Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

1991

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Critics Consensus

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves brings a wonderfully villainous Alan Rickman to this oft-adapted tale, but he's robbed by big-budget bombast and a muddled screenplay.

51%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 53

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 334,680
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Movie Info

This film is a '90s version of the classic Robin Hood story, with Kevin Costner starring as the good-guy thief. Costner is joined in his efforts against the murdering Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman) by Morgan Freeman who plays a philosophizing Moor, and by Nick Brimble, who plays Little John (anything but little). After Robin barely survives a watery skirmish with Little John, the two become allies and Robin joins forces with Little John's band of robber thieves to overcome the evils of the dastardly Nottingham sheriff. ~ Rovi

Cast

Kevin Costner
as Robin of Locksley
Alan Rickman
as Sheriff of Nottingham
Christian Slater
as Will Scarlett
Michael McShane
as Friar Tuck
Brian Blessed
as Lord Locksley
Michael Wincott
as Guy of Gisborne
Sean Connery
as King Richard
Nick Brimble
as Little John
Liam Halligan
as Peter Dubois
Marc Zuber
as Turk Interrogator
Bobby Parr
as Villager
John Francis
as Courier
John Hallam
as Red Headed Baron
Douglas Blackwell
as Grey Bearded Baron
Pat Roach
as Celtic Chieftain
Derek Deadman
as Kneelock
Andrew Lawden
as Sergeant
Susannah Corbett
as Lady in Coach
Sarah Alexandra
as Small Girl
Richard Strange
as Executioner
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News & Interviews for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Critic Reviews for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (26)

