May 13th, 2011

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Still of Lily Collins in PriestStill of Karl Urban in PriestYet another motorcycle at Comic-Con, this one from Priest.Still of Paul Bettany in PriestPriestStill of Stephen Moyer in Priest

A priest disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 5.7/10 (42,493 voted)

Critic's Score: 41/100

Director: Scott Charles Stewart

Stars: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q

PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.

Writers: Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung

Paul Bettany - Priest
Karl Urban - Black Hat
Cam Gigandet - Hicks
Maggie Q - Priestess
Lily Collins - Lucy Pace
Brad Dourif - Salesman
Stephen Moyer - Owen Pace
Christopher Plummer - Monsignor Orelas
Alan Dale - Monsignor Chamberlain
Mädchen Amick - Shannon Pace
Jacob Hopkins - Boy
Dave Florek - Crocker
Joel Polinsky - Dr. Tomlin
Josh Wingate - Familiar
Jon Braver - Familiar

Taglines: The War is Eternal. His Mission is Just the Beginning.


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official Twitter |

Release Date: 13 May 2011

Filming Locations: 433 S Spring St, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $14,953,664 (USA) (15 May 2011) (2864 Screens)

Gross: $78,309,131 (Worldwide) (23 June 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Gerard Butler and Steven Strait were originally cast.

Continuity: When Lucy enters the outpost, she passes the mirror and closes the button on her dress. However when she turns back to the table and sits down the button is open again. Then when she stands close to the wall during the attack, the button is closed again.

Priest: [Hicks has finally grown a pair and saves Priest's life] You would have made a good priest.
Hicks: Thanks!
Priest: [Small pause] Don't let it go to your head!

User Review

Short, slick and vacuous.

Rating: 6/10

Based on the long-running Korean comic of the same name, Priest is one of those films that's been stuck in development hell for the last few years, running a gauntlet of director and lead actor changes and more recently, coping with a series of release date delays in order to facilitate the inevitably shoddy post-production conversion to 3D that's currently so beloved of mainstream cinema.

The added dimension isn't going to win any prizes - for the most part it is relatively pointless, and the world in which Priest takes place is not interesting enough to require any additional depth.

The ever-reliable Paul Bettany stars as the titular character. Stoic to the end, he's not your typical priest - more a deadly weapon, specialising in martial arts and weapons skills that make him the perfect killer. He exists in a time where vampires are a horrifying reality, battling humans for control of a conflict-ridden, barren wasteland punctuated only by large, soulless, church-controlled cities where humans live only for their faith and 'an honest day's labour'.

You don't watch films like this expecting an Oscar-winning tale, and action-wise, Priest is fairly solid, packing in a series of high-octane fights and chases for its duration. Helmer Scott Stewart knows where to put a camera in order to maximise the impact upon the viewer, and the oil-slick manner in which everything is filmed shows a director moving away from his previous field as a visual effects specialist and having a decent stab at mastering his craft.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot going on when knives and bullets aren't being flung around - the supporting cast of Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q and Karl Urban are given next to nothing to do and the dialogue serves only to move the film along to its next set-piece. Story-wise, it's paper-thin, and it's difficult to care about the motivation of any character when the levels of emotion on display resemble that of Mount Rushmore.

It is also strangely edited - 87 minutes is very short for a film with this kind of budget, and there's all manner of blunt cuts that give credence to the theory that there was once a longer, potentially better film here.

So, was Priest worth the wait? Not particularly, but for all its faults, it certainly has promise. Depending on box office performance, it could really benefit from a deeper, beefed-up sequel along the lines of Blade II. The good news is that there's plenty of source material available for a return to this mythology - it's just a shame that it's as shallow as the film it's spawned.

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