is no different from American epics. Had the spoken language been English instead of Kazakh, it would have been impossible to distinguish this film from movies like Gladiator, Braveheart or Troy. It's just the latest entry in an overused genre. Still, I enjoyed watching Nomad. It entertained me for two hours even if I knew where the story was headed to, and that's all I demanded from it.

Like so many other similar flicks, Nomad deals with a tyrant, the people he's been tormenting for years, and a "chosen one" who will eventually dethrone him. When he first hears of this, the cruel dictator orders that this child be found and immediately killed. Naturally, the attempt fails, and the boy is raised in a remote village by an old, wise father figure, a character clearly based on the Merlin/Gandalf/Obi-Wan Kenobi blueprint. As the years pass, our hero, named Mansur (Kuno Becker), becomes a skilled warrior, perfectly capable of leading his rebellious countrymen in battle against the evil monarch. While preparing for the conflict, Mansur also has to deal with his feelings for a girl and the effects said romance is having on his lifelong friendship with Erali (Jay Hernandez), a man willing to do anything for his country and, most importantly, his leader and best friend.

The themes explored in epics are generally love, loyalty and freedom, and Nomad covers all of them them in a competent but predictable way: anyone who's ever seen this kind of movie will have no trouble figuring out how the various subplots, not to mention the big picture in itself, are going to end. But while it isn't exactly fresh, Nomad is a respectable film, its main quality lying in the visuals: the battle scenes are as great and gorgeous as in a Ridley Scott film, and the same should be said of the numerous shots concerning the eye-popping landscapes. In fact, with so much beautiful imagery (although a bit more violent than the average Hollywood blockbuster), it's a bit weird not to find the Blade Runner director's name among the executive producers, which do however include Milos Forman (the man behind the fabulous Amadeus).

So, as usual, style prevails over content, but when it looks so good, why complain? Nomad is a piece of pure, simple, unadulterated fun; that's why I liked it, and the reason genre fans should embrace it as well.

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A very enjoyable action/history movie.
stormruston17 November 2007
The reason I decided to rent this movie was because Mark Dacascos was in this feature. It was not his worse role by any means but he was only a Minor character, a slight disappointment for me on a personal level but really it only added to the movie as he was key in character development for the main cast.

So on to the movie.

The action was hit and miss. Some was absolutely wonderful, hold your breath type stuff,that generally was the one on one battles, some looked a bit weak. That said, this movie is no 300, relying strictly on action sequences to carry it. It had a great story to carry it along, some fantastic acting and beautiful sets. All in all a very watchable movie if you put aside the fact most of the characters where not of the ethnic background they represented. I had no problem putting that aside and just enjoying a great action/history flick for what it is: entertainment.
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Review on Kazak version of "Nomad"
Janatay31 March 2006
Overall, the movie is not bad, but, in my opinion, it could have been better.

I don't think that this movie truly exposes the theme of Kazak nomads and their 300-year struggle against Jongar (Oirat) aggressors. I'm quite disappointed here.

But for non-Kazaks, the movie can make a whole different impression. They may like it a lot, because of the 'freshness' of Central-Asian nomadic theme in the international cinema.

Let's wait for the American (international) version of the movie. I believe it will be in some ways different from the Kazak version.

P.S. For those in Kazakstan, I recommend to watch old Kazak-Soviet movies like "Batyr Bayan", "Jawshy" (Gonets), and "Qyz Jibek". These are one of the few movies that truly show the essence of Kazak nomadism and Kazak-Jongar wars.
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Very disappointing
justdim6 October 2008
I am a huge fan of warrior movies. Some of my favorites are Braveheart, Troy, The last samurai and Gladiator. And after watching Mongol, which is absolutely awesome, and which i strongly recommend, i had high expectations from a Sergei Bodrov movie. But it was terrible, awful, even pathetic is not a strong word in this case. The whole movie i was waiting for something exciting to happen, but it didn't, then i was at least expecting a big epic battle at the end, but even that was a huge disappointment, just some random running around, waving with the swords... There are so many good warrior movies, this one is not one of them.
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Not a terrible "epic" style movie.
Zor Prime3 August 2007
I would argue that there weren't many genuinely original concepts, other than simply shedding some light on Kazakh history. Basically a live action, feel-good version of the Prince of Egypt cartoon, trading Egyptians and Hebrews for nomadic Muslims. But that being said, it was decent and crisp.

