Centurion

"Very Good"

Centurion Review


With a raucous, gruesome tone, this Roman-era British action movie takes us back in time in such a vivid way that we often feel a bit queasy while watching. If the story were stronger, we'd be glued to the screen.

Quintus Dias (Fassbender) seems to be an unusually lucky centurion. Stationed in the nastiest outpost on the edge of the Roman Empire in Britain, he's the only survivor of a Pict attack by the vindictive Gorlacon (Thomsen). So he teams with General Virilus (West) and heads back into the hot zone. Again, the Picts launch a devastating attack. This time seven Romans survive, and it becomes a cat-and-mouse chase as mute huntress Etain (Kurylenko) tenaciously tracks Quintus and company across the Highlands. Can they make it back to safety in the south?

The film's contained narrative makes it very watchable, as writer-director Marshall avoids overarching themes for unruly battles and gritty violence.

Although this creates a problem in that the film seems to grind to a halt in between the action scenes, with lots of grunting banter as well as a hesitant romantic sideroad as the survivors encounter a friendly outcast (Poots) who's improbably gorgeous even with a big scar on her face.

Furthering the implausibility factor is the politically correct diversity of the Romans, which includes an African (Clarke), a central Asian (Ahmed) and a range of hotheads, comedians, tough guys and traitors. Marshall gets away with this simply because the actors are all seriously gifted, creating watchable characters we really root for as their lives are put in jeopardy again and again. And as always, Fassbender holds the film together almost effortlessly.

Marshall is very good at creating pounding suspense and refusing to shy away from real grisliness. The battles are invested with an almost crazed brutality that feels genuinely terrifying and perhaps more realistic that what we usually see in these kinds of movies. He also drenches the film in filth: mud, blood, spit, half-digested food and various bodily fluids abound. This is colourful, lurid filmmaking that threatens to wear us out with its relentless nastiness.

So if the human story at the centre feels a little dry in comparison, at least it adds some meaning.



Centurion

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th July 2010

Box Office USA: $0.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $6.7M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Celador Films, Pathé Pictures International, UK Film Council, Warner Bros. Pictures, Canal+, CinéCinéma

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
Fresh: 61 Rotten: 42

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Centurion Quintus Dias, as Etain, as Bothos, as Brick, as General Titus Flavius Virilus, as Arianne, as Gorlacon, J. J. Feild as Thax, as Macros, as Leonidas, as Tarak, as Governor Julius Agricola, as Vortix, Axelle Carolyn as Aeron, as Commander Gratus, as Roman Officer Argos, as Achivir, as Druzilla, Michael Carter as General Antoninus, Tom Mannion as General Tesio, Peter Guinness as General Cassius

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.