Lucas Nasu Nielsen’s review published on Letterboxd:
Easily the best loose adaptation of Hamlet to ever be put forth on the silver screen, (with the exception of The Lion King, of course.) I’m hoping high schools start showing this one in class when studying the play, it would definitely be a lot more fun for the kids.
To anyone who may have been worried, like me, that the big budget and non A24 producers would taint Robert Eggers’ style and skill as a filmmaker, you can rest assured that this film is just as Robert Eggersy as his two previous ventures. With that being said, I would actually argue that the increase in money and resources leads The Northman, to be Eggers’ most entertaining film to date. Though the story is lacking slightly in originality and complexity (in comparison to The VVitch and The Lighthouse) the film makes up for this through its impeccable cinematography, unflinchingly graphic violence, and the constant unnerving and disturbing atmosphere and characters presented within the film.
This film is not for the faint of heart. Though artistic, the violence and gore throughout is brutal and completely uncensored. The action is gritty and dark, often shot in a one take fashion much like, The Revenant, creating action sequences that feel more horrific than enjoyable to watch. The final 45 minutes in particular is just constant blood, guts and gore. It’s awesome, but definitely difficult to watch at times.
Even though this is a far more entertaining film within Eggers’ filmography, it still has many slow moments that add to story and character development, but it does drag here and there.
It may not be as deep, ambiguous or thought provoking as The VVitch or The Lighthouse, but The Northman, either way, is a beautiful film given to us by Eggers, and was a truly enjoyable theatrical experience.