The Reckoning

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The Reckoning ★★★ 2003 (R)

Nicholas (Bettany) is a 14th century priest on the run from charges of adultery who joins a band of actors led by the bored Martin (Dafoe). They come upon a town where deaf-mute woman healer Martha is on trial for a boy's murder. The actors decide to perform a play based on the murder (which is a wild departure from performing only Bible-based stories), and find out that other boys have been killed recently in a similar manner. Nicholas becomes obsessed with proving Maria's innocence and uncovering the secrets of the village's “protector” Lord De Guise (Cassel). McGuigan makes excellent use of a deft story and exciting but not intrusive visuals to build suspense for the plot, and development for the interesting character development. Bettany and Dafoe shine. 110m/C VHS, DVD . Paul Bettany, Sarah Henderson, Thomas (Tom) Hardy, Willem Dafoe, Gina McKee, Stuart Wells, Vincent Cassel, Elvira Minguez, Ewen Bremner; D: Paul McGuigan; W: Mark Mills; C: Peter Sova; M: Adrian Lee, Mark Mancina.