Filming locations seemed really great, like LOTR - The Two Towers without any need for CGI! As for rating/violence, it could have almost been PG13 in the US, but I liked this fact. It was a clean-ish film that likens back to the spaghetti western. No over-the-top violence, sex, swearing, or embellishing for the sake of a Hollywood audience. While this generally comes off slightly cartoonish, it was refreshing.

As for the language, I would swear that it seemed to be filmed in English and dubbed in Kazakh. In fact, I don't usually mind a dubbed movie (especially Spanish or Japanese for some reason), but half-way through this film, I realized there was an English audio track and switched it over, and I was more engaged.

The horse work was pretty amazing, I thought.

Again, overall, this film seemed to have all the filming quality of an expensive Hollywood movie, but brought a niceness that's less common in contemporary film (Note: guaranteed NOT to hold the attention of most American youth).
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Adil Seil17 July 2005
Could be more better. Movie was presented special to President's Nazarbaev birthday. Also there is some historical mistakes. Very bad that Nomad not a real Kazak movie. Everything id foreign except some money, couple of actors and filmed places. I think it wasn't necessary to put Nazarbaev's words at the end of the movie. It looks like he did it or he is great leader of the past. Only Ablay Khan's words enough. Basically film made about Jungars and their intervention to Kazak land. I have no idea why it was filmed very long time.Anyway i suggest to view this movie. I hope it's not last historical movie which was filmed in Kazakhstan.
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the movie is GREAT!!!!
asem a11 November 2005
I was waiting for the premier of the NOmad from the beginning, I watched it today and I'm gonna go to the cinema again to watch it again :) actually one minus is that Kuna Bekker and Jay are not look like real kazaks, but they played their roles great!!!! Espessially I liked the way they speak, I mean the language, the words are beautiful. I hope the movie will succeed abroad and I hope there will be many films about our history, cause its so big and interesting!!! I'm so proud of the subject of the movie, it has a very wide meaning. and the actors Ayana Yesmagambetova,Tungushpay Jamankulov, Doskhan Zholzhaksynov,Erik Zholzhaksynov, Mark Dacascos,Archie Kao,Jason Scott Lee they all were great!!!
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I didn't know there was an English version
jcradio25 August 2007
I saw this in passing at the video store. It caught my eye, and after reading the summary I was hooked. I got it home, and into the DVD player and realized it was subtitled. Dread initially came over me, as I generally do not like subtitled movies. However, this is one of the few exceptions. The movie was fantastic, and after watching it in the original language with English subtitles, I don't think I could ever watch a dubbed version. It was well acted, action packed, and pleasantly surprising. I was very impressed with Kuno Becker, Jay Hernandez, and Jason Scott Lee in this foreign language film. If you are interested in a Genghis Kahn like film, I highly recommend.
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According to the DVD case, "One Enormous Action Sequence After Another"
Rorschach024 September 2007
Yeah, right.

I spent the first hour waiting patiently for the movie to take off. It was horribly boring, and consisted mostly of people riding randomly around the hills with no apparent direction. Then the hero comes into the picture. Born as an Asian, but when he grew up, he became white. Obviously white. He wasn't even close to passing for Asian. He looked like Justin Timberlake. It was extremely distracting, and the story did nothing to help the cause. Pointless battle sequences and lame dialogue. It's an hour and forty five minutes long, and by the end I was trying to eat my own face. I watched this because people at the video store where I work are always asking me if this movie is any good. Now I have an answer. It goes something like this: ahem. "NO! GOOD GOD NO! IT'S HORRIBLE! DON'T DO THIS TO YOURSELF! I would recommend another movie, perhaps one that's entertaining."
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Disappointing. Why Kazakh people are make themselves a joke?
chingiz1981-16 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Disappointing film. Performance of actors is weak. Sets are fine, could have been better. The story is also weak. Battle sequences are awful. Sounds and quality of film are trashy. The history of Kazakh people was told very poorly. This film should have included more Kazakh actors, in leading roles. And also should have been in Kazakh language. Kuno Bekker and Jay Hernandez are Hispanic origins. I don't get it. Since when Hispanic people play Turkic-Mongolian people. This film is shame of Kazakh cinema. Rustam Ibragimbekov disappointed me. He is one of the finest filmmakers in the world. Czekh director is excused, since he is not nomadic origin, he cannot know true spirit and history of nomads.
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Not one of the greats but a delightful movie
rlange-325 August 2007
The setting, cinematography, and historical period really are unique to movies that I have seen, and while not on a "cast of thousands" scope, sufficiently epic to provide a thoroughly entertaining film. One can quibble with the acting, and the slightly less than superlative battle scenes but this is a war movie worthy of an entertaining and at least moderately educational evening.

