Academy AwardÂ(r) nominee* Liam Neeson and Best Actress OscarÂ(r) winner** Jessica Lange give extraordinary performances as the legendary hero who refused to let his enemies destroy his honor and the loyal woman who gave h... more »im the courage to fight. Boasting "the best direction, acting, writing and technical credits [and] one of the great action sequences in movie history" (Roger Ebert), Rob Roy is a thrilling, powerful adventure and "one of the best films of the year" (GeneSiskel). When a harsh winter threatens the majestic Scottish Highlands, Rob Roy MacGregor (Neeson) is forced to borrow money from the less-than-noble Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) to provide for his clan. But when Montrose's henchman (Tim Roth, in an OscarÂ(r)-nominated*** performance) conspires to take the wealth for himself, Rob is thrust into the most challenging battle of his life...one that escalates into an exhilarating climax that will captivate you to the film's finalframe. *1993: Actor, Schindler's List **1994: Blue Sky ***1995: Supporting Actor« less
Wayne F. (WWIIpfc) from COLORADO SPGS, CO Reviewed on 10/18/2016...
This portrays what I expect might have actualy happened at that time in history. The acting was very good.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ron W. from LIVINGSTON, TX Reviewed on 7/16/2015...
The movie "Rob Roy" is much better than the book "Rob Roy". The book and movie are nothing alike, since Rob Roy McGregor is not the main character in the book and doesn't even appear in the book for some time; and even then it is in disguise. I enjoy watching movies staring Liam Neeson, and he didn't disappoint in this one. Plenty of action.
Wendell E. from AURORA, CO Reviewed on 8/17/2014...
One of Liam Neeson's strongest roles. While it may not be totally historically accurate, it gives a good look at Scotland and a portion of it's history.
Theresa U. (cowfishpro) from ELGIN, IL Reviewed on 1/24/2011...
Rob Roy is set in historical Scotland with many authentic scenes and historical duplications. Jessica Lang and Liam Neissen play a convincing couple of historic Scotland. Their acting is persuasive and compelling. The plot introduces the view to the typical life of historic, impoverished families, and depicts how the whims of the more powerful can produce devastating effects upon the lives of less the fortunate. There are some bothersome incidents of violent scenes and vulgar language, but this usage is not obsessive and contributes to the authenticity of the story and historic time. The plot is moving and pulls at the heart strings. It appeals to women for the romance and womanly strength, and to men for the theme of the manly conquering the less manly, no matter social status. I highly recommend this DVD for viewing. Parents will want to preview this before watching with young children.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Bonnie S. (BonnieS) from HEDGESVILLE, WV Reviewed on 10/24/2008...
Great historical movie, one with enough action, plot, and great actors that you could really learn something while being entertained. Of course, as with all Hollywood Historicals, take the history with the knowledge it is plumped up, romanticized, and made to fit.
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Victoria S. Reviewed on 10/24/2008...
Very good historical movie .Lots of action. Good sword fight scene.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Worth a second and third look
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rob Roy, based loosely on the real life Highlander Rob Roy Macgregor, had the bad mistake of Hollywood timing. There must be a lot spy vs spy in Hollywood, industrial secrets being passed around for a price! Ever notice how if one movie company does some genre, then suddenly they all are? Well, someone whispered Mel as doing in man in a skirt drama (Kilt to you Sasunnach!) and suddenly they rushes to do another. With Rob Roy coming out at the same time, it hurt by comparison. Braveheart was a powerhouse tale of one man's fight for Scottish Freedom. Off the bat, you have a difference. Rob Roy was the story of one man's personal fight against wrongs done to him and his family. So the personal tale automatically feels "smaller". Not big battle scenes for Rob Roy. No King for an enemy, just a Scottish Noble, John Graham, Marquis of Montrose (brilliantly played by John Hurt, Ian McShane old RADA roommate!).Still, despite the automatic comparisons between the two films (both with problems of historical inaccuracies), Rob Roy should be given a stronger look. The acting is without fault. Neeson as Rob is great (who da thunk an Irisher could do such a good Scot!). Eric Stolz, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth (so utterly despicable!) Andrew Keir (5 Million Years to Earth) and Brian Cox (the first Hannibal Lector in Manhunter, a REAL Scot mind you! He did double duty by playing Mel's Uncle in Bravenheart), gives performances that are flawless. The Highland's are filmed in breathtaking beauty, the writing is gritty, sharp with a good idea for detail. Frankly, any film that has Liam "Calling down the Gregor" commends itself to my Scot heart!"
