Parents' Guide to

King Lear

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Simple, accessible version of one of Shakespeare's best.

King Lear Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (2 ):

This excellent adaptation stars a world class wrecking crew of British actors, who avoid any sort of Elizabethan affectation and do an incredible job of making one of Shakespeare's toughest, plays into something accessible and delightful. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Shakespeare's writing can feel intimidating or alienating to a lot of people. Sometimes it feels like there's a way Shakespeare is "supposed to be performed," which reinforces the sort of stuffy, unrelatable, impenetrable air it already gives off. But occasionally, an adaptation of Shakespeare's work comes along that treats his seemingly-sacred texts as contemporary -- films like Ian McKellen's Richard III, Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, or Richard Burton's Hamlet. This King Lear can now be added to that list.

Director Richard Eyre sets the tale in modern London, and supports the actors with strong, easy to follow visual storytelling. There's nothing particularly flashy about it (like, say, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet), but King Lear is rich and compelling -- an all-too-rare feat when it comes to one of the greatest writers of all time.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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

See how we rate