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Beowulf & Grendel (2005)

Hringur Ingvarsson , Spencer Wilding , Sturla Gunnarsson  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

Price: $10.55 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Hringur Ingvarsson, Spencer Wilding, Stellan Skarsgård, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Gunnar Eyjólfsson
  • Directors: Sturla Gunnarsson
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Import, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,282 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beowulf & Grendel" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Sturla Gunnarsson and screenwriter Andrew Rai Berzins
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Wrath of Gods" featurette
  • Cast interviews
  • Costume sketches

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adapted from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, BEOWULF & GRENDEL is a grandly staged medieval adventure that tells the blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against the great and murderous troll, Grendel. The monster, Grendel, is not a creature of mythic powers, but one of flesh and blood - immense flesh and raging blood, driven by a vengeance from being wronged, while Beowulf, a victorious soldier in his own right, has become increasingly troubled by the hero-myth rising up around his exploits. Beowulf's willingness to kill on behalf of King Hrothgar wavers when it becomes clear that the King is more responsible for the troll's rampages than was first apparent. Starring Gerard Butler.

The otherworldly landscape of Iceland lends an appropriate touch of dark fantasy to this modern retelling of Beowulf, the oldest epic poem in the English language. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) brings the right balance of physicality and world-weariness as the Swedish hero Beowulf, who travels to Denmark to fight the monstrous troll Grendel (Icelandic superstar Ignvar Sigurdsson), which has been plaguing the house of King Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgård, buried under a mound of prosthetic hair). However, what transpires is not a battle between good and evil, but a convoluted mystery of sorts, with Beowulf playing the detective who discovers that his foe is more human than monster, and Hrothgar less wronged innocent than catalyst for his own downfall. Director Sturla Gunnarsson succeeds in pulling this legendary story from the dust of academics by contemporizing the dialogue (Andrew Rai Berzins has an excellent ear for hard-bitten palaver), and his visuals are nothing less than striking, but the film attempts to be both monster movie and melancholy drama, while never quite satisfying the requirements of either genre. Regardless, the quality cast (which includes Sarah Polley from Dawn of the Dead as a sharp-tongued witch with a connection to Grendel) and some well-handled action sequences should hold viewers’ attention even when the unnecessarily complex plot does not. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 125 people found the following review helpful
This film was shown three times at the Sarasota Film Festival although it was originally scheduled twice. It sold out so fast a special third screening was added due to popular demand. On Sunday April 9, 2006 I was fortunate enough to attend. Prior to the show, the Producer and Director were introduced who answered questions after the film. The most interesting questions and answers related to how the ideas and vision of this epic story were creatively conceived and made into reality within the setting of Iceland. It was a six year project from idea to finished product ... It was a huge hit at the Toronto Film Festival and was an equal smash at the Sarasota Film Festival. This film deserves wider distribution at theaters throughout the USA and internationally. It has all the qualities of a multimillion dollar multiple-award Oscar-winning film.

Gerard Butler is superbly cast as Beowulf, a hero and fighter from Greatland who comes to help the Danes fight a troll who has been wreaking havoc among them ... The King of the Danes provides a background of the troll's murderous activity but fails to tell the whole truth to Beowulf and his mighty warriors. The scenery in Iceland is breath-takingly beautiful - views of stark rocky mountains, steep icey cliffs, green hillsides and crashing waves against the shoreline. Although, the Danes were fierce fighters a certain fear had taken hold - they no longer trusted their own gods to support and protect them. They were fighting a troll who managed to elude their fiercest efforts ... The Danes succumbed to baptism and the beliefs of the after life as taught by wandering Christian monks. Amazingly, even the Danish King was baptized after falling deeply into depression and alcoholism while watching some of his best men die.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unless you just get a kick out of--

1. sweeping, windy, frigid landscapes with a sort of terrifying beauty

2. modern revisionism that updates a classic adventure tale's meaning

3. extremely attractive Northern European he-males

--you may wanna skip Beowulf.

And yet...and yet, I suggest you try it, even though I was less than blown away.


Well, certainly number one above. Visually, this film takes you someplace stunningly cool (metaphorically, not just literally), an environment so bleak in spots and so callous in others and so apathetic to human suffering, that it's a fitting background for this stark tale of revenge and bloodshed and loss and heroics and loyalty. A cold wind surely does blow, outside and inside the soul.

Also, you may enjoy the revisionist take. Grendel is now the terribly injured party dealing with a sort of bigotry for his "monsterhood": He and his kind are hated for being different, ugly, smelly, not evil. (I believe, if memory serves from the long-ago high school reading, that Grendel did represent evil, and not merely a symbol of aggrieved minority.)