The heart of the Trossachs
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 07/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and Rob Roy takes full advantage of this. The scenery is appropriately breathtaking and epic, with the camera making huge sweeps of the landscape. A romantic setting for a very romantic figure.The truth of Rob Roy, like that of any folk hero, is a matter of speculation and debate. Those looking for an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's book (also fictional) will be disappointed. Scott's book takes place long after the events described in this film with Mary and Rob at the head of an outlaw band. It also stands apart from Braveheart, which takes place about four hundred years earlier, and is an entirely different period of Scottish history.That being said, Rob Roy is a lovely film with a quiet feel and a personal story. Liam Neeson is perfectly cast as the large, honorable highlander. Tim Roth is every bit his opposite, small and dangerously deceitful. Jessica Lange, Rob's wife Mary, is stoic and strong. All the supporting players give excellent performances, both English and Scottish. The Scottish music is lovely, and the Gaelic song sung at the gathering is captivating. The duel at the end is one of the best I have seen."
Better than _Braveheart_
John S. Ryan | Silver Lake, OH | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'I could not love thee (Deare) so much, Lov'd I not Honour more.'
Honor is what this one is all about. When people say 'They don't make movies like that any more', _Rob Roy_ is the kind of movie they have in mind. There are good guys and bad guys; the good guys have honor and the bad guys don't; in the end, honor wins the day, but not without a costly fight.
More concretely: Robert Roy MacGregor, clan leader and cattle herdsman, has borrowed a substantial sum of money from the Marquess of Montrose; Archibald Cunningham, a young acquaintance of the Marquess, has plotted to steal it; the Marquess will take the clan's lands if the debt can't be repaid. The MacGregor is offered a (duplicitous) way out but refuses to compromise his honor.
If that sounds like every Western you've ever seen, that's not a coincidence; director Michael Caton-Jones deliberately approached this film as a Western set in the Scottish Highlands. The story is based on a historical figure who became legendary in eighteenth-century Scotland, but this screen treatment plays very fast and loose with the actual history.
Liam Neeson is imposing and magnificent as the MacGregor, and Jessica Lange is surprisingly effective as his wife Mary (despite some inconsistency of accent). John Hurt and Tim Roth are deliciously malevolent as the pair of effeminate Sassenachs who have it in for our Rob; a more lethal pair of fops has never been seen on the silver screen. The protean Brian Cox appears as the cowardly and treacherous Killearn. And music fans, watch for Karen Matheson, who makes a brief cameo as a singer. (Capercaillie performed much of the soundtrack; that beautiful voice you hear is Matheson's. And by the way, Carter Burwell's soaring score is as gorgeous as the Scottish scenery.)
I don't know anything about swordfighting, but the blade-to-blade stuff in this film is surely some of the best (in a dramatic sense) ever committed to film. All this swashbuckling beats the heck out of the usual Western gunfights.
Unfairly eclipsed by _Braveheart_ (which was released in the same year), _Rob Roy_ is to my tastes a much better movie. This is filmmaking in the grand style."
Scotland's Robin Hood in rustic, lyrical tones.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 01/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Popular heroes make for great movies - this adage has held true since the days of Douglas Fairbanks's "Mark of Zorro" (1920) and "Robin Hood" (1922), and Errol Flynn's representation of the legendary Robin of Locksley 16 years later ("The Adventures of Robin Hood," 1938), and it has been reinforced again and again throughout the years. And whenever we go to see yet another screen version of the life of such a hero, regardless whether based on historic fact or popular lore, we carry certain almost instinctive expectations: the hero is to be honorable and his true love virtuous, there is to be a truly evil villain, and an abundance of sword play and other action. "Rob Roy" delivers on all of these counts; yet, it manages to be much more than a colorful costume piece with a storyline in black and white, and it differs considerably from the type of movie coined ever since the adventures of history's great heroes were first brought to the silver screen.
To begin with, Liam Neeson, in the title role, is not the slim, agile hero with lightning-quick, supple movements we have come to expect after having seen leading men such as Fairbanks, Flynn, Robert Taylor ("Ivanhoe," 1952) - and, for that matter, Richard Todd, who portrayed Robert Roy McGregor in the 1953 movie version of this story, after having played the lead in Disney's version of "Robin Hood" a year earlier. No: here, the part of the dazzling and deadly fencing champion goes to Tim Roth, who has the calculating, conceited, blonde-wigged henchman Archibald Cunningham down to absolute perfection - you just love to hate him; yet, he never becomes the embodiment of an ueber villain, and it is his utter fallibility as a human being which makes him all the more evil and despicable. The face-offs between Roth and Neeson (particularly their final duel) almost have something of an inverse David vs. Goliath feeling; making Neeson's much taller McGregor look occasionally more than just a bit disadvantaged vis-a-vis the cat-like Cunningham. Here is a hero whose greatest asset, in fencing as in other encounters with an enemy, is not his speed but his intelligence, his strength, and most of all, his undying tenacity.
