When it comes to crunchy impalings and messy arterial geysers, Marshall's a maestro.
Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment Weekly
For all its analogies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, or wherever, the underlying thrust of Centurion is its celebration of bloodlust.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
Centurion wraps itself in talk of duty and honor, but really it's just another cinematic death-trip.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Flaming arrows, spears, and knives have no problem finding their way to the back of a mouth. The profanity is delightful. And the general atmosphere is grim. The movie just isn't terribly inspired.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
[A] highly enjoyable action-adventure.
F.X. Feeney - Village Voice
Marshall shows off the breathtaking landscape, but with interiors, he populates the ale houses and encampments with cliches.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
There are, by my count, six standard types of violence in film these days: Tarantino, comic book, Scorsese, martial arts, horror and stupid. That's right: stupid. For an example, look no further than Centurion.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Far more entertaining, and infinitely less cumbersome, than its recent big-budget Hollywood counterparts.
Cary Darling - Dallas Morning News
The film has a resigned bitterness, hard to shake off, that feels right for the experience of tough guys, from whatever period of history, who find themselves at the tattered edge of what they take to be civilization.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
Most of the characters are so characterless that you can't tell who they are when they get impaled or beheaded, and you can't remember who they used to be after they're dispatched. Not that it matters.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Auteur cinema of a very narrow stripe, this personalizes a familiar genre to advance a singularly pessimistic view of humanity.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
Bloody well done.
Rob Nelson - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rousing if slightly predictable.
Leslie Felperin - Variety
Sack, pillage, repeat. Heads will roll. And bounce. And be stuck on pikes.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It offers riveting storytelling, gorgeous cinematography and scenery, loads of gore, and a politically complicated history lesson.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
No one can claim the bloodshed was toned down in the quest for a PG-13 -- and I consider that to be a positive quality.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Unpretentious swords-and-sandals film crafts a tight survival drama out of Roman Empire lore.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
By turns heroic, fearsome, funny, fateful and, oh, so brutal, with swords hacking off heads at every turn.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Centruion is an exciting and intense action/adventure film with fantastic fight scenes and strong acting.
Matt Joseph - We Got This Covered
A darned entertaining outing from a director who knows action and doesn't share Hollywood's fear of period pieces that don't involve Greek gods.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
Michael Fassbender can carry a movie.
Dave White - Movies.com
With a raucous, gruesome tone, this Roman-era British action movie takes us back in time in such a vivid way that we often feel a bit queasy while watching. If the story were stronger, we'd be glued to the screen.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
The sight of a technologically superior occupying force coming a cropper in hostile foreign territory inescapably brings modern Afghanistan to mind.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Director Neil Marshall thrills yet again setting forth his own vision of the gladiator epic that pays tribute to the classic tropes of the sub-genre, but is concurrently a revenge film and journey in to darkness...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Features a commitment to craft that helps overcome issues of storytelling by providing a visceral, violent experience designed to get you in your gut and bones more than in your heart or head.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
It's a cat and mouse game where we are stuck rooting for the cat even though it killed and raped thousands of mice.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
If I believed in the concept of "guilty pleasures," I'd classify Centurion as one, but I think I maybe just kind of enjoyed it.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
A pre-chainsaw extravaganza where the Romans talk like James Bond and the Picts have better military backgrounds than the American generals who invaded Afghanistan.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
The real fate of the 9th Legion may never be known, but I'm sure whatever happened to them was more interesting than this movie.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Marshall's film has a good helping of subtle smarts, but he is more concerned through most of the running time with carnage and bloody thrills.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
Centurion is like 'Gladiator' directed by Freddy Krueger
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Marshall is big on desaturated imagery, which imparts to the film's copious amounts of hemoglobin the look of squid ink.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
... fine for a midnight screening or a Saturday matinee (although it's too violent for kids) but doesn't hold up under close scrutiny.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
Anachronistic dialogue, happenstance plot turns and characters so thinly conceived as to be interchangeable all but counteract cinematographer Sam McCurdy's otherwise stalwart Cinemascope work.
Wade Major - Boxoffice Magazine
Centurion treats arterial sprays like Sex and the City treats shoes.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
Centurion is part heroic mission film, part curious wartime picaresque. It's also a product of Marshall's idiosyncratic idea of period fidelity.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
A gritty, grueling, bloody adventure, with exciting action-set pieces and a dogged refusal to assign white and black hats.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Even for the seasoned gorehound, Marshall's films hack off body parts you've never seen hacked off before -- or ever thought you'd want to.
