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Overall Rating
3.32

Awesome33.82%
Worth A Look: 22.06%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 14.22%
Total Crap: 21.57%

10 reviews, 144 user ratings


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300
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Peter Sobczynski

"Looks Like Captain Oveur May Have A New Favorite In-Flight Movie"
3 stars

Whether you like “300,” the historical epic based on the graphic novel from “Sin City” creator Frank Miller, or not will depend to a large extent on how you feel about the idea of spending two solid hours watching hordes of muscle-bound guys smacking each other with swords while wearing little more than leather jockstraps and canola oil. If this sounds like your cup of tea, it is likely that you will enjoy it immensely. On the other hand, if you are one of those people silly enough to require something of substance in your broadsword-based entertainment, “300" will seem like nothing more than a highly-stylized version of a B-movie programmer that will leave you feeling trapped between a rock and a hard pec.

Set in 480 B.C., “300" opens as the massive Persian army, led by the fearsome Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), begins an exceptionally aggressive expansion policy that consists of taking over every bit of land in its grasp and laying siege to anyone who dares oppose them. This plan hits a snag when they reach Sparta, a land where the men have been trained since early childhood to become the finest and fiercest warriors possible. Even the Persians realize how adept the Spartans are and so instead of simply trying to sack the land, they send an emissary to convey to King Leonidas (Gerald Butler) that they will leave the city alone as long as they agree to submit to the rule of Xerxes. “That’s a bit of a problem” replies Leonidas (presumably it sounded better in the original Greek) and he and his men quickly dispose of the Persian party in the nastiest way possible. Of course, Leonidas realizes that this means war and he quickly whips up a brilliant plan: he and 300 of his finest warriors will head off Xerxes and his 100,000 soldiers at the mountain pass at Thermopylae and channel them into a narrow canyon that will greatly diminish the effectiveness of their overwhelming numbers.

After consulting with their oracle (which just happens to be a half-naked and comely lass who appears to be channeling Elizabeth Berkley in full “Showgirls” mode), the mystical elders of Sparta refuse to allow Leonidas to go through with his plan–they claim that the battle is unwinnable and will lead only to the unnecessary deaths of his men. What they don’t realize is that Leonidas pretty much knows that it is a suicide mission–his real agenda is to stall the Persians in order to give his council enough time to convince the other Greek cities to pool their men together to form an army large enough to repel the invaders. Defying the oracle, Leonidas takes the men to Thermopylae and leads the Spartans into bloody and victorious battle against one wave of weird-looking combatants after another while Xerxes constantly cackles about how imminent their defeat is. For a while, the Persians are stymied until one former Spartan, a deformed weirdo whose battle services were declined by Leonidas, offers to show Xerxes a way to outflank them in exchange for money and power. Meanwhile, on the home front, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) tries to rally support to send reinforcements and winds up submitting to the sexual whims of the sleazy Theron (Dominic West) in a effort to win his support. (Later on, Theron illustrates one of the most important lessons of political treachery–if you are planning on going back on your word and selling out your people for money and power, it is never a good idea to carry incontestable proof of said treachery on your person.)

Like “Sin City” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” before it, “300" was filmed by shooting its live-action actors against a green screen and then creating all the backgrounds via computers to create an ultra-stylized look that looks and feels like the pages of Miller’s original work come to life. In a film like this, the look is initially striking but if it is to succeed as a whole, it has to either provide one eye-popping visual after another or other factors–such as a compelling plot or interesting characters–have to kick in at some point or it runs the risk of being just an empty exercise in style. “Sin City,” for example, had a great visual style but it also told a trio of entertaining stories that honored the conventions of film noir while still having fun with them and it provided strong, soulful performances from people like Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Bruce Willis. By comparison, “300" starts off strong enough with its arresting visuals and an entertaining prologue that explains the history of Sparta in general and Leonidas in particular. However, once the Spartans arrive at Thermopylae, the film comes to an impasse as well as it descends into one lookalike battle after another between our heroes and their weirdo antagonists. For director Zack Snyder, this is the follow-up film to his 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead” and his approach to the fight scenes is strangely similar to the zombie attacks in that earlier work–wave upon wave of attackers swarm up and are chopped to bit by our heroes until they are finally overwhelmed towards the end. That approach kind of worked for “Dawn of the Dead” because that film was, at its heart, basically a bubble-headed horror film with little on its mind other than staining the screen red. “300,” on the other hand, would seem to have the potential to go off in any number of intriguing directions and to see it stick to the most superficial interpretation possible will come as a disappointment to anyone silly enough to come to the film expecting something other than a wildly expensive version of one of those old Steve Reeves “Hercules” semi-extravaganzas.

