Henry V received near-universal critical acclaim for Branagh's Oscar-nominated performance and direction, for the accessibility of its Shakespearean language, and for its score by Patrick Doyle. It currently holds a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 83 out of 100, based on 17 reviews—all positive. Henry V also ranks #1 on the Rotten Tomatoes list of Greatest Shakespeare Movies, beating Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985) and Branagh's own version of Hamlet (1996), respectively ranking in second and third place.
Roger Ebert, noted critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, highly praising Branagh's performance and writing, "There is no more stirring summons to arms in all of literature than Henry's speech to his troops on St. Crispan's Day, ending with the lyrical 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.' To deliver this speech successfully is to pass the acid test for anyone daring to perform the role of Henry V in public, and as Kenneth Branagh, as Henry, stood up on the dawn of the Battle of Agincourt and delivered the famous words, I was emotionally stirred even though I had heard them many times before. That is one test of a great Shakespearian actor: to take the familiar and make it new." Variety magazine also gave the film a positive review, calling Henry V "A stirring, gritty and enjoyable pic which offers a plethora of fine performances from some of the U.K.'s brightest talents."
The film grossed over $10 million in the U.S. and at the time of its widest release played on 134 U.S. screens.
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Academy Awards||Best Actor||Kenneth Branagh||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Phyllis Dalton||Won|
|Best Director||Kenneth Branagh||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Kenneth Branagh||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Kenneth MacMillan||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Phyllis Dalton||Nominated|
|Best Direction||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|Best Production Design||Tim Harvey||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Campbell Askew, David Crozier, Robin O'Donoghue||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Best Foreign Language Film||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|European Film Awards||Best Actor||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|Best Young Film||Won|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Best Film||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists||European Silver Ribbon||Kenneth Branagh||Nominated|
|National Board of Review of Motion Pictures||Best Director||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best New Director||Kenneth Branagh||Won|
|Sant Jordi Awards||Best Foreign Actor||Kenneth Branagh||Won|