I hope we see a lot more movies focusing on the less common historical periods and places. It is better to build on a movie like this and seek improvement than to tear it down over relatively minor drawbacks. The scenery alone is worth the cost of a rental.
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Aliya Yessimseit28 November 2005
I think that's COOL movie even though most of the actors are foreign. The film shows the world the bravery of our nation, our bat yrs' (heroes)patriotic feelings. It even shows how kind and merciful we are. I liked it very much and recommend it to everyone! our actors' plays are fantastic!!!!! It will break down all the cinema world! But our heroic acts don't end up with this fight. We have A LOT of stories to tell. In the future, i hope, there will be a lot of new films about our history. I really hope for more KAZAKH movies in such a standard and quality!!! My good wishes to Kazakhfilm too, always keep working such way! and the nation will be grateful for you.
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You may watch it but be ready that you wont like it...
Abish Abdeldinov17 October 2006
I would give this movie 5 rather than 3 if it would be at least in time... When i've seen it in first time it was just what you could wait from the work that is based not on the artistic abilities of the directors but on the idealistic or i would rather say idiotic habits of our (Kazakhstan) government... It's a shame, because 'Qazaqfil'm' was been shooting nice movies when it was not honoured by the name of Shaken Aimanov, but it was actually ran by him. The movies like 'Konec Atamana', 'Kyz Zhibek' or even 'Aldar Kose'. But after Mr Aimanov's death the production of quality movies went down almost dramatically in 10 years time there were very few films produced. However, in late 1980s, 'Assa' was shot, it was a film about first organised crime groups in the big country, one year later Mr. Rashid Nugmanov shot another film with the co-staring of the same actor/singer V.Tsoy, at that time he was already a soviet/Russian rock legend, - the movie called 'Igla' (The Needle or something) it was completely new, somebody called that period as resurrection or a new Kazakh movie wave. Unfortunately nowadays we do not have a quality movies, our directors shooting movies on the french and Japanese financial support, and thus movies are not for the public but for the authors professional critics, some of them take a price on international author movie festivals but there a very few of them become a business asset products... And again back to our 'nomads'. Such movies usually unpopular because of vast aspects. The same effects was with Nikita Mikhalkov's 'Sibirski Cyrilnik' about Russian tsars, that was also shot on parities with foreign partners, i think they were french or maybe British. Nobdy liked it, even in Russian public it become as a main topic of a comedians and comedy shows like 'KVN'. IMHO
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want to see it....
movietrail26 March 2006
I visited Kazakhstan briefly in September 2003. On a Sunday afternoon I was taken up to a reservoir high, high above the city of Almaty which is about the only place available for local residents to go for relaxation. It was an unbelievably beautiful location, even though it was an artificial lake. I was shocked to meet another American at the end of this rocky bumpy road in the middle of nowhere; he turned out to be one of the top guys on the production staff and they were filming "Nomad". He told me about the movie and I then realized that the Japanese wrestlers that were on the plane on the way over were brought in to be extras! I was expecting some huge blockbuster production and kept looking for it in local movie guides. I was looking up Jason Scott Lee and coincidentally found this page and realized the movie was long out and apparently a vanity project for the Kazakhstani president... it probably never made the screens here in Japan. Too bad as I am a great JSL fan. I cannot comment on the film, but I do know from what I saw in KZ that the backdrop must be spectacular.
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Why foreigners??????
aidana19849 December 2006
"I think it wasn't necessary to put Nazarbaev's words at the end of the movie. It looks like he did it or he is great leader of the past. "

Couldn't agree more on this.

My opinion on the movie itself: Regardless all the negative feedbacks, movie is not bad, BUT, the fact that leading roles were played by foreigner is SO disappointing. It's like they couldn't find good kazakh actors.How is it supposed to increase patriotic feelings among people of kazakhstan?? my friends refused to watch this movie due to this fact. Quality of the movie is very good. Music is startling(and some parts of it sounded so familiar). Some people may like, but it in no way made me feel proud for the movie.

By the way if you'd like to download the movie in Russian go to they have two versions of the movie, the one that's DVDrip is of good quality.
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Look under 'N' in the second row, bottom shelf.
dimagic11 May 2008
Pathetic. This is what happens when director comes to work just because someone is paying him to.

The intentions were good, great locations and settings for a film of epic proportions. But the performance, damn! I swear, in some shots you can see extras on the background staring in the camera, or looking at the actors because no one told them what they should do when they hear "Action!". The battle scenes are so bad you wonder - are these people for real? They could've done more damage just by hugging each other. In the slow-mo scenes you can see people on battle field walking around or just standing, waving their hands.