Similarly, the love story between McGregor and wife Mary (Jessica Lange) is not one between two young lovers: the movie finds the couple well-settled into their marriage with several young sons. Yet, they are deeply in love, a feeling which is only reinforced by the trials and tribulations they have to overcome. The portrayal of proud Mary McGregor, unbending even in utter disgrace, is one of Jessica Lange's strongest performances careerwide, a match to Neeson's McGregor in acting skill as much as in tone, emotion and courage. And filming on location in Scotland brought an authenticity to the movie which even the best cinematography - and "Rob Roy" had excellent cinematographers in Karl Walter Lindenlaub and Roger Deakins - and costume design (Sandy Powell) alone could not have achieved. Musically, the Scottish highlands' rugged, windswept mountains and cliffs, deep lochs, and endless grey skies are matched perfectly by Carter Burwell's score and Karen Matheson's mournful ceilidhs. Strong supporting performances by John Hurt (Montrose), Andrew Keir (Argyll), Brian Cox (Killearn) and Eric Stoltz (MacDonald) round out an altogether remarkable production.
The movie takes poetic license with a number of key details; for example, the disappearance of the 1000 pounds lent to McGregor by the Marquis of Montrose (in essence, a historic fact; McGregor and the Marquis had dealt with each other in this way several times before) was probably due to the fact that McGregor's agent really did abscond with the money; not due to Killearn's and Cunningham's scheming. But the major elements of McGregor's personal story, as well as the story's historical framework are represented truthfully, taking us back into a Scotland caught between English rule, Jacobites (Scottish loyalists supporting the Stewarts' claim to the throne, like the McGregors and the Duke of Argyll) and rivaling feudal lords. And Liam Neeson, director Michael Caton-Jones and script writer Alan Sharp do an excellent job in portraying the implications of Robert McGregor's personal sense of honor, which not only required him to keep his word once it was given, be it as part of a contract or otherwise, but also forbade him to bear false witness, even at great peril to himself and his family. Because the loss of the money borrowed from Montrose meant much more to the McGregors than a business deal gone bad: as Robert had given his land as security for the money, in 18th century feudal Scotland the loss of the land not only entailed the loss of the family's economic but also that of their tenuous personal freedom, forcing them right back into the outlaw life which their clan had known only too well throughout centuries of rivalry with a powerful clan aligned with the English kings.
1995 was not only the year when Hollywood discovered Scotland's popular heroes - this movie and "Braveheart" were released in the same year, much to "Rob Roy"'s undeserved disadvantage - it was a year of extremely strong movies overall. Between the in-your-face (or rather, in-your-gut) portrayal of Scotland's 13th century hero William Wallace on the one hand and such stunners as "The Usual Suspects," "Dead Man Walking," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Sense and Sensibility" and "Casino" on the other hand, and despite all critical acclaim, "Rob Roy" was not even nominated in most Oscar categories and other awards. Yet, this rustic, lyrical version of the story of Scotland's Robin Hood (like the outlaw of Sherwood Forest, McGregor hit Montrose where he knew he would hurt him most, by going after his money) has found an undying fan base over the course of the years. I hope it will continue to grow even stronger as the years go by.
Also recommended: Rob Roy (Oxford World's Classics) Michael Collins Braveheart (Special Collector's Edition) Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in History and Legend"
A terrific "small" story.
Themis-Athena | 03/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit I was a little disappointed the first time I saw "Rob Roy." It had been mistakenly advertised as "Death Wish meets Last of the Mohicans." That led me to believe it would be an "epic" similar to LOTM with lots of pitched battles and bodice-ripping romantic scenes. Instead, it was a very small story of one man's quest for honor. There were no pitched battles between highlanders and redcoats, there's barely even a skirmish. In fact, it was not an epic in any sense of the word. As a huge fan of "Last of the Mohicans," I was disappointed by its small story.It was upon watching it a second time, that I started to appreciate it as the fine piece of filmmaking it really is: the beautiful scenery, the low key score, the touching love story between a man and his wife (that's refreshing), the very intelligent script, the witty dialogue, the rugged, realistic look of the actors (notice how Liam Neeson didn't shrink from facial hair like Daniel Day-Lewis in LOTM or Mel Gibson in Braveheart), and, of course, those villains. All three of them! Tim Roth's character may have been the most memorable, but John Hurt's and Brian Cox' were just as nefariously rotten. It also contains the greatest sword-fighting scene I have ever seen. (The director didn't cheapen it either with some sort of "Rocky-like" comeback on the part of the hero.) Overall, a first-rate story of love and honor which I foolishly failed to notice the first time I saw it. I am very glad I gave it a second chance."