6.5/10
5,540
49 user 40 critic

The Reckoning (2002)

R | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 4 June 2004 (UK)
A priest on the lam takes up with a traveling band of actors, who then discover a murder has occurred and try to solve it by recreating the crime in a play.

Director:

Paul McGuigan

Writers:

Barry Unsworth (novel), Mark Mills (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Bettany ... Nicholas
Marián Aguilera ... Nicholas' Lover
Trevor Steedman Trevor Steedman ... Jealous Husband
Simon McBurney ... Stephen
Tom Hardy ... Straw
Brian Cox ... Tobias
Willem Dafoe ... Martin
Gina McKee ... Sarah
Stuart Wells ... Springer (as George Wells)
Vincent Cassel ... Lord De Guise
Elvira Mínguez ... Martha
Richard Durden ... Town Justice
Ewen Bremner ... Simon Damian
Mark Benton ... Sheriff
Hamish McColl Hamish McColl ... Innkeeper
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Storyline

In 14th-century England, a young monk breaks his vow of chastity and flees the wrath of his bishop and fellow monks. A fugitive priest, he then witnesses the murder of a traveling performer--and subsequently, the mourning of actor by his fellow troupe members. He eventually becomes initiated into the troupe as a player, replacing the murdered man. They travel from town to town performing their standard morality play. They arrive in a town where a boy has been killed and a young deaf-mute girl has been imprisoned for the crime--sentenced to death for witchcraft and murder. Discarding the expected bible stories, the actors stage a performance based on the crime. Through the performance of the play, they discover that the townspeople know the young woman did not, in fact, commit the murder. The stage becomes a place where vital human truth is told. Thus, simultaneously, the fugitive priest comes to terms with his own crime and makes a powerful sacrifice, thereby redeeming himself. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The truth shall come to light

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Spain

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

4 June 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Morality Play See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,044, 7 March 2004

Gross USA:

$257,252

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,152,528
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Hardy (Straw) and Simon McBurney (Stephen) also appeared in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). See more »

Goofs

The climactic cathedral showdown between Lord De Guise and Nicholas has many discontinuities and a moment where De Guise speaks when his mouth is shut. This is a deliberate artistic styling to make the scene disturbing and disorienting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nicholas: Seek those things that are above, not those things that are upon the earth.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty good, but probably not realistic
9 January 2005 | by sarastro7See all my reviews

The mission of the movie seems to be to portray how things were in the middle ages, and while I think it's a pretty good and well-acted movie with a relevant story, I doubt that most of the main characters' actions and way of thinking are anywhere near historically accurate. The year is 1380. What's all this about voting?? And the priest's sense of justice seems just a wee bit too well-developed. And would the actors turn around to help a deaf and dumb condemned prisoner that they practically didn't know? Doesn't feel realistic to me. The movie seems glazed over with a lot of modern sentiment and sense of justice (and democracy!), which essentially turns it into light entertainment rather than a serious story. But at its heart it does have a message of showing how the powerful used to prey on the powerless (and, indirectly, how they still do today), and as such does contribute something to the current mass audience's understanding of history and the world.

7 out of 10.


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