Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

A Royal Affair 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.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The storytelling in A Royal Affair is traditional bordering on square. But the historical drama itself - about how an idealistic German doctor influenced a silly king, romanced a queen, and brought the Age of Enlightenment to 18th-century Denmark - is kind of amazing.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Takes a fascinating chapter in Danish history, little-known to general audiences, and presents it engagingly.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A big budget historical drama that carries Denmark's hopes into the Oscar season. It provides still more exposure for the rising Danish star Mads Mikkelsen, the latest male sex symbol of the art house crowd.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    With its sumptuous settings, urgent romance and intellectual substance, A Royal Affair is a mind-opener crossed with a bodice-ripper.

    Read Full Review

  • See all A Royal Affair reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Hefty historical drama has some racy, violent moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Royal Affair -- an engrossing, epic Danish drama based on true historical events -- is filled with the sort of intrigue and dalliances that pepper most accounts of monarchies. Women and men bed partners they're not married to; women are berated and ostracized for actions that men aren't; power corrupts. Expect some drinking and laudanum use, love scenes that show heaving cleavage and naked backsides, and minimal swearing (in subtitles).

  • Families can talk about how A Royal Affair portrays women's options during the time it takes place. Why do you think the queen stayed with the king?
  • Talk about the Age of Enlightenment and how its influence is depicted here. Are the rights and freedoms that its supporters fought for still relevant in this day and age?
  • How is this movie similar to, or different from, other Hollywood depictions of the ruling class and the monarchy?
  • How closely do you think A Royal Affair adheres to history? How many liberties with the facts do you think a movie like this can take? Why might filmmakers decide to do that?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Political intrigue rules the day, but true love provides a respite. Also, the values of the Age of Enlightenment (freedom, rational thought, etc.) are emphasized.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Queen Caroline Mathilda was a knowledge seeker who wanted to be enlightened and took great risks to free her people. She did, however, have an affair (her husband didn't seem much interested in her).

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Crowds of villagers and disgruntled soldiers storm the castle; later, two prisoners are shown walking toward the gallows. A bloody basket is presumably there to catch their heads when they're beheaded. A woman slaps a man who's disrespectful of her. A man is beaten to death; his bloodied body is discovered atop a fence-like structure.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A woman's backside is shown while she's astride a man; his head, shoulders, and chest are also visible. Men and women steal kisses from one another; scantily clad women are shown running around a house of ill repute.

  • language false1

    Language: "Pissant," "hell" (in subtitles).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Both royals and non-royals lose themselves in drink. A woman uses laudanum to calm herself; later, she appears to have become addicted to its soporific effects.