The Reckoning (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Reckoning (2004)



Critic Consensus: A talky, ponderous movie.

The Reckoning Photos

Movie Info

Scottish filmmaker Paul McGuigan directs The Reckoning, based on the award-winning novel Morality Play by Barry Unsworth. Set in 14th century England, the story involves a priest named Nicholas (Paul Bettany) who leaves the church after committing adultery. He falls in with a troupe of traveling actors led by Martin (Willem Dafoe). Nicholas joins them and attracts the attention of Martin's sister Sarah (Gina McKee). The group ends up in a small town where a mute woman (Elvira Minguez) is accused of witchcraft and murder. Drawn to the woman, Martin suggests that the troupe re-create the events in hopes of drawing a crowd and solving the crime. Also starring Brian Cox, Ewen Bremner, and Vincent Cassel. The Reckoning premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2004.

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Paul Bettany
as Nicholas
Ewen Bremner
as Simon Damian
Brian Cox
as Tobias
Tom Hardy
as Straw
Stuart Wells
as Springer
Vincent Cassel
as Lord de Guise
Matthew MacFadyen
as King's Justice
Mark Benton
as Sheriff
Tom Georgeson
as Jack Flint
Hamish McColl
as Innkeeper
Marián Aguilera
as Nicholas' Lover
Trevor Steedman
as Jealous Husband
Richard Durden
as Town Justice
Julian Barratt
as Gravedigger
Simon Pegg
as Gaoler
Maria Teresa Berganza
as Wells' Mother
Rafa Izuzquiza
as Wells' Father
Jose Luis Martinez
as Man at Play
Valerie Pearson
as Woman at Play
James Cosmo
as Lambert
Balbino LaCosta
as Chamberlain
David Luque
as Captain of the Guard
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News & Interviews for The Reckoning

Critic Reviews for The Reckoning

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (38)

As for young master Bettany, his Nicholas never managed to convince at all. His priest was insufficiently Godfearing, his adulterer not lusty enough, his actor too facile, and his detective too forensic.

January 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Although raising intriguing questions about the moral obligation dramatists have to throw a spotlight on taboo subjects, The Reckoning offers simplistic solutions.

June 8, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Wraps itself around Bettany's guilty secrets like a hot-water bottle, leaving more interesting characters in the moral cold

June 2, 2004 | Full Review…

As an existential awakening into the light and triumph of rational thought over superstition, it's an engaging film, but as a murder mystery it plods along as though weighted down by the heavens and more.

April 17, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

After a first hour slowed by exposition and a good deal of extraneous subplot development, the story catches fire in the second hour and keeps you engrossed.

April 1, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5

It's not Shakespeare in Love, and it really has no third act, but there's wonder in the scenes of theatrical invention, of theater being made up on the spot, a play in the making.

March 26, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Reckoning

Well, I have most definitely become a Paul Bettany fan. This movie was really good, and of course he was outstanding in it. The rest of the cast did a great job, also, but I think that he really made this film work. Great storyline, and great camera work.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Turgid and uninsipired.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


A very compelling and entertaing epic mystery. Well-written and very well-performed by it's cast. A dark, riveting and thrilling film. Willem Dafoe and Paul Bettany are extroadinary.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

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