Plot/Synopsis: The Eagle is a 2011 historical epic film directed by Kevin Macdonald, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland. Adapted by Jeremy Brock from Rosemary Sutcliff's historical adventure novel The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), the film tells the story of a young Roman officer searching to recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father's legion in the north of Britain. The story is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion's supposed disappearence in Britain.
The film, a British-American co-production, was released in the U.S. and Canada on 11 February 2011, and will be released in the United Kingdom on 25 March 2011.
The film is set in the year 140, in the 2nd Century AD, during the reign of Antonius Pius.
Twenty years after the Ninth Legion disappeared in the north of Britain, Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young Roman centurion, arrives in Britain to serve at his first post as a garrison commander. Aquila, whose father was the last to hold the eagle standard of the ill-fated legion, sets out to redeem his family's honor by bravely serving in Britain. Shortly afterwards, only Aquila's bravery saves the garrison from being overrun by Celtic tribesman. He is decorated for his bravery but honorably discharged due to a severe leg injury.
Living at his uncle's estate in southern Britain, Aquila has to cope with his military career having been cut short and his father's name still being held in disrepute. Heeding rumors that the eagle standard has been seen in the north of Britain, Aquila decides to recover it. Despite the warnings of his fellow Romans, who believe that no Roman can survive north of Hadrian's Wall, Aquila travels north into the territory of the Picts, accompanied only by his British slave Esca. Esca, the son of a Brigant chieftain, detests Rome and what it stands for, but also considers himself bound to his master, who saved his life during an amphitheater show.
After several weeks of traveling through the northern wilderness, Esca and Aquila encounter Guern, one of the survivors of the Ninth Legion. Guern recalls that all but a small number of deserters were killed in an ambush by the northern tribes - including Esca's Brigantes - and that the eagle standard was taken away by the Seal People, the most vicious of the tribes. The two travel further north until they are found by the Seal People. Identifying as a chieftain's son fleeing Roman rule and claiming Aquila as his slave, Esca is welcomed by the tribe. After allowing the Seal People to mistreat Aquila, Esca eventually reveals that his actions were a ploy and helps his master to retrieve the eagle.
The two flee south, with the Seal People in hot pursuit. Aquila, slowed by his old battle wound, orders Esca to bring the eagle back to Roman territory and even grants the reluctant slave his freedom. Freed, Esca still refuses to abandon his friend and instead heads out to look for help. He returns with the survivors of the Ninth legion just as the Seal People catch up with them. The legionnaries, wishing to redeem themselves, accept Aquila as their commander and manage to fight off the Seal People's attack. After burying the fallen legionnaries including Guern Aquila, Esca, and the few survivors of the Ninth return to Roman territory, where Aquila delivers the eagle to the astonished commander of the Roman legions. As there is talk of the Ninth legion being reformed, with Aquila as its commander, Aquila and Esca wonder what they will do next, with Aquila leaving the decision to his former slave and new friend, Esca.
Cast: channing tatum,jamie bell,donald sutherland,mark strong,tahar rahim,denis o hare