Kingdom of Heaven (2005) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: It is the time of the Crusades during the Middle Ages - the world shaping 200-year collision between Europe and the East. A blacksmith named Balian has lost his family and nearly his faith. The religious wars raging in the far-off Holy Land seem remote to him, yet he is pulled into that immense drama. Amid the pageantry and intrigues of medieval Jerusalem he falls in love, grows into a leader, and ultimately uses all his courage and skill to defend the city against staggering odds. Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a great knight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France from fighting in the East. Revealing himself as Balian's father, Godfrey shows him the true meaning of knighthood and takes him on a journey across continents to the fabled Holy City. In Jerusalem at that moment--between the Second and Third Crusades--a fragile peace prevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king, Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military restraint of the legendary Muslim leader Saladin. But Baldwin's days are numbered, and strains of fanaticism, greed, and jealousy among the Crusaders threaten to shatter the truce. King Baldwin's vision of peace--a kingdom of heaven--is shared by a handful of knights, including Godfrey of Ibelin, who swear to uphold it with their lives and honor. As Godfrey passes his sword to his son, he also passes on that sacred oath: to protect the helpless, safeguard the peace, and work toward harmony between religions and cultures, so that a kingdom of heaven can flourish on earth. Balian takes the sword and steps into history. Runtime: 144 mins Release Date: 05 May 2005
A Nutshell Review: Kingdom of Heaven (by DICK STEEL)
Kingdom of Heaven in 2005 will be what Gladiator was in 2000. Ridley Scott has delivered a worthy follow up to his Oscar winner, which is also based on medieval times, with a central heroic character, and supporting casts of characters based on history.The sets are as spectacular, instead of just Rome and the Collesuem, we have the Middle East and Jerusalem. The costumes are beautiful, from intricately remade Knights armour, to the desert garb of the Muslim warriors. The soundtrack is a mixture of sounds with middle eastern influences, but somehow pales in comparison with Gladiator and lacks <more>
a central theme.Much is said about how the film portrays religion, given the sensitive subject of the Crusades, but I feel that Ridley has achieved a wonderful balance between how Christianity and Islam are portrayed. Both are given fair airtime on their ideologies, and the film tries to preach pardon the pun about tolerance, yet highlights the dangers of fanatical followers of both religions, of misguidance from men in search of worldly power.Which Christianity took a beating - where senseless battles are waged in the name of Christ, where insensitivity breed contempt. Preists are cast in negative light and given lines like "convert to Islam, repent later" when all around seems lost. It is emphasized in the show that what matters is in your head and in your heart - that noble actions speak louder than mere empty and repetitive "praise the Lord" chants, as if that will protect you during Judgement Day.Orlando Bloom plays Balian, a blacksmith who became a fugitive, but inherited land and army from his father, Godfrey, played by Liam Neeson. The film can be broadly categorized into 3 acts - the first in which Balian searches for his identity and new life in Jerusalem, the second in which the focus is on religion and politics of the time, and the last, the spectacular siege and war.Bloom puts up a commendable performance, so to his detractors out there, you're in for a big surprise. Edward Norton had the difficult task of acting through a mask as leper King Baldwin, and I applaud Ridley's decision of casting real Muslim actors to learn from them.Fans of Eva Green might be disappointed that the relationship between Balian and Queen Sibylla was played down to focus on the battles, but I feel it's a fair trade off.Firstly, some of you might not like the quick-cut-MTV style editing in Gladiator's fight scenes, especially the close ups. This is repeated here though, in a blood splattering manner. The pan-out and general landscape sweeps are mindblowing, and will leave you wanting more. Think about the battles that you see Lord of The Rings Two Towers and Return of the King - the siege on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith - Kingdom of Heaven delivers the equivalent, probably even better without the fantasy elements . This is one medieval war movie whose battles will stick in your mind for some time.The audience were the only disappointing experience for me - they were laughing at a dialogue near the end, where a "knight" asked who Balian was, and he answered "I'm the blacksmith", in which the "knight" answered "I'm the King". Laughter was abound in the theatre. I was like, HELL-O people! See that lion motif on his armour? That's Richard the Lionheart! D'uh! The Crusades didn't end there, it waged on...What is Jerusalem worth? Nothing, everything. Watch this, and in my opinion, it has Oscar written all over it. Now to hit the library and research more on the subject!
