Parents' Guide to

The 13th Warrior

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Historical action film has violence, representation issues.

Movie R 1999 102 minutes
The 13th Warrior Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Thrilling retelling of the Beowulf saga

This is a much overlooked movie that is based on the Michael Crichton novel "The Eaters of the Dead", which itself was a playful attempt to suggest that the epic Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf was based on real events. It's very similar in style to The Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai, whereby a small, select band of fearsome warriors unite to battle a much larger horde of baddies threatening to overwhelm a village. The biggest issue for younger kids is likely to be the violence. There are several quite bloody scenes. In reality, however, there's not much more than in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. So, if your child has seen the Peter Jackson LOTR films and was fine with them, they'll probably very much enjoy this as well. In general, I thought it was a thrilling - almost old-fashioned - historical action movie where selfless bravery triumphs over adversity. If your child is sensitive to violence, then I would advise against showing them this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Inspired by an odd mishmash of Arabic writings and an Old English legend, this action adventure failed to engage audiences when it was released in 1999. The 13th Warrior is adapted by Michael Crichton's 1976 novel, Eaters of the Dead. Crichton in fact shares a director credit with John McTiernan after he stepped in to film re-shoots as part of a lengthy overhaul of the movie's original edit, ending, and score.

But Crichton's intervention wasn't enough to stop the movie's massive box office losses (reportedly up to $129 million). Banderas is bizarrely miscast as the Arabic emissary and the final cut is a not-so-epic 100 minutes of terrible dialogue, no memorable character development, and a plot that just about manages to string together its solid set pieces. All in all it proved to be a cinematic outing that was definitely unlucky for some.

Movie Details

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