The Northman (2022) Poster

(2022)

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4/10
Surprisingly mediocre
CtlAltDel26 April 2022
Where do I start? No real drama. No character development. The most cornball dialogue. Sloppy plot. Poor use of a potentially spectacular landscape. Bland soundtrack. I think any episode of VIKINGS would surpass this film. I was blown away by how ordinary it was and almost walked out. It was cinema by numbers that added up to far less than its parts. This film should have been absolutely epic. Terribly disappointing. It was well over two hours of boredom. Anyone claiming it a masterpiece should be banned from entering Valhalla!
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6/10
It delivered less than I had expected...
paul_haakonsen12 May 2022
Well, the movie's cover/poster definitely was interesting enough to catch my attention. And I figured that with the movie's 7.8 rating on IMDb, in this writing moment, then I would be in for something grand here.

And I will admit that I was excited to see what writers Sjón and Robert Eggers had in store for me here with the 2 hours and 17 minutes that the movie ran for.

However, I must say that while "The Northman" was watchable, it was ultimately just another run-of-the-mill Viking-inspired movie, for better or worse. Sure, it was a watchable movie and entertaining enough for what it was. But don't get your hopes up for this one. If you've seen other Viking movies, or TV series for that matter, then you already know what you are in for here. Yeah, director Robert Eggers didn't deviate much from the how-to-make-a-Viking-saga-movie blueprint.

Visually then "The Northman" was interesting, as it definitely felt like an era-appropriate movie. I did like the props, costumes, sets, scenery, etc., because it definitely looked and felt like what is usually associated with the Vikings era.

"The Northman" has a good cast ensemble, with the likes of Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke and even Willem Dafoe. All great talents, sure, but some of them do raise a wondering sensation as to why they were cast for a Viking movie. But on the other hand, I will say that casting Icelandic singer Björk for the movie, despite being a minor role and appearance, was just phenomenal.

Something that didn't sit well with me in "The Northman", was the fact that it was English language based. Sure, I understand that from a wider appeal to the audience approach. But it just feels wrong having Vikings speak English, it just takes away from the atmosphere and the believability. And also the supernatural aspects were somewhat baffling to me. Sure, I understand that the Valkyries are a part of Norse lore, but having a pale woman with retainers on her teeth screaming and sitting on a flying horse just doesn't really work.

I was expecting more than just your average generic Viking movie from director Robert Eggers, and I was somewhat disappointed when the movie just turned out to be a run-of-the-mill Viking movie. It could and should have been so much more, especially for a production of this magnitude.

While "The Northman" is watchable and entertaining enough for what it turned out to be, then this is hardly a movie that I will be returning to watch a second time.

My rating of "The Northman" lands on a six out of ten stars. It is the atmosphere, the brutality in the movie, and some of the performances that managed to snag the rating up from five to a six star rating for me.
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9/10
This is not an action movie...
JLEV-IMDB16 August 2022
This is not a viking version of Die Hard. This isn't an M. Night Shyamalan movie with a cute twist. It's absolutely not a movie with modern sensibilities.

This is a tale in the style of an epic myth. It showcases classic themes of betrayal, vengeance, and sacrifice through a brutal mix of realism and symbolism.

It's unapologetically not for everyone. And it's bloody fantastic.
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6/10
Well Produced, but Dark, Slow and Not Engaging
LongTimeMovieLover23 April 2022
I wanted to like this movie. I really did. Anything novel and not Marvel. But, unfortunately, this movie was dark, slow and not engaging. It started off with the harsh power of humanity to endure hardship and to impose it, but then went flat with the story. Nothing to learn, no one to love or hate, nothing to make you a character. Not intending the ultimate insult, but perhaps it is: you never forget you're watching a movie. You don't become one with it. However, it could win an Academy award for the production or costumes, but none of that makes up for a dark, slow and non-engaging story.
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5/10
Hawke The Slayer
southdavid19 April 2022
This might be an unpopular one, but I guess I have to speak the truth as I found it - which was that I was hoping "The Northman" would be a crazy, wild and brutal Viking adventure - which in some elements it is, but it's also a lyrical, arthouse-style, loose adaptation of Amleth, that perhaps caught me in the wrong mood to truly appreciate.

