6.2/10
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The Eagle (2011)

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0:34 | Trailer
In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.

Director:

Kevin Macdonald

Writers:

Jeremy Brock (screenplay), Rosemary Sutcliff (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Channing Tatum ... Marcus
István Göz István Göz ... Cohort Centurion
Bence Gerö Bence Gerö ... Celt Boy / Young Marcus
Denis O'Hare ... Lutorius
Paul Ritter ... Galba
Zsolt László Zsolt László ... Paulus
Julian Lewis Jones ... Cassius
Aladár Laklóth Aladár Laklóth ... Flavius Aquila
Marcell Miklós Marcell Miklós ... Fort Legionary 1
Bálint Magyar Bálint Magyar ... Fort Legionary 2
Ferenc Pataki Ferenc Pataki ... Fort Legionary 3
Bálint Antal Bálint Antal ... Young Legionary
Lukács Bicskey Lukács Bicskey ... Druid
Douglas Henshall ... Cradoc
James Hayes James Hayes ... Stephanos
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Storyline

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The destiny of a soldier. The honour of a slave. The fate of an empire.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for battle sequences and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

11 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La legión del águila See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,684,464, 13 February 2011

Gross USA:

$19,490,041

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,122,040
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Historical Advisor for the film, Lindsay Allason-Jones, gave a talk to Newcastle University Archaeology Society about her experiences working on the film. She explained that the production company decided to use stirrups, despite their being anachronistic, because there would have been issues getting insurance for the lead actors, especially as Jamie Bell had never ridden before. See more »

Goofs

Marcus noted that Esca knew the Northern language and could interpret. Esca was the son of a Brigantes chief and spoke Brythonic, which is close to Welsh. The Brigantes had controlled a large section of northern England. When they pass through Hadrian's Wall into Scotland, Esca speaks in Gaelic to everyone. There were no Gaelic speakers known to be in Scotland in 120 A.D. Most scholars believe the inhabitants [the Picts] spoke a Brythonic language related to but distinct from British. The first Roman recording of Gaelic speakers [the Scotti] in Scotland was in a skirmish at Hadrian's Wall in 297, and immigration wasn't until circa 400 A.D. Esca could indeed interpret, but in Brythonic not Gaelic. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marcus Aquila: Marcus Flavius Aquila, Fourth Cohort of Gaul, Second Legion, come to relieve the command.
Lutorius: Lutorius Drusillus Salinator, acting senior officer.
Marcus Aquila: Where's the garrison commander?
Lutorius: He left this morning, sir. Couldn't wait to get away.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of the Director, of the Writers (screenplay and Novel) and of the main Cast are red in an old English language. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 10 March 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Return of the Eagle
Performed by Torc featuring Eoghan Neff, Flaithri Neff (as The Neff Brothers) and Atli Örvarsson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A gritty, solid, terrificly entertaining film made by a director who knows what he is doing
25 March 2011 | by dvc5159See all my reviews

"The Eagle" is another fine film in the sword-and-sandal genre. It has great action sequences, some fine heroic traits like bravery and courage, and great performances by Channing Tatum (surprisingly), Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland and other good supporting players. It is history and fiction, yet it is rousing in every sense.

No, it is not as excellent and violent/bloody as "Gladiator". Everyone is quick to make comparisons. But it is still very good, and for a PG-13 movie, it has quite some bloody scenes, as a very stark and bleak atmosphere throughout, with a strong sense of unpredictability running throughout the film thanks to very talented director Kevin Macdonald. This is one of the movie's strongest points, proving that simplicity is the key to making some great moments in the film. It brings you into the movie, taking you on a ride through 140 A.D. Scotland as it really should be.

My only gripe is that some of the action sequences have shaky-camera to it, making a few of the action sequences unfocused, but I think, this time, that shaky camera makes sense because it adds to the chaotic sense during that period, where no one is really sure how to battle in that situation, adding to the unpredictability. The pace is moderate, taking the time to develop Tatum and Bell's characters, and the editing is fluid, nicely putting the scenes together. Atli Ovarsson, too, knows when and where to put his music through, allowing the film's more effective moments to shine through with or without the music.

The script is not exactly new but there are some nice twists given to it. The bonding between the Roman and his Briton slave never really goes beyond that to buddy-comedy mode, but there are scenes of mutual respect shown towards each other in a very realistic fashion. Both Tatum and Bell, showing subtle but good chemistry, are great in their roles, I'm especially surprised at Tatum's good performance, as he has proved that he has the acting chops to go along with his good looks. He isn't playing the fool.

Macdonald skillfully directs the film using the traits above and more with focus and attention, using real stunt-men/extras and real locations without a hint of CGI involved, adding even more points to the raw realism of the film. Of course, seeing Macdonald's documentary background, it comes to no surprise that the film has a very realistic feel to it. The bleak atmosphere, gritty but fantastic production and costume design, beautiful cinematography (by "Slumdog Millionaire's" Anthony Dod Mantle, no doubt), and amazing music by Ovarsson (this is his first score which I actually liked) all combine together with Macdonald and cast and crew to deliver a solid, somewhat spectacular action adventure that is old- fashioned and devoid of the usual clichés (there's no generic romantic subplot, thank God!) that seem to plague this film genre lately.

Made in the hands of another, lesser director, this film will probably end up looking like "The Last Legion" or "Centurion", probably overblown and over-stylized. Not here. Kevin Macdonald knows when to put in the bloody scenes, when to put in the music, and that simplicity is best when it comes to everything. This is terrific entertainment made even better by a director who knows what he is doing, and another fine addition to the sword-and-sandal genre.

They don't make them like they use to anymore.

Overall rating: 74/100


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