Scott successfully moves from Roman epic "Gladiator" to the 12th century of the Crusades. Godfrey of Ibelin (Neeson) is a knight in the service of dying King Baldwin IV (Norton) of Jerusalem. He returns to France to recruit for a crusade and to seek out his illegitimate son, blacksmith Balian (Bloom). During his quest, Balian becomes a knight, falls in love with Baldwin's sister, Princess Sibylla (Green), and tries to protect Jerusalem from the conspirators within the city and the amassing forces of Saladin (Massoud) without. Of course, as the smart screenplay deftly points out, it's the self-interested extremists on both sides that cause most of the trouble. Despite the epic scale, Scott pays ample attention to the human aspect.