A Knight's Tale (2001) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
684 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Could've been an absolute bomb, but somehow magically works perfectly!
kergillian30 April 2001
this film is ridiculously unbelievable, thin on plot, shamefully predictable, historically inaccurate in so many ways...yet it all works! The combination of modern music to medieval setting should be awful, but no, it works! The costumes are totally wrong for the period (on purpose I'd hazard to guess - at one point Angelina Jolie lookalike Shannyn Sossamon is wearing a hat & dress outfit that looks startlingly similar to a costume Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman...) but it works! Heath Ledger is an Aussie (what happened to the black hair he had in 10 Things I Hate About You! I didn't recognize him!) and Alan Tudyk is a Texan, so their accents should have tanked! But they didn't, just a few slippages a la Mel Gibson in Braveheart or Jonny Lee Miller in Hackers...

This film is funny, fast-paced (certainly didn't *feel* over 2h...), well constructed, hilariously tongue-in-cheek (From the We Will Rock You opening scene to the Nike swooshes on the armor I couldn't stop laughing!) It certainly has its problems (including some *horribly* cheezy lines - most on purpose but that doesn't make them any less horrible! and an evil Hollywood ending - including a Bravheart-like scream of defiance in the final joust that made me cringe...) but those problems are overcome by sharp wit and consistent amusement. The actors were obviously enjoying themselves, and the action was beautifully blended in with the rest of the film. None of the jousting scenes were too long (like, say, the race in Phantom Menace...) and all were shot in such a way as to make them really exciting!

And I have to laud Paul Bettany who was an incredible and incredibly amusing Geoffrey Chaucer...even though he looks eerily similar, IMO, to Thom Yorke...)

Kudos to anyone who recognizes Laura Fraser (the blacksmith) from Man in the Iron Mask...

Overall: A great watch. I went in expecting little and came out extremely satisfied. Not the best film of its kind, but a head above most. And the blending of contemporary style and music and characterization with the medieval story/setting is really well done. It really shouldn't but it does work! 7/10.
218 out of 253 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Makes Braveheart Look Historically Accurate
Iok15 November 2002
I first saw "A Knight's Tale" by chance. A few of us had decided on an ad hoc visit to the local cinema and selected "A Knight's Tale" simply because it sounded the least "teen" movie on the bill. We slapped down our cash and took our seats.

The movie began...

A crowd of peasants are assembled to watch the jousting. And they're singing "We Will Rock You."

My initial response was "God, this is going to be bad."

But as the movie continued, it suddenly dawned on me - I wasn't hating the movie at all! On an intellectual level, I should have been booing and throwing stuff at the screen but there's something about the sheer verve and energy of "A Knight's Tale" that just drags you in on an emotional level.

A clever script with many modern references, a good cast of likeable characters and a fantastic soundtrack (the reveal of "Golden Years" is particularly good) all add up to make "A Knight's Tale" one of the most entertaining mainstream movies I've seen in a long time.

Normally I hate "popcorn" movies - not because I consider them "low brow" or an insult to the intelligence, but because they're shallow, tired and lack soul. Yet "A Knight's Tale" is different. No, it won't change your life and it won't make you ponder your place in the universe. But it will entertain you.

If you're looking for an "old fashioned" good vs. evil movie with a twist, or your copy of "The Princess Bride" is wearing thin, check out "A Knight's Tale."

121 out of 138 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Danny_kahn3 February 2005
This comment is to counter those who have issue with modern rock and other time problems being in this movie. This movie was designed to entertain. It was NOT a historical piece and nowhere does it claim to be one. This is the story of a boy who aspires to be more than what society set out for him. The movie uses odd references to history's great figures and humor to bring its story across to the viewer. So I say that, for those of you who cannot enjoy a piece of entertainment due to its well placed use of anachronisms, I strongly suggest you stay away from any of Shakespeare's works. (Not to say that this movie was on level with Shakespeare...) The makers of "A Knight's Tale" set out to entertain, and did so dutifully.
202 out of 245 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
More accurate than you might think
bhirschi4215 August 2003
The first time I saw A Knight's Tale (on cable, missed it in theater), I had the same reaction as many of you - Queen? David Bowie? In a movie set in the middle ages?

But I stayed with it, and I'm glad I did. Once you get past the glaring anachronisms (put in the film on purpose, of course), you find the movie is actually quite true to its period.