King Aruvandil (Ethan Hawke) is a Viking King, who is murdered by his brother Fjolnir (Claes Bang) who takes his Estate and his Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman). Fjolnir fails to kill his son, Amleth (Oscar Novak/Alexander Skarsgard) though, who swears revenge as a child and after years killing and pillaging with an adopted clan, learns that Fjolnir has moved to Iceland. Infiltrating the household as a slave, Amelth joins forces with Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy) another slave in the house and his long-awaited vengeance begins.

I can see why people liked it. It's beautiful to look at, shot in practical locations and using CGI to enhance the scenes when required, such as the epic volcano that looms over Iceland throughout the film and features in the ending. The fight scenes are generally well done, though I don't necessarily think that they were as gory as I hoped, or as others seem to have found them. Skarsgard's performance was good, though if I'm honest I'm not sure that any of the rest of the cast (perhaps with the exception of Claes Bang) really fit the roles they were playing. . . These are all actors I like in other things, but personally felt like they were miscast here.

Again, I really do feel like on another day, or perhaps at home rather than at the cinema I might have enjoyed the film more, but it felt long, and I didn't care for the times when the film took its more artistic flights of fancy. The film I'd compare it too is "The Green Knight", which is similar in terms of tone and use of fantasy elements, though obviously with a different cultural mythology.

It's not often that I feel like the problem with a film I haven't enjoyed might be me, rather than the film - but "The Northman" feels like a film that's going to divide it's audience and, this time, I'm not sold.
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4/10
Nope, watch CONAN again instead
trimblair27 April 2022
Three of us in an empty theater, one fell asleep. LONG and windy road to nowhere. Suppose to be a trilogy, hope not. We got bored. Would not recommend. Beautiful scenery was the only winner here.
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4/10
Long and boring
alexglimbergwindh25 April 2022
My impression of this film is that they shot a few cool viking scenes - and decided to make a story around it and just sew it together.

Starts of pretty awkward then moves on to some cool raiding then it's back to awkward drama and weird scenes. Then it's a lot of fight talking then it's drama again. Then it's hallucinations and finally the movie ends.

Alexander is a BEAST but the movie is so poorly edited and the story is.... Predictable.

Beautiful scenery but... I nearly fell asleep.
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9/10
As a Scandinavian, I loved it
larshermans23 April 2022
This is probably the only Viking-related entertainment I have ever watched to thoroughly respect and appreciate our heritage. What a fantastic cast, cinematography and blend of realism and the supernatural. Absolutely masterfully crafted.

Netflix and Marvel can try their best to ruin the image of my ancestors. All I can say is thank god for Eggers and The Northman.
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2/10
Hamlet the Viking
I had a lot of anticipation for this film since the trailer first dropped on Youtube. Many of my favorite actors are in it. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is aesthetically pretty.

But visuals are only the cherry on top if a film has a solid interesting story and good actors. This film does not have a solid story. It's just a revenge flick. Holy cow is this film a snore fest. The worst part about it was the cringeworthy dialogue. This was not a script for the A-listers. I think Arnold did a better job with Conan the Barbarian. To quote a cliche, this is more image over substance. Why couldn't they just have the actors speak in ordinary English and make a solid story?

Honestly, they couldn't pay me enough to rewatch this film.
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5/10
The technical quality of "The Northman" doesn't carry over in its storytelling
darkreignn25 April 2022
I was looking forward to "The Northman" due to a variety of different reasons.... or, if I'm being honest, just one: Anya Taylor-Joy. The talented, gorgeous seductress she is, once I learned that she would play a starring role in this film, I knew I had to see it on the largest screen possible. Unfortunately, the theatre I went to had an unfortunately small screen that certainly detracted from my viewing experience; maybe this was a strategic move, however, on the part of the studio, as now I will be going to see this movie again at a different cinema, preferably one with a bigger silver screen. And as I am so willing to go pay to see this movie again, surely I must have loved it.... right? Wrong - and don't call me Shirley.

