A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Robert the Bruce is a historical drama about the future King of Scotland with occasional, but brutal violence. There are a number of fight scenes, with characters killed by being stabbed and slashed with swords, and shot with bows and arrows. In one scene, a young boy is killed after being struck repeatedly with an axe. Two characters have their throats slit and one man is hanged. A woman is forcibly kissed by her brother-in-law and is then slapped to the floor. Despite the historical context, the movie is set around a period of Robert the Bruce's life that not much is known -- and is therefore open to interpretation. There is little profanity with "bloody," "bastard," and "s--t" only heard once each, while "arse" is used on a couple of occasions. Despite the sporadic violence, the movie is for the most part slow, with Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen) spending much of the time recovering from his injuries. Due to the setting of the movie and the fact that Macfadyen reprises the role he played in Mel Gibson's Braveheart, some have called Robert the Bruce an "unofficial sequel" to the 1995 Oscar-winning movie.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After suffering a number of defeats at the hands of the English, ROBERT THE BRUCE (Angus Macfadyen) informs his men that the rebellion is over. But with a bounty on his head, Robert is soon attacked. Injured and with nowhere to go, a family of peasants find him and take him home to nurse him back to health. Once recovered, Robert must decide whether he has the strength to once again take to the battlefield and deliver Scotland its independence.
Is it any good?
For a movie that centers around one of Scotland's most iconic historical figures, this plods along. Robert the Bruce was touted by some as an unofficial sequel to 1995's Braveheart -- not least because Macfadyen reprises the role of Robert the Bruce as he did in Mel Gibson's epic. But whereas Braveheart was a chest-thumping ride of a movie, here we're left with navel-gazing interspersed with occasional but brutal violence. Most of the movie centers around Robert's recovery -- both physical and mental -- as he must determine whether he has the strength and resolve to lead a rebellion of troops that are dwindling in numbers and belief.
The movie was co-written and co-produced by Macfadyen, but despite also taking the title role, he spends much of the movie hiding in a cave or recovering in bed. And it's to the movie's detriment. Instead we're left with a family setup that could have been condensed into a few scenes rather than stretched out for much of the movie. Jared Harris' appearance as John Comyn is fleeting and Anna Hutchison's narration is annoying -- only highlighting her patchy Scottish accent. With the Outlaw King -- starring Chris Pine -- covering the same material but far more entertainingly, it's difficult to see why you'd opt for this inferior telling of Robert the Bruce's story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Robert the Bruce. Did it feel realistic? Did that affect how you felt about it? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
What was Robert the Bruce fighting for? Discuss patriotism. Is it a good thing? Can it be a bad thing?
How did this movie compare to other movies that tell a similar story, such as Braveheart and Outlaw King?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love history
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch