Box art for A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

action & adventure, comedy, romance

A KNIGHT'S TALE is the rousing story of lowborn William Thatcher's (Ledger) quest to change his stars, win the heart of an exceedingly fair maiden and rock his medieval world.

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common sense

ON for kids age 12
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Slightly edgy medieval tale with rock music.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is very violent, with a lot of shattered lances and battered combatants, but little gore. There is some strong language and a mild sexual situation.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of the use of anachronisms (Wat says, "It's a lance? hel--LO!") to tell this story, and about the loyalty shown by William, Jocelyn, Roland, Wat, and Geoffrey (and Coville) to each other. They should also talk about why Adhemar was willing to do anything to win and how he would have felt if he had been successful. Why does the Prince want to compete without letting anyone know who he is? Why was it important for William to allow Coville to lose with honor? And families should discuss Jocelyn's order to William that he lose to prove his love for her, and whether that was fair or kind. Take a look at Leigh Hunt's poem, "The Glove and the Lions" at for a similar story that concludes, "No love," quoth he, "but vanity sets love a task like that." They might want to take a look at a modernized version of "The Pardoner's Tale" to see if Geoffrey Chaucer kept his word and got his revenge.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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Audience Reviews

5 stars

Easily one of my favorite movies, it has the ability to always entertain and be a thoroughly good. It's style is extremely original, the blending of classic rock with a Medieval jousting story. William's journey to knighthood is both fun and powerful, you have such a huge connection to the characters. The visuals are flawless and the action sequences are amazing. Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon and the evil Rufus Sewell are all essential components to the movie's enjoyment. Even the supporting cast is amazing. Brian Helgeland's vision is really unique and has the ability to deliver on every front possible.

- ythelastman89, Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 stars

A young squire dons his master's armour when he drops dead during a tournament and so sets about impersonating a nobleman to transcend his peasant origins as a champion jouster. History gets the Hollywood treatment as the kiddie-friendly "you can be anything you want to be if you believe in yourself" message gets rammed down our throats yet again. Our square jawed hero is of course valiant in battle but a tongue tied boob in the company of the beautiful princess who is, as all Medieval princesses were, a cross between a Maxim cover girl and a suffragette. Accompanied by bickering, streetwise sidekicks (including Geoffrey Chaucer who is demoted to a cross between a fairground barker and Don King) and finding a nemesis in the shape of a hissable nobleman who inevitably discovers his secret and cheats his way to near victory, this is a live action film with a Disney cartoon script. And as for the soundtrack which is basically a copy of the "Classics Of Rock" CD, it's a conceptual nightmare. Having said all that, the likable cast and pretty visuals began to win me over after a start that is little short of horrifying and it has just enough of a sense of fun and irony to make it more palatable than similar Hollywood bastardisations of history that actually take themselves seriously. As an aging sour puss, it's easy to poke holes in the cliche riddled, corn infested script but at the same time I know that if I'd seen it as a kid, I would've loved it.

- garyX, Friday, May 7, 2010

4 stars

A man can change the stars Movie Quotes: "I give to you, the seeker of serenity, the protector of Italian virginity, the enforcer of our Lord God, the one, the only, Sir Ulllrrrich von Lichtenstein!" "My Lord, the Count Adehmar, Son of Phillip DeVitry, son of Gilles... er... Master of the Free Companies, defender of his enormous manhood, a shining example of chivalry and champagne." "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. In what world could you possibly beat me? " Hehe, after all these years, this movie still cracks me up. Slightly 'Shakespear-esque', modern day rock n roll, cool soundtrack, good acting, story and script. Filled with quirky characters and witty lines, I thought it was quite a riot! There was 1 thing I couldnt really take about this movie though.. and Ill leave it with this quote. "There she is, William. The embodiment of love. Your Venus!" "And ooh how I hate her...."

- Gx7, Sunday, November 15, 2009