Centurion (movie, 2010)

Centurion is aBritish peplum directed by Neil Marshall and released in 2010. The plot is freely inspired by the legend of the disappearance of the ninth Roman legion in 117 AD.


In 117 AD BC, under the Roman Empire , the legions faced the fierce resistance of the Picts in the north the Roman province of Brittany (south of present Britain ). Centurion Quintus Dias, sole survivor of a garrison massacred by the Picts, joined the th Legioncommanded by General Titus Flavius Virilus, charged with launching a decisive attack against the Picts and their King Gorlacon. But the expected battle turned into a massacre, and after the general’s disappearance, Quintus Dias found himself at the head of a handful of men in full enemy territory. Quintus swears to bring them back alive to the borders of the empire, but the group is hunted down by the formidable Etain, a Pictish tracker who has good reason to hate the Romans. In their race for survival in a cold and inhospitable country, the endurance and the very beliefs of legionaries will be put to the test.


Technical sheet

  • French title: Centurion
  • Original title: Centurion
  • Director: Neil Marshall
  • Music: Ilan Eshkeri
  • Screenplay: Neil Marshall
  • Director of Photography: Sam McCurdy
  • Editing: Chris Gill
  • Sets: Zoe Smith
  • Costumes: Keith Madden
  • Producers: Christian Colson, Robert Jones
  • Distribution Company: Pathé Distribution
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Budget: $ 12,000,000 1
  • Genre: Peplum , adventure
  • Duration: 1h 37 min.
  • Release dates: ,
  • Classification:
    • Not allowed under 12 years


  • Michael Fassbender : Quintus Dias, centurion
  • Dominic West : Titus Flavius Virilus, Roman General
  • Olga Kurylenko : Tin, Pictish warrior
  • Noel Clarke : Macros, legionary
  • David Morrissey : Bothos, Legionnaire
  • JJ Feild : Thax, legionnaire
  • Rice Ahmed : Tarak, legionnaire
  • Liam Cunningham : Ubriculius (“Brick”), legionnaire
  • Dimitri Leonidas : Leonidas, legionnaire
  • Dhafer El Abidine : Vigo
  • Axelle Carolyn : Aeron
  • Dave Legeno : Vortix
  • Ulrich Thomsen : Gorlacon, Chief Pictish
  • Ryan Atkinson : son of Gorlacon
  • Imogen Poots : Arianne, pariah picte
  • Paul Freeman : Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman Governor of Brittany
  • Lee Ross : Septus
  • Rachael Stirling : Drusilla
  • Michael Carter : Antoninus, Roman general
  • Tom Mannion : Tesio, Roman general
  • Peter Guinness : Cassius, Roman general

French version

  • Dubbing Company : NDE Production
  • Artistic direction : Antony Delclève
  • Adaptation of the dialogues : Frédéric Alameunière
  • Recording and mixing :

Around the film

  • Neil Marshall spoke about the Centurion project for the first time in March 2006: the script was then titled Ninth Legion 2 . The story is inspired by that of the ninth Roman legion , which has long been considered to have disappeared body and soul in 117 AD. AD shortly after a clash against the Picts . Neil Marshall said he was not looking for historical accuracy, but was inspired by a legend to make an action-packed movie (“It’s not meant to be historically perfect.” and exploring it … it’s an action thriller. “) 2 . Moreover, the course of the battleduring the Battle of Teutoburg , which took place neither at the same time nor in the same place.

Filming Locations

The film was shot partly on site, in England in the Alice Holt 3 forest , and in Scotland at Badenoch and Strathspey 2 and in the Glenfeshie 3 area in an all natural environment. Some scenes were shot in the studio, at Ealing 3studios in London , and Shepperton Studios 2 in Surrey .


Reception in the United Kingdom

The film has received a variety of receptions in the United Kingdom. On July 13, 2010, the British review site Rotten Tomatoes gave it an overall rating of 52% 4 .

Among the generally positive critics, Alistair Harkness, in the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman 5 , believes that “although some bloody scenes of action would have gained more dramatic shaping, the effort is broadly satisfying “(” while some of the blood-spilling action scenes could have benefited from a little more dramatic shaping, it’s a mostly satisfying effort “).

In the Daily Mirror , David Edwards 6 believes that “despite a superb battle shortly after the start, when the Romans are ambushed by the natives, it is soon understood that this is a deeply average pursuit-running film” (“While there’s a lot of things in the world, the realization is that this is a deeply average chase movie”).

