The Northman Early Buzz: Robert Eggers Delivers A Bloody Good Revenge Film

First reactions to "The Northman" are in, which means we finally get to know how Amleth's (Alexander Skarsgård) much-discussed plan to "Avenge father. Save mother. Kill Fjölnir" turned out. Or at least, we'll know if it's worth coming along for the ride when the film premieres on April 22, 2022. The review embargo for the viking epic is still in place, but critics who were able to see the film early took to Twitter today to share their preliminary thoughts. So far, those thoughts seem to be that the movie rules.

An arthouse blockbuster in the making

Here's some of the first feedback from critics, which seems to indicate "The Northman" is an ambitious and truly epic movie:

Beyond Fest even got in on the conversation, giving the film their stamp of approval:

"The Northman" marks a turning point for director Robert Eggers, whose first two films, "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse," were bona fide indie success stories. Eggers' work to date has been unforgettable, a mix of arthouse aesthetics, painstaking historical accuracy, and expertly designed tension that builds to a nearly unbearable boiling point. While both his prior projects were distributed by A24, his latest work is with Focus Features, and reportedly included a pretty hefty budget and production scale for an art film. 

According to critics, that big budget only improved upon the filmmaker's vision:

The movie follows Skarsgård as Amleth, a legendary Viking prince on a quest to avenge his murdered father. A star-studded cast includes Ethan Hawke as the aforementioned father, Nicole Kidman as Amleth's queen and mother, and supporting characters played by Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and Björk. Early feedback highlights a towering performance by Skarsgård.

As our own Ryan Scott points out, "The Northman" will have its work cut out for it when the film debuts in theaters later this month. The movie will be up against superhero flick "Morbius," family movie "Sonic The Hedgehog 2," nostalgia grab "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore," and action thriller "Ambulance" when it hits theaters. Still, as one of the only non-Michael Bay, non-franchise wide release options on the April release slate, it does fill a niche for original, adult-oriented storytelling that could be its key to box office success. With little to no negative feedback among the early buzz, "The Northman" sounds like it's well worth the watch.

"The Northman" will premiere in theaters on April 22, 2022.