The Northman: first reactions praise Robert Eggers' Viking movie as a "brutal" masterpiece

Is The Northman the Viking movie to end all Viking movies? The ecstatic first reactions seem to indicate so.

Director Robert Eggers follows his acclaimed indie horror hits The Witch and The Lighthouse with this pummelling, period-authentic tale of bloody vengeance. Alexander Skarsgard plays the outcast 8th-century Norse prince Amleth who vows to track down and kill his ruthless uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang) who murdered his father (Ethan Hawke), kidnapped his mother (Nicole Kidman) and seized the kingdom. The strong supporting cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe and Bjork.

Eggers is renowned for his commitment to reality and research. For both The Witch and The Lighthouse, Eggers explored period texts from the films' respective eras, the 17th and 19th centuries, to better observe vocal idioms and cultural traditions. 

The Northman aims to put memories of Kirk Douglas and his eye patch in 1958's The Vikings to bed. Instead, this is a gritty and plausible depiction red in tooth and claw, with an emphasis on authentic costumes and behaviours relative to the time.

Here are some of the reactions, which praise Skarsgard's performance, the brooding atmosphere and the no-holds-barred violence.


Are you ready to take a journey with The Northman? The movie is released on 15th April.