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152 of 167 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

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Medieval Seven
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...
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Charles Vasey


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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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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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16 of 20 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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12 of 15 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rascal King John and the Medieval Magnificent Seven., 11 July 2012
By 
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ironclad, 18 July 2011
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is a great film if you are interested in the topic. It's not going to be a blockbuster because of its nature, for example it doesn't have the scale of Kingdom of Heaven. However, James Purefoy (Mark Anthony - Rome) always gives a fantastic performance in anything that he appears in as he does again in Ironclad. It's a more realistic, dirty and bloody version of life at the time in England and easily worth four stars.

Be warned its not for the faint hearted as some of the battle scenes are realistic and very graphic in nature. Purefoy is a brilliant actor and its good to see he's appearing in more films of this nature. Shame his character was killed off in the first episode of Camelot because he would have helped make the series.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film ,,,, 5 May 2011
By 
Mark Guest (Gornal ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is one of the best films ive seen in recent years ,up there with braveheart and gladiator,word of warning its the most bloody film ive seen,so not for kids,so if you like medievil action films you cant go wrong,plus its british.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good buy, 4 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ironclad [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I like historical films,and this one I enjoyed as well,good acting,good story,well worth the money,and I definitely would recommend,very good price too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corrected Blu-ray is a MASSIVE improvement over flawed first release, 9 Sep 2011
By 
A. Stimpson "Rabid Consumer" (Hullborea) - See all my reviews
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I purchased the first release of the Ironclad Blu-ray a couple of months ago having heard some positive reviews. In short it is not historically accurate and it is evidently made on a fairly low budget but it is an entertaining and violent action adventure with a preponderance of recognisable British character actors and lovely, visceral combat scenes. If you want a history lesson then I recommend you avoid it. I had a good time with it, warts and all, however when viewing it initially there were obvious flaws in the transfer and, following a little google research, I discovered the incorrect aspect ratio issue that has been mentioned in a number of blu-ray reviews here on amazon. All in all, considering that this is a major studio release, that kind of treatment is very disappointing for a film that manages to get its entire budget on the screen and deserves to be seen at its best.

On a positive note I received the corrected version this morning from Warner Brothers and I am pleased to say that the difference between the two releases is like night and day. Crisp image, full 2.4 to 1 aspect ratio and a high bitrate have transformed the viewing experience and I have to say it looks (and sounds thanks to the TrueHD soundtrack) fantastic. Of course if you don't like this movie these details will make little or no difference but if, like me, you enjoyed it despite the previously flawed transfer then I encourage you to pick up the corrected version as it displays quite clearly what a marvellous job the director accomplished on very limited resources, a rollicking good take on The Magnificent Seven will heaps of blood and guts and a truly entertaining villain.
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Ironclad [DVD] [2011]
Ironclad [DVD] [2011] by Jonathan English (DVD - 2011)
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