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The Eagle (2011)

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In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.


Kevin Macdonald


Jeremy Brock (screenplay), Rosemary Sutcliff (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Channing Tatum ... Marcus
István Göz István Göz ... Cohort Centurion
Bence Gerö Bence Gerö ... Celt Boy / Young Marcus
Denis O'Hare ... Lutorius
Paul Ritter ... Galba
Zsolt László Zsolt László ... Paulus
Julian Lewis Jones ... Cassius
Aladár Laklóth Aladár Laklóth ... Flavius Aquila
Marcell Miklós Marcell Miklós ... Fort Legionary 1
Bálint Magyar Bálint Magyar ... Fort Legionary 2
Ferenc Pataki Ferenc Pataki ... Fort Legionary 3
Bálint Antal Bálint Antal ... Young Legionary
Lukács Bicskey Lukács Bicskey ... Druid
Douglas Henshall ... Cradoc
James Hayes James Hayes ... Stephanos


In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The destiny of a soldier. The honour of a slave. The fate of an empire.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for battle sequences and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

11 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La legión del águila See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,684,464, 13 February 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,490,041, 7 April 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,122,040, 7 April 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Historical Advisor for the film, Lindsay Allason-Jones, gave a talk to Newcastle University Archaeology Society about her experiences working on the film. She explained that the production company decided to use stirrups, despite their being anachronistic, because there would have been issues getting insurance for the lead actors, especially as Jamie Bell had never ridden before. See more »


As Marcus and Esca enter the village of the Seal People, there is a shot of the young boy looking up at them. To the left of him are a pair of legs of a man clearly wearing a pair of modern army boots. See more »


[first lines]
Marcus Aquila: Marcus Flavius Aquila, Fourth Cohort of Gaul, Second Legion, come to relieve the command.
Lutorius: Lutorius Drusillus Salinator, acting senior officer.
Marcus Aquila: Where's the garrison commander?
Lutorius: He left this morning, sir. Couldn't wait to get away.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of the Director, of the Writers (screenplay and Novel) and of the main Cast are red in an old English language. See more »


Featured in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not in 3D (2011) See more »


The Return of the Eagle
Performed by Torc featuring Eoghan Neff, Flaithri Neff (as The Neff Brothers) and Atli Örvarsson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Entertaining ¨Sword and Sandals¨movie that features thrilling fighting scenes , violent battles and spectacular production design
7 April 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is a fine as well as exciting production with enough budget , great sets and thundering battles during the Roman Empire . Ultraviolent historical/epic/action yarn with breathtaking battles including lots of blood and gore . In Roman-ruled Britain, during Antoninus Pius empire , who was emperor of Rome at the time this film is set , AD 140 ; his reign is considered one of the calmest in Rome's history , there a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem . The picture deals with the destiny of a soldier Marcus Flavius Aquila (Channing Tatum) , the honour of a slave , Esca , (Jamie Bell) and the fate of an empire ; concerning historical facts about confrontation between Romans and Northern barbarians . The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt , Britain to Spain , and East as far as the Black Sea . The Year is A.D. 140 , and it has been 20 years since Rome's legendary Ninth Legion marched north into Caledonia -modern Scotland- to gain control over all of Britain . But in northern Britain , the relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in face of the guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy : the savage and terrifying Celts and Picts who were generally thought to not have worn any clothes . Aquila (it is the Latin word for "Eagle") is the son of the Legion's General , and determined to exonerate his father as well as to retrieve the Eagle banner . But his detachment is besieged and deadly attacked . After his legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack , Marcus Flavius along with a slave crossing ¨the Hadrian Wall¨ and both of whom set out in pursuit a great dream : to seek to retrieve the ¨Eagle¨ . They fight for their lives behind enemy lines . As they attempt to destroy the Celt leader and face a desperate struggle to keep alive .

Bloody version based on historical events about Roman conquests with overwhelming battles and great production values starred by Channing Tatum as the fictional Roman officer and Jamie Bell as slave , both of them are two battle-hardened warriors who try to defend themselves against a bunch of bloody barbarians led by a brutal enemy . Stunning battles scenes illuminate the full-blown feats with a plethora of engaging action set pieces on the combats in which the heads and limbs are slice off here and there . There are great action sequences including the gory battle in woods and the final confrontation at the climax of the film . Because of budgetary consideration , cast and crew had only one night to shoot the night battle scene , which gave it the disorganized, raggedy look they wanted . The movie has great action sequences well staged with stylish and vitality , thrills , and turns out to be pretty entertaining . Although is a little revisionist about characters , history and time when is developed the action in a dirty , gritty Roman Empire during its period in Britain . Several action scenes are outstanding with spectacular battle images and thrilling fights . Unfortunately, on small house screens much of the splendor will be lost . The film is well set with nice gowns , evocative weapons , appropriate attrezzo , adequate costumes ; however , production company decided to use stirrups, despite their being anachronistic, because there would have been issues getting insurance for the lead actors, especially as Jamie Bell had never ridden before and he had to learn on set. As the movie makes a big deal out of the supposedly deathly rivalry between Romans and Celts . German archaeologists have found evidence of the 9th Legion on the banks of the Rhine River and carbon-dated them long after these events took place, suggesting that rather than being wiped out , the reason that there is no evidence of the 9th Legion being in Scotland after these battles is that they moved to Germany . The working title for the film was "Ninth Legion" , the story goes that the Ninth Legion marched to Scotland from York with 3000 men and were never seen of again. Historians dispute what actually happened to them. Some believe that they were disbanded, while others believe that they were massacred . The picture results to be a crossover among : The 13th Warrior (1999) by John McTiernan , The Last Legion (2007) by Doug Lefler and Centurion (2010) by Neil Marshall . Support casting is frankly good , such as Donald Sutherland , Dakin Matthews , Tahar Rahim , Douglas Henshall , Denis O'Hare and Mark Strong .

Impeccable and evocative cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle . Being shot on location in Lomond, Argyll and Bute, Summer Isles, Highland, Scotland, UK and Szentendre, Pest, Budapest, Hungary . Filmmaker and his director of photography Mantle spent long time discussing the look of the film before making it , one thing they were adamant about was that it should be shot on location and nowhere near a green screen . Magnificent and stirring musical score by Atli Örvarsson . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Kevin MacDonald (State of play , The Last King of Scotland , How I Live Now ,Touching the void). Kevin shot the film in such hard conditions that some cast members suffered health problems . Rating : Good , it's a nice historical extravaganza well set in ancient Rome , done in great scale and praised for its action sequences .

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