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The Reckoning

  R Closed Captioning

Paul McGuigan

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About the Movie

Scottish filmmaker Paul McGuigan directs The Reckoning, based on the award-winning novel Morality Play by Barry Unsworth. Set in 14th century England, the story involves a priest named Nicholas (Paul Bettany) who leaves the church after committing adultery. He falls in with a troupe of traveling actors led by Martin (Willem Dafoe). Nicholas joins them and attracts the attention of Martin's sister Sarah (Gina McKee). The group ends up in a small town where a mute woman (Elvira Minguez) is accused of witchcraft and murder. Drawn to the woman, Martin suggests that the troupe re-create the events in hopes of drawing a crowd and solving the crime. Also starring Brian Cox, Ewen Bremner, and Vincent Cassel. The Reckoning premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2004.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 87
  • Fresh: 35
  • Rotten: 52
  • Average Rating: 5.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Has its flaws, among them a certain self-righteousness and a complicated storyline, but it is never less than gripping thanks to its gifted international cast. – Lael Loewenstein, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: A listless avenger drama. – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Rotten: Carries too heavy a burden to succeed as the trifle it really is. – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: The Name of the Rose this ain't. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A Reckoning Of Ones Past

This is a well acted movie. The actors in this movie are putting on a play not just for the people in the village but for the movie going audience as well. There is no huge surprises or haughty special effects. Simply everyone in this movie is reckoning with their pasts either religiously, morally, or learning of ones faults and finally having to deal with them. Paul Bettany and Wilem Defoe put on intense performances of a play-acting nature which makes this movie quite the intrigue.

What a cast!

Paul McGuigan did the amazing "Lucky Number Slevin", and while the acting is great, the story sort of falls apart. The movie has potental, but it doesn't quite make it. But fortunitly the superb directing and cast (especially Willem Dafoe, Paul Bettany, and Ewen Bremmer) saves the movie.