A great film by Ridley Scott!!! (by MovieCriticMarvelfan)
KOH is not Gladiator 2, first of all the movie is not about a slave dealing with Romans, at the heart of the movie is the battle for Jerusalem and two sides the Christians and the Muslims. KOH in my opinion raises up more issues than what Gladiator did and then some.The acting was great, Neeson as Godfrey of Ibelin , though he has a small role , leaves quite an impact. Bloom is wonderful, Eva Green is hot, Jeremy Irons is at his usual best , David Thewlis also puts up a great performance as Hospitaller, and Edward Norton turns in a memorable performance.The story is that in 1184 during the <more>
time of the Crusades , Balian a blacksmith becomes a knight to defend Jerusalem from Muslim invaders.Bloom as the protagonist who doesn't believe in God or religion, "I am just a blacksmith", undergoes a spiritual journey that tests both his values as a man do I stay here and fight for people of Jerusalem and his ideals about religion. He also has his morality come into question through almost the entire movie, does his give into temptation and join the dissenters of the church Guy De Lusignan or does he kill and lie to get what is offered a seat of the throne.The directing is brilliant, I believe this is shot on location if not, the sets, the special effects and budget really show. Ridley Scott as the veteran has a great eye for setting up locales, key battle scenes and incredible emotional characters.Balian's character is also 100% vulnerable he takes his series of hard shots and hangs on to claim victory just when you think the numbers are against the guy he finds a way to outsmart his opponents.Back to story. Balian kills a priest who mocks his late wife who committed suicide. "she is in hell because she committed suicide" and so Balian out of rage and the contempt this guy has for him kills him. He is now a fugitive. When he learns Godfrey of Ibelin is his father, , Godfrey wants him to fight in the crusades and go to Jerusalem.Balian still in shock doesn't want to go with his dad. When the authorities come to claim Balian and execute him, there is a big battle which results in some of Godfrey's nights being killed. Balian seeing the sacrifice the knights have done for him, finally does go with his father.Balian gets christened as a knight, but doesn't believe in God, is not an atheist per say, he believes in death but he doesn't believe in the greater good.This is a key issue being brought up throughout the movie, what is religion? Is it just words or actions that we live by. Does God really offer us hope and salvation, and the answer is yes.When his dad dies and through the speeches with Hospitaller David Thewlis who talks about him about religion that Balian he starts to have a spiritual awakening of sorts. Exposed to the poor people of Jerusalem , Balian uses his new power as a lord and a knight to build up shelters and provide water for the people as he says which I am paraphrasing he is trying to be a good man and trying to aid the helpless.Hospitaller: "Religion is not made up by fanatics.. it's about your rite of actions" He makes the analogy that religion really is about who you are as a person and by what you do , not by what you preach as a so called Christian.Eva Green is Sybilla the future queen of Jerusalem whose brother King Baldiwn Norton is sick and near death. Sybilla likes Balian of Ibelin Bloom because she feels he is brave and good. She hates her husband Guy who is one of the knights for King of Jerusalem. She mentions she was forced to marry him in a prearranged deal so there's an internal conflict with Guy and Balian. Guy and Balian previously meet early on when Godfrey introduces him to Lord Tiberius Jeremy Irons and Hospitaller. Sybilla also undergoes a transformation in the film as well, when the King dies, she sees in Balian leadership that is absent in her husband.Balian visits places in Jerusalem like the place of Christ's crucifixion and gathers within himself spiritual strength and a sense of direction to the turbulence around him.The Muslim characters in the movie consists of Saladin Ghassan Massoud and , Muslim Grandee Nasser Memazia who want Jerusalem for other uses such as for the nation of Islam. I should say the Muslim characters in this film get a large bulk of screen time. Furthermore, their characters are treated with respect and almost admiration. In fact Scott tells us their back story as well and we see display of Muslim religion in the movie such as Muslim praying in mosques and in the city of Jerusalem.This reminds me of the Palestian/Israeli conflict of sorts where you have both sides that believe in God but are battling for the control of one city, despite the fact that they both profess to believing in God. Some questions to ponder are these other people with religious ideals worse than we say they are, or are they merely some religious fanatics misusing the name of God for power? Couple that the moral questions that almost every character goes through and the questioning and denouncement and spiritual awakening of God and my you got yourself a thought provoking film.KOH is a great film. Not only is it full of action and great characters and wonderful acting but it also has a good story and challenges you as an audience to think about the messages in the movie long after you've left the theater!!!
