Kingdom of Heaven ★★★★
Though besieged by sniffy academics for their film’s “romanticised” view of the Crusades, director Ridley Scott and screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) did not set out to produce a historical textbook, but a stirring adventure with a cast of thousands and lots of clanging swordplay, as Orlando Bloom’s humble blacksmith journeys from France to the Holy Land to search for the hero inside. With Edward Norton as Jerusalem’s Christian “leper king”, Eva Green as his sister and successor, and Jeremy Irons as his loyal retainer, it’s fruitily cast, and never short-changes on mortal combat.
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