Box art for Anna and the King

Anna and the King

drama


The tale of Anna Leonowens' (Jodie Foster) culture clash and unexpected romance with King Mongkut, the King of Siam (Chow Yun-Fat), is retold in this lavish production.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    51%
  • Audience Score
    64%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Intense, mature version of The King and I.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is some very intense violence, including battle scenes, bloody beatings, and non-graphic but very tense beheadings. Dead bodies hang from a tree and soldiers are poisoned. There is a very sad death of a child. There are references to the king's many wives and concubines and one reluctant concubine is shown being prepared for her first night with him, and being reassured that he is a generous lover. The king smokes cigars and the boys try one.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about cultural diversity and how we distinguish between fundamental truths and cultural differences, the challenges of power (for example, the constant threats from those who want to seize it), and the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who tell us the truth, even when it is hard to hear.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    51%
    reviews counted: 24
    see all Anna and the King reviews
  • Audience

    64%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A grand retelling of an iconic story.

- Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh:

- Chuck Walton, Hollywood.com, Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fresh:

- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor, Saturday, October 14, 2006

Audience Reviews

2 stars

The plot wasn't focused enough, trying to fit in too many themes and coming up short and shallow on every one. Wonderful cinematography though, with beautiful locations.

- fb1672039553, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 stars

The plot wasn't focused enough, trying to fit in too many themes and coming up short and shallow on every one. Wonderful cinematography though, with beautiful locations.

- fb1672039553, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3 stars

The king of Siam employs a British woman to teach his more than fifty children. This is lush costume drama, full of all the pomp and circumstance and majestic panning shots that you would expect. Occasionally the cinematography actually reminded me of The English Patient which is no small compliment. And Jodie Foster is a premier actress, especially when it comes to playing vulnerability and her character's attempts at overcoming vulnerability. She has that pout and fearful but determined look in her eye on full display in many of her scenes. However, I think the film is quite muddled and uneven. First, there is a great deal of talk about colonization. After all, one of the principal conflicts in the film is internal to the king's educative mission: how does he push for modernization when the definition of modernity is to be like his oppressors? How does he resolve the contradiction of tradition and modernity? These are compelling questions, both academically and cinematically. But they are not adequately explored. For example, Anna travels with two Indian servants, and their objections to colonization's evils are restricted to a single look they share during the first ten minutes of the film. What is more, the king has few scenes taking this conflict on head-on, and the one character who does is later villainized. Second, the film is uneven because there are several dramatic, heart-tugging scenes that are immediately followed by sprawling shots of beautiful scenery or teaching sequences in which everybody is smiling and laughing as though nothing of consequence happened just five seconds ago. Overall, despite Foster's classic performance -- the type that has made her famous -- there are still too many structural flaws to ignore.

- hunterjt13, Friday, August 19, 2011