Robin Hood (12A)

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue May 11 2010

‘From the director of "Gladiator"!’ scream the posters, and you’d be forgiven for expecting a straight rerun of that Oscar-winning hit - a film that swaps togas and short swords for Lincoln green and feathered arrows. But this ‘Robin Hood’ is a more unpredictable beast: while the shakycam action sequences, effete young villain and moody presence of Russell Crowe hark back to the earlier film, this is far closer to Scott’s ambitious but unloved ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ in its depiction of a world ruled by brute force and striving for moral direction.

The opening act could even work as a sequel to that film: fighting his way back from the Crusades in the army of Richard the Lionheart, archer Robin Longstride decides to head for home when the King gets an arrow in the neck. By a series of unbelievable coincidences, Robin finds himself posing as deceased nobleman Robert Locksley, charged with taking news of the Lionheart’s death back to his troublesome brother, the new King John (Oscar Isaac).

This kickstarts the long series of subterfuges, political dirty deals and full-scale treachery that constitute the film’s wildly convoluted story. It's plots aplenty: King John plots against his former Chancellor, Marshall (a stately William Hurt); traitor Godfrey (Mark Strong) plots against John, Robin and the entire English nation in concert with the devious King Philip of France; while Maid Marian (Cate Blanchett) and her ailing father-in-law (Max von Sydow) plot to keep Robin in Nottingham in the guise of the former Lord Locksley.

Confused? You will be. Anyone expecting a straightforward woodland beat-em-up will be bemused and most likely dismayed by the intricacies of the narrative, particularly when it becomes clear that Scott has been forced to trim back the action to fit in all these dastardly goings-on. Add a complete absence of characterisation, some laughable accents (Crowe sounds like he’s auditioning for ‘Coronation Street’) and a sense of history that would make Simon Schama scream, and you’ve got the makings of what should be a tedious, overblown disaster.

But for all his faults, Scott knows what he’s doing. The film looks terrific: the English landscape hasn’t looked so lush and magical for a long time, particularly in a clutch of gorgeous moonlit night scenes. Aesthetically it's convincing, which goes a long way towards offsetting the more nutty convolutions in the plot. And while characterisation has been cut to the bone, Crowe, Blanchett, Strong and especially Von Sydow remain eminently watchable, with strong, likeable support from the likes of Mark Addy as Friar Tuck and Matthew MacFadyen as a marvellously greasy Sheriff of Nottingham.

Best of all, the film just feels huge: genuinely epic in a way few movies have since ‘Lord of the Rings’. The endless plot twists may be perplexing, but they work to make the movie feel eventful and involving: after 140 minutes, audiences will feel like they’ve been somewhere, lived through something. And so, while this ‘Robin Hood’ is a long way from perfect, it remains a satisfyingly immense and old fashioned grand-canvas experience.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri May 14, 2010

Duration:

140 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|56
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Drakken

Boring, with a script that would embarrass a straight-to-dvd actioner. Prediction: at some point in the next 18months, Ridley Scott will produce the definitive "Director's Cut" with a sour-faced intro by himself, tacitly blaming the studio, just like he did for Kingdom of Heaven.

garrick huscared

I was not expecting much but was actually thrilled to see a well thought out and relatively accurate story. King John was perfect. Crowe was great as the alpha male (accent dodgy) but the visuals utterly stunning and at least iot took them a few days to get from he south to Nottingham and not an hadrians wall in sight. This is an excellent movie and my freind Hannah who was credited as girl by bog hehe stole the show for me. I loved this film and as a fan of Prince of theives will all its faults this film tops the list of the genre for me. Loved it.

garrick huscared

I was not expecting much but was actually thrilled to see a well thought out and relatively accurate story. King John was perfect. Crowe was great as the alpha male (accent dodgy) but the visuals utterly stunning and at least iot took them a few days to get from he south to Nottingham and not an hadrians wall in sight. This is an excellent movie and my freind Hannah who was credited as girl by bog hehe stole the show for me. I loved this film and as a fan of Prince of theives will all its faults this film tops the list of the genre for me. Loved it.

lolfool

lol this film was baaaaaad what a waste of money hahahahaha joking its not that great but its not that bad either you can only win or lose with this film.

