King Arthur - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

King Arthur Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
July 15, 2004
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 15, 2004
Gladiator lite.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 12, 2004
I loved the notion of the Dark Ages as the Wild West with swords. Thumbs up.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
July 10, 2004
If this is history demystified, give me myth.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 10, 2004
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.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
July 9, 2004
By going back to its origins and dusting itself off, the King Arthur story has proved itself to have a very contemporary resonance.
Top Critic
July 8, 2004
Profoundly stupid and inept, but it's an endless source of giggles.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
July 8, 2004
If King Arthur is as magnificently ridiculous as any Bruckheimer picture, its thuggish charms, which owe as much to Monty Python as to Sam Peckinpah, more than pick up the slack.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
July 8, 2004
Though King Arthur is set in ancient times, there's not much difference between this movie and Fuqua's recent film Tears of the Sun.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 7, 2004
It's a solid, somber, rousing piece of studio zirconium: cobbled together from Gladiator, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, The Magnificent Seven, and five tons of Hollywood hooey.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 7, 2004
That the movie works is because of the considerable production qualities and the charisma of the actors, who bring more interest to the characters than they deserve.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 7, 2004
A fine pretender to the historical action crown Ridley Scott's Gladiator reforged.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 7, 2004
For all this silly spin, King Arthur is a better movie than you might have expected.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 7, 2004
Most folks, when asked about the legend of King Arthur, don't immediately conjure up an image of Keira Knightley in a leather bikini.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 7, 2004
This middling King Arthur doesn't waste time developing character -- or coherence -- when a big, joyless, synthetic battle will do.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 7, 2004
May the gods protect us from modernists messing with our myths.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 7, 2004
Forget all that accuracy business and just enjoy the movie for what it is: a large-scale, passably engrossing tale of valiant knights doing valiant deeds.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
July 7, 2004
This version has action, yes, but the love triangle among Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot is diluted, and there's nothing exuberant about a dutiful slog through the muck.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 7, 2004
King Arthur may be far closer to the facts than anything in Le Morte D'Arthur -- and far grittier than Hollywood's old Knights of the Round Table or The Sword in the Stone. But there's nothing true in it at all.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 7, 2004
Such a bastardization of the tale that it works as neither history nor legend. And with the romance gone, only the blood and guts remain.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 7, 2004
This Arthur is long and somber, broken up by crowded, clanging battle scenes that lack the visceral thrills of, say, Braveheart.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 7, 2004
Combines the plodding sincerity of a Ph.D. dissertation with the brains of a high-concept Jerry Bruckheimer- produced blockbuster (which it is), and no one benefits.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 7, 2004
There's serious intent here, but an often thudding execution.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
July 7, 2004
Two hours of relentless battle, badly stitched together with a hard-to-follow story fashioned to give maximum opportunity for big, brawny guys to bash each other.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
July 7, 2004
Never seems to quite know what's on its mind, though individual scenes (a cool battle on the ice) have their moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 7, 2004
Overall, Arthur fails to stir the spirit; its constant talk of freedom seems hollow.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 7, 2004
Boasts all the hallmarks of the '50s historic epic save the presence of Tony Curtis.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 6, 2004
The film may be set in the Dark Ages, but the cliches are vintage sixties Hollywood.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
July 6, 2004
Just as we're ready to write this film off as Bad Boys in tights -- or a dull, Earthbound cousin to Lord of the Rings -- director Fuqua and his team of production experts wow us with an eye-popping tableau or panorama.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
July 6, 2004
As a primer in the thuggish territorial land grabs of the Dark Ages, it gets the adrenalin flowing and makes us want to learn more. But the sheer density of the historical material is often at odds with the cut-and-dried requirements of the action genre.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 6, 2004
It's likely to remind viewers of Braveheart -- except without the emotion.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
July 6, 2004
One of the reasons this film works is that we don't feel as if we're watching these people through the scrim of history and legend -- they feel immediate, even contemporary.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
July 6, 2004
There are things to respect about King Arthur. Just not a great deal to like.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 6, 2004
Devotees of chivalry and Camelot should look elsewhere.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 6, 2004
King Arthur won't charm you, hardly ever will thrill you, and certainly will have you laughing less with it than at it.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 6, 2004
Antoine Fuqua's version of the King Arthur legend includes an element of broad, brawny camp that prevents the movie from being a complete drag.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
July 6, 2004
It turns out to be as much of a swoony valentine to a social ideal that never existed as any other Arthurian text. But at least it takes the conversation with history somewhat seriously.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 6, 2004
Impressively made and well acted.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 6, 2004
A smart action movie.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 6, 2004
The term 'unintentional comedy' was coined for a movie such as this.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4