The New World

Oscar Nominee

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Documentary, Drama
Running Time:  134 min.
Release Date: January 20, 2006
DVD: May 9, 2006

Current rating: Rating: 3.24
based on 665 votes and 78 reviews
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Cast: Christopher Plummer, Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, Yorick Van Wageningen, Q'orianka Kilcher, Michael Greyeyes, Alex Meraz


On a spring day in April of 1607, as three diminutive ships carrying 103 men sail to a new land from their distant home in England. On behalf of their sponsor, the royally chartered Virginia Company, they seek to establish a cultural, religious, and economic foothold on the coast of what they regard as the New World.

The lead ship of this tiny flotilla is called the Susan Constant. Shackled below decks in her brig is a rebellious 27-year-old named John Smith (Colin Farrell), sentenced to be hanged for insubordination. A veteran of countless European wars, Smith is a soldier of fortune... though fortune has often turned its back on him. Still, he is too talented and popular to have his neck stretched by his own people, and so he is freed by Captain Christopher Newport (Christopher Plummer) soon after the Susan Constant drops anchor. As Captain Newport knows -- and the colonists will soon discover -- surviving in this unknown wilderness will require the services of every able-bodied man... particularly one of Smith's abilities.

Newport and his band of British settlers land in the midst of a sophisticated Native American empire ruled by the powerful chieftain Powhatan (August Schellenberg). To the colonists, it may be a new world. But to Powhatan and his people, it is an ancient world -- the only one they have ever known.

The English, strangers in a strange land, struggle from the beginning, unable, or in some cases, stubbornly unwilling to fend for themselves. Smith, searching for assistance from the local tribesmen, chances upon a young woman who at first seems to be more woodland sprite than human being. A willful and impetuous young woman whose family and friends affectionately call her "Pocahontas" -- or "playful one" -- she is the favorite of Powhatan's children. Before long a bond develops between Smith and Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher), a bond so powerful that it transcends friendship or even romance -- and ultimately becomes the basis of one of the most enduring American legends of the past 400 years.

Canadian Connection  Canadian connection: Several actors in this production are Canadian.

Director: Terrence Malick
Studio: Alliance Films
Producer(s): Sarah Green
Screenplay: Terrence Malick
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  • 4 stars "Look, some people are deep and others just want action to entertain themselves. THIS HISTORICAL BASED MOVIE IS THOUGHT PROVOKING on many levels. I would have loved it if I could have heard it. So many times, I was screaming at the post production team saying WHAT IN THE HELL, it was so loud you could NOT HEAR the dialouge at all, so you had to guess, which takes a person out of the story and into anger. Still I never considered not finishing the movie, but then again I am a writer and philosopher and thinker, plus I love history. I wanted to adore this film and really would have had I not been so damn mad at the loud and unnecessary attention to the score. When I really blew up about it was during the last scene when you could not hear what she thought, what he said, and the score was shaking my house it was so loud. I have NEVER EVER experienced this kind of anger at a movie due to the score overtaking all the dialouge. NEVER. What in the hell were they thinking. Other than that, I rated the story, the unique way it was told, as a 4. I SO wanted to love the story even though I thought they could have really pulled it off better with a more beautiful actress. Colin Powell doesn't need to talk, his eyes speak volumes, and he was wonderful as were all the actors. I really DID like it until I was so mad!"