kevin the greatl

this medievil romp was hillarious. crowe was perfectly cast as the portly friar tuck. his one liners and slapstick humour was reminisant of his late great father frankie howard. unfortunately this film was not as funny as the first film in the trilogy boys in hood 2. cmon director terry scott get your act together

kevin the greatl

this medievil romp was hillarious. crowe was perfectly cast as the portly friar tuck. his one liners and slapstick humour was reminisant of his late great father frankie howard. unfortunately this film was not as funny as the first film in the trilogy boys in hood 2. cmon director terry scott get your act together

Mark M

Really good, apart from the accents of some of the lead players. Far more believable than most other Robin Hood films

Mark M

Really good, apart from the accents of some of the lead players. Far more believable than most other Robin Hood films

silentnur

I love this film. Hope to watch it again and again. Salute to Ridley Scott & Russell Crowe. Great film!

silentnur

I love this film. Hope to watch it again and again. Salute to Ridley Scott & Russell Crowe. Great film!

Isabel B.

Not really the Robin Hood you're looking for and a bit dreary. Charles, you say it introduces a great deal of history that never gets any attention? The problem with that is people buy the ticket to see filoms for entertainment not history lessons and we certainly don't want all that PC stuff either.

Charles Apple

Robin Hood was terrific. This is something of a hobby of mine. I'm 62, so I've seen most Robin Hood efforts first run. This one does the entire legend a service by rewriting the overall storyline and giving it a nice, grown up boost. I completely agree with the other 2 comments. Crowe is fine especially since this is not a movie about jokes, but about times that are very dark. We have way too many comic book movies that neither address anything on the minds of the adults in the room nor do they offer a reasonable upbeat, hopeful resolution that does not involve blood and gore and those little bags that you get on airplanes. This was a real popcorn movie. The reading didn't bother me. I love print and the little bit here was just fine. As were the terrific credits that the reviewer notes. My sweetie says that a movie has to pass the Cynthia butt test. This Robin Hood certainly achieved that test. One last point. Despite the fact that this movie plays fast and free with the historical facts in question (it is a movie after all), it does introduce a good deal of history that never gets any attention, namely, the dreadful reign of John, the invasion of the French, and the civil war in England. While no one will ever replace Errol Flynn or Richard Greene for me, Russell Crowe certainly shows me a new vision of Robin and does so along with a wonderful action movie.

Charles Apple

Robin Hood was terrific. This is something of a hobby of mine. I'm 62, so I've seen most Robin Hood efforts first run. This one does the entire legend a service by rewriting the overall storyline and giving it a nice, grown up boost. I completely agree with the other 2 comments. Crowe is fine especially since this is not a movie about jokes, but about times that are very dark. We have way too many comic book movies that neither address anything on the minds of the adults in the room nor do they offer a reasonable upbeat, hopeful resolution that does not involve blood and gore and those little bags that you get on airplanes. This was a real popcorn movie. The reading didn't bother me. I love print and the little bit here was just fine. As were the terrific credits that the reviewer notes. My sweetie says that a movie has to pass the Cynthia butt test. This Robin Hood certainly achieved that test. One last point. Despite the fact that this movie plays fast and free with the historical facts in question (it is a movie after all), it does introduce a good deal of history that never gets any attention, namely, the dreadful reign of John, the invasion of the French, and the civil war in England. While no one will ever replace Errol Flynn or Richard Greene for me, Russell Crowe certainly shows me a new vision of Robin and does so along with a wonderful action movie.

btherrt

i thought it was very good, just that they needed to make it more clear, but then again it was ok.

brandon

slow as a week in a jail absolute mince i think the kids one told me more about robin hood the only good bit was the last 10 mins at the end when the french didn't know what todo at one point i wanted to leave my family nd i are being kind giving it a 4/10 if you watch this you would need to be bored ice secenery though

Keith

Not alot that you can say after a film like that ... poor ... very poor

mike

A really good film, fact mixed with ledgend. If I wanted to watch a documentary, I would have stayed at home and watched the tellie. My wife and I thouroughly enjoyed it. You go to the pictures to be entertained and we were. 5 Star rating

mike

A really good film, fact mixed with ledgend. If I wanted to watch a documentary, I would have stayed at home and watched the tellie. My wife and I thouroughly enjoyed it. You go to the pictures to be entertained and we were. 5 Star rating

jimbo

WTF??? This film was totally excellent WE all loved it( my brothers and maytes) and who calling themselves TRUTHTELLER can be taken seriously anyway? Use your real name and don't hide behind an alias unless you are embarrased by your views.great flick well told grteat wrk..whens the sequel out??

