The Northman Review Roundup: What the Critics Say About Robert Eggers’ Bloody Viking Epic


The much-anticipated Viking epic by Robert Eggers The Northman has hit theaters and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

The director of the critically acclaimed 2019 film The lighthouse has recruited Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk and Willem Dafoe for his latest work.

The film follows Skarsgård’s Prince Amleth on his quest for revenge after his father was brutally murdered by his uncle. The film’s budget hit about $90 million (£69 million), partly due to delays caused by the pandemic, as noted by Clarisse Loughrey The Independentmaking it a huge risk for its producers.

Time will tell if the risk pays off at the box office, but the film was extremely well received by critics.

Find a summary of The Northman reviews below.

The Independent – five stars

“History thunders back to life The Northman, in a chorus of howls, farts and belches. This is a Viking epic of thick, crimson brutality, in which Alexander Skarsgård – so massive he can only stand with his legs apart like a He-Man action figure – rips open a man’s throat with bare teeth. Where Ethan Hawke, intoxicated on the fumes of ancient henbane seeds, feverishly crawls through a mossy cave while a dust-crusted and cackling Willem Dafoe denounces the “dogs who want to be human”. Where Nicole Kidman, coins shimmering around her frown, delivers a performance so wild it seems to shake the very foundations of the framework in which she lives.”

The guard – five stars

The Northman is a horribly violent, nihilistic and chaotic tale of the endless cycle of violence, the choice between loving your friends and hating your enemies – which turns out to be no choice – and the thread of fate dripping with the delicious poison of manhood. It’s completely outrageous, with some epic visions of the cosmos blazing. I couldn’t look away.”

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Rich – five stars

“This is intimate, culturally rich storytelling of brutally epic proportions. Skarsgård is in his element, backed by a sensational cast that dive headlong into Egger and Sjón’s awe-inspiring vision. A cinematic saga worthy of the ancestors.”

The Telegraph – four stars

“To this day, Egger’s aesthetic has had a rugged uniqueness – there’s nothing like those other two films. That sells a little differently. It’s a mashup of many cinematic formulas – never far from the Meathead epics of Mel Gibson (resp gladiator); but also immerse yourself in the trippy mysticism of The fountain. It reminds you of everything and nothing.”

BBC – three stars

“The Northman is a film in which a Viking prince proves his worthiness by farting and then levitating while his father’s entrails transform into a magical fortune-telling tree. It’s a film in which Björk plays an eyeless witch with a wheat sheaf headdress and a frenzied Valkyrie rides across the sky on a white horse. Noses are bitten off, throats ripped out, and a man staggers into a fire with handfuls of his own guts. It’s not a typical Friday night at the movies. And yet, for all the weirdness and brutality mentioned above, The Northman isn’t weird or brutal enough.”

The Northman will be released on April 15 in the UK and April 22 in the US.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-northman-reviews-robert-eggers-b2055841.html The Northman Review Roundup: What the Critics Say About Robert Eggers’ Bloody Viking Epic


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