Another key flaw to the film is the painful miscasting of the role of Leonidas. In order for a film of this type to work, you need to find an actor who is both physically convincing and able to deliver the extra-cheesy dialogue with enough straight-faced conviction to make you believe the emotions even while you might be snickering at the purple prose–Charlton Heston in “Ben Hur” and Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” immediately spring to mind as perfect examples of this. For the bold and brawny Leonidas, “300" sticks us with Gerard Butler–the guy that you forgot was the star of the misbegotten “The Phantom of the Opera” even while you were watching it–and he just simply doesn’t have what the role takes. Yes, he has beefed himself up considerably from a physical standpoint but he just doesn’t have the imposing force or passion that allows us to believe him for a second while swinging his sword around and uttering lines such as “Into Hell’s mouth we march!” Hell, even Lena Headey cuts a more imposing figure in her role as Queen Gorgo–even though the subplot involving her character isn’t very interesting, she delivers lines such as “Only Spartan women give birth to real men!” with the appropriate vigor and has the kind of imposing physical presence that inadvertently suggests to those of us in the audience that she, and not Leonidas, wears the jerkin in the family. (Of course, it doesn’t help that of the two, she is clearly the one with the bigger chest.)

“300" isn’t completely terrible by any means–there are some arresting individual visual moments here and there (such as a mammoth tree strewn with hundreds of corpses), some amusing lines of mock-heroic dialogue (“Pile the Persians high–we are in for one wild night!”) and a cheerful willingness to spill blood and guts with reckless abandon at a time when every other action film seems to be cutting back in an effort to score the all-important PG-13 rating. I can even see myself sitting down to watch a few minutes of it here and there if I came upon it on cable in a year or so. However, considering the promise of the subject matter and the time and energy that clearly went into producing it, it just comes up short. The real-life Battle of Thermopylae is said to have helped bring forth the world’s first true democracy–by comparison, the grandest claim one can make for “300" is that it is at least somewhat better than “Troy.”

