The Eagle is a vivid and at times lucid action adventure, a step above Ridley Scott‘s Robin Hood, owing more to Terrence Malick with a nod to Italian neorealism than anything else. The true star of the production is Anthony Dod Mantle’s cinematography, capturing with a sense of spontaneity light and dark, interior and exterior and especially moonlight, beautifully.
… The film’s director, Kevin Macdonald, holds the line and never permits the film to become a “buddy road movie.” Indeed this is a rarity in a system of manufacturing film product. That said, the film edges towards poetics while holding that line between hybrid spiritual and action-adventure journey.
… As a political thriller The Eagle is not a misfit – the film is an exploration of the notion of ‘national state.’ It’s an idea that exists within the hearts and minds of those that believe to belong to such a unit, artificial or officially bordered.
… Macdonald … (keeps) the drama and the action where it belongs, at human scale.
… the moments edging towards the epic battles contain an atmosphere all their own, a refreshing humanistic approach to the genre.
… The Eagle is just smart enough to operate without the auto-pilot function of many action adventures where you simply don’t care what happens next.