The presence of Chaucer in the film, combined with some of its details, leads me to suspect that Brian Helgeland has read "Chaucer's Knight" by fellow filmmaker Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame). The book deconstructs the knight in Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale" in a totally unique way -- he is seen NOT as the flower of medieval chivalry (as most scholars have interpreted him), but as a mercenary out for nothing but money and blood. The character in the film Chaucer would have written about, then, is not Sir William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), but Count Adhemar of Anjou (Rufus Sewell).

The part of the film in which this connection "clicked" for me was the scene where Count Adhemar is called away to his command in a "Free Company" -- a particular stain on the reputation of knighthood which Jones talks extensively about in his book.

Jones' book made use of extensive research into medieval history, and Helgeland's film obviously does, too.

Chaucer was a master of satire in his day. Helgeland's use of modern conventions in a period film is a conceit of which - I believe - Chaucer would definitely have approved.

I gave "A Knight's Tale" 9 out of 10 - it's not perfect, but I like it so much, I try to watch it every time it comes on (it's been on HBO and Cinemax pretty regularly for the past several months). Check it out!
122 out of 147 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A surprisingly, wonderful hit!
Sam422615 May 2001
As soon as I saw the fans singing and clapping to "We Will Rock You" I thought "this is not very realistic". Of course, that was when I had gone in expecting a film like Braveheart or The Patriot, with real historical lessons. A Knight's Tale was nothing like either of those. After you get past the first one or two scenes, everything really grows on you. The humor is, yes, cheesy at times, (the Nike armor) but I still laughed. Chaucer was great, the villain was definitely evil, and the jousting/action scenes were very well done. Put all that together with some other funny sidekicks and a little romance and you've got a pretty good flick. Definitely a must see more than once, and a must buy video/DVD when it's out!
162 out of 202 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely unexpected pleasure. Light-hearted but satisfying on many levels
mstomaso10 July 2005
This wonderfully uplifting little film has a great big heart, good humor, and a classic message about love and honor, and the rarity and preciousness of those who practice both with style. I went to see this with my spouse and a good friend of ours because THEY (the spouse and the friend) wanted to see it. I am a non-fan of comedies, and had been annoyed by the stream of trashy Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court films that had been coming out since the 1980s. My spouse had also informed me that I would be seeing Jousting performed to Bachman Turner Overdrive. My reaction was to reach for the nearest bottle of hard liquor. I didn't need it.

I've now seen this film about six times, and though I can't say that I see something new in it every time (it's just not that complicated), I can say that I have enjoyed it each and every time. The characters, though relatively uncomplicated, are very lovable and the casting is quite excellent all around. Before Brokeback Mountain, William Thatcher was Heath Ledger's most memorable role. He's a poor boy from London's Cheapside who wants to change his stars and to become an honored knight. Travelling from tournament to tournament with his fellow indentured servants, his liege passes on, and William seizes the moment - taking his armor and his horse to become Sir Ulrich Von Liechtenstein of the Gelderland.

He is joined by the other now-free indentures, and eventually, by Chaucer and a female Farrier played by the wonderful Laura Fraser. Eventually, William falls in love with a princess and is challenged by a rival for her affections with a lot more experience, money and political clout. The love story, which could have easily become a distracting annoyance, in fact, comes to dominate and drive the story very nicely.

Special kudos to Ledger, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany and James Purefoy for their awesome performances. And extra special kudos to Director Brian Helgeland for pulling off an impossible task - taking a fairy tale, making us want to believe it, and yet retaining some wonderful elements of silliness often missing in the fairy tale genre. This would make a wonderful romantic living-room double feature with The Princess Bride.

Recommendation: Definitely worth seeing.
80 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Jousting With A Modern Take
ccthemovieman-115 July 2006
A story about jousting but this old knight's tale is anything but old because it mixes in satire of today's modern sports-audience age with some funny bits. Those include the overly dramatic public address announcer (boy, that's even more so since this film came out), rock music blaring out as the contestants do battle, etc.

The main characters are nicely varied with distinct personalities. Shannon Sossamon, however, was not quite up to leading-lady status and hasn't had a choice role like this since, either. I would have rather seen her "assistant" in this film, or the blacksmith woman, be the lead. Anyway, even though it's a bit long at 132 minutes, it's still entertaining most of the way, with some of the funniest bits at the beginning. However, it's just as much a romance (with Heath Ledger as the male lead) than a comedy.