And almost certainly you will enjoy the charisma of actor Gerard Butler. That man is good. He can act--see THE JURY or PHANTOM OF THE OPERA or DEAR FRANKIE or even CRADLE OF LIFE to see how he can inhabit various types of roles and make them come to life with that combination of personal magnetism, vocal expression, facial expression, body language and just plain emotive power. I have no idea why this man is not a huge, huge star. He's got everything it takes, the complete package of ridiculous good looks and acting chops and versatility. He can be funny or menacing or romantic or so vulnerable you weep.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair to Middlin', what a shame. October 9, 2006
By Rue
I have eagerly awaited the release of this DVD, as the movie itself doesn't seem to be appearing in U.S. theaters. That's a shame, really. The fantastic Icelandic landscape must be breath-taking on the big screen.

Stellan Skarsgard does an excellent job in his role of Hrothgar, the Dane king whose spirit is beaten and broken by the depradations of a vengeful Grendel. I am a huge fan of Gerard Butler, and enjoyed watching how he fleshed out the character of Beowulf, giving him far more dimension than the rather stilted script offered.

I think that is what I disliked about this movie. Most of the characters never achieved the level of credibility needed due to the stilted, and sometimes awkward dialogue, which ranged from poetic to middle-school boy's bathroom.

I didn't hate the film; I guess I just expected more from it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for the scenery, but cheaply made and misguided... September 30, 2006
By A Customer
Admittedly, the fabulous scenery - and the hunky Gerard Butler - are the best things about Beowulf & Grendel. Shooting on rugged Icelandic locations, cinematographer Jan Kiesser provides some gorgeous wide screen vistas that give the film a visual power that goes a long way toward compensating for its narrative deficiencies and its penchant for silliness.

The film itself has moments that are astonishingly dull and fractured - particularly in the first twenty minutes - with most of the action composed of lots of misty eyed running around on rocks and howling at sunsets. Obviously, this Canadian/British/Icelandic co production from director Sturla Gunnarsson is trying to be reality driven, but the movie in the end, suffers from a definitive lack of scope.

The old English tale was majestic and epic, but this film ultimately lacks the grandeur and wit necessary to make the legend fully come alive. The Danish King Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgård) has built a new "great hall" but the implacable, seemingly invincible giant troll Grendel (Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson) - seeking revenge for the murder of his father - is repeatedly attacking the King's people.

Hero and warrior Beowulf (Gerard Butler) is recruited by his friend the King to rid his kingdom of this murderous troll. It isn't long before Beowulf figures he's being manipulated by a beautiful a witch portrayed by Sarah Polley - a dead-ringer for Cindi Lauper - who is particularly generous with her sexual favors and who also seems to be hiding secrets about Grendel's mysterious ways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The most believable Beowulf thus far.
Published 3 days ago by Blackadder
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see
Nothing else like this movie. This is the only "Beowulf" as far as I am concerned. Gerard Butler is perfect in this roll. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Doris A Holubec
3.0 out of 5 stars The Behind the Scenes was Better
The behind the scenes footage/documentary was far better than the movie. I've read this book since high school and, although the movie-makers challenges were great and difficult,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jennifer R. Catlin
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Portrayal of a Clasic Tale
This is an excellent portrayal of the Classic Beowulf Tale. The movie is probably is a more true representation of the life and times of the era than the tale itself. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GregO
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much tinkering with the story.
For some reason in film versions of the poem, Hrothgar has done something to give motive to Grendel's attacks. It has become a cliché. Read more
Published 8 months ago by The Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie
Just disappointed that I can't find the soundtrack that I thought was great - imagine after all this time never will.
Published 8 months ago by C. owens
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Beowulf & Grendel is a good movie for fans of the Beowulf story. It brings to life the simplicity of the time and offers possible real life events that inspired the tale.
Published 9 months ago by Michael Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Beowulf and Grendel Come to Life
One of my favorite pieces of literature is Beowulf. This is one of the greatest visual tellings of this ancient legend. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Susan Fleming
3.0 out of 5 stars ok movie
ok movie. They could have done it better but I guess it is what it is. I'm not really impressed or enjoyed the movie.
Published 10 months ago by kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Iceland is a cold place here on earth but this adaptation of this old...
Beowulf & Grendel, although an old Danish myth, come alive with the acting of this cast who put their spirits into the characters
Published 10 months ago by Lillian Knudson
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What is with the sea hag?
That's Grendel's mom as far as I can remember. I don't know if a character said that or if I just understood it, but I don't want to watch this atrocity again to find out.
May 21, 2009 by L. Fain |  See all 3 posts
release of this film in the U.S.....
No no no no no. No more Angelina Jolie please. I just have horrid flashbacks of no no.

I want to see THIS version with the most talented Mr. Butler AND the beautiful Icelandic scenery.

And then Hollywood wants to know why noone goes?
May 15, 2006 by rossetti_stunner |  See all 9 posts
Is this film only for raving Gerard Butler fans?
This film received many positive main stream and internet reviews as well as some negative ones. It's not a typical action film but a thoughtful and entertaining film using Beowulf to explore issues of tribalism, revenge and honor. And, yes, the humor in it IS intentional. (Monty Python is... Read More
Sep 27, 2006 by J. Beins |  See all 4 posts
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