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King Arthur

King Arthur (2004)

tomatometer

32

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 184
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 126

The magic is gone, leaving a dreary, generic action movie.

35

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 26

The magic is gone, leaving a dreary, generic action movie.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 388,661

My Rating

Movie Info

An ambitious attempt to wed the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table with known historical facts of the era, this action adventure drama begins with the fall of the Roman Empire in 450 A.D. as Roman armies flee the British Isles. Arthur (Clive Owen), a heroic knight and devoted Christian, is torn between his desire to travel to Rome to serve his faith and his loyalty to the land of his birth. As England falls into lawlessness, Arthur throws in his lot with a band of knights

PG-13,

Drama, Action & Adventure

David H. Franzoni

Dec 21, 2004

$51.7M

Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (192) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (126) | DVD (35)

A title card says this King Arthur, grimly directed by Antoine Fuqua, is based on the latest research into the mythic past. Maybe so. But one can't help thinking the research that really counted was that into the more recent box-office charts.

July 15, 2004 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gladiator lite.

July 15, 2004
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I loved the notion of the Dark Ages as the Wild West with swords. Thumbs up.

July 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If this is history demystified, give me myth.

July 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's hard to care about a valiant groping for accuracy when a story is so badly told you can't tell what the devil is going on.

July 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By going back to its origins and dusting itself off, the King Arthur story has proved itself to have a very contemporary resonance.

July 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Entertaining, but ultimately forgettable.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The interminable battle scenes are limply choreographed and unexciting. This is one king that's best left alone.

July 11, 2010 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Fuqua creates a very grim and stylish mood that fits what the concept is attempting to accomplish very well.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Guinevere, no dainty princess she, is a kind of hardened medieval feminist, and the aggressor to Arthur's bashful but equally driven warrior, in both bed and on the battlefield.

May 29, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

In many ways this movie tells us far more about the values and age in which we are living, than the one it pretends to be returning us to.

May 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

A brash departure from the legend that retains the round table, but that's about it. Still, the contemporary echoes make the Dark Ages relevant again and the movie, while longwinded in parts, overcomes its shortcomings.

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

It nods in the direction of tons of potentially interesting developments of plot, theme and character, but doesn't bother to follow through on any of them enough to pay off.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

...remains an instantly forgettable, wannabe epic.

August 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Underrated, revisionist version of the Camelot legend; one of the year's 10 best

January 5, 2005 | Comment (1)

In seeking to demythify the Arthur legends, the filmmakers wind up creating a new mythology, one that is probably just as fanciful as those it attempts to replace.

December 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A Guinevere, and an Arthur myth, for our times, if not for the ages.

November 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Maclean's Magazine
Maclean's Magazine

Existential action yarn with solid performances and interesting characters.

November 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comment (1)
Laramie Movie Scope

The longest two hours, 10 minutes I have spent in a theater for some time.

October 13, 2004 Full Review

Faz uma indigesta salada de frutas com todas as lendas referentes ao personagem-título.

September 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Misguided, miscast, and completely misconceived, the wretched King Arthur is one of the grittier, more earnest failures to appear this summer.

September 9, 2004 Full Review
Las Vegas Mercury

Where "King Arthur" falls flat is in its laborious battle sequences.

September 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Bruckheimer's King Arthur is little more than spectacle, and not very interesting spectacle at that.

August 15, 2004 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

History buffs will love this film for the fact that it's giving the controversial new take on the King Arthur legend. But your average moviegoer might find this a bit dull.

August 10, 2004 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Película de buena manufactura gracias a su producción, al rostro de Keira Knightley y al carisma de los actores, no obstante, no tiene nada que ver con la leyenda original.

August 9, 2004
Cinenganos

There's enough action in King Arthur to take the thrill-addicted moviegoers of summer to a new high.

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for King Arthur

There's some blarney about "searching for historical fact" woven into the story but basically what you get is an old timey adventure/propaganda/nationalism piece about how ENGLAND! (always said in capital letters w/an exclamation in this film) rose from the ashes of nations to become A LAND OF FREE MEN! (They let some women come along with 'em, too.) Ehh.
May 21, 2013
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

King Arthur is another mediocre action film by director Antoine Fuqua, who isn't that skilled as a director to begin with. I felt that the films action scenes were well done, but unfortunately that's about it going for it. The plot is under developed, and never really interesting. I think it's a great shame because King Arthur could have been quite an epic film, unfortunately, it isn't. Fuqua's direction is clumsy and unfocused, and the film suffers because of it. Under a different director, the film could have succeeded, but the film is a mediocre attempt at a historical epic, and the end result is a film that doesn't really make you satisfied. The casting choices for this film are very questionable as well. Aside from Sin City and Shoot Em' Up, I'm not a fan of Clive Owen, and in this film he's pretty bad. So is Keira Knightleey, who usually is a good choice for period pieces, but this isn't a period piece film that she should've starred in. Most of the cast are not right for the part, and Fuqua doesn't know how to craft an action epic, and the flaws are apparent on-screen. The film could have been much better; unfortunately the result is a film that is a badly acted and plot mess that will make you lose interest halfway through the end of the film. King Arthur could almost be seen as a guilty pleasure; however, I think the mediocrity of this film is too much for me to see it that way. I don't view King Arthur as an awful film, but almost. The film could have been much better with a better, much developed storyline and a better cast. Oh well, don't get overly excited before watching this film, you may end up disappointed, I was.
September 29, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Overblown bastardisation of the King Arthur legend, knee deep in earnest hammy performances, only redeemed by some cracking battle scenes.
February 6, 2011
gor41
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

I always forget how intense Clive Owen is in this movie, that alone makes it a semi-classic. He is the best Arthur, hands down. The character has never been portrayed so noble ans selfless, truly being worthy of the name King. In fact, the rest of the cast is pretty incredible and for the most part deliver extremely good performances. The only person lacking personality was Merlin, but that was more the character being in there for no good reason. The action is pretty brutal and well done, but I still wish this was given a bigger scale and an epic narrative. What it ends up being is one chapter in a much larger and grander King Arthur story that was never continued. For what it is though, it's very well done and everything is put together in order.
December 11, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

    1. Tristan: You are free now.
    – Submitted by Emma B (17 months ago)
    1. Bishop Germanius: We are all going to die someday. If it's death by a Saxonhand that frightens you, stay home!
    – Submitted by Emma B (17 months ago)
    1. Lancelot: I don't believe in heaven. I've been living in this hell. But if you represent what heaven is, then take me there.
    – Submitted by Jayathra L (22 months ago)
    1. Artorious Castus: Deeds in themselves are meaningless unless they're for some higher purpose.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Artorious Castus: There is no destiny. There is only free will.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Artorious Castus: No man fears to kneel before the god he trusts.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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Foreign Titles

  • Le Roi Arthur (FR)
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