Every time I watch this, I get angry about the fact that Patroclus is repeatedly described as Achilles’s ‘cousin’, but despite that, and despite some slightly wooden acting, this is a proper epic.  The costumes are very good, the score is rousing and the effects subtle.  The cast is a who’s who of famous faces; and although Brad Pitt spends most of his time with an expression of concerned constipation, he does at least look vaguely like Achilles should. The best character in the film, for me, is Eric Bana’s noble and self-sacrificing Hector.  The ending is contrived, but overall this is one of the best classical-era films out there. Although it’s true that, given the standard of most of them, that’s faint praise.

Buy the film

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