1995, United Artists/MGM. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth.
Decent Films Ratings
Content advisory: Sometimes bloody violence; depictions of both licit and depraved sexual activity; a depiction of dueling; a restrained but still horrifying depiction of rape.
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Rob Roy (DVD)
By Steven D. Greydanus
(Pre-DecentFilms capsule review) Based on Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, this is the story of Rob Roy MacGregor (Neeson), head of a Scottish highland clan who seeks to better the plight of his people with money borrowed from local nobility, only to have the money stolen by confederates of the corrupt nobility. Rob tries to defend his honor, but is driven like Robin Hood to become an outlaw. Tim Roth is Rob’s foppish and decadent but deadly aristocratic adversary, and the final swordfight between them is one of the best ever filmed. Like Braveheart, which came out around the same time, Rob Roy is a semi-historical Scottish drama and a celebration of virtue; where Braveheart was a guts-and-glory battlefield hymn to fortitude, Rob Roy is a more personal, more intelligent, and more wrenching exploration of honor, honesty, and loyalty.