A Knight's Tale (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Knight's Tale (2001)



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

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 Thatcher wins and decides to continue his new pursuits. With the help of his two fellow squire friends Wat and Roland (Alan Tudyk and Mark Addy) and none other than the gambling-addicted Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany), Thatcher has soon adopted a false identity and is winning one joust after another on his way to a championship in London. His victories inspire the affection of a female fan, Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), and the ire of a competitor, Count Adehmar (Rufus Sewell), but Thatcher's ruse is threatened with exposure. A Knight's Tale is the sophomore directorial effort of acclaimed screenwriter Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for his work on L.A. Confidential (1997) and debuted behind the camera with the troubled production of Payback (1999). ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for action violence, some nudity and brief sex-related dialogue)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 25, 2001
Box Office: $55.0M
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


Heath Ledger
as William
Rufus Sewell
as Count Adhemar
Paul Bettany
as Chaucer
Mark Addy
as Roland
Bérénice Bejo
as Christiana
Scott Handy
as Germaine
James Purefoy
as Edward, the Black P...
Leagh Conwell
as Young William
Christopher Cazenove
as John Thatcher
Olivia Williams
as Phillipa Chaucer (un...
Nick Brimble
as Sir Ector
Karel Dobry
as Flanders King of Arm...
Philip Lenkowsky
as Rouen King of Arms
Petr Meissel
as Sword Official
Mathew Mills
as Colville's Herald
Daniel Rous
as Local Earl Lagny
Miroslav Mokos
as French Squire
Noel le Bon
as French Squire
Scott Bellefeuille
as French Squire
David Schneider
as Relic Seller
Rudolf Kubik
as Paris Master of Arms
David Fisher
as London Master of Arm...
David Sterne
as Retired Knight
Alice Connor
as Lone Girl
Berwick Kaler
as Man in Stocks
Howie Lotker
as Lagny Master at Arms
Jan Kuzelka
as Smithee
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Knight's Tale

Critic Reviews for A Knight's Tale

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (39)

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

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

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

A Knight's Tale Quotes

– Submitted by David H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Arjun I (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Alec M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by David A (3 years ago)

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