Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Janet Maslin - New York Times
Like its almost-demented heroine, The Messenger is unnervingly consumed with energy.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Besson seems to have no sense that Joan herself was giving a performance.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
It's hard to recommend it to people who like action and blood because of all the talking; and, because of all the blood, it's hard to recommend it to those who might be interested in the talk.
Jeff Millar - Houston Chronicle
The English are uniformly and broadly portrayed as villainous louts, and today's four-letter oaths sound laughably anachronistic.
Jane Sumner - Dallas Morning News
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Both visually spectacular and staggeringly awful.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Susan Stark - Detroit News
The lack of a plausible leading lady is enough to sink what is otherwise an eye-catching, although heavily '90s-style, telling of one of history's most frequently filmed stories.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Besson is unable to weave the comic scenes together with the serious gory ones, so both seem increasingly jarring and unbelievable.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
While The Messenger feeds our appetite for visual panache, it starves the soul.
Sean Means - Film.com
Fails on nearly every count.
Peter Brunette - Film.com
- Globe and Mail
I've never left a Luc Besson movie not thinking that the guy has Froot Loops for brains.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Nothing less than a miracle saved France, The Messenger tells us, and nothing less than a miracle would be needed to rescue this film from itself.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
- Sight and Sound
- Screen International
Jovovich brings an intensity to the role well-matched to Besson's stylistic energy, though this comic-bookish take on Jeanne D'Arc won't be winning any historical-society awards. [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Impressive to look at, but in the end, it just doesn't ring true.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
- Time Out
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
- Film Threat
Ginette Vincendeau - Sight and Sound
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
- Boston Phoenix
Makes precious little sense.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
This unusual French interpretation of Joan of Arc sees her as a radical zealot like John Brown.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Almar Haflidason - BBC
Girlfriend was a few fries short of a happy meal.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Edward Guthmann - San Francisco Chronicle
The battles and scenes of medieval mayhem and beauty are brilliant.
- E! Online
A great movie that doesn't know when to quit
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Beth Armitage - PopMatters
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
I can only conclude that Milla Jovovich's woefully unconvincing performance as the title character was a prominent reason for Luc Besson's split with her.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Greg Dean Schmitz - Greg's Previews at Yahoo! Movies
Well-intentioned but severely uneven.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
In Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, little is compelling, explained or even interesting.
Sandra Ramani - Citysearch
Thierry Arbogast's cinematography is extraordinary.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
Neil Kendricks - San Diego Union-Tribune
- Deseret News, Salt Lake City
I guess they're going to keep telling the story of Joan of Arc until they get it right.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The Messenger is a mess, and probably an unholy one at that.
David L. Beck - San Jose Mercury News
Eye-filling, mostly very compelling and incorrigibly weird.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
What an unholy mess.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
If all history lessons were this stylish, elementary school would have been a better place.
Matt Kelsey - TNT's Rough Cut
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
An intelligent film with intelligent ideas.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Max Messier - Filmcritic.com
Stephanie McGrath - Jam! Movies
Does not have the grandeur, the poetry, the range of Lawrence of Arabia but makes up for its shortcomings by being eminently user-friendly.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Besson manipulates his audience's emotions instead of informing, inspiring, or illuminating its intellect.
Arthur Lazere - culturevulture.net
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
It's bad history and bad filmmaking.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Bob Bloom - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Steve Murray - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jovovich is not capable of bringing to the screen such a complicated person.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
An entertaining, grand-scale historical drama.
George Meyer - Orlando Weekly
An overheated, brainless opus.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The ludicrous casting of Hoffman is just the fatal bit of kindling on this Joan's fire.
Andy Klein - New Times
Greg Muskewitz - eFilmCritic.com
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
Cornell & Petricelli - CinemaSense.Com
Walter V. Addiego - San Francisco Examiner
Milla Jovovich, who plays Joan, is a young woman who has been unmemorable in several pictures.
Stanley Kauffmann - New Republic
I know less about Joan of Arc now than I did going into the film.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
My guess is Columbia has virtually no chance of finding an audience for this misfire.
Chris Grunden - Film Journal International
Besson gives intensely vivid battle sequences and haunting interior moments the same muscular certainty.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
Michael Atkinson - Mr. Showbiz
With battle scenes that are obscenely gruesome and pacing that is too slow, the film lumbers along like a Buick in the mud.
Tony Toscano - KUTV-TV
Among the laughably bad lines is one uttered by The Conscience. 'When does the pain end and the pleasure begin?' he asks Joan. For The Messenger's audience, it is as soon as the ending credits begin to roll.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter