Ironclad war movie
Ironclad war movie

Ironclad (2011, United Kingdom)

Categories: knights moviesfortress moviescastle moviesmercenaries moviesbombardment moviespolitical movies

Running time: 120 minutes

Language: English


In 1215 tensions between King John Lackland and the nobles lead some of the barons and landowners to revolt against the king’s rule. They demanded reform that would pass some of the power to them, but King John was not taking it well. The negotiations ended when king have signed the Magna Carta political reform that seemed to resolve the conflict, but it was just an illusion. Soon after King John hired Danish mercenaries and went after the barons that forced him to sign Magna Carta. Baron William d’Aubigny decided it is time to move to an open revolt against the king and gathered a small team of veteran warriors to make a first step and take over strategic Rochester Castle that holds the only road between Dover and London. Taking over the castle was easy, but King John was already on the way to put on a fight. When he arrived with a thousand of his Danish troops it was obvious that d’Aubigny has no chance to win in a battle having only about 20 people and thick stone walls at his disposal. Soon the siege begins...

British war movie based on the true events of Rochester Castle siege in 1215, or rather inspired by them since the screenplay has very little to do with historical facts. With impressive cast, that included Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi and Paul Giamatti, and main motif of castle siege Ironclad seemed like a potential great war movie, but from the beginning it seems like the creators fail to find the budget for their production, not to mention that the screenplay is rather peculiar to put it mildly. Jonathan English decided not to keep close to historical facts (f.e. in reality there were about 100 defenders of the castle, not 20), but also put a lot of different bits into one, slightly incoherent, storyline - we have here romance, bromance, politics, religion, Knights Templar, medieval Rambo-style warrior and cartoonish characters. All of it would be fine if the movie had a point to make, but it is hard to spot what was the point. That evil kings will be punished? That Templar knights were the best? That chicks dig scars? It was nice to see war movie about medieval times (something that was rare in recent years), but overall the chance was wasted on adventure flick that has very little to do with historical events.




Our rating

4.8

Film value

5 / 10

Realism factor

2 / 5

Adventure factor

3 / 5

Historical accuracy

2 / 5



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Creators of Ironclad

Jonathan English movies

Jonathan English movies

Erick Kastel movies

Erick Kastel

screenplay


Stephen McDool movies

Stephen McDool

screenplay



Cast of Ironclad

James Purefoy movies james-purefoy

James Purefoy

as Thomas Marshal


Kate Mara movies kate-mara

Kate Mara

as Lady Isabel


Brian Cox movies brian-cox

Brian Cox

as Baron William d’Aubigny


Paul Giamatti movies paul-giamatti

Paul Giamatti

as King John


Aneurin Barnard movies aneurin-barnard

Aneurin Barnard

as Guy the Squire


Derek Jacobi movies derek-jacobi

Derek Jacobi

as Baron Reginald de Cornhill


Jason Flemyng movies jason-flemyng

Jason Flemyng

as Gil Becket


Rhys Parry Jones movies rhys-parry-jones

Rhys Parry Jones

as Joseph Wulfstan


Jamie Foreman movies jamie-foreman

Jamie Foreman

as Jedediah Coteral


Mackenzie Crook movies mackenzie-crook

Mackenzie Crook

as Daniel Marks


Vladimir Kulich movies vladimir-kulich

Vladimir Kulich

as Captain Tiberius


Charles Dance movies charles-dance

Charles Dance

as Archbishop Langton


Guy Siner movies guy-siner

Guy Siner

as Oaks


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Events depicted in Ironclad

First Barons’ War (1215-1217) Siege of Rochester (19 Jun 1215)







Ironclad trivia


Real siege of Rochester

Movie is very loosely based on the real siege of Rochester - apart from number of defenders (at least 100, not only 20), also the order of events is made up (in real life it was firstly the retreat to the keep, later long siege of that keep), outcome of the battle (in reality the defenders surrendered) and the relief party (French forces reached Rochester months after the battle, but there was a group of knights approaching from London).



Danish mercenaries

The story of Danish mercenaries fighting for the favor of their country is completely made up - at that point in history Denmark was already a Christian country, so their motivation made no sense. The real mercenaries that were brought by King John were most likely French or Flemish (from regions of today’s France or Belgium).



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