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Critic Reviews

A title card says this King Arthur, grimly directed by Antoine Fuqua, is based on the latest research into the mythic past. Maybe so. But one can't help thinking the research that really counted was that into the more recent box-office charts.

-Richard SchickelFull Review

Gladiator lite.

-Peter Travers

I loved the notion of the Dark Ages as the Wild West with swords. Thumbs up.

-Richard RoeperFull Review

If this is history demystified, give me myth.

-Jonathan RosenbaumFull Review

It's hard to care about a valiant groping for accuracy when a story is so badly told you can't tell what the devil is going on.

-Stephanie ZacharekFull Review

By going back to its origins and dusting itself off, the King Arthur story has proved itself to have a very contemporary resonance.

-Michael O'SullivanFull Review

Profoundly stupid and inept, but it's an endless source of giggles.

-David EdelsteinFull Review

Though King Arthur is set in ancient times, there's not much difference between this movie and Fuqua's recent film Tears of the Sun.

-Bill MullerFull Review

It's a solid, somber, rousing piece of studio zirconium: cobbled together from Gladiator, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, The Magnificent Seven, and five tons of Hollywood hooey.

-Ty BurrFull Review

That the movie works is because of the considerable production qualities and the charisma of the actors, who bring more interest to the characters than they deserve.

-Roger EbertFull Review

A fine pretender to the historical action crown Ridley Scott's Gladiator reforged.

-Lisa KennedyFull Review

For all this silly spin, King Arthur is a better movie than you might have expected.

-Terry LawsonFull Review

Most folks, when asked about the legend of King Arthur, don't immediately conjure up an image of Keira Knightley in a leather bikini.

-Tom Long

This middling King Arthur doesn't waste time developing character -- or coherence -- when a big, joyless, synthetic battle will do.

-Lisa SchwarzbaumFull Review

May the gods protect us from modernists messing with our myths.

-Rick GroenFull Review

Forget all that accuracy business and just enjoy the movie for what it is: a large-scale, passably engrossing tale of valiant knights doing valiant deeds.

-Rene RodriguezFull Review

This version has action, yes, but the love triangle among Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot is diluted, and there's nothing exuberant about a dutiful slog through the muck.

-Jami BernardFull Review

King Arthur may be far closer to the facts than anything in Le Morte D'Arthur -- and far grittier than Hollywood's old Knights of the Round Table or The Sword in the Stone. But there's nothing true in it at all.

-Stephen WhittyFull Review

Such a bastardization of the tale that it works as neither history nor legend. And with the romance gone, only the blood and guts remain.

-Roger MooreFull Review

This Arthur is long and somber, broken up by crowded, clanging battle scenes that lack the visceral thrills of, say, Braveheart.

-Steven Rea

We've reached a sad point when everything in movies has to be masculine -- when it's considered weak (and uncommercial) to be soft and feminine.

-Joe BaltakeFull Review

Combines the plodding sincerity of a Ph.D. dissertation with the brains of a high-concept Jerry Bruckheimer- produced blockbuster (which it is), and no one benefits.

-Mick LaSalleFull Review

There's serious intent here, but an often thudding execution.

-Moira MacDonaldFull Review

Two hours of relentless battle, badly stitched together with a hard-to-follow story fashioned to give maximum opportunity for big, brawny guys to bash each other.

-Susan WalkerFull Review

Never seems to quite know what's on its mind, though individual scenes (a cool battle on the ice) have their moments.

-Mike ClarkFull Review

Overall, Arthur fails to stir the spirit; its constant talk of freedom seems hollow.

-Robert Denerstein

Boasts all the hallmarks of the '50s historic epic save the presence of Tony Curtis.

-Stephen HunterFull Review

The film may be set in the Dark Ages, but the cliches are vintage sixties Hollywood.

-Peter RainerFull Review

Just as we're ready to write this film off as Bad Boys in tights -- or a dull, Earthbound cousin to Lord of the Rings -- director Fuqua and his team of production experts wow us with an eye-popping tableau or panorama.

-Glenn Lovell

As a primer in the thuggish territorial land grabs of the Dark Ages, it gets the adrenalin flowing and makes us want to learn more. But the sheer density of the historical material is often at odds with the cut-and-dried requirements of the action genre.

-Jan StuartFull Review


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