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First Knight (1995)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 165,554

My Rating

Movie Info

The tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is always ripe for retelling. In this rendition, the sexy Richard Gere is Sir Lancelot, threatening to supersede the aging King Arthur (Sean Connery) by winning the love of his young wife Guinevere (Julia Ormond). This update of the age-old legend succeeds on the strength of Gere's happy-go-lucky sex appeal, Ormond's gorgeous period costuming, and Connery's unbeatable wry nobility. The script focuses on the triangle of the three

Oct 7, 1997

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (23) | DVD (8)

Whenever Zucker stops piling on battle scenes as if he were directing Braveheart, his film casts a romantic spell.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aside from casting Richard Gere as Lancelot, First Knight marches out as an agreeably intelligent, mature and well-mounted telling of the legendary King Arthur story.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem for him[Gere], and the film, comes when the non-physical acting begins.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is entertaining enough in its own way, and Sean Connery makes a splendid King Arthur, but compared with the earlier films[Rob Roy and Braveheart] this one seems thin and unconvincing.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...lots of action and chivalrous pomp, but no magic.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While director Jerry Zucker seems to have been intent on dragging the film to the mushy middle, it's still more entertaining than most comparable Middle Ages-set movies.

April 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Goes for a pass as a shallow but occasionally rousing swordfighting flick with a handful of thoughtful scenes...has something those other pictures don't have: Sean Connery as King Arthur.

April 21, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Director Zucker is unsuccessful in trying to put a fresh angle on the familiar story, and he is not much helped by his romantic leads, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond.

August 16, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The out-of-place [Richard] Gere doesn't do justice to the fine performance of [Julia] Ormond.

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

No Merlin, no magic, no way.

April 6, 2003

Bland and over-romanticized treatment of the Arthurian legend. Gere ridiculously miscast as Lancelot. Watch Boorman's EXCALIBUR instead.

March 21, 2003

Whoever thought Richard Gere would make a good Lancelot needs to be found and sterilized.

January 11, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Spectacular entertainment with a king-sized serving of romance and ritual.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

...has so many wild cliffhanger situations that you may expect the film's action to stop at some point as 'To Be Continued . . . ' pops up on the screen.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

There's something sick about a Camelot movie in which the point of the great Arthur's death is to bring the lovers together in a guilt-free union.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Colorful, but ultimately disappointing...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

With guys like Connery and Gere as your heroes, you don't need cheap tricks. First Knight is just slightly second rate as a result.

January 1, 2000
Jam! Movies

...lushly romantic, almost quaint...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Audience Reviews for First Knight

Not a serious historical piece (and what do we really know of Pendragon anyway?) but a children's fable extolling virtue, the Zuckers take a chance with this glittering fairy tale. Connery is the Arthur the story wants, or is it that we want Connery to be Arthur, its hard to tell. Gere supplies the dashing derring-do as Lancelot, and Ormond fills the difficult position of being torn between two lovers fetchingly.
March 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

Starts off mediocerly, but once Sean Connery enters the stage as the fabled King Arthur, the quality level is instantly raised. Richard Gere looks a bit misplaced as the fearless Sir Lancelot, and wouldn't have been my first pick for the role, but he still takes it on to the best of his abilities. As for Julia Ormond, she's quite lovely as Princess Guinevere, altough I would have very much liked to see her put a little more energy into her performance. What speaks for the film in positive terms, however, is the atmosphere and action, along with a highly enchanting music score by the brilliant Jerry Goldsmith. It's so good, in fact, that I've made it a part of my inspirational music library. If there is one thing I could change though, it would be the costumes. They look a little plain and cheap for what is essentially a period piece. Maybe they ran out of money when it came to clothing the actors? Apart from said maladies though, it remains a captivating tale of love, chivalry and sweeping adventure. Easily one of the better renditions of the Arthurian legend.
September 21, 2011
Mike S

Super Reviewer

Another terrible rendition of King Arthur. Turning the story into nothing more than a romantic threesome is just pure slander. To change the story to fit a movie is one thing, but this should've just left Arthur's name all together. The acting is terrible, quite possibly Sean Connery's worst performance and the usual Richard Gere treatment.
May 23, 2010

Super Reviewer

I saw this one in the theatre and can't quite remember the whole film, but I do remember enjoying it.
September 16, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on First Knight

November 11, 2005:
Sean Connery Earns AFI's Highest Honor
Thanks to for sharing a press release from the American Film Institute: Sir Sean...

Foreign Titles

  • Der erste Ritter (DE)
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