The Reckoning
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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… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"After a first hour slowed by exposition and a good deal of extraneous subplot development, the story catches fire in the second hour and keeps you engrossed."
‑ Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic
"An ambitious, energetic and wholly satisfying movie about the dawn of dramatic and personal freedom and much more."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"[It's] a film with a lot on its mind -- perhaps too much. ... As it is, philosophical dilemmas spread through the film like a plague until they finally claim its life."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Christianity Today
"Builds cleverly as the mystery deepens, then struggles to bring it all to a conclusion."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"A multilayered snapshot of a decayed and disintegrating feudal system that richly develops themes and characters with an eerie modern resonance."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"It's not Shakespeare in Love, and it really has no third act, but there's wonder in the scenes of theatrical invention, of theater being made up on the spot, a play in the making."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Celebrates the craft of acting both in its story and in fine performances by Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe and Brian Cox."
‑ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's disappointing that The Reckoning devolves into a costumed murder mystery a la Jean-Jacques Annaud's 1986 film of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"A well-done murder mystery."
‑ Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"It is, despite the distractions, just a simple murder story, and the revelations in the end are hardly surprising or noteworthy."
‑ Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
"A thoughtful, clever and well-acted diversion."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Once the actors set up shop, and Nicholas gets obsessively involved in proving Martha's innocence, melodrama and ponderousness encroach."
‑ Misha Berson, Seattle Times
"Although raising intriguing questions about the moral obligation dramatists have to throw a spotlight on taboo subjects, The Reckoning offers simplistic solutions."
‑ Stella Papamichael, BBC
"Wraps itself around Bettany's guilty secrets like a hot-water bottle, leaving more interesting characters in the moral cold"
‑ James Christopher, Times [UK]
"As an existential awakening into the light and triumph of rational thought over superstition, it's an engaging film, but as a murder mystery it plods along as though weighted down by the heavens and more."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for The Reckoning on Rotten Tomatoes