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King Arthur (2004)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  7 July 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 128,146 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 881 user | 171 critic | 39 from

A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Kinevane ...
Ivano Marescotti ...


Based on a more realistic portrayal of "Arthur" than has ever been presented onscreen. The film will focus on the history and politics of the period during which Arthur ruled -- when the Roman empire collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries -- as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale on which past Arthur films have focused. Written by Scott Summerton

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Rule Your Fate See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |

Release Date:

7 July 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Arthur: Director's Cut  »

Box Office


$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,193,907 (USA) (9 July 2004)


$3,165,602 (Brazil) (5 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| | | (5.1) (L-R)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After several poor test screenings, the producers became concerned that there wasn't enough humor in the film, and on June 16, thirteen days before the US premiere, the scene in which Bors (Ray Winstone) reveals that his numerous children have numbers instead of names was shot. See more »


When Arthur and Guinevere are standing together and Arthur is grieving over Dagonet's death, Guinevere puts her hand on Arthur's face under his left ear but in the next shot her hand is in a different position. See more »


[first lines]
Lancelot: [voiceover] By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »


Version of Excalibur (1981) See more »


Amergin's Invocation
Composed by Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fresh Look On An Old Theme
4 August 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

And I loved it!

Not just the new take on the King Arthur legend and the able cast, but the colors, the costumes, the landscapes, the horses, and Hans Zimmer's heart-pounding score.

I'm no King Arthur scholar but I have always been enamored with the chivalric ideals. It's great to see the knights in shining armor and Merlin conjuring up the mists and casting spells, and the young Arthur pulling Excalibur out of the stone.

But I went into this movie with an open mind. I was swiftly transported to that earlier time and happy for the journey. I could see where the elements of the now oh-so-familiar Arthurian themes may have had their beginnings. I found the on-screen chemistry between Ioan Gruffod and Clive Owen to be very powerful and it provided poignant counterpoint to Lancelot's most fateful choice.

The love triangle was never my favorite part of the Arthurian legends, so the subtle treatment of it here didn't bother me at all. In fact, I found it more intriguing in this film than in any other King Arthur movie I've seen.

I loved that there was no hocus-pocus-type magic. Instead the magic was in nature itself - the landscapes, the forests, the rain, the fog, the ice and snow - all creating an other-worldly atmosphere along with Moya Brennan's haunting vocals and Hans Zimmer's stirring score.

I loved the knights. I loved the idea that they were just regular guys and, in effect, drafted into military service. Not the privileged elite who volunteered their services to a king. Yet it is apparent that the Sarmatian knights fought more out of their love and respect for Arthur than any duty to Rome. That comraderie feels very organic and the sentiments, pure. I liked that they're not all wearing the same uniform, that they might have picked up pieces here and there as spoils of war.

I was especially captivated by Mads Mikkelson's Tristan. There appeared to be Eastern influences in his tattoos, clothing, sword, and fighting style. I love the idea of Lancelot using two swords. And I learned something about battlefield strategy, too.

Whatever shortcomings this movie may have, I found heart and soul in it. It was not only entertaining, it touched all my senses, and I felt good when I walked out of the theatre.

229 of 341 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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