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Parent reviews for The Kid Who Would Be King

Common Sense says

"Goonie" meets "LOTR" in fun but sometimes scary adventure.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 23 reviews
Adult Written byJoTechYt January 31, 2019

Not for kids, but for teens.

Morgana (who is the villian) is shown with roots and without clothes. You can see that the roots form to her body and they barely cover anything. Merlin is shown in the beginning without clothes but is barely covered up by the fog. One kid named Bedders uses magic to duplicate money in a push coin machine. They basically stole the money to buy armor with it. Nobody dies in the story, and no real true emotional connection between Characters. There was, however, a connection between the main characters mom, but that is about all I saw in the movie. There was no consequences for kids going to war with demons, and somehow everyone lives. This is what is called, "Everyone gets a trophy" mentality and no one really loses. Also there is a lot of swearing and uses of Gods name in vein. To conclude, story was ok, but lacked any depth it could have had.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byRBM05 January 29, 2019

Rating too soft. Violent, sexual for young crowd

I went with my barely 9yr old son who was covering his OWN eyes because he was so frightened and then covered his own eyes again at the sight of Morgana (can't remember if that's her name) but she's the villin in the show and at a certain point she appears to be underground, tied up to the roots of the tree which are the same color as her skin - my son was shocked and said,"shess naked!" That's when we walked out. Technically she wasn't but if you don't want the almost naked image of a fully formed women floating around in your little kids mind. Don't bother going. Add to that the sheer terror of the music and violence. It's probably a good show for parents. Not kids. Shame on the ppl who rated this show.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byGina K. January 26, 2019

Good movie, too intense for younger kids

I took my 8 and 10 year old to this movie. My 8 year old ended up sitting on my lap due to how creepy Morgana was. It had intense scenes that I thought were out of a PG13 or even rated R Movie based on the graphic depicting Morgana as a demon with a spooky voice. I do not feel this movie is appropriate for younger children and would be quite terrifying. Both of my kids agreed this should be 10 +. My 8 year said it was "very scary and intense". However, it was a very good movie if you have older kids. The plot was interesting with lots of action. The end had a nice message about the kids being leaders in the world and holding values which I liked.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 11 year old Written byHojomom January 26, 2019

Much scarier than anticipated.

This was much scarier than I was expecting with a PG rating. My almost 10 year old was very scared and my 11 year was pretty scared too. The kids are chased each night by skeleton demons and Morgana ( the evil sister of King Arther) turns into a creepy demon dragon they have to fight. The morals and story are good but just too scary for a PG rating in my opinion.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 7 year old Written byMollinska January 26, 2019

Much scarier than I anticipated

Great messages, exciting, and suspenseful. But some of the special effects (especially Morgana’s) were terrifying for young children. A child behind us (age 6?) started bawling and begging her dad to leave (they did). My 7-year old had to sit on my lap, facing away from the movie screen. The music and sound effects were also very scary- almost like a rated R terror movie. My 8 and 10 year old liked it, but said the bad guys were “WAY” scarier than Voldemort.
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byEzra H. February 3, 2019

Classic Hollywood view of the father

Hollywood has a horrible knack for casting the father either as a buffoon or absent. In "The Kid Who Would Be King" the father is an absent drunk. Classic Hollywood narrative which brings down an otherwise pretty good movie.
Adult Written byZooWeeMama January 27, 2019

Great movie - but know your child before viewing

We really liked this movie. My 9 year old LOVED this movie. He was concerned it might be too scary so we watched a few of the trailers together and he decided it looked like something he wanted to see. (We had to leave The House with a Clock in the Walls because he was terrified). He said The Kid who would be King was not even close to being as scary. That being said, there are some scary elements that would frighten younger children or those who are more sensitive to scary things. Overall the movie has great messages and fun characters. I’d classify it as an adventure movie (vs. scary). I think the PG rating is accurate - it’s just not for EVERY kid. I wouldn’t recommend under 9 years old.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byTwins1021 June 24, 2019

Great - don't be scared off by extreme reviews below

I start by saying you know your child. There is nothing sexy in this movie, yes she is covered on roots and you can clearly shaped like a woman,but she is a woman..this is not shocking. Yes Merlin is naked but is covered in fog and it suppose to be funny. I have twin 8 year olds who thought it was funny a intended not sexy or objectifying like people are staying below. Yes the creatures she conjures are dark and a little ominous but again know your child. Mine thought they were super cool due to flames and compared them to dementers from Harry Potter. Some action is intense but we watched this at home, not in a theater to talk about what they are comfortable with. My daughter was not a fan of her spookier voice but wasn't really phased by it in the least. She thought she was a pretty lady when not turned into a dragon. Good messages about friendship, being honest, and being your own person. Don't let the psychos below deter you off the movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byRGK March 22, 2019

Nice alternative to Fantastic Beasts

We took our son (7) to see this in the theater. It was not too scary for him (he has seen the Harry Potter series up to the Goblet of Fire).

