The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

The Northman is a masterpiece.

If this movie proves anything, it's that Robert Eggers will go down as one of the single best filmmakers we have had in the last decade. The Witch was terrific, The Lighthouse is the best horror movie in the last ten to twenty years and The Northman is one of the biggest, most cerebral and daring blockbusters I've ever seen on the big screen.

Eggers talked how it was disheartening to have to make the edits he did to the film for it to go through the studio, but I have to at least give Focus Features props for putting a movie like this on the big screen on a wide release. The theatre I went to last night was packed and it was so nice to see people support auteur driven cinema like this. Giving Robert Eggers the budget he needed to bring this to life is remarkable, this is an ultimate blank check movie.

This will be a staple film for a bunch of emerging filmmakers, myself included. Seeing this last night at 10 pm at the Dolby was transfixing. The atmosphere in this film is incredible. Eggers just knows how to shoot film and make it feel other worldly. The set pieces here are stunning- there were several "how did they do this"? moments that shook me to my core.

The plot? Basic for the most part. It's a revenge tale. It's The Lion King. It's Hamlet. However, the absolute gull this movie has is terrific. This movie is a hard R because Eggers is never shy of showing how deprived nature is. There is so much carnage in this one. Decapitation, embowelment, blood and guts. All the stuff you would have seen on a regular basis as a Viking. The way Eggers is able to capture every brutal moment is so admirable, he isn't afraid to make his audiences squirm in their seats. After all, this is a film about barbarians, why should it be polished and cleaned up?

Outside of the technical aspects of this movie, which are all astounding and perfect, this is a film about how blood lust can drive us all and blind us to the beauty the world all as to offer. We all have pain, we will all create grudges. For the vikings here, their revenge paths are more justified than ours usually are, but this is ultimately a tragic tale about the lengths we are willing to go in order to feel whole, to wrong the person that wronged us. It all leads up to a final battle so epic and enthralling it makes the Revenge of the Sith battle look like Boss Baby 2 Family Business.

This movie is the best. I love the high movies like this give me walking out of them. The type of high, the adrenaline I felt walking out of this theatre was euphoric. Very similar to the way I felt walking out of The Green Knight last year. This movie is the definition of awesome. I'm trying to be pickier with what I give a 5/5 so I want to see the film again before slapping that on it to see how some of the plot unfolds on another watch, but let's just say you could see this being at a 5 for me very soon. It's easily one of my favorite movies of the year and I'd even say it's one of the best movies I've seen in the decade. Eggers is 3/3 we love to see it.

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