The Reckoning
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for some sexuality and violent images)
Directed By
Paul McGuigan
Run Time
1 hour 52 minutes
Cast
Paul Bettany, Marian Aguilera, Trevor Steedman, Simon McBurney
Theatre Release
June 04, 2004 by Paramount Classics

As The Reckoning unfolds onscreen, somewhere in the audience there is a television executive thinking to himself, "I've got it! A new spinoff of C.S.I. … set in the 1380s!"

The Reckoning is an old-fashioned medieval murder mystery, full of priests, traveling entertainers, dank stony passageways, and castle dungeons. But it is told with a modern sensibility—its hero is forward-thinking, preoccupied with the empirical analysis of dead bodies. The "dark ages," as they were called before the Enlightenment came along and cured all our ills with science and technology (yes, that's sarcasm), were a hard time for investigators. After all, there were no police helicopters, no fingerprint databases, no cell phones, and the authorities were about as interested in peasant affairs as they were in cattle affairs. Autopsies were a real mess. Forensic science was in its infancy. And it was hard to tell one suspect from the next because of the popularity of dark cowls, cloaks and hoods.

Nicholas (Master and Commander's Paul Bettany) is a fugitive priest running from angry villagers who caught him in adultery. Fearful and wounded by guilt, he disguises himself by cutting his hair, pulling up his hood, and resembling the Satan in Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ.

During his flight through foggy ol' England, he stumbles onto a not-so-merry band of players, the sort that Hamlet was so happy to see rumbling into town. The actors have recently suffered the loss in their family, and Nicholas eagerly volunteers to step in and fill the void. The company is not thrilled with the idea, for reasons that they keep to themselves. But their leader Martin (Willem Dafoe) accepts Nicholas due to a certain like-mindedness. This sets grouchy ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueOur July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
Our July/Aug Issue: The Upside of Disruption
How unwelcome change can lead to a fuller life.
Current IssueEvangelism, Iranian Style
Evangelism, Iranian Style Subscriber Access Only
Amid persecution and a travel ban, Iran’s youth want community and transformation from within.
TrendingFinding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Editor's PickForgive Us Our Debts: How Christian College Grads Pay the Price
Forgive Us Our Debts: How Christian College Grads Pay the Price
Evangelical schools work to capture the real cost of student loans.
Christianity Today
The Reckoning
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.