Parents' Guide to

Arthur & Merlin

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Slow-paced Arthurian tale has some fantasy violence.

Movie NR 2016 100 minutes
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This is more of a loving but amateurish tribute to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy than something true lovers of Arthurian legend can sink their teeth into. Arthur & Merlin shares many camera shots, and even plot points, with Jackson's fantasy masterpiece (aerial shots of running across windswept landscapes, a king falling into the fog of dementia at an evil sorcerer's hands, etc.). But the made-for-TV look, script that tries way too hard, and over-use of explaining things in slow, ponderous voices make for a pale comparison.

Still, not every moment is terrible, and diehard Arthurian or sword-and-sorcery fans may find just enough to enjoy it as a "lite" version of a classic story, and may be intrigued by the alternative beginning to the legend offered here. Just don't expect to be swept up in any grand emotions more traditionally associated with the legend of King Arthur.

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