Among the critics, Xan Brooks, in The Guardian , gives the film two stars out of five 7 and regrets that the “express-regime” applied by Neil Marshall to the “corpulent” genre of the Roman epic has also spread to the intrigue and characters (“Full marks to director Neil Marshall (…) for putting the corpulent Roman epic on a crash diet; it’s just a shame his rationing extended to the plot and characters too”). Christopher Tookey in the tabloid the Daily Mail 8 , gives Centurion one star out of five, and considers that the film “is a curious mix of Gladiator , of Braveheart andApocalypto , but much less good than any of them “(”  Centurion is a curious mixture of Gladiator , Braveheart andApocalypto , but not nearly as good as any of them “).

Reception in France

In France, the film has been the subject of very little criticism in the press. On July 25, 2010, the film page on the AlloCiné 9 website featured only three press reviews. Alex Masson, in Première magazine , gives the film two stars on a scale of four 10 and enjoys the film as “ultranervous series B of the order of pure guilty pleasure.” On the critical site Excessif.com Romain Le Vern gives the film two stars on a scale of five, and sees “a strangely barbaric school peplum, reciting the conventions of the genre with a treatment survival 1970s 11 . ”

Among the bad reviews, Fabrice Leclerc, in the magazine Studio Ciné Live 12 , judges the film “involuntarily as hilarious” as a film of Monty Python .

Reception in the United States

The film was released in the United States a few months later, on August 27, 2010. It received a first overall positive reception: on August 31, 2010, the US site Metacritic gave it an overall rating of 63 out of 100, based on 19 press reviews 13 .

Among the most positive critics, that of James Verniere in The Village Voice 14 sees in Centurion a “very enjoyable action-adventure movie” , and praises in particular the performance of Michael Fassbender in the the main role, before concluding by comparing “the craft and lack of pretensions” of the film ( its craftsmanship and freedom from pretension ) to L’Appât and L’Homme de l’Ouest by Anthony Mann , two classics of the western .

The criticism of the New York Times 15 begins by emphasizing the problematic of the film, which opposes the inclinations of imperialism to the struggle of the natives for the defense of their territory, then concludes that “despite all its analogies with Afghanistan, the In Iraq, Vietnam or elsewhere, Centurion’s underlying idea is its celebration of the thirst for blood, its claim that the primary instinct of humanity, or at least the male half of the species, is to make war.

Among the more mixed reviews, The Boston Globe 16 gives the movie a 2.5-star on a scale of four and Wesley Morris says, “It’s just that the movie is not terribly inspired.” Morris praised “the relentless pace ( relentlessness ) and humor” that deploys Neil Marshall , but considers that in Centurion does not end “the sense of energy and surprise thrill” of his previous films; he is not convinced either by the performance of Olga Kurylenko .

Box office

By the beginning of November 2010, the film had earned just over $ 6,365,000 worldwide 1 ; as at 30 September 2010, only $ 123,570 came from its operation in Great Britain 1 . The film’s budget was about $ 12 million 1 .


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  1. ↑ a , b , c and d Film file on Box Office Mojo  [ archive ] . Page accessed on November 6, 2010.
  2. ↑ a , b , c and d (in) Neil’s back into battle, article by Coreena Ford in theSunday Sun , March 22, 2009  [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  3. ↑ a , b and c Centurion filming secrets page on Allocated  [ archive ] , 2010. Accessed July 25, 2010.
  4. ↑ (in) film page on the website Rotten Tomatoes  [ archive ] , accessed July 13, 2010.
  5. ↑ (in) Centurion Criticism by Alistair Harkness, on the Scotsman website , April 24, 2010  [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  6. ↑ (en) Criticism of Centurion on the website of the Daily Mirror , April 23, 2010 [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  7. ↑ (in) Review Centurion on the Site Guardian , April 22, 2010  [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  8. ↑ (in) Review Centurion Christopher Tookey on site Daily Mail , April 23, 2010 [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  9. ↑ Centurion film page on allociné.  [ archive ] Accessed July 25, 2010.
  10. ↑ Criticism of Centurion by Alex Masson consulted on the site of Première [ archive ] on July 25, 2010.
  11. ↑ Criticism of Centurion on excessiveif.com  [ archive ] . Page consulted on July 25, 2010.
  12. ↑ Criticism of Centurion on the site of L’Express .  [ archive ] Accessed July 25, 2010.
  13. ↑ Centurion page on the Metacritic site  [ archive ] . Accessed August 31, 2010.
  14. ↑ (in) “Classic Western Meets Roman Times in Centurion”, a critique ofCenturion by James Verniere on The Village Voice website , August 25, 2010 [ archive ] . Page accessed August 30, 2010.
  15. ↑ (in) “Two Vastly Different Enemies Share a Common Thirst for Blood” criticalCenturion Stephen Holder on the New York Times website August 26, 2010  [ archive ] . Page accessed August 30, 2010.
  16. ↑ (in) Centurion does not go for the kill,” critic Wesley Morris in The Boston Globe August 27, 2010  [ archive ] . Page accessed August 30, 2010.

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