One of the most unthinkable things that could happen to a Roman legion was the loss of its revered eagle standard. But that was the sorry fate of the Ninth's emblem when it was marched into the mists of Caledonia, only to vanish along with the troops.
Marcus Aquila (Tatum) feels the sorrow and shame more than most, as his father was at the head of those troops, and therefore took the brunt of the public blame.
But now, two decades later, Aquila is himself a commander in the Roman army. And when he too gets posted to the north of Britannia, the temptation to rescue both the standard and his family name is too great.
Slipping across the border with just his British slave Esca (Bell) for company, and masquerading as the latter's slave, Aquila sets out on the most dangerous mission of his life...
Also starring Mark Strong and Donald Sutherland.
Part-funded and developed by Film4. Directed by Kevin Macdonald.
(2010) Cert: 12