Conan the Barbarian
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John Milius's jingoistic direction and pulpy screenplay fit perfectly into this film version of the Robert E. Howard fantasy story of the sword and sorcery hero, Conan the Barbarian. Complementing Mulius's heavy metal production is Arnold Schwarzenegger's leaden acting, which in any other context would be deadly, but here (as in The Terminator) corresponds nicely with the whole sonorous project. The story begins when a horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. The Wheel of Pain seems to have as its… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Not since Bambi's mother was killed has there been a cannier movie for kids than Conan the Barbarian."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"essential 80s cinema with some amazing elements, including the unflinching violence for the time and the brilliant score by Basil Poledouris"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"A film that only wants to be described by the single adjective "awesome", though "epic" would do in a pinch."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Visualizing Robert E. Howard's creation in the midst of the Reagan era is an offer the auteur can't refuse"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"A big, sweaty, pulpy adventure tale that's both exciting AND unintentionally amusing."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"Conan the Barbarian is an extremely long, frequently incoherent, ineptly staged adventure-fantasy set in a prehistoric past."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Its magnificence stems from the very properties we should be condemning with all our might."
‑ Rob Vaux,
"This primitive, mythic epic catapulted Schwarzenegger to movie stardom after being a famous body-builder."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"OK sandals and loin cloth muscle adventure...which made Arnold a star."
‑ Steve Crum,
"When it comes to the great lines (and mottos) of cinema, it doesn't get much better than this."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Even 17 years after its release, Conan the Barbarian still weaves a spell capable of ensorcelling fans of fantasy adventure."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"A classic tale is told through fascinating visuals, cheesy characters and good old fashioned muscle-bound strength."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"...ironically undone by its star, a preening peacock eager to sow the seeds of self-parody with a well-placed camel punch."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Balls-to-the-wall swordplay flicks don't get much better than this"
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"Let's face it: Arnold is well-cast. But the movie takes itself way too seriously."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
More reviews for Conan the Barbarian on Rotten Tomatoes

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