Box art for Excalibur

Excalibur

action & adventure, drama, sci-fi & fantasy


Medieval times are brought to vivid life in this stylish retelling of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and the rise and fall of Camelot. Starring Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    82%
  • Audience Score
    81%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5

Epic King Arthur saga with illicit affairs and brutality.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is no bedtime-fairy tale. Sex, gore, and death are fairly explicit in this version of the Arthur story, with bare breasts and buttocks especially in the Lancelot-Guinevere affair. Violence in combat includes impalings, sword- and axe-thrusts, throat slashings, beheadings, and a near-drowning, though the edge is taken off by the old-fashioned special effects. A matricide by strangulation. Nightmare imagery of rotting corpses dead in their armor. Christianity -- at least a Dark Ages brand of it -- is treated respectfully.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the centuries-old appeal of the story of King Arthur. How does this version compare to others?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to more modern movies? Is it less intense because it's less sophisticated?
  • How does the period clothing and setting affect the way the sex is depicted, if at all? Does it seem less realistic than if it were depicted in a modern setting? Or more shocking? Romantic?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    82%
    reviews counted: 6
    see all Excalibur reviews
  • Audience

    81%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: So far the most honest and most powerful on-screen depiction of the ancient and universal legend.

- Dragan Antulov, rec.arts.movies.reviews, Monday, March 29, 2010

Fresh:

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: ...romantic and brutal, lyrically beautiful yet grittily realistic.

- John J. Puccio, DVDTown.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Simply the best Arthurian legend movie ever made. John Boorman was at his best directing this film.

- jmanard52, Thursday, March 22, 2007

5 stars

Simply the best Arthurian legend movie ever made. John Boorman was at his best directing this film.

- jmanard52, Thursday, March 22, 2007

4 stars

Still the movie that sticks closest to the King Arthur myth in its original form, this film is like a strike with a two-hand blade. Beautifully filmed in real set pieces and landscapes the film never feels cheap or fake, despite of its early 1980s origin. Same goes for the costumes, weapon and armor. Things are dirty, bloody and feel accordingly real. Of course, the story does contain Merlin's magic and ultimately the search for the holy grail, so the film does not pretend to be an actual medieval history lesson. But even with a couple of clumsy scenes and dialogs, the film delivers on every level: The battles are cool, there is eye candy, romance, fantasy and gore. When the knights ride through the cherry tree fields to the music of the Carmina Burana you know there is hell to pay. A mesmerizing and fascinating piece of film making of Wagnerian proportions that stood the test of time.

- ironclad1609, Monday, July 16, 2012