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Showing 1-10 of 135 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 216 reviews
on December 9, 2014
True story? I'm sure there are roots in reality and if so, this is one hell of a re-telling of the story. Paul Giamatti as the reduced in rank King John by his signing of the Magna Carta which the earls and people made him sign. he and the Pope want him back on the throne and he hires Danish Mercs (King John was a maniac by all accounts) The resistance makes a stand at Rochester Castle and it is their meager forces against an army. Lead by James Purefoy (very intense) and Brian Cox, it is so good to see him as the good guy. The cover blurb says "Seven Samurai meets Braveheart" and I agree. Who lives? Who Dies? how do they die? Very wide and sweeping movie. Great story and acting. Violent though as was the time. Well worth the viewing as is the follow-up or sequel is you will, both are outstanding movies.
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on November 17, 2011
Others have written reviews telling most of this film's plot so I'll not retype what's already been said. I will say I was very surprised by the higher-than-expected production quality of this movie given that it was obviously not a mega-budget epic. This is not "Kingdom of Heaven" but it does a superb job of looking like a "big" medieval movie. The acting is very good, the story line is predictable but good as well, and the costuming and historical authenticity, as far as wardrobe and weapondry is concerned, is fantastic. Yes, the Templar does use FAR too large of a sword in some of the fighting scenes, but aside from that, I really didn't see any glaring inaccuracies as far as weapondry and wardrobe were concerned.

Typically, yes, the fair maiden is busty and I am aware that ladies didn't run around with their heads uncovered back then, but, movies for some reason, haven't decided to have all the "respectible" ladies wearing head coverings because that's just not what movie goers want to see. It also does amuse me, since I do medieval reenacting as well, how snug the chain mail is (especially on the arms) in all medieval movies, the speed at which characters can get in and out of it, and how effortlessly it seems to be worn - but, that's something you have to experience before you appreciate the historical accuracy of it. If chain mail sleeves fit as tightly as they do in this movie (and every other movie I think I've ever seen), no one could ever get into, or out of, their mail.

All that aside, it's a very good flick about a subject that should be better known. Yes, it is gory as everyone has stated. In fact, this is probably THE single most gory medieval warfare movie I've ever watched, but, that's the way it was back then. On the gore-fest subject, however, what you will see here is no worse than anything shown weekly on "The Walking Dead" and nobody seems to have a problem with that. Overall, I highly recommend this one. Would've given it five stars if it had employed a few more extras for the battle scenes assaulting the castle; that's my only real "beef" with the movie. When William attacked Rochester, I'm certain his army looked a lot more intimidating in numbers than the movie portrays, but, this is a minor point. If you like medieval history, if you liked "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Pillars of the Earth" or "Centurian" this movie will not disappoint.
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on August 23, 2011
I'm a bit of a sucker for Medieval period films: always excited by the prospect of seeing something that might hew a little closer to history while exploring the origin of some of today's more persistent cultural tropes; often disappointed by the repeated turns to violence and rather cartoonish proclamations. Ironclad lands somewhere in between by managing to find a few moments which straddle these extremes.

Fellini had once made a very compelling point about the way in which we would view peoples and cultures of the distant past. While discussing "Satyricon" he pointed out that such peoples and cultures would seem very alien to contemporary perception: their behavior, beliefs and motivations becoming border-line incomprehensible to us. Ironclad does not come anywhere near such a portrayal of the Medieval mind, allowing itself instead to make a rather broad number of interpretations vastly more at home in the present day than would have been likely or even possible during the period in question. But even though the film exhibits many of the usual tendencies, it avoids the pronounced sense of romanticizing either the valor or violence surrounding the aftermath of the signing of the Magna Carta and gives a greater dimension to the ideas behind the events with an unexpected and beautifully executed apologia by one of its principal characters.

And that occurs in the performance Giamatti turns in as King John. In his display of profoundly brutal violence against his enemy -- here portrayed by Brian Cox -- and the breathtakingly belligerent tirade he delivers as his justification, this nearly pro-forma action flick momentarily becomes something that begins to provide us with a credible glimpse into the deep-seated societal conflicts of that time -- some still present today. As King John rails about the royalty's ideas centered on divine rights of inheritance while, in a brilliant directorial turn, seemingly standing on water, the lights begin to come on about how utterly ignorant, self-absorbed, cruel and narcissistic the god-chosen rulers of the Middle Ages could routinely be. Such rulers postponed modernity as long as possible by ignoring human rights while clinging to ideas that consistently stunted the well-being and progress of their citizens in favor of brutality, ignorance and suffering. And all in the name of their personal, greater glory.

Giamatti's walk on the water makes this vile worldview palpable and terrifying in a manner that no historical text can. Had Brian Cox been provided with a counter monologue as eloquent and moving in support of the rights of man -- something more substantial than merely repeating "Magna Carta" -- as Giamatti delivered in favor of suppression, birth right and the arrogance of privilege, Ironclad would have made a profoundly long leap forward for the genre, perhaps even becoming capable of a theoretical joust with Bresson's "Lancelot du Lac".
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on March 20, 2017
This movie has plenty of action scenes. It also has some rather graphic sword fights with people losing limbs and such so if you like this sort of thing you will like the movie. But if not this movie might not be for you. I personally liked it as well as the cast.
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on March 17, 2017
Granted 90% of the movie is played in a castle, loved it still.
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on March 20, 2017
Great knife slicing movie,action packed! Best part of all, it was a true story, I'm sure it was embellished a little but it worth the watch!
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on March 29, 2014
Not the best movie ever, but it is GOOD and I love James Purfoy! He is a way understated actor! Good movies with him: first Resident Evil and Soloman Kane!!
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on March 8, 2017
Just as listed......thanks
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on March 23, 2017
Lots of action! Good acting.
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on March 12, 2014
I knew nothing about the film before purchasing it except I like period films and it was on sale cheap. I also don't watch films for accurate history lessons but I like when films introduce me to an occurrence from history about which I was unaware. I was unaware of the events that occurred following the signing of the Magna Carta and will study the period more now. Ironclad delivered on all those levels.

Paul Giamatti's brutal performance as King John was a pleasant surprise, revealing a side of his talent I had not seen previously. James Purefoy knows how to play supremely confident characters perfectly. His internal struggle in the film between his faith, duty, experience, and desire was enjoyable to watch, demonstrated with the tiniest inflections. Brian Cox, Charles Dance, and Derek Jacobi played solid period roles. Jamie Foreman was the entertaining scene stealer in the movie. Watch it and you'll know why. Kate Mara, an actress I enjoy, seemed miscast in the film. She played her part adequately enough, even adding a bit of accent, but as gritty as the film and time period was her character seemed Scotchgarded; dirt didn't stick to her at all!

As others have mention the film is physically brutal. Expect that going in and there will be no surprises. The shaky camera technique to hide the pre-placement of the battle injuries got a bit tedious but it was effective.

The Blu-ray transfer is perfect. The description on Amazon shows a 1.77 aspect ratio and Dolby sound. It is actually a 2.35 letterbox aspect ratio and English DTS-HD Master Audio.

Would I pay more than $10 for the film? No! $5-$8 is a decent admission price for two hours of your time.
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