Should watch the directors cut!
I can't stress enough what others said already: Watch the director's cut! It makes all the difference between a watchable movie and a masterpiece. I'm giving 10/10 to the director's cut.
Make sure you watch the Directors cut and not the thetrical one. The last one makes no sense since there is too much film cut-out
I rated this an 8/10 because I'm assuming that this is talking about the theatrical cut. The theatrical is a great movie, it's pretty, it has an amazing setting, the acting is all solid (Even Orlando Bloom does an incredible job), the action is intense, the costume design is amazing and accurate, the sound editing is noticeably good, and the message of the story is strong. however, the theatrical cut also has a semi-broken story where they clearly rushed through certain bits in order to fit it into an "acceptable" run time.
Now the Director's Cut is a definite 10/10. It basically amplifies everything that the theatrical did right by 10, with particular nods to the acting in some of the scenes cut from the original (particularly the scenes at the very beginning where it turns out the Priest is actually supposed to be his half-brother and the scene in the desert with the burning bush). The writing is also noticeably better due to the expansion of the story and allowing many simple but important scenes to run their course instead of being jammed into a rushed story. It has a long run time but if that's going to be the reason why you choose to not watch it, then you probably won't give a shit about the subtly brilliant changes that were made.
The backstory of the movie is the eternal battle over the city of Jerusalem. That city is of course a tempting subject for makers of adventure movies given that it has been destroyed at least twice, been attacked 52 times, besieged 23 times and changed ownership 44 times.
Balian de Ibelin comes to Jerusalem (not really of his own will mind you) during a time when it was in Christian hands only to discover that most of the Christian noblemen are arrogant, warmongering assholes. Not only that but they are stupid beyond belief. The results are disastrous of course. The movie blurb is actually not very accurate. When Balian is at the point were he has to defend the people there is no peace, fragile or otherwise.
The movie is quite well done, no question about that. The scenery, the acting, all of it is on the level of a very good movie. It is not really an action movie though. More of a adventure/drama movie. Balian’s journey towards the final confrontation is a rather slow process and it is only towards then end, during the siege of Jerusalem, that the movie truly heats up on the action front. The siege of Jerusalem with its siege machines is quite impressive though. Not overdone with ridiculous CGI but well done.
It is also a depressing movie. The Christian noblemen, their disastrous behaviors and the equally disastrous end result makes me have a hard time to really like this movie. It is a good movie but I did not enjoy it as much as it deserves.