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Three Kings Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Some kind of weird of the best movies of the year.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    So overstuffed with random fireworks that despite its politics, it's easy to imagine the film getting a four-star rave from Bush or Saddam.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    Visual pyrotechnics and dark humor aside, Three Kings rules because it dares to dig for such truths, whether banal or significant.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Three Kings reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Violent, liberal George Clooney Gulf War caper.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film is unsparing in the violence of the battlefield, with soldiers, civilians, mothers, and children dying in gunfire and RPG attacks. Several special-effects scenes actually go within a human body to demonstrate, classroom-lecture style, the damage that bullets do. There is also one rather gratuitous sex scene early on. The depiction of the coalition troops sent to liberate Kuwait is cynical, to put it lightly. Families who are strong Bush Jr./Sr. supporters will either yell at the screen, decide George Clooney isn't all that handsome anymore, or turn it off. Other families may cheer at the film's brazenness.

  • Families can talk about the film's politics and the way the main characters turn from glorified looters into humanitarians. While Saddam Hussein is never discussed as more than a despicable warlord (hated and feared by even his own legions), it's stated that the Iraqi people, on both sides, are ordinary people involved in a complicated struggle for power and survival that most Americans -- with mainly money and oil on their minds -- can't/won't/don't comprehend. The filmmakers find fault with the George Bush government for not supporting the anti-Saddam resistance in 1991. Families in Bush-supporting households can debate whether this is a fair charge or not, especially considering that another President Bush invaded the country to charge wholesale after Saddam ten years later. Why wasn't George Clooney cheering then?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The American troops in general use racist language directed particularly at Arabs and behave like kill-crazy party monsters (at least with the announcement of the war's "ending"). The "heroes" are initially lawless rogues intent on robbery and making themselves rich, but they undergo a moral transformation and begin to appreciate that the Iraqi resistance (and even some of the bad guys) are real people involved in a serious moral struggle. Ultimately the main characters turn into saviors, but very flawed ones. The one female character of consequence is a pushy and vindictive news reporter, but she too shows some signs of lessons learned.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Unsparing war violence and many deaths. Includes severe depiction (using a clinical X-ray view) of what happens when bullets tear through human tissues. People are shot through the head in the closeup, including a mother (whose child grieves by the body). A little boy sniper is blown up by a tank shell. Landmines explode further vehicles. A man in tortured with electric shocks. There's some closeup battlefield surgery.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A brief early scene of Archie having sex with a young news associate, she in a bra and panties, he almost fully clothed. Later talk about sex (mostly in the context of ascending the ranks in broadcast journalism).

  • language false5

    Language: Pretty extreme, including subtitled f-words and s-words courtesy of the Iraqis.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Fancy motorcars on display, with much talk of the Lexus Infinity. References to cultural media icons, including Bart Simpson and Michael Jackson, and popular music. Usually it's ironic commentary, not a sales pitch. Usually.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking and partying after the U.S. victory.