The Last Legion

Critics Consensus

With miscast leads and unoriginal, uninspired dialogue, The Last Legion pales in comparison to the recent cinematic epics it invokes.



Total Count: 55


Audience Score

User Ratings: 94,761
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Movie Info

Co-adapted by Tom Butterworth and Jez Butterworth from Valerio Massimo Manfredi's best-selling historical adventure novel, Doug Lefler's period epic The Last Legion unfurls in 470 A.D., just prior to the fall of the colossal Roman Empire. As the most recent in a long line of caesars, a young Roman child, Romulus (Thomas Sangster), is poised to inherit the throne -- until Germanic forces invade, lay siege to the city, and brutally murder his parents. At the last second, with his life hanging by a thread, Romulus receives the protection of military commander Aurelius (Colin Firth), who assembles a cadre of rebels, including Romulus, the boy's magician instructor, Ambrosinus (Sir Ben Kingsley), and the Indian female warrior Mira (Aishwarya Rai). After Romulus discovers an enchanted sword once claimed by Julius Caesar, the troupe heads out to the province of Britannia and Hadrian's Wall. There, the men will regroup with the Ninth Legion and plan one final triumphant stand against the barbarian invaders of Rome.


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Critic Reviews for The Last Legion

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (47)

  • Paying scant attention to either historical accuracy or character complexity, the Xena: Warrior Princess director Lefler goes for a straightforward good versus evil plot with a predictable climactic battle.

    Oct 24, 2017 | Full Review…
  • There are, after all, aimed at young audiences plenty of movies more mean-spirited, indiscriminate and obnoxious than The Last Legion. But at the same time there are plenty that are, alas, less frustrating.

    Dec 17, 2007 | Full Review…

    Mark Bourne
    Top Critic
  • No twist is too farfetched for this Dino De Laurentiis epic.

    Oct 27, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A good cast wallow about in a story you can't believe for a moment.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2/5
  • A hunk of old Brie, left all day in the glove compartment in a car on a hot summer's day, could not smell more ripe than this absurd sword'n'sandal Roman movie.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Paper-thin characters, stilted conversations and abrupt editing mean this is hard to get involved with, and its link with Arthurian legend feels contrived and clichéd.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Anna Smith
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Last Legion

  • Sep 03, 2011
    the first half is nothing compared to the last. its like they decided to go after a braveheart battle to finish it off. it was working so much better as a rescue and get away story
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2011
    I'm convinced the director didn't know what this movie was supposed to be, I sure didn't. There's a big identity crisis the film undergoes, not sure if it wants to be a light hearted fantasy film, a sword and sandals epic, or a revenge film. Colin Firth, though strong, felt like he was in a different movie. Kingsley largely phoned in his efforts, though the writing sure didn't do him any favors.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2010
    I didn't get past the 10 minute mark. I was immediately uninterested.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2010
    An interesting premiss, but too many inconsistencies and a mixing of some nice sets intertwinned with some horrible cgi. What starts out passably reasonable turns silly once the "seige" on Capri begins - the baddie Goths running around a south mediterrenean island wearing furs and viking helmets - hilarious!!! Some of the fight scenes are nicely done, but as there are so many of them it just seems redundant (even Colin Firth kind of shrugs as yet another group of extras comes after him). There's a few nice touches once the group gets to Brittania (Ben Kingsley gathering the young folk around to tell the tale of the forging of the sword) - but even the climatic battle scene gets silly with young Romulus running around like he has a force field around him. There is the potential for a truly good baddie in the man in the gold mask, but then his demise in a battle with Kingsley is way too abrupt and short on drama (not to mention that when Kingsley calls out from the top of the ridge that he has vanquished the tyrant, everyone in the pitch of battle seems to hear him clearly - uh, don't think so! The final surprise twist is done fairly well, but I can't help thinking of the film Excaliber which dealt with the Arthurian legend about a gazillion times better.
    paul s Super Reviewer

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