The Northman first reactions call Robert Eggers Viking epic a “masterpiece”

The first reactions to Robert Eggers’ The Northman are in, and the initial responses to the action-filled epic are overwhelmingly positive.

Starring Björk, Claes Bang, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård and more, the movie is based on the same Scandinavian folk tale that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet and follows Amleth, a vengeful Viking prince who sets out on a quest to kill the man who murdered his father.

Taking to Twitter after one of the earliest screenings, Total Film’s Jamie Graham (opens in new tab) wrote: “How Robert Eggers got a studio to give him $60-$90m (depending who you believe) to make such a bold, bonkers movie is beyond me. A psychological, phantasmagorical Viking epic with set-pieces that slay. This is how to author blockbuster cinema.”

Indiewire’s David Ehlrich (opens in new tab) said: “All you need to know about The Northman — a $90 million viking revenge movie directed by Robert Eggers — is that every single moment of it feels like a $90 million viking revenge movie directed by Robert Eggers.”

Next Best Picture’s Matt Neglia (opens in new tab) shared similar thoughts, adding: “The Northman is exactly what you’d expect from a $90 million Viking revenge film by Robert Eggers. Brutal and dazzling with a vast attention to detail. Story is pretty straightforward & slow early on but I was still in awe of its spectacle. Alexander Skarsgård is an absolute beast.”

“I’ve been a huge fan of Robert Eggers for years, but The Northman is truly his masterpiece,” Daily Dead News’ Heather Wixson (opens in new tab) wrote on social media. “Brutal, fearless, & audacious, it feels like the kind of cinematic epic we don’t see very often anymore. It’s a ferocious & stunning work of art & Alexander Skarsgård rules.

#TheNorthman is a great addition to Robert Eggers resume. The story is fantastic and the acting by Alexander Skarsgård and Anya Taylor Joy is brilliant.April 5, 2022

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As everyone is talking about The Northman, I would like to add to the chorus of celebration. Never enjoyed being pummelled by Norse mythology so much in my life.April 5, 2022

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#TheNorthman is uncompromising, raw, and savage. It’s a ruthless revenge story set during the Viking Age, and Alexander Skarsgård is a beast of a man. 5, 2022

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Robert Eggers’ #TheNorthman is hauntingly visceral & super transfixing. You definitely won’t be able to take your eyes off this blood-soaked revenge tale. Alexander Skarsgård is a BEAST & ferocious throughout. Nicole Kidman has a couple scenes that floored me. Daring & devilish 5, 2022

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#TheNorthman is a weird, beautiful, brutal epic and I really dug it. Come for the God-tier visuals, stay for Alexander Skarsgård’s beast of a performance. 5, 2022

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It’s truly incredible to see Robert Eggers working on such a large scale with #TheNorthman As visually stunning as Eggers’ past work, and his entire cast is tremendous, especially Alexander Skarsgård, who is an absolute beast.Plus, Willem Dafoe being weird and fart jokes! 5, 2022

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“#TheNorthman is incredible. Like, fall-to-your-knees, ‘HOW the HELL did they do this?’ good. Breathtakingly gnarly too. It deserves to be a massive hit. EGGERS HIVE ASSEMBLE,” tweeted UNILAD’s Cameron Frew (opens in new tab).

CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg (opens in new tab) described The Northman as “spectactular” and Eggers’ most accessible film, referring back to his past works The Witch and The Lighthouse. He also said: “It’s a gripping revenge story that keeps its hand around your throat & visually stunning. Compelled me to whisper ‘holy shit!’ several times.”

“#TheNorthman is Robert Eggers’ best film yet. Stunning cinematography sets the scene for the perfect merger of otherworldly Norse mythology with the brutal reality of Viking history. Bloodthirsty. Powerful. Spiritual. Is a magnificent and epic saga for the ages,” Collider’s Maggie Lovitt gushed (opens in new tab).

“Slow to post my social reaction to #TheNorthman because I’m STILL RUMINATING. One of the best films of 2022. Brutal and relentless thanks to Eggers’ methodical pacing, it’s a film that explores basic, primal human nature from female rage to paternal love. The cast is incredible,” shared Digital Spy’s Gabriella Geisinger (opens in new tab).

The Northman releases in UK cinemas on April 12, and US cinemas on April 22. While we wait, why not check out our roundup of the best movies of the decade.

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