Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

  • Review Date: July 20, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 143 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Solid effort weighed down by bloodshed.
  • Review Date: July 20, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 143 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Both positive and negative role models, positive role models make decisions which, out of context, are not good.


Gory swordfights, hangings, firebombing of villages, basic medieval graphic violence.


Attempted rape, Sheriff orders his servants to sleep with him.


No modern swearing used.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Friar Tuck is an alcoholic, praises beer more than God.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that medieval graphic violence dominates this film, and that there are some particularly gory moments. The film opens with a painful torture scene, and later a man is burned to death. A man knifes his unsuspecting cousin, an illegitimate (and angry) half-brother appears, a painful childbirth scene (implied caesarian), a hanging, villages are destroyed, innocent children are threatened, explosions, a beloved character dies, and one nearly drowns. There is also an attempted rape, and a scary, creepy witch.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, Robin Hood (Kevin Costner), freshly returned from the Crusades, sees the ruin that the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) and his thugs have brought to England and vows to right the wrongs. When his father is murdered, Robin seeks revenge on the sheriff. He joins up with Little John, Azeem the Moor (Morgan Freeman), Maid Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), and an army of scrappy villagers in an attempt to get rid of no-good Nottingham and his nasty thugs for good.

Is it any good?


Although this version of the legend reveals more of Robin Hood's backstory, it tries to incorporate something for everyone and is too violent for young children. The film relies on the familiarity of the plot to build extraneous plot twists, upon which most of the suspense lies. Viewers will be asking, "When will (x) happen?" as opposed to, "What will happen next?" Kids who aren't bothered by this will love the courageous actions of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and the exciting battle sequences.

Parents will secretly root for Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, who sparkles in contrast to Costner's dull Robin Hood. Costner merely floats along, leaving any sense of urgency or drama to the Merry Men, villagers, and the exciting visual effects. Sadly, although Marian first appears a strong, independent, brave young woman, by the end of the film she has relapsed into the stereotypical damsel in distress. The film wobbles between stilted, "medieval-like" dialogue and American accents from the majority of the main characters, an issue compounded by historical errors throughout the film.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Robin Hood's choices are often between the lesser of two evils. Do two wrongs ever make a right? (For example, robbing the rich to feed the poor?) How does the Merry Men's opinion of social justice change throughout the course of the film? What are the class distinctions, how are they portrayed, and how are characters treated due to how they are perceived by others? How does Azeem respond to the racial and religious intolerance he encounters? Other topics include the treatment of women, appropriate use of violence, and how the word "savage" is used in the film.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 14, 1991
DVD release date:September 30, 1997
Cast:Alan Rickman, Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman
Director:Kevin Reynolds
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:143 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence.

This review of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Action Packed Adventure for ages 12 and up!

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves contains plently of sex, violence, and language, making the movie not appropriate for anyone under the ages of 12 or 13 (it depends on your child). The whole movie is violent, and there are several frightening bits. Language like "blimey!" is frequent, until we get closer to the end and people start saying real bad words. The sexual content comes from, surprisingly, not Robin and Marain, but the Sheriff and Marian. At the end of the film, the Sheriff attempts to rape Marian in order to impregnate her, for, once he has a child of royal blood, he will be king. He doesn't actually suceed (the moment is interrupted by Robin crashes through a window), but he gets close enough. So, I'll leave it up to you on this one. But, in all honesty, you should probably watch this movie before deciding, because parental reviews really can't tell you a lot about this movie. You'll like it, but maybe your kids should wait awhile.
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

One of my all time favorites

This was a masterpiece with great performances by a lot of top notch actors. Romantic adventure, great fun and some humor. What's not to love?
Adult Written byMovie Man September 16, 2009

Fantastic Movie! Fun for (Almost) All Ages! Very Violent, Though.

I love this movie. It is entertaining, funny, and overall enthralling. I highly reccomend it. The action is fun and the acting is great. Yes, it is long, but it's worth it. PARENTS: this is a very violent film; it is not a PG-rated family film; there's blood, dismemberments, and assaults. Please, watch it with your kids. Thanks for reading. -Movie Man
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great role models


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