Audience Reviews for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

  • Dec 21, 2015
    There's entertainment to found in the utter cheesiness of it all. At no point does the movie take itself seriously, so I'm willing to forgive a lot of it's dumb elements. The concerted effort exerted on the parts of Rickman and the filmmakers to make The Sheriff of Nottingham as evil as possible is impressive.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2015
    A story that's been told so many times over the years and this brings nothing new to the table, Ok yh it's fun and entertaining mostly but the script is poor and the humour didn't work, The action was ok should of been better, All the cast did ok but it was a very strong cast and should of been better, The main problem with Robin Hood over the years is it gets too much into the love story than anything else and yet again we are left with a movie that could/should of been much better than a romance film with bows and arrows, Even the soundtrack is a bloody love song for god sake.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2015
    At a paltry(!) 2 hours and 35 minutes, this may just be the shortest Costner film ever. It's just the Costnerisation of the Robin Hood story, and there's nothing wrong with that.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2013
    It's Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman and, in a cameo appearance, Sean Connery ostensibly in some kind of a contest to see who has the most distinctive voice. They couldn't possibly be competing to see who does the best English accent, because Costner is facing enough of an overwhelming challenge in a contest with Morgan Freeman to see who has the most distinctive voice, and plus, even though he shouldn't technically count, seeing as how he is actually English, Rickman's accent is so darn English that any English accent-off within a perimeter occupied him is automatically cancelled out. Eh, maybe the game would be in session, for although Rickman is about as British as it gets, you're bound to forget that there's anyone who's not American in this film, seeing as how this project, in all of its unsubtle and financially overblown glory, is just so blasted 'Merican that it featured a hit song by Bryan Adams. Granted, Adams is Canadian, but the point is that this film spent money the old-fashioned American way, by bloating itself into a huge medium for commercial entertainment, even if such pieces of entertainment didn't even come close to fitting a swashbuckling adventure film set in the Middle Ages. Man, first it was this film, then it was "The Three Musketeers", so Adams really was getting into ticking historians and, well, people with a basic understanding of what makes music good off in the early [u]19[/u]90s (I have to emphasize that, because as this film's soundtrack will tell you, you can't always trust that people are going to fully understand timelines), but hey, I doubt Costner and Kevin Reynolds were complaining back in 1991, because they got their money. I hope they enjoyed it, because "Waterworld" certainly flopped like a fish upon it's release, especially compared to this film, even when it comes to critical success, and this film was by no means a runaway critical hit. Still, its reviews were decent, and justly so, as this film is a reasonably fun one, and yet, believe it or not Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You" is hardly it's biggest problem. Lengthy though it may be, this film is still a commercial adventure fluff piece, and therefore cannot afford to slow down too much, which would be just fine if the constant momentum of this film's structure didn't come at the expense of expository depth, for although you get an adequate understanding of the characters and their story, there are still many glaring lapses in development that distance you a bit from this story, not matter how familiar it is, not necessarily as a recognized legend that has been celebrated time and again throughout the age, but as a formulaic effort. The film isn't necessarily frustratingly generic enough to be all-out trite, but it is so conventional that it doesn't stray away from trite as much as it probably should, frequently and rather cheesily collapsing into trope after trope, until, before you know it, predictability that is firmly established enough by this story's being so well-known finds itself pumped to the umpth degree. I'm not asking for all that much uniqueness within the telling of this tale that you probably can't deliver in an original fashion (For goodness' sake, they've already interpreted this story with cartoon animals), but this films tells this classic tale in too conventional of a fashion, and takes longer than it should to do so. Running just under two-and-a-half hours, or in the case of the extended edition... just over two-and-a-half hours (Doesn't seem like much of an extended edition, at least compared to the extended version of the following Kevin Costner-starring Kevin Reynolds film that, for some reason, ended up running nearly three hours), this film, in spite of its cutting back on such things as expository depth, is hardly a brief affair, being not necessarily bloated with excess filler, but rather repetitious, wandering along its formulaic plotting and making the final product longer than it probably should be, seeing as how it, in most every other way, is so very fluffy. The film is a popcorn piece, and while such popcorn is tasty, when kernels in the form of pop cheesiness get stuck in your teeth, they're fairly bothersome, with Pen Densham's and John Watson's script being uneven with colorful dialogue and set pieces that dance between Middle age romanticism and sometimes with anachronistic-seeming informality, but consistently carries a tendency to get corny, while melodrama and certain other over-the-top areas in storytelling go backed by an overbearing atmosphere established by Kevin Reynolds that, time and again, throws you off. The film is often not as cornball as I make it sound, but sometimes it is, and while there is enough that's well-crafted or entertaining here for you to have a reasonably fun time, engagement value goes so challenged by this film's unevenness and fluffiness that it ends up slipping deep into underwhelmingness, from which it never really escapes throughout its overlong course. That being said, while the film never makes it past decent, it also never truly descends into mediocrity, being flawed as all get-out, but ultimately enjoyable enough to keep you going with anything from thrills to a lively score. Prominently played up throughout the film, Michael Kamen's score boasts a conventionalism that adds to the film's storytelling's conventionalism, as well as a certain sweeping liveliness whose intense use adds to cheesiness, yet still does a lot to drive the film's entertainment value, as the aforementioned liveliness of Kamen's musical tastes are generally played up in a fashion that is not only musically enjoyable, but a spirited compliment to this film's color, which is abundant. Again, this is a popcorn fluff piece, and therefore has a lot of color behind it to be augmented by musical liveliness that helps in selling the film's tone, as surely as the production designs help in selling the film's setting, at least to a certain degree, because as relatively well-funded as this film is, production designer John Graysmark's and costume designer John Bloomfield's efforts aren't as impressively intricate as you would expect, yet they remain competently done enough to sell you on the era just fine as neatly distinct. The film spends its money reasonably well, but really, there could be more value to the final product as a well-budgeted popcorn piece, even though the film typically compensates for its production shortcomings with action sequences that aren't necessarily stellar, but still thrill more than expected, with tight staging, backed by reasonably stylish filming and editing that make all of the duels, chases and battles thrilling enough to mark momentary particular heights in entertainment value. Action sequences, of which there are only so many, are worth waiting for, but quite frankly, the film is consistent when it comes to turning in harmless commercial entertainment, something that this effort perhaps deserves more than, - especially when the fluffiness gets carried away - but still firmly establishes a certain charm that goes augmented by a pretty colorful cast. All to often doing nothing more than seeking out stars to feed the attractiveness of this cast, this film finds itself miscasting more than a few character, some of whom are made all the more disengaging by improvable performances (*cough*Chris*cough*tian*cough*Slater*cough*), yet many of the performers within this hefty cast compensate for casting issues with, at the very least, plenty of charm, with show-stealers Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman being charismatically convincing as the honorable, wise and misunderstood Moor companion to Robin Hood and the deliciously corrupt man of power, respectively, while leading man Kevin Costner feels particularly miscast, and doesn't help with an uneven English accent that feels oh so thinly faux when it is, in fact, attempted at all, yet to a certain degree, he holds your investment with a performance that is charged by, if nothing else, Costner's trademark winning charm. There's plenty of onscreen charm to do a decent job of driving much of the fun factor within this fluffy adventure opus, but when it's all said and done, in order for this film to succeed enough to stand as decently entertaining, a certain offscreen performance needs to be backed by charm, and sure enough, while director Kevin Reynolds, as a storyteller, is simply not good enough for this film to be as well-rounded and genuine-feeling as he desperately wants it to be, the strengths spawned from the heart within Reynolds' ambitious atmosphere structuring are hard to fully ignore, gracing this structurally overdrawn film with a generally smooth pacing, as well a consistent liveliness that keeps you from drifting too far away from the final product. If this film is nothing else, it is very entertaining, and while that is not enough for the final product to come close to standing as rewarding, thorough charm and popcorn fun make the final product decent, in spite of its wealth of flaws. Overall, the film is underdeveloped and overlong, with a script that is rich with conventionalism and a cheesy lack of subtlety, and direction that is too atmospherically overblown and, of course, overambitious for the final product to stand a chance of escaping underwhelmingness, which still doesn't dig so deeply into the final product that it loses decency, sustained by the colorful score work, adequate production value, exciting action sequences, charming performances and generally well-paced, lively direction that make Kevin Reynolds' "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" a thoroughly entertaining popcorn piece of an interpretation of a legendary tale, regardless of mishaps. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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