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      Highlander

      R Released Mar 7, 1986 1 hr. 51 min. Fantasy Adventure Action List
      71% 38 Reviews Tomatometer 79% 100,000+ Ratings Audience Score When the mystical Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking lot, he leaves a sliver of an ancient weapon lodged in a car in the process. After brilliant forensics specialist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) recovers evidence of the mysterious weapon, she and her partner, Lt. Frank Moran (Alan North), embark on an investigation Of Nash that will land them in the middle of a dangerous, centuries-old feud between powerful immortals. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Apr 01 Buy Now

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      Highlander

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      Highlander

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      People hate Highlander because it's cheesy, bombastic, and absurd. And people love it for the same reasons.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Jose F R Nice concept, but an explicit example of a bad film making; awful photography, interpretation, sequence, edition, effects, cut scenes, etc. Things a good director could have done better. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/26/24 Full Review Bryan L This film is a masterpiece in cinematic storytelling that has aged well with the continued popularity of Queen over the years. Still is my favorite opening credit sequence of any movie. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/19/24 Full Review Leaburn O Another 80s cult classic I've only just got round to watching. Pretty decent sci fi stuff about an immortal Highlander through the ages. Bit nuts in places and intentionally hammy. The soundtrack provided by Queen is pretty iconic stuff. Watched this one on BBC iPlayer. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/24/23 Full Review Adam E Released in 1986, Highlander is a modern-day action fantasy film about an immortal who comes face to face with some old enemies as the memories of times past catch up to him. The film was not a box-office success but it eventually found its audience and became something of a cult hit spawning several sequels and a television series. Christopher Lambert stars as Connor MacLeod, who discovered his immortality after dying in battle in the Scottish Highlands back in the 1500's and miraculously coming back to life. We meet MacLeod in present day New York City as he battles his demons both literally and figuratively, flashing back to key moments in his long lifetime. We see him be trained by wise swordsman Ramirez (Sean Connery) and learn the ways of the immortals, then deal emotionally with the death of his girlfriend and tackle various foes over time. His main antagonist, however, is The Kurgan (Clancy Brown), a warrior who once assisted a rival clan and killed his best friend, not to mention him. When The Kurgan shows up in New York City, this means that there can be only one and so he and MacLeod must fight to the death as only through a full beheading can The Quickening (the energy of the immortals) be transferred with the last immortal gaining all knowledge of Man but also mortality. It's undeniable that Highlander has an excellent concept: taking the vampire genre, mixing it with medieval legends and swashbuckling, setting it in different time periods and locations. The idea of an adventure sweeping generations with it all resting on one battle to the death after another is, on paper, the perfect foundation for a big drama with action elements. Think Alexandre Dumas meets the Arthurian legends and Braveheart. In practice, this is definitely not the easiest story to tell on a $20M budget but it certainly can be done and, in fact, Highlander achieved it surprisingly well. Director Russell Mulcahy wisely sets most of the film in the dark, murky streets of the city flashing back here and there to the Scottish Highlands where, clearly, all the budget went creating a nice contrast between Connor's vivid memories and his current low-key existence in a world that has never been kind to him, and never will. Gerry Fisher and Tony Mitchell bring some slick cinematography to the table while Queen provides the soundtrack. Part of the film's success post-theatrical run is, no doubt, the fascinating lore that it introduced, and the cool sword fights, but also the cast's energy, specifically in regards to Sean Connery and Clancy Brown whose charisma is through the roof providing a fantastic mentor and villain for Connor, respectively. Unfortunately, the film stumbles with an uneven script that is sometimes inspired but, at other times, somewhat lacking. There's a terrific story there, with great characters, but the film doesn't always live up to that. Highlander is never as exciting, as fun or as good as you want it to be, which can make for a bit of a frustrating experience, especially during what is meant to be the film's big, climactic moments. Christopher Lambert's performance is also very uneven and he, frankly, fails to convince throughout, which is a big problem seeing as he is the lead and therefore we look to him to be the heart and soul of the film. Casting Lambert as a Scotsman and Connery as an Egyptian from Spain was always an odd choice but Connery is so effortlessly good in this movie that he makes it work, it's just a shame that Lambert couldn't quite pull it off. Highlander had bucketloads of potential and it delivered on it in short bursts and not always, but its concept was so interesting that the franchise persevered nonetheless, even through lesser sequels, to remain a lasting phenomenon with its share of fans to this day. It's not always a masterpiece, but it makes up for its shortcomings in stylish visuals, Queen songs, entertaining sword fights and lots of cheesy charm. Worth a peek. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 11/04/23 Full Review Peter P An essential 80s movies that is unfairly overlooked among all the other classics of the decade. Sure, it's over the top and some effects are oldfashioned, but it looks absolutly fantastic. The medieval scenes in the scottish highlands are just beautiful, but also has this archaic feel. The scenes in New York are peak 80s style, filmed with dynamic camera and richly detailed scenery . The movie is loaded with life, energy and charisma. Clancy Brown gives an impressive villain. With the right amount of humor and romance, this a highly enjoyable movie. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/21/23 Full Review Cork B This thing is a mixed bag. Unlike most so-so movies, it is not just meh. The good stuff is really good, and the bad stuff is really bad. The good stuff: The premise is phenomenal - great hook idea for a film. Cinematography in Scotland looks great, Queen soundtrack is great and totally lands this movie in the 80s. Sean Connery (why is he in this?) is great. And unlike so very many films, they have a convincing bad guy (even if he is a Terminator rip off). The bad: Oh dear lord, Lambert looks like a crazy serial killer with a speech impediment. I GUESS technically that is what he is, but I don't think that is what they were going for. Special effect have aged miserably, and the sword fighting is, well, like the love interest, unconvincing. The plot hook of immortals battling for eternity is great, but very poorly fleshed out (and the sequel retcons did even worse at that). Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

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      Paul Attanasio Washington Post It's all here, folks: fancy wipes, expressionistic angles, quick-cut close-ups, stylized backlighting, camera moving in endless illogic. Jan 3, 2018 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Lambert, with his beetle brow, broken nose, and vaguely crossed eyes, remains an amiable oddball presence, and Sean Connery radiates charm and nobility in a bit as an elder immortal who shows Lambert the rules of the game. Jun 5, 2007 Full Review Chris Hewitt (UK) Empire Magazine Don't go in expecting too much and you should be ok. Rated: 2/5 Feb 21, 2007 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy It’s easy to see why many love this picture but just as easy to see why many despise it. Rated: 2.5/4 Feb 15, 2023 Full Review Douglas Davidson Elements of Madness The film is a little sad, a little comic, a little horrific, and a little sexy and, now, it’s out on home video for the first time in 4K UHD with Dolby Vision and a bevy of bonus features. Dec 21, 2022 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com ...gloriously deadpan fantasy epic... Rated: 4/5 Sep 6, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis When the mystical Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking lot, he leaves a sliver of an ancient weapon lodged in a car in the process. After brilliant forensics specialist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart) recovers evidence of the mysterious weapon, she and her partner, Lt. Frank Moran (Alan North), embark on an investigation Of Nash that will land them in the middle of a dangerous, centuries-old feud between powerful immortals.
      Director
      Russell Mulcahy
      Screenwriter
      Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood, Larry Ferguson
      Distributor
      Home Box Office (HBO) [us], Image Entertainment Inc., 20th Century Fox, Anchor Bay Entertainment
      Production Co
      20th Century Fox, Davis-Panzer Productions, Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Fantasy, Adventure, Action
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 7, 1986, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 6, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $5.7M
      Sound Mix
      Surround, Dolby
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm, Flat (1.85:1)
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