"The Northman" is no doubt overhyped. Directed by Robert Eggers, who has made "The Witch" (which I adore) and "The Lighthouse" (which I haven't yet seen), "The Northman" is his third feature, one that was making a name for itself before it was even released due to how well-received his previous two movies were. In all honesty, it seems like people were ready to love this without even having seen it yet, and I believe that, because of this excitement, people (critics included) are having a difficult time looking at this movie objectively - because with all there is to appreciate, there is also an equal amount to criticize.

Anya Taylor-Joy is perfection, as always - she's not just beautiful, but she is proving her range as an actress in each and every role she chooses. Yes, she may have been my reason for buying a ticket to this, but I was equally as impressed with virtually everyone in here. Alexander Skarsgård is one of my favorite actors, and he was very effective as a monstrous brooding brute. Ethan Hawke and Nicole Kidman also do well with what they have; in short, the acting is good - that is, when the script allows it to be. Because, even though the actors and actresses are clearly committed to their parts, the script is full of borderline embarrassing dialogue. Conversations have no substance to them, with people speaking as if they've never spoken before. Many lines are simplistic to the extreme, almost as if they were written by a mediocre fan fiction writer. You can almost look past it due to the clear competence of the performers, but my near constant eye rolls had me wishing for a better screenplay.

If you've seen the trailer for this, you already know the movie looks incredible - and it does. My eyes were constantly glued to the screen, soaking up the scenery. Similarly, my ears found themselves honed in on the soundtrack; basically a star in and of itself, the score here booms through the theatre sound systems. Ominous and engrossing, the soundtrack is nearly constant, seeping everything in a sense of horror and unease - and it's effective (and so loud that, even if you find yourself bored, you won't be able to fall asleep). Visually and audibly, "The Northman" is 100% worth the price of admission. From a plot and story perspective, however, you'll find it lacking.

"The Northman" has a simplistic story - perhaps too simplistic for its own good. Following a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder, you'd think that Eggers would have something unique up his sleeve. I assumed that he'd either fill this movie with great action and have this be his entry into blockbuster filmmaking, or if not that, at the least attempt to throw a wrench in what is otherwise a traditional revenge movie. Alas, he does neither! "The Northman" does not have enough action to qualify as a satisfying action movie (granted, the action is filmed well, but is surprisingly tame and not as bloody as I expected or wanted) nor does it have enough plot twists to switch things up from average revenge fare. The movie meanders, barely picking up any steam except for the occasional burst of violence. You'll spend a lot of time watching characters engage in uninteresting conversations that could've been interesting with better dialogue. You'll see psychedelic dream sequences that are unique the first time, and then quickly overplayed by the second, third, fourth, and fifth time. The story lacks focus; so sure, while you'll see a visual feast of Norse culture that never really leads anywhere, you'll also find yourself asking whether you're watching a revenge movie or a historically accurate portrayal of 900 A. D. life.

In many ways "The Northman" delivers. It's great to look at (and not just because of Anya Taylor-Joy), with truly immersive world building that draws viewers in with overwhelming sights and sounds. This is a brutal film, one that's not afraid to show Norse culture as it was. This is also a film that has a shocking lack of direction. While I would never say I was bored or disengaged, I can say I found myself slightly confused at the way the movie plodded along; for a movie that's over two hours, not much happens, and when things do happen, it isn't very interesting. I was disappointed in "The Northman," but even so, cannot deny the quality of its technical aspects - I only wish that quality carried over in the storytelling.
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10/10
Incredibly unique
masonsaul17 April 2022
The Northman's combination of a large budget and epic scale with a slow burn character drama make it an incredibly unique and rare film. A disturbingly violent yet breathtakingly beautiful exploration of the cycle of violence and it's burden on those it consumes.

Alexander Skarsgård gives a phenomenal lead performance, full of a ridiculously intense physicality balanced with a visible pain and trauma. Anya Taylor-Joy is incredible with steely eyed determination and Claes Bang is terrific, bringing depth and nuance to a possibly one note character.

