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A Knight's Tale (2001)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 146
Fresh: 85
Rotten: 61

Critics Consensus: Once you get past the anachronism, A Knight's Tale becomes a predictable, if spirited, Rocky on horseback.

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 20
Rotten: 17

Critics Consensus: Once you get past the anachronism, A Knight's Tale becomes a predictable, if spirited, Rocky on horseback.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 376,716


Movie Info

This crowd-pleasing medieval adventure tale is very loosely inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and mixes the anachronistic elements of modern-day rock music and colloquialisms with a period setting and characters. Heath Ledger stars as William Thatcher, a low-born 14th century squire who, in a fit of inspired spontaneity, replaces his deceased employer as the competitor at a jousting competition. Jousting is a pastime only permitted to knights, who are of noble birth, but … More

PG-13 (for action violence, some nudity and brief sex-related dialogue)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Curtis Hanson , Brian Helgeland
In Theaters:
Sep 25, 2001
Box Office:
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for A Knight's Tale

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (61) | DVD (37)

Whipping along at speed, with elaborate camera movements and rousing speeches, this knows how to engage a crowd. It's corny, of course, but a guilty pleasure: romantic, diverting, with mildly amusing modern gags.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Instead of pulling young audiences imaginatively back into the past, A Knight's Tale cheapens the process by demonstrating that there's no essential difference between then and now.

Full Review… | August 6, 2001
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The movie promises to rock you, and much of the time it does.

Full Review… | June 11, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

The result is half Python, half Ivanhoe -- and not as much fun as either.

Full Review… | June 4, 2001
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

You might find yourself smiling and laughing all the way through it.

Full Review… | May 21, 2001
Top Critic

Essentially, it's a screenful of pseudo-medieval popcorn that hits a high enough level of goofy fun to transcend a pretty blatant marketing strategy aimed at the MTV demographic.

May 14, 2001
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Slightly edgy medieval tale with rock music.

Full Review… | December 21, 2010
Common Sense Media

It's as if Helgeland didn't have enough confidence in his own material's basic appeal that he resorted to desperate pandering.

Full Review… | April 4, 2010

Endless jousting tournaments transpire with lots of balsa wood jousting poles splintering across the screen. It's a classic example of a "'what-on-earth-were-they-thinking" movie...

Full Review… | July 18, 2009

Unmotivated storyline, bad love interest situation, dull leading man, quick plot with no set-up. Lazy movie.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

For all its mainstream exertions, A Knight's Tale is actually something of an experimental melding of old and new.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

A Knight's Tale looks and sounds pretty darned good in Blu-ray.

Full Review… | September 16, 2006
Movie Metropolis

A breezy, lightweight romp perfect for a summer afternoon.

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
Combustible Celluloid

...surprisingly intelligent summer fare...

Full Review… | August 1, 2003
Reel Film Reviews

It's all done with a light-hearted touch and a wicked sense of humor.

Full Review… | April 5, 2003
Killer Movie Reviews

Historical accuracy is cashed in for a classic rock soundtrack and a forest of shattered lances, but the trade-off is worthwhile.

Full Review… | March 20, 2003

Minor grievances aside, this warped medieval yarn glides by on a funny, friendly, goofy sort of goodness.

Full Review… | March 10, 2003
Austin Chronicle

Knight's Tale does suffer from a predictable, follow-the-dots plot, but it's so well executed anyone willing to have a good time will readily buy in.

September 13, 2002

Ledger carries A Knight's Tale as far as it can go, which is an accomplishment.

Full Review… | September 4, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Oh, to be 15 again and truly able to appreciate this movie's simplistic charm!

August 10, 2002
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

Gadzooks! Methinks I witnessed the World Series of Jousting in A Knight's Tale and actually enjoyed every minute of it.

Full Review… | August 2, 2002
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Overloaded with plot where it doesn't need any ... Its latter acts detract from a movie that could have stood up for itself with its funny irreverance.

Full Review… | July 12, 2002
Window to the Movies

a rousing Cinderella story that cannily combines boisterous comedy, blood-pumping combat scenes and a generous portion of class-crossing romance.

Full Review… | June 9, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Corazón de Caballero no aspira al Oscar; se trata de una realización netamente con la marca de Hollywwod. Pero sin duda es un buen producto.

May 25, 2002

The kind of silly feel-good popcorn movie that film critics generally enjoy ripping apart, and mainstream audiences generally just enjoy.

Full Review… | May 9, 2002
Decent Films Guide

Audience Reviews for A Knight's Tale


Ledger didn't rock me but it's still quite a good, enjoyable movie. Paul Bettany 's role as Chaucer was excellent. Loved the soundtrack and didn't mind the anachronisms.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Okay spoof of medieval movies but what starts out as a jaunty adventure takes far too long to finish up.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Medieval times revamped with a late '70's rock 'n roll/renaissance festival aesthetic, this is a charming, crowd-pleasing dream of the Middle Ages w/o all that dirty, grimy, plague-infested filthiness the times warranted. Enjoy the hedonism or get out of the way. And here certainly is the late Mr.Ledger's most accessible role if not his overall best.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

A Knight's Tale Quotes

I will fong you!
– Submitted by David H (14 months ago)
[seeing Sir Ecktor dead] He's dead
What do you mean Dead?
The spark of his life is smothered in shite....his spirit has gone but his stench remains does that answer your question?
– Submitted by Arjun I (2 years ago)
William Thatcher:
It is strange to think, I haven't seen you since a month. I have seen the new moon, but not you. I have seen sunsets and sunrises, but nothing of your beautiful face. The pieces of my broken heart are so small that they could be passed through the eye of a needle. I miss you like the sun misses the flower; like the sun misses the flower in the depths of winter. Instead of beauty to direct its light to, the heart hardens like the frozen world your absence has banished me to. I next compete in the city of Paris, I will find it empty and in the winter if you are not there. Hope guides me, that is what gets me through the day and especially the night. The hope that after you're gone from my sight, it will not be the last time that I look upon you.
– Submitted by Alec M (2 years ago)
You may feel like a poet, but you sound like an idiot.
– Submitted by David A (2 years ago)
John Thatcher:
[hearing William enter] Is someone there? If you're here for the net, I haven't finished it yet. Who are you?
William Thatcher:
A knight. My name is...Ulrich.
John Thatcher:
I hear your name called out there. What business have you here?
William Thatcher:
I have word, Master Thatcher. Word of your son.
John Thatcher:
[drops his tools] Of my William? Come in, sir. What word? Does he live?
William Thatcher:
Oh yes. He lives. He wanted you to know...he changed his stars after all.
John Thatcher:
[emotion washes over, he starts crying] And has he followed his feet? Has he found his way home at last?
William Thatcher:
Yes. [his father blindly reaches out; now it's William's turn to cry] Oh, Father.
John Thatcher:
Oh, William. Oh my boy. [shoulders shake with sobs as he and his son melt in each other's arms]
– Submitted by Jordan P (2 years ago)
[keeping time with a stick as William and Wat dance] And one, two, and three and four and your hands should be light like a birdy on a branch. And one, two, and three and four and Wat doesn't lead. He follows like a girl.
[looks at William]
William Thatcher:
[shrugs in agreement with Chaucer]
[laughs a bit, then punches Chaucer in the nose]
[with some bloody cotton up his nose moments later, conducting William and Wat] And one, two and twirly, twirly, twirly. One and two and you're still getting it wrong. And one, two, and three and four. You can hit me all day cause you punch like a what?
A girl.
– Submitted by Jordan P (2 years ago)

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