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154 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
If you love siege films then you'll love this.
Based arounf King John's exploits and the Lords of the time forcing the signing of the Magna Carta this focus' on James Purefoys Knight Templar as he wrestles with his conscience and beliefs after time spent on the Crusades.
The film is gritty, visceral and honest in it's approach to war and battle.
Some...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Banea

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MASADA MEETS THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say this was inspired by an historical event, rather than being based upon it. Historically this comes after "Robin Hood", and before "Season of the Witch." It is certainly more historical than "Season of the Witch" and "Robin Hood."

Paul Giamatti is a great actor, although previous actors...
Published 16 months ago by The Movie Guy


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154 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
If you love siege films then you'll love this.
Based arounf King John's exploits and the Lords of the time forcing the signing of the Magna Carta this focus' on James Purefoys Knight Templar as he wrestles with his conscience and beliefs after time spent on the Crusades.
The film is gritty, visceral and honest in it's approach to war and battle.
Some beautiful vista shots contrast brilliantly with the dirt and poverty of life for the everyday man.

I was gripped from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MASADA MEETS THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, 9 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say this was inspired by an historical event, rather than being based upon it. Historically this comes after "Robin Hood", and before "Season of the Witch." It is certainly more historical than "Season of the Witch" and "Robin Hood."

Paul Giamatti is a great actor, although previous actors have portrayed King John as being a lot taller. The movie makes statements such as when the knight is talking to his squire:

Knight: "Have you ever killed a man before?"
Squire: "No"
Knight: "It is not a noble thing."
Squire: "Even when it is for freedom?"
Knight: "Even when it is for God."

The battle really had nothing to do about freedom. The whole Magna Carta was designed to give rich barons more power over the king. It was a struggle within the feudal system as to who would be the boss. The serfs were still serfs no matter who sat on the throne.

This movie takes place after King John is forced to sign the Magna Carta and then he instantly reneges on it. John employs the use of foreign mercenaries to go after and kill each of the barons who signed the document. Baron Albany decides to take a stand with a small group of fighters while waiting for help from the French...who will be their new king, all the while spouting about the "freedom of men." The movie climaxes at the siege of Rochester Castle which was initially turned into a battle and included a Knight Templar. The fighting includes blood splattering on the camera lens and a man being cut in half (lengthwise). The King's army manages to erect multiple ladders against the wall, fills them with soldiers, but apparently only 6 or so soldiers can make it over at a time and more can't come over until the previous ones have been killed... only in the movies. To add drama between the fighting, the castle baron's wife is not being serviced properly by the baron. She (Kate Mara as Lady Isabel) has eyes for the Knight Templar (James Purefoy as Thomas Marshall) who has taken an oath of chastity. (Guess how that works out.) The cruelty displayed by King John at the end is historical.

James Purefoy was lame in his character, perhaps by intention. More of Giamatti was needed. Not as good as "Robin Hood" or "Season of the Witch" but better than Roger Corman's "Cyclops."

Brief nudity (not Kate), no F-bombs, brief sex.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fuss to rescue Zoe Barnes, 8 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Ironclad (Amazon Instant Video)
Overambitious given the small budget alleged to have been spent on this. I suppose it sort of proves that the really expensive movies are the way to go. But what Hollywood person would be interested in making one about the town of Rochester UK?
If you like lots of sword swinging brutality then this might be your thing. Don't expect much else from the hazy plot and acting. Some good names in here but was all that fuss really worth it to rescue Zoe Barnes? She was a right old trollop in Game of Cards but she can act, here she is wasted.
Oh, and pig lovers look elsewhere....
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128 of 150 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ironclad boodbath, 1 May 2011
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Ironclad is based on the historical siege of Rochester castle by King John. The film is period authentic, very violent, totally gripping, spoiled only by an over the top performance by Paul Giametti as King John. But you can feel and smell the period, and if you have a strong stomach, for these were bloody times indeed, you will enjoy this. It deserved a better life in cinemas than the short one it got.
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody good!, 18 May 2011
This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I saw this recently at a cinema in Dubai so I am surprised it is soon out on release. As said elsewhere it deserves more support. Surprisingly bloody, and that is probably why, but shame on the distributors. Nevertheless it is a very good film but not for the faint hearted. A sort of Magnificent Seven in armour, and why not!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good medieval arms n' armour bludgeon-fest., 10 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
An enjoyable Sunday afternoon movie. English history is fudged and muddled for narrative purposes and the plot takes a predictable but fun course. Ragtag bunch of soldiers, impossible odds, fighty fighty fight.

The cast makes this better than it otherwise would be. Charles Dance proves there's more to him than lions and Lannister gold, Brian Cox leaves no piece of scenery unchewed and the always supremely cool James Purefoy does an excellent turn as a Templar knight. Also worthy of a mention is Vladimir Kulich who plays a surprisingly noble enemy mercenary. His was one of the deeper characters in this film.

