A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
William defies the class system to compete as a knight. Characters pursue their ambitions and don't let anything stand in their way.
Positive Role Models
While born a peasant, William remains steadfast in his desire to be a knight and refuses to listen to those who tell him that he cannot be a knight due to his station in life.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of jousting and sword-fighting violence, not too graphic, some blood. In one scene, a man is shown hanging dead from the gallows.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Male nudity: buttocks. A male character who joins the protagonist's entourage is completely naked as he walks through a field (buttocks shown). Some innuendo: talk of female breasts and of "uncross(ing) her legs."
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Frequent use of the word "s--te," the UK pronunciation of "s--t." "Son of a bitch." "Bastard." "Hell." The word "fonging" is repeatedly used by one of the characters -- in some contexts it means beating someone up, and in others, it seems to mean "f---ing." Some sexual insinuation: talk of breasts, of "uncross(ing) her legs."
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Products & Purchases
The blacksmith adds a personal touch to the lead character's armor: She adds two "swooshes" that look a lot like the Nike logo.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking in taverns, boisterous behavior.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Knight's Tale is a 2001 medieval movie in which a man born a peasant sets out to prove that he's worthy of being a knight. There's frequent jousting and sword-fighting violence: Characters fall off horses, sustain severe bruises, some blood. A man is shown hanging dead from the gallows. As the quest begins, a naked man suddenly appears and walks past the knight-to-be's entourage; brief male nudity (buttocks). There's some sexual innuendo: talk of breasts, a mention of having "uncrossed her legs." Some language occurs: frequent use of "s--te," the UK variant of "s--t." The word "fonging," used frequently by one of the characters, can sometimes mean beating someone up, but in other contexts it has an "F" word connotation. There are some modern nods throughout the movie, primarily in the form of classic rock songs like "We Will Rock You" and "The Boys Are Back in Town," but this nod to modernity takes a turn into product placement territory when the blacksmith of the group, upon giving the knight his newest armor, distinguishes it by carving swooshes that look like the Nike symbol. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is Ivanhoe crossed with Rocky for a new generation, and it's great silly movie fun. Of course William meets a beautiful princess (Shannyn Sossamon) and an arrogant champion who competes with him for the princess and the title (Rufus Sewell, wonderfully brooding as Count Adhemar). The secret of William's low birth is revealed at the most dramatic moment. But there's a happily-ever-after ending that is just right for this fairy tale. Ledger holds his own well in his first leading role, and Paul Bettany is completely winning as Chaucer, who may have a gambling problem but who knows the value of words. Sossamon, in her first role, is pretty but unimpressive. The art direction sets the scene beautifully, and, if you're willing to give it a chance, the music works very well, especially in a dance sequence that shifts about 600 years into David Bowie mid-step. If Bachman Turner Overdrive had been around in the 1400s, they would have played "Taking Care of Business" during combat.
If the idea of a medieval jousting movie set to classic rock songs like "We Will Rock You," "Low Rider," and "The Boys Are Back in Town" bothers you, forget A KNIGHT'S TALE and rent Ivanhoe instead. But if the idea appeals to you, get some popcorn and get ready for a ravishingly good time. In other words, leave skepticism behind, and it will rock you.
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