Ron Coxall

Ridley Scott seemed to lose the plot (literally) with this film, in the same way that he did with the originally released version of Blade Runner.. Here, after over 2 hours which were basically retreads of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven (though without the good music this time) we come to the ending which is truly ridiculous. Having fought alongside Robin Hood, repelling the French on the beaches (ludicrously with Maid Marian also there in full armour) the King, in the very next scene, for no apparent reason, and in a sudden outbreak of overacting, declares Robin to be an outlaw to be hunted down for the rest of his days. It was as if Scott had suddenly discovered that he only had one minute left of the film and had forgotten completely to explain why Hood was supposed to be an outlaw. Presumably in the Director's Cut there will be an extra half an hour inserted to explain this baffling turn of events.

alan

Oh dear Matt, I think you're missing the point here,it was a work of fiction,legend, myth! Robin hood did not even exist,people have been playing hard and fast with historical facts for years to suit their artistic needs,who among us heard accents in 1199? No dictaphone or V mail you see,and as for accuracy Mel had an affair with what was essentially a 12 year old (in reality) in Braveheart but it was still a rip roaring flick which trouserred 5 oscars. On the whole,if I was south shields lad Scott I would be pretty proud of a great 'non' hollywood re-telling the story of a fiction character

Mat

blanchett and strong, along with some great fighting, nearly saved it, but now ridley scott now has to try and sleep at night (the £50 note padding in his bed might help) knowing that he has taught the children of 2010 that in 1199 Richard the Lionheart was KIA, there was a north-south civil war, the english mightily defeated the french at the great battle of dover, and that robin hood was not only a soldier (a general at one point), but was even a crusader himself... i think either me or ridley needs a new history book. ...oh yeah, and good accent russell.

wee joke

Mmmmmmm! Son of Rambow? Well I guess if that's the level your at we can treat your review with a bucket of salt.the accents were fine,should they all talk like costner and slater frome 18 years ago?? Maybe shane meadows should make it with authentic accents,the film for me was really entertaining,a solid update of the tale, go and enjoy it people its actually pretty good,you stay away wayne s,go fishing with noctor and truthteller. LATERS

villardi

What a mess of a film. It goes to show that despite having squillions to throw at the screen, you can still come up with a stinker. Overblown, ludicrous plotting, hammy acting and by the end I wanted the French to kill the whole b----dy lot of them. Russell it's not enough to look mean and broody, you gotta give us a performance mate. Enjoyed Son of Rambow with my ten year old daughter much more.

Michael Hardy

I was dreading watching this film after reading the reviews, some things are true, the accent by Crowe is suspect, but take a step back, and look at the film as a whole, it has fantastic acting, great scenes and is packed with action. It is a great film, go and make your own judgement like i did.

Michael Hardy

I was dreading watching this film after reading the reviews, some things are true, the accent by Crowe is suspect, but take a step back, and look at the film as a whole, it has fantastic acting, great scenes and is packed with action. It is a great film, go and make your own judgement like i did.

scotty

A friend of mine said that i was insane to read reviews/movies/albums/holiday resorts etc.they were a waste of time .but I always defended my and other peoples right to air and share their views.Furthermore,more often than not I found that the majority of the reviews were utter dribble posted by wannabe critics who only looked for faults(like the market researching mystery shopper who enters a store with a completely different agenda to that of an actual shopper who goes in intent on making a purchase and not intent on filling in their 'scoresheet') ) And so I read and then go and see the movie,,,,and here we have it again. A really good action flick made by one of britain's finest directors and everyone on here slags it off...Baaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaa SHEEP!!!!! YOU'RE ALL SHEEP. this film is total entertainment,great goodies,great baddies,subtle love story,great comedy support.totally set up for the sequel,and I cant wait I love review pages,I do!

andy

Well I thought this was flippin great.I knew truthteller would hate it,he is the noctor in disguise ha

Phil

I thought this was great. A Robin Hood treatment closer to the historical figure than the more pantomine Costner outing of the 90's. Interesting play with the idea of Robin's nobility, here he was a yeoman yet asumed the title of the lord Robert of Locksley, so he could outwardly play the role of the lord with its attached authority (and treat with his equals in times of battle) yet inwardly could still relate to his men and the people. Great acting throughout, with Blanchett and von Sydow particularly good. Admiitedly the historical plotting slowed the film a bit and the scenes where Robin was bantering with his men where far more entertaining. However the film as a whole,had a large, epic scale that suited the main drive of the plot with Robin as the leader of a social rebellion in England. In the final scene with the introduction of the 'Greenwood', as much a character in the legend as any of the Merry Men, there was a hint perhaps to a more action-packed guerilla-warfare style sequel.

bill

truthteller????!!!! Is it you??? I thought we had told you to stop using that silly name!! conceited arrogant and childish is that the movie?? or is it mesoarrogantfullofitteller.

kris dwornik

Brilliantly made Ridley Scott film againn Shame though that although I'm told there is no hard evidence of fact or truth about Robin Hood THERE IS a universally accepted story line. Every single 'fact' in this film is TOTALLY ficticious and nothing to do with the original story! Oh and in the beach battle at the end watch for the guy charging with a standard claw hammer on a 2ft handle;

Matt

Agree with the almost universally negative comments above. No coherent plot, no character development, historical nonsense and those ludicrous ww2 landing craft at the end. I felt particularly aggrieved to discover, after sitting through 2+ hours of this tedium, that this is simply a prequel to the next film.

Gavin

Saw this on holiday, in a responsible attempt to keep us out of the bar. Wished we had got "merry" instead. Historically ridiculous, atrocious accents, pretentious, and just plain boring for much of the film. Great respector of Ridley Scott, but his edge is so blunted I fear he needs reforged.

bryan

Okay, I'm a fan of both Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott, and I wanted to like this. But after twenty minutes I got the uneasy feeling that it was going to be a stinker. And it was. Overplotted, badly paced, derivative (now, what film has this come from) and grim. Russelll's accent was all lover the place, and I found it very distracting! Acting generally rather flat and the screenplay was very corny in parts. and don't start me on the historical inaccuracies, even if Robin Hood *is* a legend. Most US critics have panned it, but I'm surprised that some UK critics have been so favourable. One to miss, in my opinion.

jaycee

Pretty pedestrian and too long. Kingdom of Heaven got slammed in it's cut version but had ten times the style and visual elegence. I think Scott must have gone for a rustic look, but it just seems prosaic, and surely King John needn't have been such a cartoonish drama queen. Could do without the Saving Private Ryan ending, it's just ok. Shame because Scott has the ability to make wonderful historical epics. Will he ever get the chance to do another great one?

Paul

The film was all over the place and the range of comments by TO and others all match the film I saw and the reactions it invoked. I respect Ridley Scott so not sure what went wrong here. Perhaps Russell Crowe 's tantrums point to him knowing that his performance was sloppy.

julia

The casting for this film is shocking, Who on earth thought of casting the 41 year old Blanchett as Maid Marian? She's only meant to be about 14. This film is shockingly awful.

johan a kruger

Just walked out on this movie, it is truly a terrible documentary on medieval agricultural barons of north england unhappy about their king. There is more sexual chemistry between a farmer and his sheep than between Russel Crowe and that lady that was in Lord of the Rings… all shot on digital HD with astonishingly bad digital effects and shaky camera movements… the whole saving private ryan ayyacking the beach ending... was just the last straw... i want my money back...

Catfishgirl

Starts off big, bold and watchable and then trails away into loads of bickering barons and tedious speechifying. Not nearly enough action ... What's the point of a Robin Hood film without lots of jumping out from behind trees and holding people up? Shame.

Mike watts

Like gladiator, but worse than crap. Would have given zero rating if I could have. Thinking of sueing Scott for the 2 hours of wasted life (only 2 because we walked out before the end).

Pete

Terrible film! Lots of stupid politically correct stuff in a Robin Hood film?! Robing Hood giving a speech about killing Moslems IDURING THE CRUSADES?!! Stupid and borning.

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