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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
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining caricature
What are you looking for in a DVD about the siege of Rochester that took place in 1215, after some of King John's barons rebelled against him? A historically accurate story? Good actors who perform in ways that make their characters look realistic? A lot of savage but realistic fighting? All three or none of the above? Depending on your answers to these questions (and...
Published on 13 Jun 2012 by JPS


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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not too good, 5 April 2013
By 
Junius (London, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is not a great film. I suppose it passes the time, and shows what maybe pretty realistic and bloody battle scenes, though why the heroes very rarely wear helmets is rather silly.

But that should be no surprise, because that's one of the motifs of the film throughout. I ended up rooting for the bad guys; Cornhill and John. The first because he was a man of peace whose property and life are endangered by a band of fanatics obsessed by sacrificing his in a war he doesn't want. John, because as a king he ruled by divine right and had been thwarted by rebellious subjects and forcd into putting his seal to the Magna Carta. The rebels are actually traitors, in league with their country's enemy, the French, and we're expected to cheer them on.

There's lots of historical blunders and these have mostly been pointed out elsewhere. But a few extras - we're shown a copy of MC with the name 'King John of England' written in English not Latin; the annoying squire bleats about 'the people' and 'freedom' and no one asks him what he means behind these hollow phrases (an end to serfdom? and end to tithes?) Why does the baron become a woollen merchant? Why do the Danes stop hacking at the keep door and dig a mine in a few days? Why don't the rebellious barons help our heroes out? And why don't they taunt John as 'Lackland or Softsword? The unarmoured and untrained heroine gets through unscathed, oddly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is Killing a Noble Thing?" - Too right!,, 10 Sep 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is a British made historical battle-a-thon, It is set in the aftermath of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John. He was more or less forced to sign and as such, felt somewhat aggrieved, so in the true fashion of all absolute monarchs, he sets about killing (gruesomely) every bally person responsible, that is the Barons and their `Monk Knights', the legendary Knights Templar.

King John is found out by one of the returning Crusader Templars played by James Purefoy (Solomon Kane), he teams up with the Baron of Albany played by the ever good value Brian Cox. They realise that in order to stop King John they will need to hold the strategically important castle of Rochester. King John has enlisted the help of the Danes, with the promise that they will be allowed to carry on worshiping their Pagan Gods and not have the Pope stuff Christianity down their throats. I suspect a bit of gold may have been promised too. They then set about taking the castle, but Albany has rounded up a small band of killing machines that like nothing more than a big ruck. They include Mackenzie Crook making another change of direction from his more sombre roles as in `The Office'.

Rochester is owned by Derek Jacobi playing Cornhill, and he is married to Kate Mara (Isabel), she is somewhat neglected in the bed chamber department and soon finds herself drawn to the mysterious and pious Templar. You just know stuff is going to happen. Meanwhile the siege begins, with trebuchets', siege towers and scaling ladders, plus loads of Viking nutters. They are ridiculously outnumbered but believe that help is on the way from France and so have to hold out.

This is a brilliant film, with blood and guts from the beginning and some excellent performances most notably from Paul Giamatti who plays King John, he was so good at being evil, I found myself swearing at him at one point (very juvenile). The fight scenes are frequent and gory and everyone is covered in filth and grime all the time, the way it would have been, no Hollywood airbrushing thank gawd.

There is some CGI, but it is all done very well, there is a little de rigueur examination of the ethics of faith and the Papacy, but nothing to take this off track from being a blood and gore filled action fest. At 116 minutes, you will feel it is a short film, but you will also feel satisfied, this should have got a much wider circulation and I am so glad I finally got round to seeing it - if you like historical action this is a must see for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, 21 July 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
As long as you dont take this film too seriously it is not only great fun, but its great action and well shot with some fantastic action scenes and a great wardrobe.
With a film shot in this time period you want to see everyone getting really down and dirty, even the king and they get none dirtier than Paul Giamatti (what a great choice to play King John). For a flawed hero while he would not be the first name to spring to mind James Purefoy does a stirling job and really makes the role his, and arch villan or in this case great defender Brian Cox is just excellent.

I had loads of fun watching this film.... but dont expect reality...we are talking about a handful of men holding a castle against 1000+ Danish Mercenaries... but it is great period blood and guts action.

