Endlessly imitated and parodied, Ingmar Bergman's landmark art movie The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet) retains its ability to hold an audience spellbound. Bergman regular Max von Sydow stars as a 14th century knight named Antonius Block, wearily heading home after ten years' worth of combat. Disillusioned by unending war, plague, and misery Block has concluded that God does not exist. As he trudges across the wilderness, Block is visited by Death (Bengt Ekerot), garbed in the traditional black robe. Unwilling to give up the ghost, Block challenges Death to a game of chess. If he wins, he lives – if not, he'll allow Death to claim him. As they play, the knight and the Grim Reaper get into a spirited discussion over whether or not God exists. To recount all that happens next would diminish the impact of the film itself; we can observe that The Seventh Seal ends with one of the most indelible of all of Bergman's cinematic images: the near-silhouette "Dance of Death".
Director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe reunite for their fifth big-screen outing, a retelling of the Robin Hood legend featuring the Gladiator star in the titular role. A bowman in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion, virtuous rogue Robin Hood rises from an unlikely background to become a hero to the impoverished people of Nottingham and lover to the beautiful Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett). Cyrus Voris, Ethan Reiff, and Brian Helgeland collaborate on the screenplay for a costume adventure produced by Brian Grazer (Frost/Nixon, American Gangster).
Stephen Rea stars as a relentless Russian investigator in this made-for-cable thriller. Based on an actual case, this taut film tells the story of Burakov (Rea), a Russian forensic pathologist assigned to track down a brutal serial killer who is targeting young drifters. The nature of the assignment takes its toll on Burakov's personal life, as he tracks the killer for years despite the red-tape and bureaucracy of the Soviet state. Nominated for several awards overall that year, Donald Sutherland won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for his co-starring role as Rea's supportive superior, Fetisov.