The King's Speech

  • Review Date: November 20, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Superb drama about overcoming fears is fine for teens.
  • Review Date: November 20, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

Age

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film has a stirring message: Our biggest limitations are the voices in our head that remind us of all of our imperfections and failures. But they're only voices, and our will is stronger than our fears. The film has some classist overtones, but they’re placed within historical context.

Positive role models

The three main characters serve as strong role models: Lionel Logue, though somewhat untraditional in his approach to speech therapy (at least for the movie's time period), believes in himself so much that he's able to help others do so, too. The queen is a lesson in being supportive without condescension, and King George VI is a man not to be denied his life because of his past.

Violence

A character struggles with his temper, which is fueled by frustration.

Sex

A king abdicates from the throne because of his involvement with a divorcee. There are references to her "talents" behind closed doors.

Language

Strong language includes "bastard," "bloody," "tits," "damn," "ass," "hell," and "bugger." And in one memorable scene, a man yells out a stream of words like "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking (sherry, whisky, wine).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this engrossing, fact-based drama -- which is rated R primarily for a few scenes of strong language (including one "f"-word-filled outburst) -- has inspiring and empowering messages about triumphing over your fears. An indie about a king who stutters might not seem like typical adolescent fare, but don’t judge a movie by the brief synopsis: Teens will enjoy it as much as the grown-ups will if they give it a chance. In addition to the swearing, there's some social drinking, but that all fades in comparison to the movie's surprisingly moving themes of hope and perseverance. Note: An edited version of the movie that removes/lessens some of the strongest language has been rated PG-13 and released separately.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In 1936, King George VI (Colin Firth), father to Queen Elizabeth II, inherited the British throne after his brother Edward’s controversial abdication to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Ultimately, he would lead the United Kingdom through World War II. But even before he ascended the throne, he was a man struggling with a persistent and troubling condition: He stammered. This was a source of deep despair for the soon-to-be king, who was known among friends and family members as Bertie. Despite his wife's (Helena Bonham Carter) best efforts and deep, abiding love, Bertie was stunted by rage and anxiety. But in this film based on true events, the king finally finds an ally in Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian speech therapist who helps Bertie gain the confidence and will to overcome his fears and let his voice be heard, literally and metaphorically.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It is a singularly gratifying experience to watch THE KING’S SPEECH's three stars -- Firth, Bonham Carter, and Rush -- do what they do best: act. It's like watching a master class. They disappear into their characters and make them both interesting and understandable. That's not always the case with films about royalty. Often, they're a visual (and unremarkable) summary of what we know from books; here, they fascinate with their trials, triumphs, and, most of all, humanity. And for a movie steeped in a feel-good message -- "You don't need to be afraid of the things you were afraid of when you were 5," intones one man -- it's far from clichéd.

Credit, too, goes to director Tom Hooper and screenwriter David Seidler, who himself conquered a stutter and was inspired by the king. They have created characters so rich that they compel viewers to rush to the Web for some post-viewing research. We know a lot about today's royals, but they don't hold a candle to their predecessors -- or at least to the ones portrayed here. The movie makes history and self-help irresistible. Bottom line? The King's Speech is superb.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What are viewers meant to take away from watching?

  • How does the movie portray stuttering and those who suffer from it? Does it seem realistic and believable? How does Bertie's struggle with stuttering affect him?

  • How did the queen pave the way for the king's success? Are they positive role models? Do you think the movie portrays them accurately? Why might filmmakers change some details in a fact-based story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 26, 2010
DVD release date:April 19, 2011
Cast:Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Director:Tom Hooper
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Drama
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some language

This review of The King's Speech was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byJnic April 22, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Fantastic movie - not worthy of R rating

Don't let the R rating scare you. This movie is fantastic. Apart from a few brief scenes including intense language (though it is used in the context of the story and not out of vulgarity), this movie is absolutely appropriate for young teens. Although there is a significant amount of profanity used, these scenes are vital to the film's message and are far less worse than what I personally hear every day in school. The messages and highlights in this movie far outweigh the questionable material. PG-13 would have been a more accurate rating. Absolutely a movie worth watching.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 22, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

A great movie that isn't boring

I thought this movie was going to be so boring the moment the movie started. I was proved wrong! I loved this movie and Geoffrey Rush acted so well! The movie could be really boring for young kids, but kids nine and older will like it a bit more then 8-. Colin Firth (The Duke of York then to king) doesn't stutter as much when is angry. So, he talks clearly when he swears, and he says a good amount of swear words. Overall- It should be PG-13 Maybe even PG, Not R. He just swears throught the movie like bloody etc. mild language He just goes on a rampage saying f--- bas---- etc. I reccommend this movie -Coffeeguy
Teen, 14 years old Written byilovevintage April 30, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Shouldn't Have Been Rated R

First off, I think that "The King's Speech" shouldn't be rated R. PG-13 would have been fine, but it's just because of some vulgar language (including the "F-Bomb") that it was given the rating of R. Aside from that, this movie is absolutely wonderful. All of the characters are so relatable and the acting is superb. I am 14 years old and I saw it, and I think most other kids around my age could see it too. Some of the intense stuff may go over younger kids' heads so I think the youngest age to see it is 13. Such a wonderful movie, and such a wonderful message!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

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