What also is good is the sound and visuals in here: all high-class. The lance hitting an opponent made an interesting sound each time. The surround sound in here was good, too.

It's a film most people would like, and I recommend seeing it.
64 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A classic
veronicapalm14 August 2015
Before reading this review, you should know that I am only slightly biased - this has been my favorite movie since I watched it for the first time, and Heath Ledger is one of my absolute favorite actors.

That being said: This movie makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it is overall a great laid-back action movie. There is some fighting, some emotion, and unfortunately some lines that could have been delivered a bit more sincerely.

But it doesn't matter, because Heath Ledger delivers. He is 100% there, all the time, completely in character and brilliant. Like always.

The soundtrack is cleverly enough modern, to show how people of that time felt about their music. There aren't a lot of Middle-age movies where you see the main characters dance to David Bowie and Queen!

All in all, this movie will always be very special for me, and I hope I'm not mistaken when I say that this will be a future classic.

If you haven't seen it, it's worth it. And if you have seen it, it's worth watching again.
12 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Has been, and will be, one of my favorite movies of all time
jlskutt2 July 2004
I actually did not see this movie until a year after it came out. I remember it coming to theaters, and the entire idea of modern music supporting a medieval story sounded stupid. I expected it to be another stupid teen movie, half expecting to see Rachelle Leigh Cook or Freddie Prinze Jr. in the cast.

After watching it once, I realized I was completely mistaken. I purchased the movie immediately and have watched it over two dozen times to date. The entire cast, who where relatively unknowns at the time, make this a masterpiece. You can easily fall in love with any one of them, and I none of them really do, or try, to outshine the other. Oddly the music, which you think would seem out of place, feels right at home. This movie is listed as a comedy, which it does have its share of, but I would personally place it as a fantasy drama. There are those certain movies out there that hit you in such an emotional way as to make you envy the characters lives. Such as when I first watched backdraft, and wanted to be a fireman, or watching Major League and wanting to be a pitcher. This movie made me want to buy a "horse and a stick" (which I haven't).

No matter how many times I watch this, the introduction that Geoff gives, during the final match, still brings tears of joy to my eyes, and really sums up the entire movie in my eyes. A young man who is trying to live a better life for himself, and a father who gave him up to make that possible.
18 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If you want to watch a serious film, don't watch this!
alancrennell8 August 2004
Totally unbelievable.

Chronologically, historically and geographically incorrect.

Full of innumerable inaccuracies and made up of a cast who talk as though they are not from the same continent, let alone the same country! What more can I say?

I tell you what I can say, I thoroughly enjoyed it!!! I laughed from beginning to end and was enraptured by the sense of friendship that these people displayed.

I only wish we could all be like them!

I loved it.
180 out of 262 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
AlexsIMDbReviews10 June 2018
A Knight's Tale is a really nice movie. This is typically the kind of movie that plays the card of pure entertainment, and that does it very well. The casting is a big asset of the film. Congratulations to all, because the actors do not evolve in a Middle Age purely serious, but so far they do not camp it up to excess, they do not make tons, and we can finally believe in their characters. They are all very digestible, even those who have the most delicate roles (Paul Bettany, Alan Tudyk for example), and those who are more current (as Laura Fraser, blacksmith woman, with a small social message, but it pass very well). The actors are totally in the relaxation, lightness, Ledger and Sewell form a super confrontation, and the supporting roles work brilliantly, in short, we spend a very good time with these actors. The strength of the film is also to be at the same time very second degree, using for example a 1970's soundtrack (very good), and contemporary references, while having made a real documentary work on the period (one feels it for example the absence of benches in the church). The film reminds me a bit of Coppola's Marie-Antoinette, with this mix between a true documentary precision and a distance always tasteful with the time. The mixture often insupposes me by the shapeless dish that results, but here it is brilliant. The story is entertaining, moral, full of romance. I will regret a little hasty appearance of certain events, and not very credible things in the management of time and space. But hey, if you do not look too much on the chain of events, it's a minor concern. Visually it's solid. Beautiful scenes of jousting (it's rare to see that in a film), a neat reconstruction, beautiful scenery, costumes for some audacious, and a staging at the height, A Knight's Tale is an elegant film, with a good budget and who know to exploit it to be an aesthetic film and very appreciable. As I said before, musically the use of songs of the 1970's is particularly very good. Frankly, A Knight's Tale is a very entertaining all-public movie, and a must-have for anyone who loves the Middle Ages. Very second degree, light, it's romantic, dynamic, fun, in short, it's 2 hours and some fun.

