The Last Legion

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Last Legion Movie Poster Image
Mr. Darcy trades Austen for Excalibur. Only OK.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Officials betray their loyal servants; underclass heroes do the "right" thing, though that means protecting the boy who is a symbol of the empire that oppresses them.

Violence

Lots of fighting with swords, axes, knives, catapults, flaming arrows, and spears, as well as some martial arts-style fighting (especially by Mira, who frequently spins, kicks, stabs, and flips opponents). Characters fall, catch on fire, and die on screen. The one-on-one fight scenes feature athletic skills and some loud grunting and thudding; battle scenes show blood, especially on faces and mouths. A 12-year-old boy is repeatedly threatened (chained, held over a cliff, thrown hard onto floors); he later stabs an opponent to death. One figure falls off a cliff. Ambrosinus pulls a mask off of a bloody-faced adversary, then vengefully sets him on fire.

Sex

Some cleavage, especially on warrior maiden Mira; her introduction consists of rising from a lake in a wet tunic, catching the eye of her male traveling partner. Mira and Aurelius are thrown into a sort of embrace, and they both catch their breath. Mira slips into Aurelius' tent and bed at night: They look into each other's eyes, and the scene cuts to the next morning, implying that they had sex.

Language

One "damn," one "hell" (Kingsley tells his longtime enemy to burn there as he sets him on fire).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two men arm wrestle for a jug of wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this ancient Rome-set action movie includes lots of bloody fighting and several instances in which a child (the film's 12-year-old hero) is threatened. Battle scenes are loud and chaotic, with stabbing, kicking, pushing, and spearing (the boy sees his parents speared and axed). The rough melees use lots of handheld and close-up camerawork to convey turmoil. Other fights include martial arts-style fighting, with kicking, chopping, and apparent bone-breaking. There are a few brief allusions to sexual attraction and desire: Mira and Aurelius gaze at each other's bodies (hers is partly revealed when she rises from a lake in a wet tunic), and they lie in bed together. No real language (one "damn," one "hell") or drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBryantJean January 17, 2016

Fun, clean, family adventure movie.

Scary thought of child being hunted and family killed, but otherwise fun, clean and very family-friendly.
Adult Written bycaseyopb April 9, 2008

A better tale than expected!

I wasn't sure I would like this movie, after reading lukewarm reviews... but it was much better than expected! After cringing through the overt sexuality... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 8, 2011

its awesome

this movie doesnt really have blood like how csm said they are wrong they dont know anything no real violence only one part when a guy gets his finger cut off b... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 February 18, 2013

great action film is one to keep your battle loving eye on

One of my top action movies, this swords and sandals thrill ride delivers plenty of what makes a good movie. It’s got well-known actors, sweeping cinematography... Continue reading

What's the story?

"The legend begins beneath these dark hills." That would be the oft-told legend of Excalibur. After his parents are killed, 12-year-old Emperor Romulus Augustus is imprisoned on the island of Capri, along with his former teacher, Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley). Aurelius (Colin Firth), Romulus' new teacher, Batiatus (Nonso Anozie), Demetrius (Rupert Friend), and Mira (Aishwarya Rai) help them escape, and they journey to Britain to find the 9th legion.

Is it any good?

The leaps of faith required for this brutally bloody film are many. But once you've already made one or two of 'em, it's easy enough to accept that Bollywood superstar Rai is as likely to a super-lethal fighter as Mr. Darcy. Both Aurelius and Mira suffer betrayal by their leaders, which prompts their decisions to cut ties with the past and throw their lot in with the boy, the apparent future of Rome.

The question of country -- of borders that need defending and serve as markers for identity -- remains mostly unresolved. The fact that the titular legion has been abandoned by foundering Rome and now waits for a mission in Britannia suggests that the whole empire thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why stories about Arthur, Merlin, and Excalibur hold such fascination. What is it about legends and myths that continues to appeal to -- and inspire us -- for so many hundreds of years? Do you think filmmakers try to make movies like this one as accurate as possible, or do they care more about how the movie looks and the reaction it gets from an audience? Families can also discuss leadership and loyalty; how are both portrayed in this film?

Movie details

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