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Outlaw King

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, United States
·
2018

Rated R · 2h 2m

Director David Mackenzie
Starring Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Tony Curran

Genre Drama, Action, History

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Forced into exile by the English Empire after being crowned King of Scotland, legendary warrior Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) fights to reclaim the throne. Through an epic journey of rebellion and heroism in the countryside, the Scots must take on the notoriously strong English army.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

42

The Playlist by

Outlaw King plays like the kind of passion project that a filmmaker just gets lost in; its bloated running time and narrative tedium bespeak a director watching a movie in his head for so long, he can no longer see its flaws.
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

Director David Mackenzie (Pine's collaborator on Hell or High Water) dabbles in some interesting aesthetic experiments – including a doozy of a single-take scene in the film's opening minutes – but the narrative is cut, dried and left to rot under the soggy Scottish skies.
40

The Guardian by Charles Bramesco

If the historical epic exists as a delivery system for swords-and-shields clashes, panoramas of rolling natural vistas and gruff inspirational speeches to those about to die, then Mackenzie has done his job and then some. But his prior films have set the bar a bit higher than that, and this straightforward, unchallenged take on macho valour doesn’t quite reach it.
42

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The craft on display is often as undeniable as the cast that Mackenzie has assembled to bring it all to life, but “Outlaw King” is a moribund piece of storytelling. It’s too big to be an intimate portrait of a reluctant leader, and not big enough to effectively contextualize that leader’s role in the war he was born to fight.
69

IGN by Jim Vejvoda

When the film works, it can be very engaging but it is simply too inconsistent.
50

The Hollywood Reporter by John DeFore

Pine is fully committed to Robert's mission, but the film has a hard time making him a compelling character, even with a wife and daughter on hand to make him relatable. And it takes forever for his military campaign to get rolling.
83

Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

Mackenzie falls a little too in love with his battle scenes; by the fourth clash of blood and swords it all starts to feel like déjà vu, with different horses. At nearly two and a half hours, there’s clearly room to trim.... But he also films it beautifully in the natural light of candles, torches, and overcast skies, and there’s a solidness to the old-fashioned conventions of his storytelling.
50

Variety by Peter Debruge

Whatever its value as rabble-rousing historical reenactment, Outlaw King never quite compares to the many films it’s so keen to imitate, and in some cases outright quote.
80

Screen International by Wendy Ide

A fair bit of historical scene-setting at the beginning means that the picture takes a while to hit its stride. But once it does, there is much to enjoy in this big, brawling ruck of an action movie.

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