Robert Eggers' direction is excellent, full of satisfyingly long takes, visceral action and some truly surreal imagery. The music by Sebastian Gainsborough and Robin Carolan is perfect, skillfully switching between bombastic, haunting and beautiful.
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2/10
not enough mushrooms
iamjamalwhite27 April 2022
This was 50% drug trip and 50% trying to be "Conan of the Barbarians" but failing. It had good acting and the leads were believable but the frequent drug trips were offputting and it was very, very long. I went with friends and we all agreed we should have seen the new Nick Cage flick instead.
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9/10
Absolutely brilliant
lmrk57055 November 2022
The Northman is a true epic. I cannot for the life of me understand the naysayers claims that it is boring, as I found it utterly enthralling.

Although not generally a fan of Alexander Skarsgård, he is fantastic in The Northman and perfectly cast. Other performances (with the exception of Kidman 🙄🙄🙄) are also great. It has the feel of a true Icelandic saga and the Norse mythology is beautifully woven within the screenplay. Although the story is a derivative of Hamlet, it is nevertheless full of well-developed characters and themes. The cinematography is superb and the scenery is divine.

I sincerely hope The Northman becomes a classic and achieves the accolades it so richly deserves.
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5/10
Robert Eggers' weakest film
bastille-852-73154722 April 2022
While they definitely aren't for all tastes, I was blown away by the originality and singular visions of "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse," even if they still are so specific that I still had my criticisms of them. As a result, I was hoping for this to be a truly unique and memorable cinematic experience. Unfortunately, it looks and sounds incredible but otherwise ended up being a letdown in my book. It's certainly Eggers' weakest film yet, which is disappointing.

The film centers on a Viking whose father is killed by his uncle when he is very young. Decades later, he is a berserker raiding villages who ends up plotting a bloody plot for vengeance. Shot on location in Iceland, the film's cinematography is often beautiful, with expansive and wide shots. The film's score is also stirring and authentic. Everything looks and sounds incredible in a Dolby Cinema screen, accentuated by Eggers' precise attention to historical accuracy that we see throughout his films. Tragically, though, these technical qualities are about where the strengths of the film end. Unlike "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse," this film feels oddly derivative. The story feels like a recycled revenge plot, and the brutal Viking action doesn't feel like something we haven't seen before. While those two other films generally lacked plots in a conventional sense, people who enjoyed them could successfully argue that they made up for such a lack of plot in clear vision. They were uniquely atmospheric and created pitch-perfect senses of suspense and dread, accentuated by the period detail and aesthetics. Unfortunately, "The Northman" just doesn't feel as atmospheric or tonally unique. This might in part be caused by the fact that it has a much bigger budget than those other two films, but it also means that I feel the film dragged on a bit longer than it should have. You can have a unique plot and/or an engaging atmosphere. Some films have one of these elements, and some have both. But unfortunately, I feel like the derivativeness of the plot and the sometimes-choppy editing and pacing ended up getting the better of it. In "The Lighthouse" and "The Witch," you felt genuine psychological peril that could make you appreciate the comparatively low-but-serious stakes of the characters. The same cannot be said here. All of the violent Viking action is plentiful, but it gets very predictable and repetitive, and simply just doesn't feel as impactful or soulful as genuine psychological suspense and taut narrative creativity. Sadly, I don't recommend this one. 5/10

Note: I saw the film in Dolby Cinema. The picture and sound quality were excellent.
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8/10
Beastliness incarnate
FeastMode22 April 2022
Everything about this movie screams "beastly." Literal screams along with metaphorical ones. It's a beastly movie with a beastly cast giving beastly performances behind a backdrop of beastly cinematography scored with beastly music. Beastly men in beastly fights.

I had a smile on my face for most of the movie. I was fully invested in the story and characters. The directing is top-notch with a style that gives the movie a character of its own. There are so many beautiful shots. And I give it major props for going all out and holding nothing back (we need more R-rated movies!!).