Matt Prigge - Philadelphia Weekly
Lean, riveting, and taking no prisoners.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
Beautifully shot by Sam McCurdy ("The Descent,' "Doomsday"), "Centurion" is a throwback to the great Roman legionnaire and gladiator movies, but with prosthetics and "300"-style digital makeup effects.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Characters are not deep or unique, but the action is plentiful and quick-cut, realistic in overall combat chaos with individual hand-to-hand not lingered on.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Centurion feels more like a video game than a movie. And it works fairly well on that sensory-overload level, except it's a video game you can't play.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
... a bloody, gritty, simple chase film that gives Michael Fassbender a lead role that could easily turn him into a viable action hero in big Hollywood films
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Really little more than a boys' adventure tale done in a style more gruesome than most...too intense and nasty to be sheer dumb fun, and too silly and formulaic to be taken for a serious historical epic.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Occasionally Marshall provides a back story to fill out a role, but too often that's how it comes off: as filler.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
This is one exciting and efficient tale -- a hearty-ho of a guilty pleasure.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
gory and loud
Jesse Hassenger - Filmcritic.com
It's certainly not art, and it is not for the squeamish, but at least it does what it sets out to do.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Over time, Marshall's interest in period brutality becomes a grinding obsession.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
The movie's distinguishing feature is its grim fatalism, rare for a pure action movie.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
There are beheadings, slit throats and eviscerations aplenty, but Marshall's real distinction is in the way he crafts a brawny action film without losing his own head in the process.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Who to root for? In the end, that ambivalence is part of the fun.
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
mixes a thoroughly honorable high-mindedness with frequent and jarring examples of torture porn
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
[T]he only new thing Marshall brings to the Roman Empire subgenre is gross-out aesthetics.
Andy Klein - Brand X
My appreciation for Centurion is fairly simplistic ... and amounts to little more than its success as a bloodbath with an appropriately cynical outlook and a cornucopia of brutality displayed with skill.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Questions arise. When exactly was eye makeup invented? Why do screenwriters still, after Life of Brian, give Roman characters names like Virilus?
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
If you're in the mood for a guilt-free rush, this is just the thing: an all-out action film that won't leave the viewer feeling ill-used. Fans of Gonad Cinema, hark.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
New rule: Only one decapitation per ancient action movie.
Armond White - New York Press
It's prime B-movie material put through the Ridley Scott Cuisinart.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Though there's not a lot of night action, you'd think the whole thing had been shot during an eclipse. Apparently the visual shorthand for 1st-millennium England is murkiness.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
300 perpetuated the myth that the best way to survive life was to either shout at the top of your lungs or fight in slow motion. Centurion simplifies that formula by eliminating the shouting and just gives us the gory deaths, mostly at normal speed.
Adam Lippe - Examiner.com
Though seemingly content to be a B-movie director, Neil Marshall heads further into C-list territory with Centurion
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
The director's preference of gore over plot points kept me from ever being able to take it seriously
Daniel Hubschman - Hollywood.com
Neil Marshall reaffirms his status as a contemporary "King of the B's" with another straight-up genre flick that's low on budget but high on fun.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
The violence is numbing, and the hand-to-hand combat of the final standoff is especially tedious, despite the camera's best attempts to force some energy into the scene.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
The filmmaker floods the film with blood and growls, creating a mighty clang of history and gore. It's Herschell Gordon Lewis's I, Claudius.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
There's a flat prettiness to the film, and [Marshall's] attempt to explore group tensions comes asunder, despite the talents of Michael Fassbender and Domenic West, with some awfully cliched dialogue.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
After directing Dog Soldiers and The Descent, Marshall was hailed in some quarters as the wunderkind of British horror. Then he blotted his copybook with the futuristic thriller Doomsday. Centurion is another backward step.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
A solid, no-frills-all-skills combat piece that does not outstay its welcome. Well worth a try, if only to push Clash of the Titans from recent memory.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Centurion isn't perfect but Marshall does bring a fresh spin to the sword-and-sandals genre giving it a modern sensibility; from rapid-fire action sequences to no-nonsense parlance.
James Mitchell - Trespass
Bloody good R-Rated fun. A perfect film to kick back and watch with a couple of beers and buds!
