Kingdom of Heaven

Rated R 2005

In his latest costume epic, Ridley Scott (Alien, Black Hawk Down) puts two heavyweight bouts on the card: Christianity dukes it out with Islam in 12th-century Jerusalem and Good Crusaders battle Bad Crusaders for the soul of the Church. Don't expect much, though, from the movie's tricked-up cultural and theological messages -- or its parallels with current events at home and in the Middle East. When the last Saracen ax-swinger is boiled in oil and the last severed Templar head is impaled on a spike, what you'll remember best is action: The climactic siege of Jerusalem is a Scott-perfect half-hour that matches anything in Troy or Gladiator for sheer, bloody, helmet-bashing mayhem. Starring Orlando Bloom as the fictional knight-errant hero and Ghassan Massoud as a romanticized version of the great Muslim warrior Saladin.


Kingdom of Heaven

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