Like Neil Marshall's Centurion, this historic tale of the Ninth Roman Legion in Britain features Pictish warriors and jaw-dropping scenery. Jeremy Brock crafts a clever screenplay from Rosemary Sutcliff's novel, but Kevin Macdonald made odd casting choices: fratboyish Channing Tatum is legion commander Marcus Aquila, fey Jamie Bell is Esca, his Brigantian slave, and Donald Sutherland is Marcus's doting uncle. Marcus and Esca venture north of Hadrian's Wall to retrieve a relic lost when the legendary legion fell to the Picts. The cultural trappings (costumes, music, Celtic languages, pagan rituals) are nicely authentic (though the painted Picts look like refugees from Burning Man), and a terrific climactic battle scene conjures John Boorman's Excalibur. Still, there's an annoying "buddy movie" feeling to this that just won't go away. At least Centurion had a sexy witch to offset the unintentional homo-eroticism.