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15601&reviewer=389
originally posted: 03/09/07 16:18:39
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell good movie skip the sequel 4 stars
3/17/16 Charles Tatum You just can't get past those visuals. 4 stars
10/13/13 David H. Historically inaccurate, but has great eye candy. 3 stars
10/22/12 Sean Harrison A bit corny, but still entertaining. One of the better graphic novel based movies. 4 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk Over-rated, too much slo-mo and low on story. www.youtube.com/Captain00Kirk 3 stars
9/11/10 Barbara Leaf Not my type movie but I LOVED IT. Sex, gore....I couldn't get enough. 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name With it's cheesy lines and stylized violence, 300 reaches guy movie greatness. 3 stars
3/21/10 J-Dawg Sex, violence, and mindless action. Pretty much sums up 300. 1 stars
9/12/09 R.W. Welch Stylized but still effective treatment of legendary battle. C+ 3 stars
8/20/09 Monday Morning I haven't seen so many 6-packs since my Miller Brewery tour. 4 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder A popcorn film that's actually entertaining and doesn't insult one's intelligence? Here! 4 stars
4/29/09 Dr.Lao Idiot machismo and cartoony violance with pretentions of being, "art" 2 stars
3/08/09 Rigato Horrible. The Spartans themselves were homosexuals, or at the very least bisexual... 1 stars
2/07/09 man great 5 stars
11/22/08 PAUL SHORTT AN OVERABUNDANCE OF STYLE AND VIOLENCE ACCENTING A SUBSTANCE-DEPRIVED STORY 1 stars
9/14/08 Samantha Pruitt thought it would be better, needed waaay more blood! 3 stars
9/03/08 Alexandru Totir I found it to be very entertaining to watch, quite good, and the actors look stunning & hot 4 stars
8/07/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/21/08 Bob? Hilarious review. Nailed it. 1 stars
6/29/08 AnnieG A good adaptation of a graphic novel, but would have preferred to see a historical version. 3 stars
6/14/08 Karrie M action packed and the guys were HOT, loved it 5 stars
5/25/08 Max Sloppily over the top, and dripping with ugly, heavy-handed right wing propaganda. 1 stars
5/07/08 Crispy Plenty of you ignorant fools will lap this up and Hollywood knows it 2 stars
5/02/08 Greets "the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring" I agree, although I liked the first 20m 2 stars
4/20/08 mark madsen this a good movie. alittle far fetch. 4 stars
3/07/08 Matty! this movie was awesome. just because we don't all hug trees like you tards... 5 stars
3/04/08 europa America should embrace the Spartans "Newborn Policy". 5 stars
2/02/08 surfer Thinly veiled glorification of fascist ideology - perfect aryans against subhuman cripples 1 stars
1/29/08 Rollie It's as if Cornelius is trying to say Frank Miller didn't get it right the first time. 5 stars
1/14/08 David Graham Visualy glorious and entertaining war movie, THIS IS SPARTA. 5 stars
12/09/07 Keystra Williams THIS IS SPARTA! 5 stars
10/27/07 tracey chambers eye candy for sure. worth checking out 4 stars
10/17/07 TreeTiger ENTERTAINING..!!! 5 stars
10/12/07 Spliff Well and truly entertained me, but not as good as the original 4 stars
10/10/07 Bitchflaps The men are fuckable, but the film is simplistic, vapid, soulless, boring and ugly. 1 stars
10/07/07 Vincent Visually stunning, very entertaining flick 4 stars
9/24/07 Jason Great movie, but perhaps a little overrated 3 stars
9/11/07 JeromeBoch This movie did what it was intended to do; it entertained the Hell out of me! Loved the CGI 5 stars
9/10/07 QC Extraordinary. Revolutionary cinematography. The best movie of the year so far. 5 stars
9/09/07 Blitcher God, what a waste of resources, digital or not... 2 stars
8/31/07 I-K Mysogyny, demonised enemy, rank exaggeration... EXACTLY what a war story retold would be! 5 stars
8/28/07 mb Truly Terrible and Not Recommended 1 stars
8/15/07 vinman29 Fell asleep twice--repetitive battle scenes 2 stars
8/13/07 Joe Smaltz They didn't say it was a cartoon 1 stars
8/09/07 Ron People never cease to amaze me. I wonder what kind of crap movies they like 4 stars
