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The Reckoning

Rating:R (for some sexuality and violent images)
Release Date:March 5, 2004
Running time:102 minutes
Cast:Paul Bettany, Simon McBurney, Willem Dafoe, Gina McKee, Brian Cox
Director:Paul McGuigan
Producer:Caroline Wood
Writer:Mark Mills
Distributor:Paramount Classics

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Description: In 14th-century England, a young monk breaks his vow of chastity and flees the wrath of his bishop and fellow monks. A fugitive priest, he then witnesses the murder of a traveling performer--and subsequently, the mourning of actor by his fellow troupe members. He eventually becomes initiated into the troupe as a player, replacing the murdered man. They travel from town to town performing their standard morality play. They arrive in a town where a boy has been killed and a young deaf-mute girl has been imprisoned for the crime--sentenced to death for witchcraft and murder. Discarding the expected bible stories, the actors stage a performance based on the crime. Through the performance of the play, they discover that the townspeople know the young woman did not, in fact, commit the murder. The stage becomes a place where vital human truth is told. Thus, simultaneously, the fugitive priest comes to terms with his own crime and makes a powerful sacrifice, thereby redeeming himself.

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