6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This film was weighed measured and not found wanting at all
HelenMary4 August 2013
This film shows without any quibbling just how bright the star of Heath Ledger was. He is luminous in this; beautiful, funny, physical and engaging. He plays excellently against the stunning Shannyn Sossamon, who fits perfectly into the modern medieval setting of this film. Set in the C14th a man of poor birth but sharp intellect rises through the ranks of page-dom with the desire to become a nobleman for food, fame, glory and love.

An impressive ensemble cast including the superior Paul Bettany (Chaucer - you can see he had fun with this rather exposing (!) role), Rufus Sewell, Mark Addy, Christopher Cazenove, James Purefoy and Alan Tudyk provides a film that is nigh-on flawless for cinematography that is exciting and gripping, the screenplay - the script - is amazing, laugh out loud funny all the way through. It's one of those films which require certain intelligence to get all the asides and witticisms, or numerous viewings to pick up on all of them, otherwise its still a funny and enjoyable film. With something for everyone this film is a joy to watch again and again, it's also attractive visually - many points to the costumers who mixed historical fashion with a modern edgy almost punk twist. Ditto the soundtrack - mixing in modern music was a clever touch, similar to Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann), and also an interesting look at fame and the cult of celebrity.

A great viewing experience which sometimes even brings a tear to my eye. If you don't enjoy this film, there's something wrong with you. Ignore the haters, it's not supposed to be historically accurate or high-brow! Sometimes a feel-good, comfortable, Disney-esque story arc is just what you want.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Loved it
sara_jang5 June 2004
My daughter recommended this movie to me, and from the description, I thought it would be lame. But I absolutely loved it. I have lost count of how many times I have watched it. It is so full of wonderful background, and each time I watch it, I can focus on another area of screen. The costumes of the extras are so great, the expressions on their faces are very interesting. The props and real life buildings are also very interesting. One would think that the modern music would be totally out of place in this film, but it made it all the more enjoyable. I have watched the dance scene dozens of times, and it is fun to focus on a different dancer every time and watch their moves and expressions. It's now my all time favorite movie.
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Action packed, funny, and touching
corporacavernosa11 February 2005
"A Knight's Tale" is a wonderful story of a group of friends who fight, train, and love as they are led by William (Ledger)in his quest to "change his stars" and become a knight. Tongue-in-cheek humor is administered throughout, much of it appropriately timed. The cast is superior (observe Bettany's mastering of his craft), as they are believable and likable. Casenove's performance as John Thatcher is superb and touching. Not to be taken too seriously, this movie will please if viewed for what it is- an action comedy. Keep watching after the credits for a funny clip ;). Also recommended: First Knight, King Arthur (2004), Rob Roy, Braveheart, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
40 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I was a fan of Heath Ledgers before the Joker role....And this was the film!
Angelus219 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Heath Ledger is Will, a peasant who dreams of being a glorious and great Knight. After the death of his master Will takes on the identity of Sir Ulrich Von Lichtenstein and enters a tournament were he finds love, friendship and a sense of identity.

I'm a little late...well years late at reviewing this but its one of those films you like but never get around to reviewing...I watched this and found it to be quite funny and thrilling. Heath Ledger provides a great performance about a young man striving to grab his dreams and make them a reality, but prevented by rich snobbery. Paul Bettany is marvellous providing the adrenaline pumper that excites the crowd and drives their cheers across the country. His words sway the audience into bettering their English.... and I love his remarks towards the angry Wat.

Brilliant feel good movie that drives you to obtain your dreams in one fell swoop.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightfully Different
mercywriter5 November 2006
When I first started to watch this movie, I wondered about some of the modern things that were completely inappropriate to the time period. But then I realized they were done on purpose. The movie, though set in a period long past, was made to entertain a modern audience. That mix of modern with ancient is one of the things that makes this movie so fun.