In my review for Dune, I mentioned that so many scenes feel so epic even without action. Regular scenes of them walking are somehow epic. It's the same way with The Northman. It's filled with epic non-action moments, which are heavily aided by the music and cinematography. When this is the case, even the slow parts feel escalated.

The entire cast gives great performances, but I need to single out Anya Taylor-Joy. I want her cast in every movie. She has the acting talent as well as a screen presence and charisma that has you glued to every scene she's in. I've liked her in everything I've seen of hers, which already includes so many great movies like Split/Glass, Last Night in Soho, and Morgan. We're witnessing the birth of a star. It's possible I'm a bit biased due to her being one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

I highly recommend The Northman. If any cinemas in your area are playing it on a premium screen, it's definitely worth it. Unfortunately IMAX is still showing Fantastic Beasts. (2 viewings, opening Thursday EMAX 4/21/2022, Dolby Atmos 5/3/2022)
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4/10
The Snoreman
chintones-7226914 May 2022
Great sets, check. Scenic locations, check. Blood, murder, and vengeance, check. Meandering script made this seem like it was over 3 hours long. Not impressed at all and was expecting much more.
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9/10
A modern epic
sbweightman18 April 2022
An epic film with a straightforward story and effective use of Norse mythology. Its intense rituals, powerful imagery, guttural and pounding music and display of culture in its authentic setting makes for an entertaining and memorable experience. Stunning scenery, brutal and bloody fight scenes and great acting performances, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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2/10
Would have left early but my son needed a ride home...
dbogosian-124 April 2022
I'll start with the good. The Icelandic scenery is strikingly beautiful, ... um, I guess that's it.

The rest is an utter disaster. The screenplay is perhaps the worst of all, being completely derivative. The story is mainly that of Hamlet (and in case we don't get it, the main character is even named Hamlet). Some elements of the plot have been borrowed from The Last Kingdom. Much of the imagery comes from Lord of the Rings. The dialogue is stilted, phony, dull and predictable. The entire movie comes across as a series of cliches, pretty much every Viking stock scene is played for us in succession but with no point or purpose. You're never quite sure if this is meant to be a fantasy story or a realistic one, and while it's never convincing enough for realism, it's not mythical enough to be a saga. And the carnage... two-plus hours of unabated slaughter.

Spare yourself the agony, and don't waste your money. If it's Vikings your after, check out The Last Kingdom instead.
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9/10
This film is excellent !
robfollower22 April 2022
Like his memorable period piece freak-outs "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse," though on a vastly more ambitious scale, bloody and deliciously violent. The Northman is a big-budget epic, but it retains those indie roots, and in " Robert Eggers " fashion , very aesthetically pleasing. This film delivers ! Powerhouse performances and otherworldly imagery . I highly recommend at some point to see this blood-soaked odyssey !! Sooner rather than later. A cinematic saga. The cast in this one is absolutely incredible. Check out the cast .... The Northman starring Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Björk.
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5/10
The Northern Frights...
Xstal13 May 2022
If the boats were very long then this is longer, but longevity doesn't make it any stronger, the accents are a grind, claustrophobic and confined, left feeling peeled, pillaged, plundered, and without wonder.
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8/10
retribution is brutal
I loved this movie not only a visual feast but a great story about revenge and that vengeance is the only thing that keeps you going.

Excellent film not for the tame.
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8/10
stylish Conan
SnoopyStyle1 June 2022
Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) wants to avenge his father King Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke) who was killed by his uncle Fjölnir The Brotherless (Claes Bang). Fjölnir stole his father's kingdom and his mother Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman). It's early tenth century. He has been raised as a berserker pillaging for a slaving warlord. A defeated witch proclaim his prophesized vengeance. He pretends to be a slave to be sold to Fjölnir. Olga of the Birch Forest (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a fellow slave who sees through his ruse.

