Much better than I expected it to be. The story moves quickly, with only a few annoying breaks to rehash past battles that have no effect on the plot, and the main characters and monsters are all really interesting. Through the course of the story Beowulf fights Grendel (good luck guessing exactly what he is, by the way - the text never spells it out and my class spent forty-five minutes just trying to figure out if he was a monster or a human), Grendel's demon mother, a dragon, plus a few dozen assorted sea monsters. Each battle scene is exciting, easy to understand, and unique. I think if someone were to make a movie of this story and do it correctly, it would be completely awesome.
Notice: I said "correctly." I am aware that some complete idiot decided it would be a good idea to take the Beowulf story and turn it into a movie that looks like a CG lab vomited all over the screen. This movie, as far as I'm concerned, does not exist. Also, to anyone who may have actually seen this movie and wants to read the original poem: first, slap yourself across the face. Second, just so you're not disappointed, I need to tell you that in the poem, Grendel's mother bears no resemblence whatsoever to a naked, gold-dipped Angelina Jolie. Sorry to get your hopes up.
Read for: Early British Literature