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critics consensus

This disturbing film about the past coming back demanding its due evokes classical tragedy, but is ultimately too heavy-handed. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Following his discharge from the Navy, a young man named Elvis travels to Texas and tells a preacher that he is the man's illegitimate son. His handsome face hides the soul of a devil, though, and as soon as he worms his way into the clergyman's life, he commits unforgivable crimes against the family.

Cast & Crew

Gael García Bernal
Elvis Sandow
William Hurt
Pastor David Sandow
Paul Dano
Paul Sandow
Pell James
Malerie Sandow
Laura Harring
Twyla Sandow
Jessica Schwartz
Diane
Mohammad Ahmed
Mr. Chopra
Michele Harrington
Church Member
Edward R. Pressman
Executive Producer
John Schmidt
Executive Producer
Sofia Sondervan
Executive Producer
Eigil Bryld
Cinematographer
Jinx Godfrey
Film Editor
Sharon Lornofsky
Production Design
Sally Nicolaou Hamilton
Set Decoration
Lee Hunsaker
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The King

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (34)

Audience Reviews for The King

  • Oct 30, 2009
    A great movie spoiled by a lousy ending
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2008
    This movie is a bit f'ed, but I really like it. I saw it years ago and was delighted to find a $3 copy at the op shop recently. Stood up well to a rewatch, particularly as I had forgotten how it ends. Disturbed young man hunts down the father he never met, a devoutly religious man, and becomes romantically involved with his half sister (who had no idea they are related). Turns very dark by the end.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2008
    Somehow against all odds The King is dark yet somehow fulfilling. Bernal is terrific in a role where he hides who he really is. His actions seem to come off with no malicious intent despite the obvious destruction they could cause. It makes for an extremely creepy and twisted protagonist. This isn't someone who lurks in the shadows or gives you the evil eye from a distance, no twiddling of mustaches either. The revenge aspect is handled brilliantly to the point where it doesn't feel like a revenge film. It starts off with very gritty hand held camera work but as the film progresses to a more suburban local the camera settles and bright greens make it look like a pleasant world. This is also the time that religious aspects enter the film. Hurt has created an eden and left his past sins behind him but Bernal is a snake. The final integration of the King into the family environment is heartbreaking on all accounts as the metaphorical wrecking ball is just off in the distance. It's excellent stuff and crafted with care and passion without ever being heavy handed or inaccessible.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2008
    The King is dead.Pronounce the actual king.Elvis...isn't it ironic?Whether it's fiction or not,the protagonist is a punisher,a living avenging machine.Bernal is vicious under his cold expression and despite some straightforward situations after 45 minutes,it'll give you a specific thought against religious intolerance towards the end.Great film but no masterpiece.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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