Parents' Guide to

The Lost King

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Inspiring true story has strong female lead, salty language.

Movie PG-13 2023 108 minutes
The Lost King movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Please amend the Common Sense ratings - it is not accurate

Is the Common Sense rating for a different director's cut or something? It is quite off! For reference, I just saw this in America in theaters. The current review NEEDS to be amended because it lists violence when there is none at all, and neglects to mention MULTIPLE sexual dialogue and intimate scenes. One of the first scenes has a sexually objectifying attempt at a joke, using a *distinctly* inappropriate word for genitals which just made me dislike the protagonist from the get-go. It started the whole movie off on a bad foot for me. In this reinforcement of patriarchal ideas, the lead female character expresses her frustration about work by equating a certain type of genital with power, saying it would solve her problems, and her ex-husband adds another stupid joke to connect this to his own sexual status. The conversation is hugely problematic, for children AND adults, because it implies female bodies are ineffectual or undesirable to own. It is one of the first things we hear her say, but it doesn't sound like an actual woman would say a thing like that...which makes sense considering both writers of the movie are not women. There are also some sexual tension and 1 kissing scene between the divorced adults, probably lasting a minute in total silence. Eventually one of them says "Do you really want to go down this road?" and they agree to stop there. Nevertheless this scene may be awkward and confusing for children, especially with a family member sitting next to them. Another misogynistic, slightly sexual joke involves the ex-husband breaking up with someone for what he claims is her boring personality, until (after questioning) he admits the true reason was her feet "were big." This apparently was an issue for him. Philippa, who could have criticized her ex for such a shallow judgement, just laughs and nods with nothing to say. For a movie with a lead female, plenty of patriarchal notions are being repeated, reinforced, and shrugged over. Overall the movie has some redeeming moments. One interesting aspect is: multiple (4+) men in the movie dismiss Philippa's "feelings," claiming facts are what matter. Despite this, we are shown that the sole reason for the successes were her intuition. This movie also demonizes Leicester University quite significantly. The portrayal of the King was excellent and touching at times, and the actor was wonderful. There was no violence at all besides seeing Richard III's skeletal remains, which were yellowed with age with his jaw open and spine curved. It might be a bit scary for very young children. I didn't mention it all, but other moments in the film also felt frustrating and strange in terms of gender. All in all, a strangely patriarchal movie that does elicit curiosity about the true story that inspired it.

This title has:

Too much sex
5 people found this helpful.
age 8+

Worthwhile Family Viewing

Brilliant and inspiring. We prefer historical fiction as a family over all the violent, fanciful made-for-kids productions. Great choice for Mother’s Day!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This heart-warming drama, based on a true story is from the same team that produced the wonderful Philomena -- and the best compliment you can pay this film, is that you can tell. The Lost King's writers, Coogan and Jeff Pope, have yet again combined a light, delicate touch with a deeper, more profound narrative. Directed by the masterful Stephen Frears, the result is a story that is at times funny, while moving at others. Hawkins is the MVP here, however. Her ability to bring such vulnerability and humanity to every role, all the while remaining so strong in character, is almost unrivalled.

The film is by no means perfect. Question marks remain over the surrealistic elements and the visions that Hawkin's central character, Philippa, has are a bit unsubtle in parts. But it remains wholly affectionate toward her, and really brings a sense of truth to her story. Much in the same way that Philippa is vying to do for the king she's so keen to absolve.

Movie Details

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