Kingdom of Heaven is a Ridley Scott Masterpiece (by rileymullins)
Kingdom of Heaven KOH is an amazing film. I saw it in the theater but the reason it's so great is because of the 4-Disc Director's Cut, which is a must own for any KOH fan.Story: A well written script, KOH is about a blacksmith whose wife has committed suicide and he seeks out to redeem her in the city of Jerusalem, but ends up defending the people in the great battle against the Muslims.Cast: The cast for this film was outstanding. One would at first question Orlando Bloom as the leading role of Balian let's face it, he's no Russell Crowe , but this is by far his best main <more>
character performance. Liam Neeson is great as usual, as Balian's long lost father. Jeremy Irons is a great pick because he looks like he's from the crusades and his voice is undeniable. Obviously he's a great actor as well. Eva Green does very well for basically being the only woman in the film and she also fits the the time period well. Martin Csoskas give a great show as the bloodthirsty wanna-be king. Brendan Gleeson.. Do I even need to say anything? The man is incredible. He's so great at being the jerk. Ghassan Massoud and Alexander Siddig do great as playing Muslims in the film. Edward Norton is completely astounding in his uncredited performance as the leper King Baldwin. He is one of my favorite characters in the film.Music: The music score for this movie is definitely in the top 10. Harry Gregson-Williams delivers a powerful score in this one. Gregson-Williams was a great pick though straying from Ridley Scott's usual Hans Zimmer.Other: The sets, the costumes, the editing, the cinematography are all superior. They are all very authentic and beautiful and add to the films realness.Ridley Scott is brilliant. You can definitely see a resemblance of Gladiator in KOH, which is a great thing because who doesn't like Gladiator. His ability to create worlds is unlike any other director in history. The 4-Disc Director's Cut allows you to see more of what Ridley Scott's methods are like.4-Disc Director's Cut: It has everything you want to see. It puts approximately 45 minutes back into the film and what a great 45 minutes it is. It goes much more in depth especially with Eva Green's Character Sibylla. It includes all the essentials that you would want in a 4-Disc set.Overall this is a great film and has become one of my very favorites since the past year or so. There is something about it that even makes it rival the quality of Gladiator. It was very underrated by critics and was very well deserving of some Oscars. Watch it!
Overall, very good movie. Great epic. (by sappersil)
Hubby and I just got back from a screening in LA tonight. We both liked the movie quite a bit. The audience was spellbound during the movie - not a sound, very little movement, and, what do you know, no coughing. I think a couple cell phones did go off. Hrmph. Everyone applauded at the end, so I am guessing most people liked the movie.Hubby is a history buff. He thought Kingdom was better than Gladiator, especially as an epic. It is conducted on a much grander scale than Gladiator, which was more about 2 men and a woman. Kingdom is about a nation, a time, lots of people. He did not think it <more>
was too long and definitely wants to see it again. We both thought of Gladiator because that's what all the ads say - from the Director of Gladiator. I also liked this movie a lot. So we will likely see it again when it is released. There is a lot going on in this movie.**** SPOILERS FOLLOW **** SO STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ****Highlights for me included Balian and his father's scenes which, for me, really showed Liam Neeson off well, especially his death scene , the scene when Balian awakens on the beach and fights his first Seracin sp? , his time spent by himself in Jerusalem, his 1st meeting and battle with Saladin, his refusal to do a small evil for great good and that whole series of scenes, the final, amazing battle sequence, and the ending though that was a bit dreamy - I mean what are they gonna do now without a kingdom? I liked both the movie ending and the ending of the battle. I even like when Balian meets King Richard: "I am a blacksmith" And I am the King of England." "I am a blacksmith."Other favorite lines "This is not a good horse." Not sure if I am remembering this correctly , "Perhaps if I'd had a different teacher" between Saladin and his buddy about how the battle is going. Lots of cool, cheesy, must-see-again stuff like that.Needless to say, I thought the movie showed off Bloom and Neeson very well, though Neeson's role was fairly short. I think Jeremy Irons was underutilized, though that was consistent with his character I think. Loved David Thewlis also. Hubby did think that Russell Crowe is a more intense commander than Bloom. I thought Bloom created a character more in tune with his own personality less yelling and screaming and who had a commanding presence of his own.To me Gladiator might be a bit better than Kingdom but also different. Kingdom is definitely on a much grander scale, with huge battle scenes, which I loved. I especially love that Bloom's character Balian fights without mercy and that there are things like cutting where the horses' legs would be, using various items to injure/put down the enemy and just plain doing whatever it takes to get the enemy down. This is definitely a 'dirtier" bloodier movie than Gladiator, which was much more symbolic violence than "let's see the man's head hacked off". So for battle sequences, Kingdom wins hands down. However, Lucilla and Maximus were a better developed pair than Balian and Sybilla, so that part, for me, made Gladiator edge out Kingdom. Sybilla is more moody than a real person until the end and my impression was there was too much to do for Balian to have time for love.There is some stylization here - such as the blood splatters and some battle movements - but overall very well used.Unlike hubby, I did think the movie was a bit long but then I have trouble sitting longer than about an hour and a half, so I was fidgeting a bit, which caused me to notice that no one else was fidgeting. I also fidgeted at the Lord of the Rings, etc. Basically anything long :- This was an all adult crowd, so who knows what kiddies would have thought. Anyways, a very enjoyable evening. Very glad we went.
