Attila (2001)

Action, Adventure, Biography
Gerard Butler, Powers Boothe, Simmone Mackinnon, Reg Rogers
A romanced story of Attila the Hun, from when he lost his parents in childhood until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist and lover and the movie shows his respect ...
  • N/A Company:
  • Unrated Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 30 Jan 2001 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Robert Cochran Writer:
  • Dick Lowry Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

Not historical, mildly entertaining5/10

WILDLY historically inaccurate, with some dialogue that will no doubt bring chuckles, this little mini-series still manages to be entertaining. Whether that is due to the acting and action or the goofs made by the producers remains to the individual viewer. What's wrong with this little movie? Let's start with the Huns and their king, Attila. The Huns were a Turko-Mongol race, short, swarthy, and usually with a somewhat bowlegged stance that came from fighting, riding, eating, and even sleeping on horseback. Attila himself was described by many contemporary historical sources as short, squat, a very thin wisp of a beard on his chin, and a flat nose. He was also middle-aged at the time of his great conquests. This army and king as represented in the movie are all basically Caucasians. People, there ARE Turkish/Asiatic actors and extras out there for hire .... and all the women swooning over Gerard Butler in these comments need to balance this with historical fact. The comment that only a "good looking" person could have united/led so many is very amusing - apparently no one has taken a close look at Hitler, Mussolinni, Stalin, or Winston Churchill for that matter. Also, the costumes of these Huns look like Avars, not Hunnish culture. Let's take a look at the Romans - the Empire of the fifth century was VERY different from the empire of the great caesars ... yet the uniforms and civilian dress of the Rome shown here looks no later than the time of Septimius Severus. Sorry, but the horse-hair helmets and leather skirts of the military tribunes were long past - the Romans of this time were wearing breaches and what was left of the legions was highly barbarized and calvary-emphasized. The togas of the civilians had become much more coarse and simple by that time, also. The Empire was basically Christianized by then, too - yet this miniseries depicts paganism as rampant. Another problem was that there just weren't enough extras to make the battles scenes believable. The Huns formed "hordes" - and these were not patrol-sized groups of a hundred horseman riding around - historians show these armies numbered nominally around 60,000. And the main battle - somewhere near modern Chalons or Troyes - the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains - had the combatants numbering somewhere between 300,000 to half a million. Showing this battle to be between a couple of hundred men was anticlimatic in the extreme. Good camerawork could have avoided this ... see BRAVEHEART, FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, SPARTACUS, or CLEOPATRA. Although many may have felt some of the violence was too much in this film, the reality was FAR worse - Attila was mild to those who submitted, but the mass slaughter the Huns committed in battle was rivaled in pre-20th century only by the Mongols of Genghiz Khan. Some cities in Italy were so destroyed that the next generation couldn't accurately find where they existed. Having said all this, I liked the film as a piece of entertainment and taking certain ludicrous errors into consideration, recommend it as a nice diversion. The DVD is nicely authored in 1:77:1 and has some decent extras.
"The Romans have done great things but their time is past. What they have done, we can do. We should rule the world!" - Attila8/10
After witnessing the destruction of his village and the death of his father, Attila successfully escapes with his life and is picked up by his uncle, who is king of a group of Huns. Attila grows up to be a strong warrior who has his mind set on invading and, consequently, taking over Rome. The deceitful Roman General Flavius Aetius goes to Attila's village to seek help from the Huns and suggests to Attila's uncle that Attila is to be taken to Rome with Aetius when the battle is over. Aetius is impressed with Attila and takes him under his wing. But when Bleda, Attila's brother, murders their uncle, Attila returns to his village and fights his brother for the throne, and then sets his sights on Rome.

This movie was really enjoyable, although some of the acting was rather stilted. The top actors were Powers Boothe as Flavius Aetius, the excellent Scotsman Gerard Butler in the role of Attila the Hun and, although not having very much to do in the film, only in it for 2 scenes, was Tim Curry who is, as always, terrific and amusing.

This is not a film full of gore, but it survives without it. The action scenes are good and liven the film up a bit but it does not have an excess of gore like other historical battle films.

Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended. 8/10 from me! As always, your faithful Scotsman, Cat §quire
A Romanced Story of Attila the Hun in a Great Epic9/10
"Attila" is a romanced story of Attila the Hun (Gerard Butler), since his childhood, when he lost his parents until his death. The screenplay shows his respect to the great Roman strategist Flavius Aetius (Powers Boothe, with his usual face of 'bad guy'), his loves, the gossips, intrigues and betrayals in Rome, all of these evolved by magic and mysticism. Attila certainly was one of the most evil man along the story, but the screenplay shows him as a great leader, strategist and lover. If you decide to forget the story and attain to the plot itself, you will see and enjoy a great epic movie. The underrated Gerard Butler has another magnificent performance. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Atila, o Huno" ("Attila, the Hun")
A great romp!10/10
Who cares if Attila isn't accurate historically? Who cares if Powers Boothe's acting is stilted. Who cares if the costumes are "out of period?" The fabulous scenery is worth the watch. And so is watching that fantastic Scottish rogue, Gerard Butler, playing a powerful Attila. Wish that the real Attila was as sexy, fair, and fabulous as Gerard. The ladies are also good to look at, and do a credible job of acting. The young lady who plays the "witch" is unusual and quite interesting in her part.

The difference between life in Rome and life where Attila lives is striking. From cool marble hallways and communal baths to ragged huts and river baths, it makes you realize just how advanced Rome was in those days.

Gerard Butler, however, was the strength of the series. He has that rare quality that makes it difficult for most people to take their eyes off him. His eyes are chameleon's, changing from penetrating, to loving, to laughing, and back again. Sometimes brown, sometimes hazel, sometimes a stunning green, they appear to change with his moods.

This is an actor to watch. His star is definitely rising.

Dotty McMillan
Good introduction to history8/10
While this movie may not have been historically accurate, for me it gave me an introduction to a character I have always found fascinating. And what else is the internet good for but looking up a history to find out the facts that the movie was based on.

Because it was a made-for-TV film, and USA at best, you could expect a watered-down version of the main character. I was impressed with all the acting in this movie. Surprised to find Tim Curry but happy to see Powers Boothe, who I respect as an powerful actor. He didn't really have the chance to live up to his potential in this film.

I am taking offense to some of the comments made about Gerard Butler. Yes he is a hunk. But what first drew me to him was his ACTING PRESENCE in other films like Reign of Fire and Timeline. Atilla may not be the springboard for greatness but I believe his talents will soon be showcased in more powerful films.

I viewed Atilla because I wanted to see more of Gerard Butler THE ACTOR and I was not disappointed. I also got to learn more about an historical figure who always intrigued me. Do not peg me as a star struck, fanatical female. I learned long ago that just because someone has looks does not necessarily mean they have talent. Gerard Butler belongs in a class with Jude Law and Russell Crowe.

I would recommend this film for the entertainment value it is and if you want to learn more about Atilla, go to the internet historical sites and get your fill.