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Parents' Guide to

King Arthur

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Entertaining but violent spin on classic story.

Movie PG-13 2004 120 minutes
King Arthur Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 10+
Superbly done. Not overly violent and very little sex (just one scene but not too graphic). Very well acted. I know the historical background as an archaeologist and the film portrays it very believably. There was an Arturus who led a Sarmatian troop in Roman Britain and there was an Arturian battle near the wall. The film is based on various theories involving Arthur and what such a leader would have been like at the time Rome withdrew her legions. There was a Roman remnant including militaristic who remained behind at the time. The film is very artistically portrayed. Character development is excellent. The music score is outstanding. The groundwork for the legends is also reasonably suggested. I was sensitive to violence but could have watched it as an older child. The plot is, so well done that it distracts one from any potentially negative parts, ie the plot takes precedence over any violence. One of my favourite movies, watched it several times, memorized the music score. All the acting is excellent. Someone here complained about it being "dark". I didn't find this in the same sense as, the reviewer. The darkness, snow and costumes attempt to capture the effect of Britain as it seemed from the late Roman as well as pre-mythical (since it isn't mythical but precluded later legends) perspective, but it is not dark in the sense of being negative or depressing. I find this presentation merely part of the production's artistic beauty. This was the period when Rome withdrew her legions, although it was at the time to only be a temporary emergency measure.
age 12+

The butt review

This movie has a little rude language and some violence. There is a tiny bit of sexual things. There is little blood but no gore. This movie is ok for younger teens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Saying that this retelling of the King Arthur story is "The Truth Behind the Legend" is an overstatement of epic proportions, making the movie's tagline the only thing epic about it. The battle scenes, dialogue, and attractive actors all place King Arthur squarely in the realm of summer popcorn flicks: entertaining and briefly uplifting, but not destined to linger in memory, much less in history. The story sounds complicated, especially considering that it jettisons just about everything you expect in a story about King Arthur but the Round Table. It piles on the history, but there is just enough plot to fill the scenes between battles.

Those looking for the familiar terrain of King Arthur's legend -- the silvery arm holding Excalibur aloft, the search for the Grail, and the illicit love between Lancelot and Guinnevere -- should head to the library. Those in search of the true stories behind King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table can look to Celtic, Scottish, Welsh, Roman, and Assyrian legends. But those looking for some memorable battle scenes and some attractive actors without too much plot to slow things down can fill up the popcorn bucket and sit back for some mindless entertainment.

Movie Details

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