The Reckoning

Synopsis: In 14th-century England, a young monk breaks his vow of chastity and flees the wrath of his bishop and fellow monks. A fugitive priest, he then witnesses the murder of a traveling performer--and subsequently, the mourning of actor by his fellow troupe members. He eventually becomes initiated into the troupe as a player, replacing the murdered man. They travel from town to town performing their standard morality play. They arrive in a town where a boy has been killed and a young deaf-mute girl has been imprisoned for the crime--sentenced to death for witchcraft and murder. Discarding the expected bible stories, the actors stage a performance based on the crime. Through the performance of the play, they discover that the townspeople know the young woman did not, in fact, commit the murder. The stage becomes a place where vital human truth is told. Thus, simultaneously, the fugitive priest comes to terms with his own crime and makes a powerful sacrifice, thereby redeeming himself.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Paul McGuigan
Production: Paramount Classics
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

( woman vocalizing )

( ominous theme plays )

Seek those things

that are above...

not those things

that are upon the Earth.


Brothers and sisters...

( people coughing )

...every day I hear

a grumbling against God.

Times are hard.

The times are bad.

Grievous times.

And that they are.

( baby crying )

But let us not forget...

the words of the Apostle

in his letter to the Romans.

"The sufferings

"of this present time

"are not to be compared

with the future glory...

...the glory that shall

be revealed in us."

Indeed, brothers and sisters,

I would go further.

I would go further and say

that this life

simply has to be harsh...

to stop Earthly happiness

being loved.

It is essential

that this life be troubled

so that the other life--

Right now

it is still dark.

You cannot see God yet...

or hold in your hands...

( baby continues crying )

...all that he has promised you.

But do not despair.

Trust in him.


Hope in him.

You will not be disappointed.

Tribulation produces patience.

Patience passes the test.

Passing the test gives us hope.

( panting )

While hope...

( panting )

Hope does not disappoint.

( speaks Latin )


( panting )

NICHOLAS: the other life

may be light.

Seek those things

that are above...

not those things

that are upon the Earth.

( panting )

( violin theme playing )

( birds chirping )

( grunts )

( twig snaps )

( indistinct animal noise )

( twigs snapping )

( crackling )

Straw, Springer...

look away.

Look away.

( men grunting, snarling )

MAN 2:
I have his legs now.

Now's the moment.

Okay, okay.

- MAN:
It's all right.

It's all right, Brendan,

God be with you.

( grunts )


MAN 2:
What's that?

( yells )

( grunts )

( woman vocalizing )

( cackling )

( yells )

( making animal sounds )

Robber scum skulking in the bushes, eh?

Where are the others?

Up ahead?

No, I'm alone!


I'm alone!


In these times,

what kind of fool

travels the road alone?

I'm a laborer out of bond.

I left my master's land

without a license.

He's lying.

Oh, God, please.

- Speak up.

- Please don't.

Or shall we loosen

your tongue with a knife?

Listen, let me go.

I promise I won't say what I saw.


What did you see?

I saw a merchant

dragged from his cart.

Aye, now we are the brigands.

Your clothes.

Our costumes,

worn against the cold.


We're actors.

Traveling actors.

And here's our badge of livery.

We're Lord Robert Sanville's



He's no brigand.

I saw you kill a man.

Brendan was my father,

our father and our leader.

He's been ill for many months.

A canker of the belly.

He begged us to end his pain.

The hands of a laborer?

I don't think so.


Come on. This bloody axle!

It's getting worse.

We'll find a cartwright

in the next town.

What do we pay him with?

We've not even got enough

to bury Brendan.

Then we'll perform.

Where are you headed?

North to Durham, to perform

for our lord's cousin.

That's all we are, a Christmas gift

from one noble family to another.

Come on!

- Can I come with you?



( panting )

I want to join your troupe.

- You know you're short an actor.

- I could learn.

No one could ever replace Brendan.

No one.

Well, I wouldn't try and replace him,

just plug the hole he left behind.


Plug the hole he left behind?


All right,

let's see what you can do.

I know, be a bird.

( makes chirruping sound )

- Be a what?

- A bird. Be a bird.

How about if we try a heron?

A big gangling lad like you.

Aye, that's it.

But now on one leg.

Hop. Move, move.

Not around in circles.

Go that way.

Godspeed, stranger.

He's right.

With Brendan gone,

our parts will have to change.

We need someone to play

the minor roles.

Attendant Angel, Devil's Fool.

You're the fool, Marty.

We don't even know who he is.



We'll vote on it.


As our leader, I'm calling a vote.


Oh, well, there's a surprise.

I'm against it.

Need you ask?


( stammers )

Well, I've-- I've never

seen a heron like it.

I'm with you.



I know what you're doing.

Come on.

Where to now?

We head west.

And why not east?

Fenland's impassible.

And towards the west?

I don't know, Tobias,

I've never been there.

( grunting )

( ominous violin theme plays )

Hey, hey, whoa.

Whoa. Whoa!

So where is everyone?


There's no one here.

We'll head up this way.

Hyah! Hyah!

Get. Get.

Get, get, get, get, get.

( stirring theme plays )


Hey, hey, hey, come on! Come on.

- Yeah, yeah.

Come on.

Come here.

Come here, you.

You're useless!


How many can say

they walk their roads

and work their fields without fear?

Sleep safe in their beds

at night, their bellies full?

If we can, it is because

each man plays his part in it.

There can be no exceptions.

For his vigilance in this affair,

the court is beholden

to Brother Simon Damian,

confessor to our noble lord,

Robert de Guise...

...from whom this court draws

the power to dispense justice

according to the laws of the land.

After due deliberation of the facts

and circumstances of this case,

it is our finding

that the accused

is guilty as charged.

It is the sentence of this court

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Mark Mills

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Reckoning" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <>.

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