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Centurion is a 2010 film written and directed by Neil Marshall, he of Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday fame and starring Michael Fassbender.


Centurion contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In this movie, Michael Fassbender is the sole survivor of a Pict raid. A year later, he does the same thing, only the next time he is a mutant Holocaust survivor with a grudge.
  • Armor Is Useless: Despite the obvious advantage of having heavy armor, the Romans don't seem to be getting much benefit from it. There are numerous shots of Picts killing Roman Legionaires without even having to bother with trying to find a chink in their armor, this despite the fact that Roman armor was quite advanced for its time and a noticeable advantage.
  • Artistic License :
    • Our heroes' swashbuckling fighting styles would not have been used by Roman soldiers. Dias has an excuse, he was trained by his father, a gladiator, who would have showy moves, but not the rest.
  • Ax Crazy: Etain
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Basically what General Virilus' names mean.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The 9th Legion is wiped out, and Quintus is ostracized from Roman society, but he retires with his hot new girlfriend to an idyllic little cottage.
  • British Accents: The Romans sport The Queen's Latin.
  • Book Ends: "My name is Quintus Dias, and this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story."
  • Chef of Iron: Leonidas.
  • Cute Witch: Arianne was exiled from her people after being accused of necromancy. She's also very pretty. She has no magical powers however, just really good with herbs and mushrooms.
  • The Danza: Leonidas, played by Dimitri Leonidas.
  • Dark Action Girl: Etain.
  • Dirty Coward: Macros.
  • The Dragon: Etain.
  • Dwindling Party
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin : Doubles as a Bilingual Bonus. Virilus means manly in latin, and general Virilus is very manly.
  • A Father to His Men: General Virilus.
  • Foreign Looking Font: The opening titles and subtitles use Papyrus.
  • Freudian Excuse: Etain has good reasons to hate the Romans.
  • Gorn: There is plenty of it. As expected of Neil Marshall.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars - Arianna's scar marking her as an outcast because she was accused of Necromancy
  • Gray and Gray Morality: The Romans are kind of dicks. But then, so are the Picts.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Oh, look. Magneto was a centurion in his former life, as was Detective McNulty. Camille sure hates Those Crazy Romans.
  • History Marches On: It's a matter of some academic disagreement whether the Ninth Legion disappeared in Britannia. Neil Marshall was aware of the controversy but was more interested in telling the story of the legend than spot-on historical accuracy.
  • Kill'Em All: Everyone in the Ninth Legion dies. Everyone of the picts sent after Dias dies. Pretty much everyone except Dias and Arianne dies
  • Made of Iron : Getting shot makes Ubriculius only more annoyed and by the end he only dies when running a spear through himself to get the man behind him.
  • Made of Plasticine: Both the Romans and the Picts.
  • Male Gaze: Interestingly inverted: when Etain kills Virilus, he's stripped down and she's fully clothed. Her costumes aren't particularly revealing throughout.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness : who decides the ultimate fate of the Ninth Legion's legacy.
  • Our Lady of Soundtrack Sorrow: And how.
  • The Queen's Latin: The Romans have British/Irish accents.
  • The Roman Empire
  • Sacrificial Lion: General Virilus.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Etain
  • Scenery Porn
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog : Things go badly on the return, just outside of the Roman gate.
  • Shown Their Work :
    • The armour is accurate for that time in Roman history. So are the Gladii, AKA short swords used in the film by the Romans.
    • The clothing is right on par depicting the Picts painted ones, right down to the Celtic habit of putting white grease in their hair, which was discussed in Roman journals who battled the Celts and the Picts.
    • Women's status is depicted appropriate elevation for what it was in Pict culture.
    • The language choice for the Picts, which would have been an approximation of a Celt break-off language.
    • The diversity of the Roman army, which was a amalgamation of various conquered peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire.
    • The stones that carry Pictish designs.
    • Depiction of Arianne's crannog, 100% accurate for the time period and the region.
    • Inscription in the fort found near the end is written in paleographically correct II century roman characters.
  • Token Romance: Dias and Arianne
  • The Unfought: Gorlacon, the leader of the Picts.
  • The Speechless: Etain had her tongue cut out by Romans
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