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Movie: Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005) is an epic war action movie directed by Ridley Scott whose internationally acclaimed movies include Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000), and Black Hawk Down (2001). Kingdom of Heaven is set during the Crusades in the 12th century.

Synopsis: A blacksmith named Balian (Orlando Bloom) is recruited by his father, Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson) whom he has never met, to join the Crusades in Jerusalem against the Muslim forces, led by Saladin (Ghassan Massoud).

Godfrey died in the journey and Balian arrives at Jerusalem where he meets King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton), who's also a leper and the Marshall of Jerusalem, Tiberias (Jeremy Irons). Balian also secretly falls in love with King Baldwin's sister, Sibylla (Eva Green) who's married to Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas), a fellow French Crusader.

If you're a huge fan of epic war action movies, you must watch this movie! A few noteworthy points: visually stunning cinematography, haunting soundtrack, gripping performances from a stellar cast, and jaw-dropping combat sequences.

The veterans deliver a solidly impressive performance. Liam Neeson has the shortest screen-time but he gives the movie its initial impact before it gathers momentum. Jeremy Irons is unmistakably one of the old-timers you'd respect. Even Ghassan Massoud portrayal's of Saladin, who's noted for his chivalry and not ruthlessness, is perfectly done.

Another point that I'd like to mention is this: Although the movie's theme is about the bloody Crusades and the much-coveted Jerusalem, there's neither the sentiment of hatred nor resentment between the Christians and the Muslims. Instead the phrases "peace be upon you" and "as-salamu alaykum" are exchanged quite often in the movie.

This movie is not about who kills more or who wins more battles. It focuses more on leadership as portrayed by Balian and Saladin. Kudos to Ridley Scott who makes a movie that doesn't provoke unnecessary turbulence.

Let me repeat myself again:
If you're a huge fan of epic war action movies, you must watch this movie!

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