7/15/07 the young one yes the lack of armour was rather bad but i guess the whole plot seemed very nice to me 4 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega It's no "Lord of the Rings", and really shouldn't be. 3.5/5 4 stars
7/11/07 Hello Stranger visually stunning yes. acting and script? total crap 1 stars
7/10/07 GS2 Worst movie of the year, maybe more. Starting with the name, they should have called it 25. 1 stars
7/03/07 William Goss A traditionally gripping epic tale wrapped in modern visual splendor. 5 stars
7/03/07 lotr fan i asked for mayo...THIS IS TARTAR 5 stars
7/02/07 Tanya g very hollywood 2 stars
7/01/07 Lydia Helton Edges out Alexander among just-watchable ancient historical dramas. 2 stars
6/19/07 Abs This Movie revels in it's Machoness!!! 5 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold REMEMBER this film; think about it. That's all that the "Spartans" wish. 5 stars
5/15/07 movieman lame 1 stars
5/09/07 Anthony A contender for not only worst movie of the year, but worst movie of the decade. 1 stars
4/27/07 Straight guy guys, it's only gay if you're a little 'curious' and want to hide that. great entertainment 5 stars
4/27/07 Dude lame 1 stars
4/26/07 Dave gay war porn 1 stars
4/25/07 Nicole M No naval battle, no armour, no realism... no point. 1 stars
4/23/07 Stevo UK Complete bullshit. 1 stars
4/22/07 UvIndex Dumb movie. Nice graphics, and nothing more than that. 2 stars
4/19/07 grendel73 This movie was awesome! The action sequences were amazing. Great cinematography. 5 stars
4/15/07 Maverick Unrealistic?!.. no, comics are realistic. i suppose Sin City is unrealistic too, or Batman? 5 stars
4/12/07 Jake Unrealistic battles, and SUPERGAY. 1 stars
4/12/07 Indrid Cold Weak story, but the most intense, visually stunnning battles since Saving Private Ryan. 4 stars
4/11/07 Double M Stunning cinematography, visuals and some of the craziest, most intense battle scenes ever 5 stars
4/10/07 Kelly loooved tho action! nothing can beat Gladiator though 4 stars
4/09/07 Will Prepare for Honor! Prepare for Glory! A good ol' spleen-stabbin, leg-choppin action film 5 stars
4/08/07 Vin Passionate & hardcore....makes GLADIATOR look like sesame street! 5 stars
4/07/07 Pooly Actually Peter, I enjoyed Troy more than this! 2 stars
4/05/07 Sumixam Great movie - Visually stunning 5 stars
4/05/07 Anthony 300, how bad is thee? Let me count the ways . . . 1 stars
4/02/07 Joe Amazing, really pushed the bar with visuals 5 stars
3/31/07 Alice Loved Sin City but this was crap. CRAP ! 1 stars
3/30/07 M Amazing.... the only ppl who wont like it are those who loved "little Man" & "Borat" 5 stars
3/30/07 Grigory Unintentionally hilarious; lady with mole was ugly. 2 stars
3/29/07 Stephen Outstanding. Not as historically inaccurate as some make out. Definitelty big screen, big s 5 stars
3/29/07 malcolm decent modern take on an ancient culture and historic event 4 stars
3/28/07 Ruperd those men r do sxy!!OH ye and ur all gay 1 stars
3/27/07 Rachel Hilarious. (Not to mention sexy man candy). 4 stars
3/27/07 Obi Wan Must See! Great eye candy and best action scenes in a long time! 5 stars
3/25/07 euge That was so fucking awesome...NOT 1 stars
3/25/07 Steve Newman what a load of crap 1 stars
3/25/07 Pandababy Some good scenes, but full of dumb crap 3 stars
3/24/07 DEREK most amazing movie ever, who ever gives it less then 4 stars is dumb. 5 stars
3/24/07 Jim Gordon This is the worst film ive seen in my life, total crap 1 stars
3/23/07 Renae It was *intentionally* hilarious and awesome. 5 stars
3/23/07 David Worth a look, a little too much video-game not enough movie though. 4 stars
3/22/07 Johnny Well its awful and sad at the same time, it glorifys militarism, its for simpletons. 2 stars
3/22/07 ES 3/4 of the best movie ever commited to film and then it falters like a dying spartan 4 stars
3/21/07 Jake Bluez Outstanding. Style, action, romance, visually stunning, good actors, great fights. Wow! 5 stars
3/21/07 carniv4 This had to be one of the stupidest movies ever. 2 stars
3/20/07 gatz Genuine adrenaline. 4 stars
3/20/07 SoStraightItHurts Wow... I can't wait to see the gay porn version... oh wait... Did I? 1 stars
3/20/07 Stacy There are quite a few laughable, unintentionally gay moments, but it was mostly fun. 4 stars