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The salty dialogue is modern in idiom, but not obtrusively so.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
The film is better than some entries in the historical war genre. It's clearly chasing some of the denarii that came to 300, a much more ridiculous and violent film.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Marshall takes the ultra-violent and grim goings on with deadening seriousness, but the temptation to see it all as a rather bad joke is only emphasised by the anachronistic dialogue.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
With Centurion, writer/director Neil Marshall channels Mel Gibson to create a suspenseful and blood soaked chase picture, while Michael Fassbender convincingly delivers on his promise of future greatness.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Centurion isn't an especially memorable film but it's certainly a very enjoyable one.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
Nasty scenes are set off by some breathtakingly beautiful scenes in the wintry Scottish mountains, and a few tender moments, very few
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
[Not a heavy-hitter drama] But the blood flows freely, the fireballs rage, and the slings and arrows are deadly accurate. What's more, the ending rocks - best downbeat finale I've seen in a long time.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
The men get lost in the muddy palette of earth tones... and the staccato strobe-vision of battle scenes that simply confuses the action, and the story along with it.
Sean Axmaker - Parallax View
Gory, and tempered with just enough ancient political influence to give it substance, "Centurion" is a more gratifying experience than Ridley Scott's recent Britain-based adventure "Robin Hood."
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Centurion makes a decently mounted action movie in which only the uniforms and weaponry differentiate it from Iraq or Afghanistan. Maybe that's the point of it. But you still have to pen a script.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Marshall has cast a dream team of character actors and upcoming stars as supporting roles; the cameraderie and banter between the men is realistic, funny and rude.
Coco Forsythe - Future Movies UK
While some of the blood-spilling action scenes could have benefited from a little more dramatic shaping, it's a mostly satisfying effort.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Centurion is certainly atmospheric but the brutality and beheadings make it disappointingly monotonous.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
What have the Romans ever done for us? Raped and pillaged mostly, according to a film that also appears to want us to root for them. Bizarre
Catherine Bray - Film4
This is exercise-bike cinema: energetic, relentless and tipping towards monotony.
Centurion is a curious mixture of Gladiator, Braveheart and Apocalypto, but not nearly as good as any of them.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
While there's a terrific battle near the start as the Romans are ambushed by the locals, the realisation soon dawns that this is a deeply average chase movie.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
It may be cheese, but it's of a fine vintage.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
Though it's technically impressive and has an epic sweep, the lack of suspense and emotional involvement makes this little more than a chase movie in ancient garb.
Alan Jones - Radio Times
Filmed in cold, steely greys and blues, it's at its best during the numerous action setpieces, particularly close-quarter, hand-to-hand combat where the butchery of axes, knives and spears is shown in all its gory glory.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
West's macho swagger makes a neat complement to Fassbender's steely resolve, while Kurylenko compensates for her lack of verbals with a feral ferocity only hinted at in Quantum Of Solace.
Neil Smith - Total Film
A gritty, brutal chase movie that's more about swords (and spears, and axes) than sandals -- although it could have done with a lot more character-meat on those bones.
Dan Jolin - Empire Magazine
No amount of relentless forward momentum, head-smacking violence or CGI-enhanced blood-letting can disguise the anaemic characterisation and obvious contrivances.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
This hideously violent, formula one chase movie lacks the novelty of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto as well as its equally-deserved 18 certificate.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Soon, the action begins to feel monotonous and Marshall's answer is to pick off more victims...
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
There is an air of soap-on-location here, a sense that everyone has just trudged from a lunch of pasta bake and a quick scan of the tabloids. You know all the best lines were being had off camera.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
It's good to see Marshall taking on another genre, and he certainly doesn't disgrace himself: Centurion could have a certain cult appeal, a bit like his apocalyptic oddity Doomsday.
Anna Smith - IGN Movies UK
With raw material this strong, it's odd more of it didn't end up on screen.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Enjoyably trashy swords-n-sandals action thriller, enlivened by strong performances from an excellent cast and a suitably gory approach to the fight scenes.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Without any real character development, by the time the closing credits draw in, you won't care less about any of the characters, which for a film with a plot so linear, is a fatal flaw.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
A fast-paced and action-heavy period piece that focuses on what matters most in a Saturday afternoon matinee: the good stuff.
Scott Weinberg - Cinematical