I appreciate the fact that this movie allowed men to be men. The main character wasn't in the least a wimp, although he was clueless when it came to women. (But isn't that a part of being a man?) My favorite character is Chaucer, with Roland coming in a close second. Or maybe they are both tied for first. Love Chaucer's wit, sarcasm, and the way he picks on Wat. Roland's loyalty to Will is endearing, and that alone makes him one of my favorites.

I like the message at the end. Without giving away anything, let me just say that it encourages one to take a stand and stick by it, no matter the consequences. The easy way out may not always be the best way.

One of my favorite movies of all time.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The most heart and fun of 2001
lowercasegods29 August 2003
I'd read that Brian Helgeland had been soured by the movie industry due to his mistreatment on his film, "Payback." I use "his film" in the most liberal sense here, as star Mel Gibson wrestled control of the film from Helgeland and imposed his own view on the final editing process. With this situation in mind, I fully expected "A Knight's Tale" to be a creative response to that negative filmmaking experience, a fun and free film that thumbed its nose at tradition and set style and which allowed the director's true vision to shine through with no outside interference. And my friends, that's exactly what I got when I first sat down to watch in back in 2001. "A Knight's Tale" celebrates the classic and vastly misused/underused genre of medieval movies, while at the same time knocking the genre on its ear by instilling the film with modern themes, attitudes and a classic rock score. Sadly, it was these elements which repelled most viewers and led to "A Knight's Tale's" lackluster performance at the box office. Were these people just a little more open minded, they would have allowed themselves a wonderful movie-going experience that celebrates individuality, love, and above all else, friendship. Though the music is crucial to the uniqueness of this film (and a brilliant addition, I might add), it's the relationships amongst the characters that gives this film its heart. William and Jocelyn are the perfect couple: bickering, floundering, and absolutely in love with one another. Wat, Roland, Kate and Geoff, wonderful characters unwilling to be fopped off as simple comic reliefs, show genuine love and loyalty to William, and do as much to contribute and carry the story along as William and the other two leads accomplish. Count Adamar, the film's villain, is a wonderful foil for William. He is cunning and cruel, and even in his moments of defeat, a character to respect. In many cases, such a villain would be made to seem wimpy or, at his moment of defeat, clumsy. Not so here, as Adamar is, throughout the film, a force to be reckoned with. I suppose part of why I love "A Knight's Tale" is my ability to relate to it so personally. I've certainly had my share of challenges, and aspired to be more than what I currently was. And I've also known friendships so loyal and loving that fiction could never invent. Most significantly, I've lived the pursuit of true love and, like William, have obtained it with no small amount of satisfaction. Everyone to some degree or another has also had these experiences in their lives, and its these experiences that built the foundation of "A Knight's Tale," which is exactly what makes it such a wonderful film, more than worthy of a second chance by those who previously doubted it, and much more than worthy of a spot in any fan's movie collection.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Probably one of the most original movies ever made
fredericksmith195231 March 2012
Probably one of the most original movies ever made, this tale compares modern sports to the realm of jousting in medieval times, and pulls it off magnificently. Heath Ledger is perfect in the role of William Thatcher, a young man hired out to a knight as a squire to "change his stars". The story has everything, including romance, comedy, and drama. Rufus Sewell as Count Adhemar is the perfect dissociated royalty who cares little for the common folk. He loves the adoration of the crowd and their subservience, and considers them beneath him. Mark Addy, Paul Bettany, Alan Tudyk, and Laura Fraser complete his band of Merry Men and do so with a flair seldom seen in actors who are at the beginning of their careers, but perhaps that is the magic Helgeland was able to conjure here. Personally, I would have reversed the roles of Jocelyn and Christiana, since I think Bérénice Bejo is much hotter than Shannyn Sassamon, but I grant you that is a matter of taste. James Purefoy as Edward the Black Prince plays the role to the hilt, and adds the icing on the cake to this already perfectly baked confection. Toss in perfect photography, excellent costuming, and a soundtrack that evokes all the action of modern day sports, and you have a perfect movie. Rated PG-13 for language, violence, and a brief sexual innuendo, I personally don't see a problem with most preteens watching this. Definitely a collectible film, both for the fans of Heath and the rest of us who just like a good movie.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A poor boy aims to become a knight
Tweekums11 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In fourteenth century Europe having the right ancestry means everything and William Thatcher does not have it. He is the peasant squire to a knight but when his master dies he sees an opportunity. He takes his place in a joust and with the prize money sets about passing as a nobleman. With his friends Roland and Wat he trains then sets off to the next tournament. Along the way they meet the writer Geoffrey Chaucer who helps them by creating a false lineage for a nobleman from an obscure place. William performs well and catches the eye of Jocelyn, a noblewoman, he isn't the only one interested in her though; the brutish Count Adhemar sees her as a prize. Soon Adhemar is sent away to war and William continues to win tournaments; the two things he really wants though are Jocelyn's love and to put Adhemar on his back. When he returns to his home city of London for the World Championships he may get his chance; as well as seeing his father for the first time in years… of course if the truth about who he really is were to emerge it would all be over.