When we came home one of the things we talked about was how nice it was to see that not all of the kids were white. There are 4 main character kids: a white boy (protagonist), a second white boy, a black girl and a boy for Indian descent. We talked to our son about how this was realistic and how he really likes when characters look like him (blonde boys) but how nice it must be for other kids to see characters that looked like them (we used examples of other kids at his school who are not white). It was so refreshing to see such a nice diverse cast.

Another nice point was that respecting your parents turns out to be a big issue in becoming a knight. That was a nice positive message.

My wife does not like zombies and un-dead style characters, but she was able to sit through it too.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written byrcontreras February 1, 2019

Honor, Teamwork and Selflessness

When I was young, a lot of movies and cartoons had a message of goodness amidst the evil. You had Optimus Prime, Duke (GI Joe), Luke Skywalker, etc.; and they all had examples of how to be. How to treat others and when the time came, to sacrifice even when circumstances seemed hard. This movie brought me back to those days. The days when being good meant something and not just expecting something in return. Prepare your little ones with the old stories or at least who the characters are before you see it. Example: Arthur Pendragon, Lancelot, Merlin, Excalibur, Lady of the Lake etc.
Parent Written byErinEasterling July 5, 2019

Common Sense Media Rating is very Accurate

Fun adventure story, but there are some creepy parts. I think 10+ is ok as long as your child is not prone to bad dreams. Worth watching with your children.
Parent of a 5, 8, and 10 year old Written byFEC June 11, 2019

Absolutely blown away

This til is extremely well made and is thrillingly exciting. There are parts where a man is named but covered by mist and you are him with no shirt on. A woman has no clothes on but is covered by vines. Some parts are very funny and some bits are quite creepy. A giant derformed creature could be very intimidating.
Parent Written byChanoch L. May 22, 2019
very inipopriate

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byCris_vaqueiro May 18, 2019


I think there should be a “scary scenes” rating too.
There is a very scary scene at the end of the movie. Sensitive kids (even above 10) might be disturbed by it. If your child is like that....don’t watch this movie.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byAbby4 May 12, 2019

Depends on your kids

I watched this with my girls (6 and 8) last night. They have watched Narnia and some of the harry potter and aren't particularly sensitive to scary parts of movies. This movie is not as scary as Harry Potter.
Other than the scary parts- it is not a bad movie. I find it increasingly difficult to find clean movies to watch with the kids. So many movies include adult humour or suggestive pieces- this movie doesn't have any of that.
The only adult part is the Dad is absent- we find out later in the movie that he "drank" and that is why he left. This must have went over my kids heads because they didn't ask about it.

Otherwise both girls really liked the movie- it has a good plot and some good messages for kids about being honourable, truthful and working together.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9 year old Written byDawnH80 April 22, 2019

A little scary

I was kinda surprised to see this was rated PG. It was very scary in places and there was a good bit of violence. If your child is prone to nightmares you might want to wait on this one.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMcf77 April 20, 2019

Much scarier than expected!!

Started watching this with our 8 year old and had to turn it off... Much scarier than we thought and the villains were very creepy. Our son is saying it's going to give him nightmares :(
Parent of a 7, 10, and 13 year old Written byMissSimpsonReveiw April 16, 2019


We watched all together and all my kids loved it, especially my 14 year old daughter. Its sends off many positive messages and definetley would reccomend. My 7 year old son enjoyed it very much however was slightlty afraid at some moments.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byPipeCine April 10, 2019

Why don't they understand that King Arthur belongs to the books?

