The Eagle film, movie | Reviewed in The Telegraph

Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth has been loved by the young and the young-at-heart since its publication in 1954. More thoughtful and certainly more historically informed than the Boy’s Own-style adventure quests to which it has sometimes mistakenly been likened, it has all the ingredients of a terrific adventure thriller: an epic quest narrative, strong characters, the tangled interplay of pride, loyalty and masculinity.

Director Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) is also fascinated by those qualities. Working with screenwriter Jeremy Brock (Last King … , Mrs Brown), he brings his sharp, muscular intelligence to bear on this always enjoyable, if not always successful treatment of a story that was also told just last year, in Neil Marshall’s Centurion.

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