Madcat’s review published on Letterboxd:
Meticulously crafted yet dirty and visceral at times The Northman feels and looks like a Robert Eggers movie, someone who has made his case clear for one of the most interesting voices of this new generation of directors.
To put it short — I've had a few problems with hastiness, rare, however present. Regardless, the screenplay is very strong and compact, it lacks an action packed narrative as other movies from the same genre might attempt to have, yet I think it works in the movie's favor and it's definitely not a flaw. I do not agree with the uncommon yet valid criticism of the movie being repetitive or linear, even if I did leave the cinema theater wanting more, I attribute that to my own selfishness due to the quality of the movie and not due to lack of content.
Every scene was exciting, intriguing and extremely charismatic, and one of the most underrated aspects of said movie, one that I have not seen a lot of people comment on, is how well implemented the folklore is; fantasy is meshed with reality but you're never really left confused on what the true intentions are, which I felt was special and added so much more to an already rich experience.
Directing is noticeably Eggers and everything looks beautiful, from the dark nights of Iceland, minimally illuminated by the torches of men, to the surreal crafty scenes with Dafoe, Bjork and Sigurðsson, and all of that much to Jarin Blaschke credit who yet again packs a free cinematography lesson in a movie that is definitely shorter than any workshop you might attend.
Excited to see more from Eggers and his team, hope we get Nosferatu next.