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The King's Speech Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

The King's Oscar speech. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

Jolly good show! Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    88

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Let's say it without equivocation: Colin Firth deserves an Oscar for his lead role in The King's Speech as the stammering King George VI.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    No screen portrait of a king has ever been more stirring-heartbreaking at first, then stirring. That's partly due to the screenplay, which contains two of the best-written roles in recent memory, and to Mr. Hooper's superb direction.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    It perhaps started with "The Queen," continued with "Young Victoria" and now achieves the most intimate glimpse inside the royal camp to date with The King's Speech.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Lest the audience miss a cue, Hooper and soundtrack composer Alexandre Desplat count on the ringing grandeur of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony - the famous second movement, no less - to amp the emotions.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The King's Speech reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Superb drama about overcoming fears is fine for teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this engrossing, fact-based drama -- which is rated R primarily for a few scenes of strong language (including one "f"-word-filled outburst) -- has inspiring and empowering messages about triumphing over your fears. An indie about a king who stutters might not seem like typical adolescent fare, but don't judge a movie by the brief synopsis: Teens will enjoy it as much as the grown-ups will if they give it a chance. In addition to the swearing, there's some social drinking, but that all fades in comparison to the movie's surprisingly moving themes of hope and perseverance. Note: An edited version of the movie that removes/lessens some of the strongest language has been rated PG-13 and released separately.

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What are viewers meant to take away from watching?
  • How does the movie portray stuttering and those who suffer from it? Does it seem realistic and believable? How does Bertie's struggle with stuttering affect him?
  • How did the queen pave the way for the king's success? Are they positive role models? Do you think the movie portrays them accurately? Why might filmmakers change some details in a fact-based story?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The film has a stirring message: Our biggest limitations are the voices in our head that remind us of all of our imperfections and failures. But they're only voices, and our will is stronger than our fears. The film has some classist overtones, but they're placed within historical context.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: The three main characters serve as strong role models: Lionel Logue, though somewhat untraditional in his approach to speech therapy (at least for the movie's time period), believes in himself so much that he's able to help others do so, too. The queen is a lesson in being supportive without condescension, and King George VI is a man not to be denied his life because of his past.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A character struggles with his temper, which is fueled by frustration.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A king abdicates from the throne because of his involvement with a divorcee. There are references to her "talents" behind closed doors.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language includes "bastard," "bloody," "tits," "damn," "ass," "hell," and "bugger." And in one memorable scene, a man yells out a stream of words like "s--t" and "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking (sherry, whisky, wine).

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