The Man Who Would Be King - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Would Be King Reviews

Page 1 of 44
November 23, 2016
Sean Connery and Michael Caine play a pair of razor-sharp scoundrels, scamming their way through an east Asian joyride during the twilight of the 19th century. On a thoroughly unpredictable adventure, the duo constantly converts lemon to lemonade as they meander from a publisher's office in India to a fictional holy land in the desert. There, intending to conquer a few villages and live the high life, the stakes suddenly spike as they find themselves anointed saviors, kings and (eventually) gods. Connery and Caine, good friends away from the screen, bubble with chemistry throughout. Their relationship is essential, and that obvious bond lifts an already-ambitious screenplay into something greater than the sum of its parts. When viewed with contemporary eyes, the pace is a little slow, akin to similar films of the era, but that deliberate tempo reaps unique rewards. By lingering in the atmosphere and dutifully setting the stage, director John Huston expertly depicts the vast cultural differences between our conniving, almost-modern Brits and the ancient ways of life still at play in turn-of-the-century Asia. A fine example of old-style filmmaking, loaded with snappy humor, surprising plot turns, high stakes and creeping peril.
August 10, 2016
Simply one of my favourite films of all time, since long before who I knew who John Huston was. It's a beautifully shot film with a compelling story and a brilliant rapport between two perfectly cast stars at the height of their powers (as well as great supporting performance by Christopher Plummer). Looking back, you can see the themes common to so many John Huston films - old fashioned rugged masculinity, obsession, and the corrupting power of riches. It follows Kipling's story quite faithfully and is therefore unabashedly orientalist, representing the worldview of its Victorian British characters (and of its author). It's probably not a film that would get made today, but taken on its own terms, it's a wonderful film.
April 17, 2016
I had planned on reading the popular book from Kipling but then I stumbled onto the movie. There are many classic adventure books that, after soaring to literary heights, plummeted when daft hands got hold of them and turned them into muddled unimpressive films. But when John Huston gets his hands on something, it will be impressive. However, I won't fawn over this film like the critics have. This epic is more haunting (at its best) and near ridiculous, in most respects, than memorable and moving. It is wrapped nicely though with grand sets, hundreds if not thousands of extras, and everything needed for an adventure; war, treasure, an ancient city, and two bumbling comics with a talent for disruption on a national scale. While I don't consider this a masterpiece, I wanted to watch it because where else do you get to see Michael Caine and Sean Connery fumbling around with swords, costumes, and conquest. I think Huston saw the potential for the grandeur of Kipling's tale but for me, 40 years after its release, there's not much in it that leaves an impression. It isn't a film for modern audiences but a more patient one. It has humor but it also suffers from implausibility and at the end of the day, who cares what happens in this superstitious remote part of the world. Hate to say it, but indifference is what happened. Reflecting, I do see pride becomes the villain and reconciliation is only possible after the truth is set free. While a solid adaptation, it isn't up there with my favorite epics but actually closer to the bottom half of large scale extravaganza that doesn't really leave you with anything.
February 9, 2016
Great acting, moving and cool characters.
½ December 12, 2015
My dad suggested we watch this together. It was a very interesting movie. It didn't conform to the predictable story line, and left me feeling a bit morose, but the cultural exploration and the spirit of the adventurer were depicted well.
½ November 21, 2015
Classic story of adventure that still holds up today, with great acting.
November 7, 2015
Good movie, kinda funny. Oh! Michael Caine. This fantastic movie has a young Michael Caine. He's an awesome actor, but also hot. Very hot.
September 26, 2015
Looking at some of the bad reviews of this film, I would say that this is one film that rewards repeated viewings.
September 18, 2015
Witting dialogue and fine direction with some great battle scenes. It serves to be both a great comedy and adventure film.
½ September 2, 2015
Classic action, Kipling story, Connery and Caine. Superb
July 3, 2015
Two rogues at they're very best. Outstanding.
May 29, 2015
one of my top 22 films
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2015
Good. Not great, merely good.
½ January 20, 2015
La pelicula de aventuras por excelencia.
½ October 10, 2014
Though huge in scope and scenery was vast, it dragged too much and is dated. Charmimg and lucky con-men weren't charming or lucky enough.
May 4, 2014
Sunday afternoon. :-)
April 20, 2014
A cinematic masterpiece
April 16, 2014
Stick with it - it's great.
½ March 21, 2014
First watched this movie at the age of twelve and ran that VHS tape ragged. A wonderful and exciting adventure!
March 6, 2014
Two classic actors, and a classic director (Maltese Falcon, Sierra Madre) turn Kipling's 19th century legend into a strange colonial comedy. Dated, and too long.
Page 1 of 44