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Kingdom of Heaven Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    While there's gore by the gallon, inventiveness is in short supply.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Dramatically, even a persuasive supporting cast gets Heaven only so far.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Scott, working from a script by William Monahan, is so busy balancing our sympathies, making sure no one gets offended, that he has made a pageant of war that would have gotten a thumbs-up from Eleanor Roosevelt.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Fulfills the requirements of grand-scale moviemaking while serving as a timely reminder that in the conflict between Christianity and Islam it was the Christians who picked the first fight.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Better than "Gladiator" -- deeper, more thoughtful, more about human motivation and less about action.

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  • See all Kingdom of Heaven reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Violent movie about the Crusades not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has several one-on-one fight scenes, as well as extreme and explicit battle violence, including sword-fighting, head-chopping, limbs-lopping, impaling, fiery catapults firing, buildings and bodies burning, and blood spurting. The film includes a euphemistic reference to the fact that the hero's father raped his mother (he says, "I knew your mother. To be courteous, I should say it was against her objections"), and various references to the Crusades (battles fought, warriors lost), as a backdrop for the hero's noble cause (he wants to bring Muslims and Christians together, contrary to the desires of all devout folks on all sides). Characters drink wine in goblets. The film includes a romance between the hero and the good king's sultry sister, who is also married to the bad king (this relationship leads to a passionate kiss that fades out before explicit sex). The leprous good king wears a silver mask throughout the film; after his death, the mask is removed to reveal his diseased, caved-in face (an image that might alarm some younger viewers).

  • Families can talk about the film's representation of Muslims (those with speaking parts are virtuous, but those who serve as anonymous invaders of Jerusalem are shown to be barbarous and/or hacked up).
  • . Families might also talk about the ugly legacy of the Crusades, andthe trivialization of the subject matter here.
  • How does the movie show Balian'scourage as an effort to protect a population, compared to thevainglorious ambitions of Guy and Reynald?
  • How is Balian's friendshipwith Nasir a model for reaching across cultures to make peace?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Villains start wars in search of "glory" and territory; the Crusades are the backdrop.Can be a great discussion starter in your home about the beginnings of conflict between Eastern and Western cultures.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The lead character is brave and courageous, but the brutality of the film tarnishes it significantly.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Battle scenes are graphic, hard-hitting, and energetically depicted.

  • sex false3

    Sex: One sexual tryst, artistically rendered.

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue