Christian Living


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, christian movie reviews
Star Rating
Movie Info


PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language


Action/Adventure, Drama


May 12, 2017


Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Tom Wu


Guy Ritchie


Warner Bros.

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

This is King Arthur, Guy Ritchie style. If you saw and liked Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr., then you've got a good idea of what to expect from the British director's revamp of Arthur's legend. True to form, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has a Ritchie look – in color, tone, score, comedy, and action.

What King Arthur dives into on a much deeper level than Sherlock Holmes is sorcery. It's decidedly darker. The famed Merlin doesn't show up in this incarnation of Arthur's fable, but the "dark arts" play a major role.

In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is a rough and tumble hustler who makes his way in the world working out of a brothel. His true identity isn't revealed until he pulls the magical sword Excalibur from a stone. This feat signs his death warrant – as cruel King Vortigern (Jude Law) hunts down an alleged heir of his late brother, King Uther (Eric Bana). Vortigern's kingdom lives in darkness. He uses magic to oppress the people and there is no hope – until Arthur.

The dialogue is clever. The costumes and set design look spectacular. The cinematography and sharp editing grab you and don't let go. And film composer Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) lays a striking score as the track for this (mostly) fast-paced, modern production of the classic tale.

However, Arthur's story falters – to a degree – under the weight of Guy Ritchie's signature talents. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a larger-than-life fantasy movie complete with mythical creatures, but the personal drama and moral of this saga get a little bit lost in the middle of it all. It lags on occasion as well.

Sorcery is the cornerstone of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The original legend had its spells and this one definitely does too. Magic is central not only to the villain's storyline, but Arthur and his "knights" are also aided by it in the form of a mage (a young woman from Merlin's camp).

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword definitely earns its PG-13 rating (for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content, and brief strong language). The bloody bits aren't in your face (except for a scene when King Vortigern cuts off a man's ear). Also, two F-bombs are dropped (one use was just mouthed – hence the PG-13 rating). People die throughout the movie; there's more than just one battle scene in this film.

Legend of the Sword's main messages are summed up on its posters: "Temptation blackens the heart" and "From nothing comes a king." The movie ends up being a parable about a power-greedy man who sells his soul to gain it all and the nobody who defeats utter darkness to reclaim his inheritance and set free his people.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will be the first of many as Guy Ritchie and Warner Bros. kick start a medieval "superhero" franchise. This first installment, well, Ritchie fans will like it. For its dabblings in sorcery and its faults, most of you will not.

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