Da Vinci Code Reviews

Ian McKellen as "Sir Leigh Teabing"

"Ron Howard's splendid "The Da Vinci Code" is the Holy Grail of summer blockbusters: a crackling, fast-moving thriller that's every bit as brainy and irresistible as Dan Brown's controversial bestseller. . . Pursued by the police and Silas, the fugitives enlist the help of the enigmatic Sir Leigh Teabing (the splendid Ian McKellen), a former mentor of Langdon's. Teabing relates a fantastic plot (rendered in lavish flashbacks and backed up by clues in The Last Suppper) to cover up the explosive historic truth about Jesus Christ - and Mary Magdalene." Lou Loumenick,
New York Post
"Thank the deity of your choice for Ian McKellen, who shows up just in time to give "The Da Vinci Code" a jolt of mischievous life. He plays a wealthy and eccentric British scholar named Leigh Teabing. Hobbling around on two canes, growling at his manservant, Remy (Jean-Yves Berteloot), Teabing is twinkly and avuncular one moment, barking mad the next. Sir Ian, rattling on about Italian paintings and medieval statues, seems to be having the time of his life. . . Teabing, who strolls out of English detective fiction by way of a Tintin comic, is a marvelously absurd creature, and Sir Ian, in the best tradition of British actors slumming and hamming through American movies, gives a performance in which high conviction is indistinguishable from high camp." A.O. Scott,
The New York Times
"The real star of the show is Sir Leigh Teabing, played by Ian McKellen. The British actor steals the show as the eccentric and crippled Priory Of Sion expert who provides the audience with huge swathes of plot info about the Catholic Church's darkest secret." Beci Wood,
The Sun
"Sir Ian McKellen appears about a quarter to half way through the proceedings and very sublimely scores himself an Academy Award nomination." Roger Friedman,
Fox News
"Ian McKellen provides the most magnetic character. He is fabulously arch as the rich eccentric who harbours the refugees and the even greater desire to explode the greatest myth ever invented." James Christopher,
The Times
"McKellen, a pro’s pro, lends suavity and power to the Leigh Teabing role" Richard Corliss,
"And then there's Ian McKellen, who could have walked on a sound stage and read the entire Bible and made it worthy of a $10 movie ticket. As Sir Leigh Teabing, the eccentric millionaire grail expert who provides Robert and Sophie with sanctuary and more answers than they'd hoped for, McKellen flat-out steals every moment he inhabits. He livens things up, immediately and gracefully, as a brilliant but dirty old man wandering around his cluttered French castle with a pair of canes and a mind full of conspiracy theories." Christie Lemire,
Associated Press
"Ian McKellen's playful, crusty turn as Leigh Teabing, the scholar who hobbles around on twin canes, spouting happy rhetoric about the meaning of the Grail." Owen Gleiberman,
Entertainment Weekly
"The Da Vinci Code is a McKellen film as surely as David Copperfield is a Micawber novel. Nothing else matters when he is around. His contribution is so witty and inventive – twirling lines like pipe-cleaner animals, surfing octaves, turning banalities into bons mots – that the former stage thespian must be recaptured for Shakespeare and the live theatre as fast as possible, if necessary by violence and abduction." Nigel Andrews,
Financial Times