Anybody expecting gritty realism will be in for a bit of a disappointment; the opening in joust makes it quite clear that this will be a romp… the audience cheer on their champions to the accompany of Queen's 'We Will Rock You'; clapping along with the tune! The story might not be too original; there are plenty of films about an underdog working their way up from the bottom to get to the top and get the girl… setting the story in the world of medieval jousting is rather different though. The competitions are exciting enough even though there is no real doubt how they will end. There are plenty of laughs to be had along the way; mostly provided by Roland, Wat and Chaucer… when we first meet Chaucer he is walking along stark naked as though this is perfectly normal. The cast performed well with Heath Ledger putting in a solid performance as William and Rufus Sewell being suitably dastardly as Adhemar. Paul Bettany is on great form as Chaucer stealing almost every scene he is in. There are also impressive performances from Mark Addy, as Roland; Alan Tudyk, as Wat; Laura Fraser as Kate the Blacksmith; Shannyn Sossamon as Jocelyn and James Purefoy as the Black Prince. Overall I found this to be rather enjoyably; yes it is silly and anachronistic but that is intentional and part of what makes it enjoyable.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Rockin' Out in the Middle Ages
brando6476 February 2010
Brian Helgeland finds room for all of the usual clichés of your average sports film in his medieval adventure, but yet it still feels fresh, entertaining, and most of all fun. A combination of the perfect cast with an awesome soundtrack keep Helgeland's film from ever feeling too familiar. The film follows William Thatcher, a peasant squire who dreams of one day being able to compete in the jousting tournaments with the knights he's admired all his life. He soon finds an opportunity when he decides to pass himself off as a knight to compete and pursue the woman of his dreams, though he risks penalty of death if his truth is discovered.

One of the first aspects of the film you'll notice is the unconventional soundtrack: 1970's rock and roll. Some people are thrown off by the anachronism but I loved it. The film opens with Queen's "We Will Rock You" and from that moment, I was hooked. The film is loaded with tracks from David Bowie, Sly & the Family Stone, AC/DC, and more; through the use of classic rock undertones, Helgeland makes the film that much easier for the audience to relate with and feel for. I can't understand how some have complained about the use of modern music in the film, as I thought it amped up the entertainment level and got the blood pumping.

What made this film as enjoyable as it was would have to be the cast. This film's stars couldn't have been any better, with Heath Ledger starring as the titular "knight", William Thatcher. This movie was my first exposure to Ledger and I thought he was perfect in the role, equal parts noble, courageous and caring. Shannyn Sossamon appears in her first feature film as Jocelyn, the woman who has caught William's eye, and despite a few instances of poor line delivery (could've just been a moment of weak writing) she manages to come across as sincere in her love. I loved the supporting characters more than anything in this film, particularly that of Geoffrey Chaucer. Based on the real English writer/poet and portrayed by Paul Bettany, the character stole every scene he was in with his elaborate crowd-pleasing speeches and his constant bickering with Wat (hilariously played by Alan Tudyk).

There is little to dislike about this movie. My only complaint would be that the film slows for a moment when the crew arrives in London for the world championships and William seeks out his father, but it isn't long before the film picks up the pace and rockets along to the conclusion. This movie really is one of the most fun films I've seen and it's broad appeal should interest just about anyone. You can't go wrong with a trip back to the 1370's for a rocking great time.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A great film, a lot of raw talent and an editor who assumes too much
corporate_spice24 March 2002
I enjoyed this film immensely. From its irreverent look at Medieval life with authentic jousting and contemporary soundtrack. The actors are all fresh and have just the right spirit to match the film.