3/20/07 Andrew Mind-numbing and instantly forgettable. Hooray. 1 stars
3/20/07 Monster W. Kung It's like a Manowar video: big, loud, dumb, and sort-of-gay. But there's worse. 2 stars
3/20/07 Stanley Thai So far, this is the top movie of 2007! Great film! 5 stars
3/20/07 Ephraim Lee I unfortunately went in looking for a story. The action + visuals were nice though 3 stars
3/20/07 Anthony G Looking for a story? Not here. Looking for badass action? Here you go. 4 stars
3/20/07 dude pretty good 4 stars
3/20/07 Dan Great action, but the scenes in Sparta were useless and a little too cheesy 4 stars
3/19/07 Will A visual spectacle. Like a short story. 5 stars
3/19/07 SPARTANMAN300 BEST WAR/FIGHTING MOVIE EVER!! u dont like it, " Then we will fight in the shade." 5 stars
3/18/07 jess if you liked sin city, you'll love 300, if you didn't like sin city, you'll hate 300 5 stars
3/18/07 Simon it's frank miller, so you know it's shallow and moronic. but at least it's sweet-looking! 2 stars
3/18/07 Shobert 300 is the number of brain cells you lose by watching it. 1 stars
3/17/07 Isaac Unintentionally hilarious and cheesy as hell 1 stars
3/17/07 dICK jENN nice obvious use of dictionary to describe the movie . dipsht! 5 stars
3/17/07 pat horse shit 1 stars
3/15/07 Single Malt A Caravaggio painting come to life, the images stick with you long after the movie ends. 5 stars
3/15/07 rex the worst film i've seen .no hope for film. morons takin over world 1 stars
3/14/07 Elder Made Gladiator look phony. Made Troy look amateur. Breathtaking every 5-7 minutes. 5 stars
3/14/07 Mo Fantastic movie. Honor, duty, glory - all things we need more of in the world. 5 stars
3/14/07 Quigley Not up to the hype. Pretty gross at times and repetitive slo-mo battles. Good visuals. 2 stars
3/14/07 Agglepraxis off-putting and atavistic homophobia (decadence=faginess), but some great action 3 stars
3/14/07 Brian Mckay Masterful action scenes, solid acting, and dream-like visuals. Only drags in a few spots. 4 stars
3/13/07 byzinski Best damn movie yet . Mind blowing action. Patriotic to the core. 5 stars
3/13/07 dmitry I walked out after 20 minutes...Totally worthless 1 stars
3/13/07 Leonidas This is the best Beeping movie to ever grace movie theaters. Tonight, We Dine In Hell!!!!!! 5 stars
3/13/07 big dave yo this movie was the best EVER!! IT DOESN'T GET BETTER any one that says other wise suck 5 stars
3/13/07 Jenn blatant sexism, androcentrism, and ethnocentrism 2 stars
3/13/07 B-Nasty Kickass movie. No other word for it. 5 stars
3/13/07 JH Fantastic. A Greek play about the battle on the big screen. 5 stars
3/13/07 Joe if only I could give a negative rating. 1 stars
3/12/07 Chris Not completely historically correct, although a must see, Fear Wrath from a Spartan woman!! 5 stars
3/12/07 Donny M Awesome. Soft cor porn/action=greatness. 5 stars
3/12/07 Tim LOTR: Check. Gladiator: Check. Jet Li's Hero: Check. But OH MY!!! Borrow from the best!! 5 stars
3/12/07 Rob 300 cliches. Cheesy. 2 stars
3/12/07 Kiver Williams Don't get your hopes up insanely high, and you'll have fun. 8/10 4 stars
3/12/07 bytehead A feast for the eyes. 5 stars
3/12/07 CARLOS MOVIE OF THE YEAR BY FAR. SPECTACULAR BATTLE SCENE. 5 STARS 5 stars
3/12/07 Ole Man Bourbon Good, but not enough men in it. 4 stars
3/11/07 Alex Hypnotic-beautiful imagery-brings the comic alive 5 stars
3/11/07 leonhart-less Slightly anti-climactic, but beautiful beyond words! A must-see! 5 stars
3/11/07 Tom Forsdike Very Violent Very Beautiful! With just enough story to keep it all together, I loved it. 5 stars
3/10/07 Vicious Embrace the carnage and this film will astound you. 5 stars
3/10/07 the wizz I am in shock, The best fuckin movie I have ever seen! I feel like I just had an orgasm-!! 5 stars
3/10/07 Todd That was so fucking awesome. 5 stars
3/10/07 action movie fan far from pure cinematic joy. pompous and arty-too often slow-lord of the rings was better 3 stars
3/09/07 Adrian See it in the IMAX or don't see it at all. This is pure cinematic joy. 5 stars
3/09/07 Darren Shea Wow. Just Wow. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

UK
  23-Mar-2007 (15)
  DVD: 01-Oct-2007

Australia
  05-Apr-2007 (MA)




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