I was able to see this movie two weeks early, don't ask me how. All that I know is that this was an amazing film. True, all of the religion context kind of got on my nerves, but that was the time and Scott did an excellent job of incorporating it in the film. Bloom, one of my least favorite actors, was actually very good and proved himself to be better actor then I had expected. The action was amazing and had the viewer biting their nails during each of the fight sequences. All of the actors brought a certain something to their role which made me realize that the casting of this movie was <more>
perfect. The scenery was stunning and there were tons and tons of extras. Certainly one of the best Ridley Scott movies that I have seen so far. On May 6th, pay the six bucks, and prepare to see one of the best movies of the year!!!
Best example of "See the Director's Cut" (by Pete-235)
Many of the reviews above I agree with, but I also saw the theatrical version and was very disappointed 6 out of 10 . When the Director's Cut came out it was 45 minutes longer, so you fear the worst, MORE of the same. In this case, the story line is filled out and the motivations and characters are fleshed out. Eva Green went from, "why is she in this movie" with virtually no screen time and less dialog to a major character who moves the plot, as you would hope given her billing. The opening scenes in France are greatly expanded and meaningful. The action scenes are better, but <more>
not substantially. The Director's cut should have been the official version of the movie, the theatrical cut is a poor excuse.
"Kingdom of Heaven": A Near Masterpiece (by lavatch)
In 1935, Cecil B. DeMille made his famous epic "The Crusades" on one of the back lots of Hollywood. What a change in the Ridley Scott film "Kingdom of Heaven" of 2005 with the technical wizardry of a new era! Although it is not a perfect film, it is nonetheless skillfully crafted and well worth the time of any film-goer in our current, troubled age.From the visual and technical standpoint, "Kingdom of Heaven" is masterful. The recreation of medieval France and the city of Jerusalem were tremendous technical achievements. The French landscape recalls the region <more>
excellent, fair to islam, sweeping, narrative could have used tightening... (by Duk)
I really enjoyed this movie. The way the movie started in Europe and how dark it was there... and the journey to Jerusalem... just wonderful stuff up to that point.Liam Neeson, as usual, is just SO GOOD, you wish he had more screen time.Orlando Bloom, actually surprisingly, was able to carry the movie as a lead. I was surprised he had the heft to do it, but I agree with the critic who said that the beard helped. He was a man, not a boy.Battle scenes... incredible. I was really surprised that they could wow me, since we've been numbed by the quality of battle scenes in so many previous <more>
movies, but they did a great job.Portrayal of the Muslims. EXTREMELY fair. In being "even-handed" to Christians and Muslims there, if anything, they emphasized the Christian fanatics in the form of the Templars in particular, to simplify things as being the "badguys" more than anyone else... which is historically accurate to some degree, in my understanding . I was surprised and pleased that they tried to be accurate, and didn't try to emphasize some "BAD MUSLIMS" to make it "even".Movie is very secular in it's moralizing.And it portrays Christianity particularly religious men, VERY badly the Priest who steals the cross from Bloom's wife's corpse... the Bishop in Jerusalem who's ready to convert to Islam at the first sign of defeat... and who also wants to abandon the civilians... the knights templar... I thought this got a tad gratuitous. There were really NO GOOD Christian FIGURES IN THE MOVIE. The only good purported Christians were basically acting Agnostic Bloom, Neeson, etc. The actual religious Christians were made out to be hypocrites.Meanwhile Saladhudin was a man of honor.. but also somewhat moderate.Movie could definitely have a little more narrative focus and maybe have a little more of an emotional circle for Orlando Bloom character. The emotional arc is ALREADY complete fairly early in the movie Bloom becomes a man of conscience ... and it's kind of boring since the character doesn't really move after that.But the movie tackled a HUGE topic and tackled it fairly well. I just wish there was a better script to handle the compelling personal journey for Orlando Bloom from widower, murderer seeking redemption, lost bastard son that was PROMISED at the beginning.It seems that as soon as he brings water to his father's old land, he's just about done his journey, and it turns into a simple historical battle movie. but a darn good one
I saw a press viewing this morning, this is a good film (by nikolaijensen)
First of all, what can beat Gladiator, with lines like "father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife", etc. and Russell Crowe chopping off heads. Kingdom of Heaven is a similar heroic fable yet the good and evil polarity is slightly more ambiguous. I would say it was vastly better than Alexander. Ridley Scott's style cinematography and music as seen in Black Hawk Down and Gladiator also lend a wonderful historical ambiance. Orlando Bloom does a fine job as the lead, and the French actress is fantastic and beautiful , but my favorite lead was the Leper King and the <more>
wise nobility of his character. The battle scenes are excellent including one in falling snow in which the snowflakes seem to hang in the air and the armies look very historically realistic - this is a very good-looking epic. Formulaic perhaps, but well-executed. Kingdom of Heaven made me feel like leaving the "blacksmithy" that is our dull modern urban existence and finding a cause worth fighting for, but Crusades just aren't what they used to be D