Robin Hood (2010)

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Robin Hood (2010) Movie Poster Image
Big bow-and-arrow action in powerful redo of classic tale.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 131 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 43 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The messages include: the "inalienable rights" of individuals to their own land, their own food, their own ability to provide for their families is greater than the "sovereign rights" of a dynastic king. The central idea is that if a law is deemed immoral by most people, one should not obey it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Robin, Marion, and the Merry Men are all decent role models, as they fight for what they believe in and for the greater good. They're flawed, but loyal, brave, and kind.

Violence

Incredibly violent, whether it's aerial shots of thousands of arrows about to descend on the French, cauldrons of hot oil splashing down, or hand-to-hand combat. The action is nearly relentless in the first and last parts, and the battle scenes include deaths via weapons such as arrows, spears, swords, knives, sticks, stones, burning bags of oil, and fists. In several scenes, entire towns are sacked and their inhabitants herded and burned alive (or almost burned alive).

Sex

The prince is obviously naked in bed with his mistress, when his mother walks in; he stands up naked to talk to her (we only see his lower back). Robin stares at Marian's behind and at her silhouette undressing behind a curtain. The Merry Men spend "a historic night" with three Nottingham women (some kissing is shown but nothing else). Little John says "he's proportionate" despite his moniker, and then tells a very tall girl he's "going to make her smile." Robin and Marian flirt, dance, and eventually kiss passionately.

Language

Very mild; just some insults like "little bastards," and insinuations about the proclivities of Welshmen. A few exclamations of "Christ."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Merry Men (and the entire adult population of Nottingham) drink to excess on more than one occasion (on the ship and then in Nottingham, thanks to Friar Tuck's homebrew of honey mead). They're shown nearly passed out from drink. Sir Locksley keeps asking for more wine for him and Robin and later comments on how wonderful it is to hear everyone in Nottingham indulging themselves and having fun.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Robin Hood adaptation is quite violent. There's a lot of realistic medieval warfare (not ultra-stylized like in some other movies) in the two-hour-plus movie, and a significant body count. Otherwise, there's just a few scenes of sexuality: one couple is interrupted in bed, but there's no nudity, plus some kissing, flirting, and innuendo. A few scenes show the Friar and Merry Men drinking too much honey mead or wine, and the language is limited to insults like the occasional "bastard" or "traitor." On a positive note, the rights of all individuals and villagers are championed over the tyrannical rights of the king.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMi3 February 6, 2011
Adult Written byYldnole September 29, 2010

Very well done!

Just rented this yesterday and was very surpried...Crowe was VERY good...Really cool how the movie sets up the legend....hope they follow up with another instal... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byiamJMAN00793 December 31, 2010

A True Epic

The tale of Robin Hood has to have been told a hundred different ways. This is defiantly the best. This movie succeeds on every level. From a great cast to a we... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 12, 2011

Violent would-be epic dissapoint's, but still entertains in terms of action

I was rather dissapointed last summer when I saw Ridley Scott's version, or ramake, of the age old Robin Hood fable. Sure, it was packed with relentless vi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), or ROBIN HOOD, is an archer on King Richard the Lionheart's (Danny Huston) medieval crusade. When the king falls in battle in France, Robin and his friends Alan A'Dale (Alan Doyle), Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes), and Little John (Kevin Durand) escape and find the king's circle of knights have been ambushed in the woods by an English traitor, Godfrey (Mark Strong), and a band of Frenchmen. Robin encounters a dying Sir Robert Locksley and promises to fulfill his last wish of returning his sword to his father in Nottingham. Upon returning to England disguised as knights, Robin and his Merry Men travel to Nottingham, where an elderly, blind Sir Walter Locksley (Max von Sydow) asks Robin to pretend to be his son and husband to Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), in exchange for the sword and information about the orphaned Robin's past. The young, shallow King John (Oliver Isaac) imposes a hefty pay-or-burn tax on the Northern territories, but it's soon discovered Godfrey is in cahoots with the French King and is purposely sowing unrest so French troops can invade. Robin and company take action, fall for Nottingham's women, and step up to protect the town and their country from injustice.

Is it any good?

After his paunchy characters in State of Play and Body of Lies, it's refreshing to see Crowe back in action-hero form as the legendary Robin Hood. His fifth collaboration with director Ridley Scott isn't as excellent an epic as Gladiator, but it features some terrific performances by some of today's very best actors -- from Crowe and Blanchett to von Sydow and Eileen Atkins (Eleanor of Aquitaine). It would be virtually impossible for Crowe or Blanchett to deliver anything less than a remarkable performance together, and their banter and chemistry is palpable, even if you must dispense with all memories of Marion being a maid; she's a widowed but fierce "lady" in this revisionist origin story. Even the Merry Men shine as they provide much-needed comic relief. Grimes and Durand, who are better known for their roles on the TV dramas ER and Lost, are particularly well cast.

The political intrigue and Robin's backstory bog down the momentum, making the movie feel even longer than its 131 minutes. Yes, Robin Hood is long and serious, and quite violent for a PG-13 film, but it's definitely worth seeing for the understated acting and some of the beautifully executed battle scenes (there's just something special about framing an aerial shot of hundreds of arrows descending onto their targets). Don't expect an Alan Rickman-worthy Sherriff of Nottingham, because the lawman barely gets a cameo in this one (and is played by Matthew Macfadyen). For that matter, don't rely on your memory of Robin as outlaw at all, because this is the story of what happened before he was a wanted prince of thieves. Go for the legend, stay for the performances.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the Robin Hood legend has been portrayed in media. How is this version of the legend different than others? Which do you prefer -- this origin story with an older Robin, ones with an already outlaw Robin, or adaptations with a much-younger Robin, Marian, and Merry Men? Why?

  • This Robin Hood character hasn't really begun to steal from the rich and redistribute to the poor, but he does call for the king to allow for more individual rights. What's the message about kings and their subjects? If Robin Hood were alive today, where would he fit into modern society?

  • Why do you think there was so much violence in this movie? Did it make the movie feel more realistic, or was the violence gratuitous? What kind of impact does watching movie violence have on you?

  • What does Robin mean when he says no king has the right to keep a man from providing for his family? What do you think about his idea that if most people disagree with a law, they should not obey it? Do you see that happen anywhere in modern society?

Movie details

For kids who love epic tales and superheroes

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