The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)



Critic Consensus: The heavy-handed narrative collapses under its own weight.

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Movie Info

In 1429, a teenage girl from a remote village stood before the world and announced she would defeat the world's greatest army and liberate her country. In began as a small voice in the heart of a simple girl... but the voice grew stronger, rulers were drawn to listen, armies were empowered to fight and her countrymen were inspired to believe.

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Milla Jovovich
as Joan of Arc
John Malkovich
as Charles VII
Faye Dunaway
as Yolande D'Aragon
Dustin Hoffman
as The Conscience
Pascal Greggory
as The Duke of Alencon
Vincent Cassel
as Gilles de Rais
Rab Affleck
as Comrade
Edwin Apps
as Bishop
David Bailie
as English Judge No. 1
David Barber
as English Judge No. 2
Christian Barbier
as Captain No. 1
Timothy Bateson
as English Judge No. 3
David Begg
as Nobleman at Rouen's Castle
Christian Bergner
as Captain No. 2
Dominic Borrelli
as English Judge No. 4
Timothy West
as Cauchon
John Boswall
as Old Priest
Matthew Bowyer
as The Bludgeoned French Soldier
Paul Brooke
as Domremy's Priest
Bruce Byron
as Joan's Father
Charles Cork
as Vaucouleur's Priest
Tony D'Amario
as Compiegne's Mayor
Daniel Daujon
as Church's Peer--Coronation
Tonio Descanvelle
as Xaintrailles
Sylviane Duparc
as Mary of Anjou's Lady's Companion
Christian Erickson
as La Tremoille
Tara Flanagan
as Woman at Rouen's Castle
Bruno Flender
as Poitiers' Inquisitor
Serge Fournier
as Church's Peer--Coronation
David Gant
as The Duke of Bedford
Sydney Golder
as Cell's Guard
Jessica Goldman
as Duchess of Bedford's Lady's Companion
Framboise Gommendy
as Joan's Mother
Robert Goodman
as Blackbeard
Bernard Grenet
as Senlis' Bishop
Timothee Grimblat
as Conscience--Child
Richard Guille
as English Guard at Rouen's Castle
Jerome Hankins
as Nobleman at Rouen's Castle
Jacques Herlin
as Orleans' Priest
Len Hibberd
as Comrade
Didier Hoarau
as Assessor
Vera Jakob
as Woman at the Cemetery
Michael Jenn
as The Duke of Burgundy
Toby Jones
as English Judge
Gérard Krawczyk
as Church's Peer--Coronation
Richard Leaf
as Conscience--Young Man
Joseph Malerba
as Beaurevoir's Guard
Dominique Marcas
as Poitiers' Inquisitor
Eric Mariotto
as Young Monk
Rene Marquant
as Rouen's Priest
Gina McKee
as The Duchess of Bedford
Phil McKee
as RedBeard
Simon Meacock
as The Teeth Soldier
John Merrick
as Regnault De Chartres
Joseph O'Conor
as Poitiers' Chief Inquisitor
Kevin O'Neil
as Scribe at Process
Mélanie Page
as Young Girl in Bath
Brian Pettifer
as The Executioner/Torturer at Process
Philip Philmar
as English Judge
Enee Piat
as Monk at Coronation
Irving Pompepui
as Louis XI (age 5)
Brian Poyser
as English Judge
René Remblier
as Dijon's Assistant
Joseph Rezwin
as Poitiers' Inquisitor
Ralph Riach
as English Judge
Mark Richards
as Corridor's Guard in Rouen
Tara Romer
as Gamaches
Julie-Anne Roth
as Young Girl in Bath
Olga Sekulic
as Mary of Anjou
Eric Tonetto
as Captain
Vincent Tulli
as Orleans' Physician
Jane Valentine
as Joan (age 8)
Tat Whalley
as Raymond
Peter Whitfield
as English Judge
Frederic Witta
as Poitiers' Inquisitor
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Critic Reviews for The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (23)

Milla Jovovich, who plays Joan, is a young woman who has been unmemorable in several pictures.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It's hard to recommend it to people who like action and blood because of all the talking; and, because of all the blood, it's hard to recommend it to those who might be interested in the talk.

January 1, 2000

The English are uniformly and broadly portrayed as villainous louts, and today's four-letter oaths sound laughably anachronistic.

January 1, 2000

What an unholy mess.

January 1, 2000


January 1, 2000

Nothing less than a miracle saved France, The Messenger tells us, and nothing less than a miracle would be needed to rescue this film from itself.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Luc Besson's The Messenger is a fairly underrated dramatic action film about Joan of Arc. Although not perfect, I found this one to be much better than what most critics have said about it. The film packs action and those scenes are very well done, but in terms of effective storytelling, I felt that the performances were decent, but what really stood out were the battle scenes. In terms of story, this does a good job at telling Joan of Arc's story, but it is not accurate either. The film has the potential of sparking interest in the subject. Milla Jovovich does what she can and she gives a fairly good performance here, but the film overall will never stand out in terms of an epic. In retrospect, there are far better films than this, but The Messenger is still mindless popcorn fair that is fun from start to finish. Of course there are things that seem out of place, but overall, it's definitely not as bad as what I'd think it would be. There are things that could have been improved upon considering its subject, but in the end, it's a fairly accomplished movie that manages to be quite good despite its flaws. If you're going into this film expecting something historically accurate, then you'll be disappointed. Director Luc Besson obviously takes creative liberties with Joan of Arc's story. Go into this one expecting a mindless action drama with an interesting plot, but it is never anything great either. I enjoyed it, but felt it should have been much better. The story had the potential of being truly memorable, and with that being said, The Messenger is good, but the definitive Joan of Arc film has yet to be made.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

When Joan walks into the royal court for the first time to plead her cause, to free France of English poachers, they are already whispering about the peasant girl some claim as a saint. Except for not seeing how she came to be whispered about I really enjoyed Besson's tale (pro-French and anti-Catholic) that underlines how any act of faith is ultimately a dance with self doubt. It may is may not be of importance that Besson and Jovovich were divorcing as this filmed, so you decide.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Luc Besson's mad tale is more of a visual experience than a story.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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