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El Cid Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Handsome chivalry epic with enduring themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that violence here includes men killed by swords and arrows, a (briefly shown) crucifixion, and horses fallen in combat. A fiance plots murder against her husband-to-be, and there's a brief hint of royal incest. There's a conflict between Christianity and Islam (with a stalwart Christian-Catholic warrior as the hero), but a message that many Muslims are good guys, and Christians aren't necessarily honorable or correct.

  • Families can talk about the conflicts faced by Rodrigo and the wisdom and spirituality behind his choices. Why does he have to support a king unworthy of him? What makes him decide when to take a life or when to show mercy? El Cid is a hero figure in Spain with some of the oldest literature and legends written about him. What hero characters does he resemble in old English and American lore? Also, what other modern-day epic movies can you compare this to? How is it different?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Chivalrous warrior-knight Rodrigo practices mercy to enemies, chiefly the Moors (though some others he kills in single combat over honor), and also shows kindness to the helpless. He also remains faithful to an unworthy king on principle and gives up his personal happiness and his life for the greater good of his country. White actors in makeup generally portray Moors and north Africans.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Swordfights and jousting ending in fatalities. Men killed with knives and arrows. Brief depiction of a crucifixion. One man set on fire, another thrown off battlements.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Very slight suggestion of palace incest.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, talk of wine quality.