The Northman: Critics Are Loving Robert Eggers’ Epic Historical Drama

Robert Eggers, best known as the co-writer and director of 2019’s The Lighthouse starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, now might become best known for the epic historical drama The Northman, which already premiered in some European countries, but it’s still waiting to be released in the United States on April 22.

According to the first reviews, The Northan might become one of the most known hits of the year. It received positive reviews from critics that praised Eggers’ direction, the movie’s atmosphere, and the performances of the star-filled cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, and Willem Dafoe.

Currently, the movie holds a score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critic consensus saying: “A bloody revenge epic and breathtaking visual marvel, The Northman finds filmmaker Robert Eggers expanding his scope without sacrificing any of his signature style.”

On Metacritic, the movie was rated 83 on a scale of 0 to 100. The movie currently has 25 positive, 4 mixed, and zero negative reviews. Eight reviewers (The Independent, Total Film, The Austin Chronicle, Time Out, The Irish Times, Little White Lies, Empire, and The Guardian) gave the movie a perfect rating — 100, while the movie received the lowest reviews from the Arizona Republic, Variety, ScreenRant, and BBC. They all gave it 60/100, respectively.

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“The Northman is a horribly violent, nihilistic, and chaotic story about the endless cycle of violence, the choice between loving your friends and hating your enemies – which turns out to be no choice at all, and the thread of fate down which masculinity’s delicious toxin drips. It’s entirely outrageous, with some epic visions of the flaring cosmos. I couldn’t look away.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“A truly distinctive epic, blending brutal violence, powerhouse performances, and otherworldly imagery into its volcanic rampage of revenge. Unmissable.” — Matt Maytum, Total Film

“In most respects, Eggers is a unique artist with strong, singular ideas of how to script, stage and pace his films, and while The Northman is nothing if not a signature addition to a most original oeuvre — no one but Eggers would or could have reimagined “Hamlet” thus — it lacks the element of surprise that made “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse” feel like instant classics.” — Peter Debruge, Variety

“After his father Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke) is murdered by his brother (Claes Bang), Viking prince Amleth escapes his kingdom, vowing to return and seek revenge. Years later, the now hulking Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) discovers his murderous uncle lost the kingdom and is now a feudal lord. Amleth poses as a slave to take his revenge but must decide what to do about his mother Gudrún (Nicole Kidman) and younger half-brother.” — The Northman, official synopsis

The Northman is set to premiere in the United States and worldwide on April 22, 2022.