The Man in the Iron Mask


Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

The draw is fresh-faced DiCaprio in the dual role of the youthful despot Louis XIV and his wronged twin Phillippe, wearer of the cruel headgear. It then falls to older weightier thesps, Depardieu (Porthos), Irons (Aramis), Malkovich (Athos) and Byrne (D'Artagnan), to carry the action, as the standard ageing Musketeers. However, unable to impose any consistency of tone, writer/director Wallace (the scriptwriter of Braveheart) fails to reconcile the actors' diverse styles, leaving everyone costumed up but with no place to go. More comfortable with the emotional vulnerability of the imprisoned Phillippe than the vain cruelty of the tyrant monarch, DiCaprio again fails to convince as a worldly womanising adult. As the Musketeers who hatch a plot to replace the hated King with his identical twin, the others fare somewhat better. Only Depardieu, drunken and self-pitying, overplays his hand, his performance sliding into annoying farcical excess.


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Release details

UK release:



132 mins

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