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Beowulf & Grendel

256 customer reviews

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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

Special Features

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

Product Details

  • Actors: Hringur Ingvarsson, Spencer Wilding, Stellan Skarsgård, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Gunnar Eyjólfsson
  • Directors: Sturla Gunnarsson
  • Writers: Andrew Rai Berzins, Anonymous
  • Producers: Alex Marshall, Andreas Bajohra, Andrew Rai Berzins, Anna María Karlsdóttir, Douglas Hansen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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 (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,978 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beowulf & Grendel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on April 10, 2006
Format: DVD
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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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2007
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rue on October 9, 2006
Format: DVD
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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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By D. DArcangelo on April 16, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Icelandic scenery is enough to make you want to see this movie more than once! I found myself wanting more as the credits rolled. It contains everything - including well-placed humor - and brings up so many varied emotions. Beowulf and Grendel was meant to be made and seen by so many. I've pre-ordered mine on and am hopeful it will come to the 'big screen' in the States. I want to see it again!!!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Zboyovsky on June 13, 2006
Format: DVD
I recently saw this film at a special showing in Las Vegas and

was very impressed with the beauty of production. It is a very

unusual story and definitely not the usual 'hollywood' fare. The

story was real study in what is good and evil, and our perceptions

of heroes and villians. Not everything is always black and white. The scenery is unbelievably beautiful and other worldly. The

acting is good, especially Gerard Butler and Stellan Skaarsgard.

I understand it is going to be released later this month in limited

engagements in five or six major U.S. cities. There will also be

a DVD released in July from Canada.
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Topic From this Discussion
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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