So in summary, this won't challenge you. It won't redefine your life. It's no masterpiece, but if it's raining outside and you fancy a cup of tea and a good film, this might just be it. Seven out of ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'A DECENT MEDIEVIL TALE', 6 July 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This is a gritty and very graphic action-packed movie set in the dark ages during the reign of 'King John'
'Thomas' (James Purefoy) returns to England having served the Church in the Crusades, he is due to be released from his 'Templar' vows, however 'England' is a land ruled by 'King John' who after signing the 'Magna-Carta' renages on his promise drafting in an army from europe to crush those that had apposed him.
'Thomas' along with a small group of battle-hardened warriors aim to defend a strategic Castle in Southern England from the 'King' and the drafted-in army......the odds --1000 vs the 20 defenders.
plenty of high drama and action.............worth a spin if yer' into action movies.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rascal King John and the Medieval Magnificent Seven., 11 July 2012
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Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Ironclad is directed by Jonathan English who also wrote the story and co-adapts the screenplay with Erick Kastel and Stephen McDool. It stars James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi, Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Mackenzie Crook, Jamie Foreman and Vladimir Kulich. Music is scored by Lorne Balfe and cinematography by David Eggby.

1215 and having been forced to sign the Magna Carta, King John (Giamatti) enlists an army of Danish mercenaries and plots revenge against all involved. As John lays bloody waste to the South of England, a small band of rebels led by William d'Aubigny (Cox), plot to defend the Southern stronghold of Rochester Castle in the hope they can delay John long enough for the French army to arrive from the sea to depose him.

The history, as is often the case in movies of this ilk, is sketchy and exaggerated, we are in true cinematic granted licence here as Rochester Castle is defended by less then 20 men and a couple of gals (in truth there was a considerable army defending Rochester). Yet Ironclad's sheer willingness to blend historical and period notices with blood and mud is very appealing to the swords and shields genre fan. The recreation of 13th century England is most impressive, as is the adherence to the brutality of the times. Armour and swords do clank with aural sharpness, quickly followed by blood and dismemberment; the body horror is certainly not in short supply throughout the running time. The colour is deliberately muted to capture a realistic feel, and although the shaky-cam technique used for the fight scenes (is this now written in the historical epic director's 101 handbook?) will irritate many, it does aid the grit and grue atmosphere that director English goes for. In fact he has achieved much with only a modest budget.

A splendid cast has assembled for the production, all thankfully attired with thought from the costume department. Purefoy cuts a fine rugged figure of machismo, brooding for all he's worth as he battles not only the enemy, but also his own duel with his Templar faith. Cox is, no surprise, full of gusto and leadership qualities, and the likes of Flemyng (whore chaser as brave as a lion), Crook (ace archer) and Foreman (no fear thief) add considerable grungey brawn to proceedings. Charles Dance and Jacobi lend thespian support and Kulich is a towering presence as axe wielding leader of the Danes, Tiberius. Highlight, though, is Giamatti. True enough to say that as written it's a portrait of a vicious King we have seen plenty of times before, but Giamatti elevates this one to better heights with a glint in his eye and thunderous moments of anger. For his delivery of "I am God's right hand" speech this begs respect. His accent holds as well, always a bonus is that.

Where the picture falls down is with a script that contains duff passages of dialogue and the obligatory romance thread. Poor Kate Mara (stepping in when Megan Fox scampered way from the production), it's a thankless role that basically asks her to turn the head of Purefoy's Templar Knight, hitch up her skirt and look wistful from time to time, while having Cox bellow out that John "is no more a King than the boil on my arse" hinders rather than aids the mood. But English and the makers get away with the missteps because it's such good rousing fun, a nifty blend of religion, politics and bloody war. The siege itself is very well orchestrated, as catapult engines bombard the castle, arrows penetrate the sky, men leap around on fire or scolded by hot oil, and there's interesting facts and tricks etched into the narrative too (burning of pigs a weapon of war?!). It may never quite reach the ambitions it sets itself, but in an era when swords and shields movies are in short supply, it's an entertaining and bloody romp for sure. 7.5/10
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Medieval Seven, 7 Feb. 2012
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Take the basic premise of the Seven Samurai, stir in a lot of Braveheart, add some excellent fight and special effects people and you have Ironclad. The Warhammer-style siege and combat effects will please a lot of viewers though the wooden acting, obvious love interest, and slightly wonky history will annoy some others. Ultimately the film will appeal and find its natural audience in the fight and special effects arena, and here it does very well indeed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely brilliant, 4 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
OK, so its basically a medieval mash up up The Magnificent Seven, but after purchasing it with some interest I feel I found a hidden little gem of a film here. Brian Cox and Derek Jacobi may be criminally underused, but Purefoy carries this film wonderfully as the Templar with blood on his hands and Giamatti is a fabulously vengeful King John. Nowhere near historically accurate, but fun none the less...
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Ironclad [DVD] [2011]
Ironclad [DVD] [2011] by Jonathan English (DVD - 2011)
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