Scott M. Adams’s review published on Letterboxd:
The VVItch and The Lighthouse helped to clearly establish and define Robert Eggers's style which was that of visual depth, slow pacing, and a rich exploration of character. Now The Northman shows what he can do with a $90 million budget.
This film is intense, aggressive, violent, immaculately shot with some luscious tracking shots, and every bit of the 90 million is there on screen. Eggers continues with his deliberate pacing, so the film isn't a nonstop powerhouse, but every moment of action exudes testosterone and aggression. The framing is gorgeous to look at with each set piece being carefully and thoughtfully planned and plotted.
The film follows the traditional path of a wronged-son revenge film and the journey to enact this revenge travels from the bitter cold of the north to the flaming eruption of burning fire at the gates of Hel. As the quest proceedes every bit of hyper-masculinity and rageful bile is put forth as scenes scream with animalistic tendencies. This both disturbed me truly and enthralled me simultaneously.
Alexander Skarsgard is not a leading man, in my opinion and this does hamper the film, but the set pieces, beautiful framing, and heart stomping score make this Eggers film one to definitely watch. The money, the intensity, the vision is all there on the screen.