Film-wise, King Arthur's lost his touch. Gone are the most simple, golden times where Hollywood modern-day blockbusters were unrealistic, unforgettable film pieces helmed by a young man with no apparent future who, unaware, achieved a life-or-death legacy. We have gone from ageless classics such as "Camelot" by Joshua Logan, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones and "Excalibur" by John Boorman to insufferable "reimaginations" and lifeless adaptations such as Stuart Gillard's "Avalon High," Michael Bay's "Transformers: The Last Knight," Guy Ritchie's "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" and even Otto Bathurst's "Robin Hood" — which features many of the ingredients that made Ritchie's film what it is.— Exactly in the middle of these two categories lays the latest effort as writer and director of Joe Cornish, which rethinks the timeless legend within a world of smartphones, homework, bullying and chicken wings; while simultaneously trying to condense a fantasy adventure à la Spielberg, a Disney Channel film and a subtle anti-Brexit commentary; of course, not everything works out.

First and foremost, "The Kid Who Would Be King" means an irrefutable improvement over shameful adaptations Hollywood has insisted on producing. 20th Century Fox's delightfully British new take is likely to be far from covering its production and advertising costs, but quality-wise, it does redeem and save Arthur from ending up, again, on a "worst of the year" list in the face of the failures/flops from studios like Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures.

After the reckless 2011 hybrid between sci-fi, comedy, and horror he used as his directorial debut, Joe Cornish jumps from playground to the most 80s fantasy, which is called Amblin. It opens with a didactic, gorgeously animated introduction to give some context about what sort of film we are about to see, enjoy and suffer in equal parts.

The character introduction is undeniably charismatic, employing about half an hour of its endless runtime to set up a solid bond between the audience and them and their problems. Just like Spielberg, Cornish almost completely restricts parent prominence, using them uniquely as dramatic supporting vehicles. For this reason, Alex, played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis — son of motion capture pioneer Andy Serkis, — his bestie Bedders, portrayed by Dean Chaumoo, and bullies Kaye and Lance, by Rhianna Dorris and Tom Taylor respectively, are the story's eyes. Each one does a great job portraying his roles, especially Serkis, who with his tenderness and unbelievable drama range makes a short part of the film compelling. But when it comes to juvenile performances, Angus Imrie and his hypnotizing and elaborate hand gestures steal the show. His young Merlin is fabulous, with a fierce comical load mixing fish-out-of-water humor and the most hilarious slapstick to bring an interesting pace at least until half the second act.

It's a huge surprise to learn that stars Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson are here standing by the project; the former with quite short yet meaty appearances as adult Merlin, and the latter as Morgana, a female villain that even though Ferguson tries her best to deliver a credible, menacing antagonist, the script only makes her look like a one-dimensional cartoon figure that wants to take over the world. Her character strangely reminded me of Nicole Kidman's villain for "Paddington," both films full of heart, but also disharmony between storytelling development and acting commitment.

Brilliant moments are at a premium, but still, the film treasures some touches of brilliance. From clever commentary against controversial withdrawal Brexit to writing jokes adapting the well-known Arthurian mythology to the 21st century manners; from dazzling blockbuster-like set-pieces to pieces of training as imaginative as catching, Cornish manages to pull several easter-eggs and comical interludes off thanks to his careful, faithful writing and the professionalism and commitment of his actors portraying their roles.

As for the rest, "The Kid Who Would Be King" has the potential to become a headache for some adults, nonsense for some teenagers and for most kids an endless fascination. Due to its abusively drawn-out running time, many viewers could stand in a position of radical skepticism midway, not receiving equally the other sequences and narrative moments, which can get to be dull, boring and ridiculous if you don't get into it from the beginning. The film tends to use its purpose of kids entertainment as an excuse to produce visuals and narrative threads that don't work well. From ridiculous to boring, young Merlin's slapstick and Bedders' naive humor might not land so well for grownups, because it handles a kind of humor that even today's children don't understand it as children used to.

"The Kid Who Would Be King" by Joe Cornish is not only a taste of its own medicine for majors that don't get tired of re-visiting existing IPs, but a production of British flavor severely diminished by an unnecessary lengthening of the events, a too mild treatment to resonate among today's audiences, some uninspired visuals and a story that fails to create interest for unlikely sequels. Those who grew up in the splendor of the 80s and 90s will certainly be willing to be carried along by the homages and easter eggs of the last century— for starters, the parallelism with films such as "The Man Who Would Be King" —however, those who, like me, belong to the new millennium will have a hard time trying to connect and stay connected with the idea for more than a quarter of an hour.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bymovieman48 March 23, 2019

OK but not special

A reasonable attempt to retell the Arthur legend in a modern setting. Good performances from the kids in the cast but the whole thing undermined by an overlong and rather cumbersome script.