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.

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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, Rovi
PG-13 (for action violence, some nudity and brief sex-related dialogue)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


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 Prince
Leagh Conwell
as Young William
Christopher Cazenove
as John Thatcher
Olivia Williams
as Phillipa Chaucer (uncredited)
Nick Brimble
as Sir Ector
Karel Dobry
as Flanders King of Arms
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 Arms
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
Vaclav Krejcí
as Smithee
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Critic Reviews for A Knight's Tale

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (37)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 21, 2008
Top Critic

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 23, 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.

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.

May 20, 2001
Top Critic

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
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
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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