It is the year 1215 and the rebel barons of England have forced their despised King John to put his royal seal to the Magna Carta, a noble, seminal document that upheld the rights of free-men. Yet within months of pledging himself to the great charter, the King reneged on his word and assembled a mercenary army on the south coast of England with the intention of bringing the barons and the country back under his tyrannical rule. Barring his way stood the mighty Rochester castle, a place that would become the symbol of the rebel's momentous struggle for justice and freedom.
Didn't know much about this movie so I looked up the period of time in England's history and this is set in the time of the First Barons War, it's a little inaccurate but more about numbers, some names and the Danes I believe?
It all comes down to the siege of Rochester Castle between King John (Paul Giamatti, giving it all and scene stealing like a despot) and his Danes led by Vladimir Kulich (13th Warrior Buliwyf) and James Purefoy's knight templar and small (very small) band of mercenaries and castle defenders. The action scenes are quite good and bloody, Purefoy's character is moody and a little unlikeable , the movie is a little long, predictable and grim, really grim but definitely worth a watch for the action, Paul Giamatti and the burning pigs use in siege warfare.
The movie had a lot of problems getting made, it's budget was slashed and all the cast apart from Purefoy and Giamatti changed, it was filmed in Wales in 2009. Rochester Castle is only down the road from me, it was partially destroyed during the first siege and repaired, it would be beseiged again in 1264 during the Second Barons War.