3.5 stars out of 5
If you love costume dramas, or are a big fan of Clive Owen (Sir Walter Raleigh), Geoffrey Rush (Sir Francis Walsingham) or Cate Blanchett (Queen Elizabeth I), or if you even know who these historical characters are, you'll love this film. If you've never heard of the Spanish Armada, you'll be both bored and baffled. You get out of this film what you bring to it. We were thinking of taking our 8th graders on a field trip to see it, but a) they'd be baffled and b) the scene of the tongue being cut out, the mask torture and Cate's dorsal nudity (to borrow John Cleese's lovely phrase) put the kibosh on that idea. Better get moving, it won't be in theaters long, and it won't be half as good looking on a TV screen--even in HD.