How to stream Ridley Scott's Napoleon at home

Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix are reuniting for the Apple TV+ epic

Joaquin Phoenix in Napoleon
Napoleon stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader. (Apple TV+)

Ridley Scott returns to the historical epic with a biopic focused on Napoleon Bonaparte, his rise to power, and eventual rule as Emperor of the French.

The military commander is one of the most notorious figures in history and he is being depicted by Joaquin Phoenix for the big screen.

This isn't the first time that Phoenix has played a tyrannical ruler for Scott, as he memorably did so in 2000 film Gladiator in which he portrayed the ruthless roman ruler Commodus.

Here is everything that you need to know about the film.

Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby
Vanessa Kirby plays Napoleon's true love Josephine. (Apple TV+)

Ridley Scott's Napoleon biopic is now available to buy and rent from digital retailers including Prime Video and will become available to stream on Apple TV+ on Friday, 1 March.

The film was originally released in UK cinemas in November 2023.

Joaquin Phoenix in Napoleon
Critics have lavished praise on the historical epic. (Apple TV+)

The general consensus is that Napoleon failed to conquer the hearts and minds of critics from a range of different outlets.

Yahoo UK's Roxy Simons had a positive take on the film though saying "the battle sequences are intense and powerful thanks to Ridley Scott's sharp vision".

The Independent called it "the life of Napoleon as only Scott can tell it, full of verve, spectacle, and machismo", with The Telegraph adding that the film feels like simultaneously a "prickly psychodrama and a sweeping military epic".

Many reviews picked out Vanessa Kirby's performance as Napoleon's love interest Josephine, with The Telegraph calling her role "brilliantly sultry and shrewd" and The Independent suggesting that maybe Scott's film should "be titled Napoleon et Joséphine. Or maybe even just Joséphine."

Napoleon currently has a middling 59% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is echoed by a similar audience rating on the same site.

Read more reviews below:

Evening Standard: Joaquin Phoenix's frisky French emperor is upstaged by his Josephine (3-min read)

The Guardian: Joaquin Phoenix makes a magnificent emperor in thrilling biopic (4-min read)

The Telegraph: Ridley Scott’s dark, epic biopic is the work of a true master general (4-min read)

The Independent: Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby are perversely watchable in Ridley Scott’s thrilling epic (4-min read)

Yes, the first trailer for Napoleon was released in July 2023 which gave film fans their first glimpse of Scott's historical epic including the action-packed battle scenes.

Viewers were also given a taste of the romance between Napoleon and Josephine, with the trailer giving hints of its origins and volatile nature.

A few weeks later, a second trailer for Napoleon landed, this time giving us a better look at his volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine – played here by The Crown star Vanessa Kirby.

Watch it below:

circa 1811:  Emperor Napoleon I of France (1769 - 1821), known as Bonaparte. Original Artwork: Painting by Edouard Detaille  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Emperor Napoleon I of France (circa 1811) - Painting by Edouard Detaille. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Scott's film explores Napoleon's life and military achievements as well as his relentless quest for power, and it was written by David Scarpa whose previous projects include The Man in the High Castle, All the Money in the World, and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Napoleon's story is told against the backdrop of the war-torn landscape of the French Revolutionary Wars, which is where the military commander proved himself an able leader as his bold military and political tactics made him a visionary in the field and often brought France to victory.

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The film sees Phoenix take to the battlefield in character as Scott will showcase his keen eye for detail in multiple epic battle sequences, which were teased in the film's first trailer.

As well as exploring his rise to power, the film is also told through the prism of his relationship with Josephine, his one true love who came to rule by his side as Empress.

Their relationship is described as "addictive" and "volatile" in the film, with the pair meeting under unexpected circumstances before embarking on their romance.

Napoleon (Apple TV+)
The film features epic battle sequences. (Apple TV+)

As mentioned, Phoenix leads the cast as Napoleon and is will be joined by Vanessa Kirby, who takes on the role of Empress Josephine.

French actor Tahar Rahim portrays French politician Paul Barras, while Ben Miles plays Coulancourt. Other cast members include Ludivine Sagnier, Youssef Kerkour, Ian McNeice.

Napoleon is available to rent or buy digitally and will become available on Apple TV+ on Friday, 1 March.