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Henry V

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United Kingdom · 1989
Rated PG-13 · 2h 17m
Director Kenneth Branagh
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, James Larkin
Genre War, Drama, History

Recently-crowned Henry V must lead an army of men into battle in Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical play. The young king struggles to rally faith in his leadership, and struggles with self-doubt as the stakes of victory over France mount.

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What are critics saying?


Washington Post by

An alert, rousing interpretation of "Henry V," Branagh beats down the doors of high art and drags the sleeping bard into the light of modern day.


Washington Post by Hal Hinson

Most astounding, though, is the power of the film's leading actor. While Branagh's direction is forthright and articulate, his acting is brash and flamboyant.


Boston Globe by Jay Carr

One of the things that make [Branagh's] Henry V so thrilling is his audacity in trying to turn it into an antiwar play - a view that would have astounded Shakespeare. Astonishingly, he pretty much brings it off, emerging with steadily growing power as the young king who isn't afraid to bloody his hands. [15 Dec 1989]


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

The cast - including Derek Jacobi as the modern-dress chorus, Paul Scofield, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Emma Thompson, and Robbie Coltrane in an effective cameo as Falstaff - is uniformly fine without any grandstanding.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

Mr. Branagh has made a fine, rousing new English film adaptation of Shakespeare's ''Henry V,'' a movie that need not apologize to Laurence Olivier's 1944 classic.

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