(Parm)

(DVD cover blurb)
A medieval Magnificent Seven, that combines the visceral, stylized action of 300 with the impassioned heroism and romance of Braveheart. Starring James Purefoy (Solomon Kane), Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy), and Paul Giamatti (Shoot `Em Up), Ironclad is an ultra-violent action thriller that tells the true story of a motley crew of tough, battle hardened warriors, who withstood several brutal and bloody months under siege, in a desperate bid to defend their country's freedom.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody and Raw, 14 Aug 2011
By 
R. Wigginton (UK) - See all my reviews
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I watched this movie twice within a few days. Not often I can do that. This movie appeared out of nowhere with very little publicity; I understand it had a relatively small budget. Compare it to the hype of the hugely disappointing 'Kingdom of Heaven', yet for a medieval epic, this was infinitely better executed. Good costumes and great choice of actors who suited their roles perfectly. I've never heard of James Purefoy (the lead character) before. He was grim throughout and made a awesome templar, and much better knight than Orlando Bloom could ever be. Why Ridley cast Orlando in that role, I've no idea! Brian Cox was also perfect. There's no hollywood gloss here; just dirty, raw and bloody action. If the events had been more historically accurate, it might have got the fifth star from me. So, an enjoyable medieval action movie which will no doubt generate more interest in English history. Enjoy!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly superb, 20 July 2011
By 
James Rands (Europe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I always like James Purefoy and I like action adventures and I like the middle-ages so I had high expectations of this film; which were met fully.

The story is centred on the siege of Rochester Castle. This was a real battle and though the film plays fast and loose with some of the historical details it is more historically accurate than say Braveheart.

The sleeve compares it to the Magnificent Seven and The Three Hundred which are both great films but which do not, I think, do this justice. King John has reneged on the Magna Carta and set out on a campaign of brutalk intimidation and revenge upon his barons. The feldgling consitutition must be defended against his impositions and the people against his cruelty. A stand will be taken. There is a relatively small band of defenders holding Rochester castle which controls the Medway and thus Kent and the South East (ie the bit of the country that actually matters). The quickly assembled band of veterans are supplemented by the castle's own meagre guard and have to hold out against around a thousand Danish mercenaries for months. Queue siege ladders, catapults, Greek fire (okay not everything is historically accurate) and mining operations with lots and lots of bloody close combat.

James Purefoy is the Knight Templar scarred mentally after the crusades and Brian Cox is the Baron d'Aubigny (wrong spelling I am sure) who led the defenders in reality. Derek Jacobi is the castle's normal warder and a satisfyingly obnoxious character who acts as a foil for Cox. Jason Flemmyng is the ultra-violent whore loving soldier of fortune. Kate Mara is the love interest playing Jacobi's neglected wife drawn inevitably to Purefoy. Her English accent is sufficiently good that I had to look her up and check that she was indeed American. Paul Giamatti is really surprising too. His accent works almost as well and he really captures the role of the vile King John. Overall the cast is superb and we even McKenzie Crook playing up to what Americans imagine a medieval Brit would have looked like.

What really distinguishes this film from most historical action adventures is the effort to create the period feel. People look dirty and unwashed. Beds are grimy and houses small and threadbare. There's none of the "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" gloss nor too many heavily armoured knights (Purefoy is the only one). It is a shame that the Magna Carta is portrayed as a charter for all the people. It wasn't. It was a charter for the nobles. Nonetheless, depsite this very modern notion much of the film has that period look and feel which is really difficult. And there are snatches of real dialogue such as King John/Giamatti's request for forty pigs. (It makes sense when you watch.)

Overall I loved this. And you probably will too.
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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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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look, 4 Nov 2011
By 
This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Having seen trailers for this film for a while, I was sceptical it would be a case of where all the best bits are in the trailer leaving nothing really innovative. I'm so glad I was wrong.

Ironclad is a first rate (despite being low budget) action film based around the siege of Rochester. The film focusses on the main character played by Purefoy and the king. Lots of action from the outset and characters that you really care for. This film has it all. Be warned however, despite the 15 rating it is very graphic in terms of violence but this does not distract from the awesome plot.

A must have for any fan of medieval action epics similar to Game of Thrones series. A perfect addition to the collection, and at time of writing, only £5 DVD, you cannot go wrong!

5/5

P.S: Another great film starring James Purefoy is Solomon Kane, has mixed reviews on here but believe me it is just as good as Ironclad, full of lovable characters, less gory action scenes (which are frequent) and deep storyline. Check it out!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad!, 2 Oct 2012
By 
D. Carter (Herefordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
With an interest in both the period and the Templars I was looking forward to this film, but was bitterly disappointed. I don't mind a bit of artistic licence or violence in a historic story (I loved Kingdom of Heaven, even if the history is a bit shaky), but this was just a bloodfest of overly stylised violence with little substance. The cast tried their hardest with a script that gave the impression of being written by a twelve year old, but it was a lost cause. The characters were two dimensional, in an equally shallow plot. The amateurish script was full of corny 21st Century sentiments that I can't help feeling would have been very alien to real 13th Century people. Given the drama of the real siege of Rochester, this was a sad waste of a superb cast and excellent location. The only redeeming feature was that the Templars were the goodies for a change! If you want to judge for yourself, you can pick my copy up at the charity shop.
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Ironclad [DVD] [2011]
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