The Eagle

The Eagle

Kevin Macdonald (2010)

12A Certificate


Our Score
A Roman commander ventures into the wilds beyond Hadrian's Wall to clear his family name in this historical drama adapted from Rosemary Sutcliff's 1954 novel The Eagle of the Ninth. Channing Tatum brings plenty of brawn but a rather one-note brooding to the key role of Marcus Aquila, whose posting to the Empire's furthest reaches presents him with an opportunity to reclaim the ceremonial eagle lost when his father marched a legion into unconquered Caledonia, never to return. From this intriguing set-up, the film delivers a convincingly rugged portrait of second-century life, including an evocative vision of windswept landscapes and the hairy, scary Picts inhabiting them. Less persuasive, however, is the somewhat contrived central relationship between Tatum's Roman officer and the freed slave (Jamie Bell, on sinewy form) he takes along on his mission. From the story's thrusting opening skirmish onwards, there's plenty of grit and craft on display here, yet somehow the result is never quite as rousing as you'd hope.


A Roman centurion seeks to restore his father's honour by recovering the standard of a legion that disappeared. Accompanied by his British slave, he makes a dangerous journey north of Hadrian's Wall into the Scottish Highlands, territory occupied by hostile tribes. Action adventure, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Donald Sutherland.

Cast & Crew

Marcus Aquila Channing Tatum
Esca Jamie Bell
Uncle Aquila Donald Sutherland
Guern Mark Strong
Seal Prince Tahar Rahim
Lutorius Denis O'Hare
Galba Paul Ritter
Cradoc Douglas Henshall
Seal Chief Ned Dennehy
Milecastle guard Ben O'Brien
Director Kevin Macdonald
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 25 Mar 2011