This is a stylish brutal tale of violence and revenge worthy of the Vikings. This is a Scandinavian legend which supposedly inspired Hamlet. It's Game of Thrones and Conan the Barbarian except more brutal. The acting is great with a shocking turn from Nicole Kidman. She's always great but in this one, she accesses something manically dark. I would make a small addition. An exterior Christian threat needs to be stated more prominently so that they're automatically assumed to be the killers. The naked bodies should be positioned into a cross or maybe they could be crucified. That would be enough of a misdirection. Otherwise, Amleth would be a good suspect. The family should not be that clueless. Overall, this is a brutal and stylish revenge tale worthy of Shakespeare although Amleth is no Hamlet.
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8/10
well...
ops-5253512 May 2022
Its definately filmed on iceland, even though the forested shoots in the very first parts may be a bit confusing for an agriculturalistic historian noah like me the grumpy old man. I do also miss the åre-trampling/race and a good old revenge battle called holmgang in the viking history, even though the volcanic scenery at the final battle is good enough. Having read snorre sturlasson in part old norwegian which is a tounge tortorous makeout, and most of the famous viking eposes and lots about the viking gods and their mythology and rites its a very nice product even though completely authentic noone can say.

The acts of our nordic friend are just superb, the rest of the cast with some small exceptions delivers above average.linguistically they shouldve chosen more clearly between pure english without accent, or a very norse like english just like the english the grumpy old man speaks(ive been reckoned as an norwich citizen by a bunch of geordies once upon a time)when having absorbed 3 keggs of mjød , had 12 cigs of peatmoss,dancing naked by the fire on a stary night upon the hills at the island i live, brave as a killerfish on a barbeque stake, not as tall as a viking warrior but with shoulders broad as midgardsormen, all hell would break loose if encountered for a fight... sorry for my digressiveness...wont happen again...

filmographicly and sceneric value stands out as quality craftmanship, make up or mud in the faceup and costumedepartment is like manna from heaven for every neo-viking and will heave in even more viking phantasts in the time to come.living next to the viking king haakon haakonsencastle/island of bukkøy, this man built the olavschurch at augvaldsnes over the shrine of king olav den hellige(the sacred), a site of pilgrimage in norwegian christianity for centuries.(i was married there...!).

There aint much negative to say even though i felt the rus part of the story where as barren as the dirt of iceland, and miklagard and konstantinopel shouldve been a part of the story. But that is just the thoughts of a grumpy old man. Its a freezing cold story of will to live and a whole lot of decieft, it deserves a solid eight and far better than most of mediocre norrøn tv-series made over the past 20 years.therefore a recommend.
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1/10
Unbelievably Horrible...
nb-1988112 May 2022
Wow. I can't even describe how horrible and unwatchable this movie is. The acting was useless -- even though I liked many of the actors' previous works. The story is useless. Typical Norse / Icelandic Saga -- only much worse. I will never get back the precious time I wasted watching this. If I would have paid money to see it I'd be demanding a refund.

You have been warned.
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8/10
Wow, This Was Full On Viking!
martimusross16 April 2022
The Northman

I thought it was brilliant

This movie is not for everyone due to the levels of violence and gore.

It was an incredible mix of different elements that added up to an understanding of brutal Viking culture and how they may have lived. The different themes were fate, revenge, mythology and destiny.

The mythological elements were handled with great panache, with highly stylised quasi dream sequences driving the chapters this could have been a disaster but here it worked in spades.

There wasn't a lot of script it was all action and Alexander Skarsgård was perfectly cast as the cast out revenge driven son, in fact the whole movie was stuffed with stars. All I can say Nicole Kidman is wow, who'd have thunk it! The jury is still out on Claes Bang, seemed wooden and Anna Taylor-Joy, had the look, but others may be more kind!

It was long at 2 hours and 16 mins, and divided into chapters in a largely linear story. It was very original and any comparison would be crass but the nearest would be The Vikings with Kirk and Tony.

I did laugh out loud as some spots, I wasn't meant to, but it was more shock admiration and absurdity than comedic.

The director really got some stellar performances from everyone it was masterful in letting a talented group of actors let rip at their craft.

The vision, direction, cinematography and finished product is an 8 outta 10, very original and deeply memorable, I am deducting a couple of marks, firstly I sensed some scene were inserted for shock value and were bordering on gratuitous, the romantic elements were just not well done.
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