Only action in the foreground is somehow emphasized. But for what? The story is so illogical and discontinuous, it seems like random situations in chronological order, sometimes not even that. The dialogs are dumb, the love plot is more embarrassing and ridiculous than in Hong Kong action movies.

With a budget of 40 million, and you can see every dollar invested on the screen, in best case scenario, the final result of all this enormous effort is a shiny round laser disk in the thin cover placed on the shelf in video store.
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Loved the movie!
altysha7922 September 2006
Despite of all negative reviews I have read vast majority loved the film. It made me proud being a Kazakh. Of course there are lots of historical mistakes but it is a MOVIE after all. It does not have to be historically 100% correct!!!! I cried and although I left Kazkahstan long time ago I am proud to be KAzakh AGAIN!!!! I have seen a bad copy and if it is shown in the UK I will be definitely going to see that and take my husband and friends with me. At last people will know that Kazakhstan is the real country and not just a Ali G's joke (hate that guy(gay???) Can't wait to see American version. I saw it in Russian but wonder how it sounds in English. The main characters are played by Mexicans though but they do look like Kazakhs.
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Great - highly recommend
kamilya13 March 2008
I loved this movie and will watch it again. If you like epic movies, don't miss this one! The acting and directing are excellent. True, it would've been more credible if leading male roles were played by Kazakhs or Asians instead of clearly white- and Latin-looking men. But they did a great job acting (hey, you can't hold someone's appearance against them )) Visually, the movie is very beautiful. Also, amazingly, all battle scenes - including huge masses of people and horses - are live, not comp generated.

The story line: it seems the actual historic events were simplified and more touchy personal lines added (as in Troy) to make it more appealing to general viewing population. Also, I hear English subtitles skipped 2/3 of the actual text and even what remained didn't do justice to the original dialogue, with sucks for those of us who don't understand Kazakh. Still, even with this handicap, I was able to enjoy it immensely.

Overall, it is a very enjoyable, beautiful and gripping film with the double benefit of getting acquainted with a part of the world most of us are not familiar with.
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Fictional movie - funded by Kazakh government to brainwash!
mngl2 January 2018
There are many historical distortions in the movie. Biggest fiction is that Ablai Khan and Galdan never fought each other (Ablai Khan was born in 1711, where Galdan died in 1697). And Zhungars are not conquered by Kazakhs as shown in this movie! During Galdan's rule, Central Asian countries were no match to Zhungars-Mongols (even Khalkhas-Mongols).

The movie, itself is OK to watch. Just remember that it is a historic fiction movie.
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Blockbustering moviefilm
gonza-peralta19 July 2014
This moviefilm of great success, produce by senior producer Azamat Bagatov tell famous story of how Kazakhstan was first nation to be pecked out of Giant Egg by Mighty Hawk Ukhtar and how Kazakhis later achieve domestication of woman.

Kazakhstan current has a very thrive industry of moviefilm production and has prove to world that has all the knowledges and facility need to make a blockbustering. Varied locations, beautiful scenery, and hardest working 7-year-olds in all Central Asia make this possible. And no need specials effects: battle scenes are made crushing real gypsys and Uzbekhis!

Great success!
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Terrible Movie.
bradather29 July 2007
I have seen reviews on here who have compared this movie to other movies like Gladiator and Braveheart. That comparison is completely insane. Nomad is a joke of a movie, and the lead guy Jay Hernandez looks ridiculous. The previews said "Action sequence after action sequence" but after watching for 1hr10mins and seeing only 2 short and boring action scenes, i turned this trash off.

Weinstien CO. purchased this film and had the director add more action and a deeper love story. The love story is lame and the action is even lamer. This movie is a huge dissapointmant.

If you want a foreign movie thats like Gladiator/Braveheart, then get Musa the Warrior. Nomad is crap.
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No differ from Hollywood movies
Gravitino9 October 2006
I liked this movie very much. This movie is very nice, and has no differ from those American movies. Just will remind you, that Mark Dacascos plays. First, I thought, it might be waste of time to watch Kazakh movies, but I see, no, the waste of time is that you don't watch Kazakh movies. However, after this movie, I concluded such. Even most of players are not Kazakh, but a Gaukhar plays as an American actress. I would give her some awards for such a performance. OK, as for movie, the above comment tells everything. If I also tell, then, there is no interest to watch movie. Therefore, I wish you to enjoy this movie as well!!!
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