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King Arthur Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Bleak, remarkably turgid, tediously violent, devoid of drama, deprived of magic, stripped of romance and, except for one of the oddest boy-meets-girl scenes in movie history, a befuddled and befuddling excuse for entertainment.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    For better or worse, but surely satisfying novelty needs, Jerry Bruckheimer's King Arthur is set much earlier than usual and against the crumbling Roman Empire, which may even (or not) be historically legitimate.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    In a movie like this one, a little madness is its own Holy Grail.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Not a bad movie, although it could have been better. It isn't flat-out silly like "Troy," its actors look at home as their characters, and director Antoine Fuqua curtails the use of computer effects in the battle scenes, which involve mostly real people.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    An engrossing, highly intelligent reimagining of the legend of Arthur.

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  • See all King Arthur reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Entertaining, but ultimately forgettable.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has many battle scenes and deaths, with lots of swords flashing and arrows flying, even if they do not depict gore and explicit violence. Young Arthur sees his town burnt and knows that his parents have been killed, which will disturb some children. Several victims of torture are shown in weakened states and refer to machines of torture. Two characters have a sensual scene with non-explicit sex. Characters talk about women, sex and their physical attributes. Arthur's men drink to celebrate and drink to mourn loss.

  • Families can talk about leadership and the characteristics that inspire loyalty in this movie, as displayed by Arthur, Merlin, and the Saxons. The horror on the face of the Bishop's men at the sight of the famous Round Table is a statement on hierarchy. Families might wish to talk about the notion of equality that Arthur discusses versus the manner in which the Romans are depicted. The concepts of freedom, duty, and service are all used frequently in describing reasons for battle. Do you think these rallying speeches are moving? Do you think other factors (and if so, which) are what motivate the troops?

The good stuff
  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Strong female character, discussion of equality for all as the ideal.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Frequent bloody battle scenes; allusions to rape and torture; lead characters die.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Allusions to sexual prowess, a sensual scene of implicit sex.

  • language false3

    Language: Anatomical references, cursing religious beliefs.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink ale, references to drinking to forget and to celebrate.