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Napoleon cast, trailer, plot, reviews, and more news

The Napoleon release date has been and gone, so here's what we know about Ridley Scott's take on history's most recognized political figure.

Napoleon release date: Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon

Who’s in the Napoleon cast? It’s time to take a trip back into history to examine one of the most debated and studied figures of all time. We love a historical drama around here, and there’s no figure in history that warrants one quite as much as Napoleon.

Beginning as a humble soldier, Napoleon Bonaparte would climb his way through the ranks and eventually establish himself as the Emperor of the French. His story is a long one, fraught with battles for power and complicated emotional relationships that combined to give us the subject of Ridley Scott‘s new drama movie. So, we’re here to raise our banners and share what we know about the Apple TV Plus movie.

Who’s in the Napoleon cast?

Napoleon saw Joaquin Phoenix reunite with Ridley Scott to play the legendary french Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

It’s no small task to play one of the most well-known figures in history (and a pretty controversial one, at that), but Joaquin Phoenix has never not been up for the task of playing some of the most complex characters to come out in recent years.

And since he played one of the best movie villains as Emperor Commodus in Gladiator, we knew that he can portray a power-driven man with a reputation, too.

Joining him was Mission Impossible’s Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s mistress and eventual wife, as well as another The Crown graduate, Ben Miles as Caulaincourt.

Napoleon release date: Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte

Here’s the Napoleon cast list:

  • Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Vanessa Kirby as Empress Joséphine
  • Tahar Rahim as Paul Barras
  • Ben Miles as Caulaincourt
  • Ludivine Sagnier as Theresa Cabarrus
  • Matthew Needham as Lucien Bonaparte
  • Catherine Walker as Marie-Antoinette
  • Youssef Kerkour as Marshal Davout
  • Phil Cornwell as Sanson ‘The Bourreau’
  • Édouard Philipponnat as Tsar Alexander
  • Ian McNeice as TBC
  • Paul Rhys as Talleyrand
  • John Hollingworth as Marshal Ney
  • Gavin Spokes as Moulins
  • Mark Bonnar as Jean-Andoche Junot

Napoleon release date: Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon release date and reviews

Napoleon arrived in theaters on Wednesday November 22, 2023 in the US and Friday November 24, 2023 in the UK, and opened to mixed reviews.

It will appear on the Apple TV plus streaming service at a later date, so make sure you catch it on the big screen while you have a chance. As we know Ridley Scott movies tend to produce some pretty spectacular visuals, so it’ll probably be well worth the trip.

Plus, with the Gladiator 2 release date set to hit next year, Napoleon seems like the perfect way to round out 2023 and get yourself prepared for the next Scott historical tale.

Napoleon is currently sitting at 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Things are a little mixed on the review side, with some critics praising the scale of the feature while others argued it was too much of a drag. The highlights seemed to be Vanessa Kirby’s performance and the cinematography, so at least there are some upsides.

“You find yourself mulling over an incoherent epic, one whose shortcomings aren’t trying to make up for stature or status but arise from an uncertainty of perspective,” said Rolling Stone‘s David Fear.

AV Club‘s Brent Simon said: “Director Ridley Scott’s Napoleon sweeps aside this caricature, craftily sidestepping the pitfalls of many conventional biopics and delivering a highly involving work of psychological portraiture.”

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Is there a Napoleon trailer?

The Napoleon trailer was released on July 10, 2023, and gave a full look at the large-scale battle sequences and personal events that were landmarks in Napoleon Bonaparte’s life.

It set up Napoleon as the complex and power-driven figure he was, and also teased his military experience. After all, Napoleon was renowned for his skills and intelligence in battle, so it makes sense that the war movie would shine a light on the no doubt awful moments of war that marked his military career.

A second trailer was released on October 18, 2023, showing more of the same. As more trailers and first-looks were released, it became clear that Napoleon was just as much about the man’s relationship with Josephine as it was about his relationship with politics. Watch the newest trailer below:

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What’s Napoleon about?

Napoleon focuses on the origin of Napoleon Bonaparte, his military career, and his storied rise to becoming Emperor of France through the lens of his turbulent relationship with his wife Josephine.

The official synopsis from Apple TV is as follows:

“Napoleon is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine. The film captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.”

When it comes to Napoleon’s life, there’s no shortage of stories that wouldn’t make for an excellent movie. From commander, to politician, to conqueror, he was an enigmatic figure who, just when you think you’ve worked him out, always seems to have another layer to his personal history.

Napoleon release date: Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte

Aside from being the original Short King (though historians have been known to dispute his height shortcomings over the years), he was also known for being a bit of a romantic. His love letters have become renowned over time, and he even wrote a romance novel in 1795.

Josephine was an incredibly complex persona in her own right. Before she was wed to Napoleon, she was previously married and produced three children with a man who was guillotined during the Reign of Terror. Josephine herself would also find herself imprisoned and on the line for execution, though she narrowly avoided her fate.

Where can I watch Napoleon?

Napoleon was released in theaters in November 2023, and will eventually wind up on Apple TV Plus in the next few months.

Since the project is partly an Apple TV Plus production, we imagine it would land on the streaming service a few months after a decent theatrical run. You can find out more on how to watch Napoleon with our guide, and while you wait, you can get stuck into all the best Apple TV Plus shows.

That’s all we have on Napoleon for now. Take a look at our list of the best Joaquin Phoenix movies of all time, or see what we thought of his other most recent performance in our Beau is Afraid review. You can also see what we know about the Joker 2 release date, and see how often both Phoenix and Scott appear on our best movies of all time list.

You can also get to know all the other new movies left to come in 2023, and see what else is out there on streaming with everything new on Netflix and everything new on Paramount Plus these days.