The Reckoning | Chicago Reader

The Reckoning

Paul Bettany reunites with director Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1) for this intelligent thriller set in 14th-century England. Continuing to demonstrate an impressive range, he plays an adulterous monk who finds shelter with a troupe of thespians led by Willem Dafoe, only to be plunged into a thicket of murder and court intrigue during their engagement in a remote town. Peter Sova's wide-screen cinematography juxtaposes the immense and lawless countryside with the cloistered society of the fortified outpost, deftly conveying the darkness of the Middle Ages, while his chiaroscuro renderings of the performers' warm-ups suggest the dawning of the Renaissance. As a whodunit this is clever but fundamentally flawed: when a prominent star's one big scene arrives near the end, there's little doubt who the culprit is. R, 110 min.

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