However some of the plot twists and nuances are poorly edited and the story can jump on you at times. Examples: 1) The chopping of the cave scenes loses the link to the creation of Sir Ulrich. This leaves you wondering where they came up with all this. 2) Adamar's spy. You have to be very quick to realise that the lady following Will for about a 1 second shot is the same person who has led Adamar to Will's home. This should have been better telegraphed, so we knew of Adamar's animosity and disceptive nature.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very good, entertaining movie that many critics just "didn't get". But Ebert got it right!
TxMike30 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
"A Knight's Tale" reminded me a lot of "Shakespeare in Love", not by storyline, but by mood and whimsy. Here one of the characters is Geoff Chaucer, just in the dawn of his literary career. The story in this film could very well be one of his "Canterbury Tales" which somehow he had never gotten into print, as were about 80% of his tales. In fact he mentions using some of his road encounters for future stories. This is a fun, entertaining film, set in the 1370s, but with modern music and, in some cases, dialog.

July 2008 edit: I saw it again last night, almost 6 1/2 years after my first viewing. Still a good, entertaining movie. I bought the DVD in memory of Heath Ledger who died a few months ago of prescription drug accidental overdose.

SPOILERS AHEAD - Although most of the film is funny, not to be taken too seriously, there are a couple of scenes nearer the end which can easily bring a lump to your throat and tears to your eyes. The first is when William (Heath Ledger) returns to his humble home (Cheapside, London) after 12 years, to see his now blind father. William had "changed the stars" by becoming a champion jouster in spite of his non-royal background, and he and his father embrace. The second is nearer the end, after William's fraud is exposed, he is thrown in prison, is in the public stocks, subject to the public's jeers and veggie toss, when the prince comes forward, recalling their earlier encounter, and knights him.

William eventually defeats the dastardly knight, and wins the beautiful Jocelyn, played by first-timer Shannyn Sossamon, a beautiful young girl originally from Hawaii, and a Terri Hatcher look-alike. She has a great screen presence and I predict we'll see her, as well as young Heath Ledger, in many more films soon.

I saw this on DVD. It is up to the usual high DVD standards, and has a nice collection of very interesting "extras", many of them showing the making of the film in the Czek republic. One of the better DVDs, overall. Anyone still watching movies on VHS are for sure living in the "dark ages" of home cinema. DVD is so much superior, what more can I say??
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Rags to riches, love conquers all, never say quit, go for your dreams....
helpless_dancer24 July 2002
Fun little tale of a dirt poor lad willing to go all out for his lady love, his honor, and to prove he is as good as any other warrior. Plenty of laughs from a zany character or two and a grand adventure with plenty of old world jousting, pageantry, and costumes. Loved the way the producers wove hard rock tunes and today's lingo into the show's fabric and made it seem, usually anyway, as thought it fit that time span. Cool flic.
41 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
My perfect movie
allstarrunner5 July 2018
Yes, I gave this movie a 10 rating. I know it isn't a movie that is going to win any Oscars or critical acclaim. It may be lacking it technical areas but what it has in spades is HEART. It is FUNNY and it packs a hell of an emotional punch for a movie that is clearly not taking itself seriously.

If you are reading this review and are on the fence to watch this movie or not - watch it! It is a lighthearted film that is extremely entertaining and at the end of the day that is what watching a movie is all about!

This movie will make you laugh and cry - it reminds me how amazing movies can be when done with sincerity and heart!
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Knight's Tale...
grezza_200421 February 2007
Why do so many people think this film isn't very good? Because they think it is historically incorrect? Do they not realise this is a comedy? I'm pretty sure that when Brian Helgeland wrote this film he knew that the song 'We Will Rock You' hadn't been released 400 years ago. I'm also sure he knew Nike hadn'd been founded yet. I think people are missing the point, because they thought it was going to be a film like Braveheart. A Knight's Tale is a story which is set in medieval times, and as a JOKE, they have mixed in things that weren't around at that time, such as the Nike sign, and Ulrich being introduced by Chaucer before his matches.

The story is predictable, but in my view that doesn't really matter in a comedy if it makes you laugh on the way. Overall, I though this was a very good film, and I would recommend it to anyone willing to not take it seriously.

9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed