The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Poster

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A joyful British Arthurian romp
TrevorHickman21 January 2019
I didn't know if it were possible to get kids' films like this anymore. It was great fun from start to finish, it's (possibly) about 15 minutes too long (the middle section drags a tiny bit), but it's so enjoyable and there are excellent quips throughout. My kids went away quoting the jokes from the film, and that must be a good sign.

I read another review that director Joe Cornish was a big fan of Time Bandits Terry Gilliam's 1981 fantasy movie. Both have strong leads, slightly oblique plots, together with wizardry and magic

Time Bandits had Sean Connery, The Kid Who Would Be King has Patrick Stewart who puts in a sterling alternating performance (with Angus Imrie) as Merlin.

Louis Ashbourne Serkis is fabulous as Alex the main protagonist. He's got an acting pedigree (both his parents, Andy Serkis and Lorraine Ashbourne) are excellent actors. His Dad is best known for his portrayal of Gollum...fancy having a Dad who was Gollum?!

Anyway, TKWWBK is terrific. As a teenager I loved Excalibur but it's too long (and dark) for my 10 and 11 year olds. This was a perfect antidote. Arthurian Legend and heraldry but without (too much) bloodthirstiness.

Go and see it, it's the best film (whether aimed at children or adults) I've seen for months and months.
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Joyous English fantasy for the right age kids
Billius4417 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
My 11yo absolutely loved this movie, as did I. Pretty sure my 14yo would find it boring and lame.....

Joe Cornish has captured the spirit of classic English 20thC fantasy (Narnia, Bedknobs+Broomsticks, Dark Is Rising etc) wonderfully, and brought it into the modern era. It's by no means perfect, but if you just suspend your disbelief willingly this film has enormous charm, excitement, magic and humour. (Could the kids really train to take on an army of undead warriors that quickly?? No, of course not. Now shut up, hold your child's hand and Eat Your Popcorn),

Nice to see Tintagel again, although the scenes shot in North Cornwall were over too quickly for me.
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The Kid Who Would Be King (2018)
rockman18227 January 2019
Well January in film has pretty much come and gone and I have to say that I'm surprised that I've enjoyed most of the films that have come out this year thus far. Wasn't really looking forward to this film that was a child friendly rendition of a modern day King Arthur but I gave it a go. Its really dumb at times as expected but is entertaining enough to warrant its own existence. I do hope to not have any more film adaptation of Arthurian legend for a while though.

The film is about a kid named Alexander who one day stumbles on the legendary Excalibur sword. This event unleashes Morgana, an enchantress who is looking to gain access to the sword. To stop her and her soldiers, Alexander enlists the help of an unlikely trio while receiving aid and guidance from the ancient wizard, Merlin. The film stars the son of Andy Serkis and the always gorgeous Rebecca Ferguson (except not when she transforms in this film).

The running length of this film is too long especially for a children's movie. These types of films should clock in at a max of an hour and a half. The effects of the film were pretty decent and the characters were good enough to keep you watching their plight. Its a modern day re-imaging of the successor to the sword and the stone which I find the younger crowd could really enjoy.

There isn't a whole lot of good or bad in this film, it meets its mark in the middle. Its an introduction to Louis Ashbourne Serkis, who I am sure we will see more of in the future. Also, its a chance to see Rebecca Ferguson who really needs to be in more things because she's super great. Overall, don't expect anything more than what the trailers show you but its a perfectly fine film that will go over well with the younger viewers.

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Basic and way to long!
muamba_eats_toast15 February 2019
The basic premise of the film is fine and some of the action is ok but the script is beyond basic and the film is atleast half hour to long. Young kids will probably still love it but not much in it for a maturer audience
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Nice first half, mediocre second half.
gwest-5816026 January 2019
I'd give the first half a high 6, nice. A fun family adventure movie with a couple of funny parts.

But then it lost steam and the second half was generic- a below average 4. I wanted to like the action but it became pretty tedious.

So I guess it's a 5/10. Shame.
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Fun concept, too cheesy
cardsrock4 February 2019
I enjoy the idea of a modern retelling of King Arthur, but I wish the film had turned out a little better. There were far too many cringey moments relative to every touching or entertaining moment. Kids movies can be fun and profound without being super cheesy. It's an okay film, but it ends up being kinda forgettable.
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A lot of fun
hh-9445020 January 2019
This is a kid's movie. it doesn't pretend to be anything else, and it delivers where most kid's movies pull up short. The plot keeps a good pace, the acting isn't dumbed down, the script is good, there is enough humour to entertain, it shouldn't offend the Arthurians, the opponents are scary enough and the moral of the movie is there but not OTT. An A- production where typically these movies are C+ or C-
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Truly Awesome
jonahevarts16 January 2019
What a great film for the whole family. The characters were loveable, the story was fun, and I was thoroughly entertained and whisked away to the movie's adventure.

If you're looking for whimsical, kiddish fun for an evening, absolutely go live out your childhood dreams with this movie.

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Modestly entertaining. Very modestly
Mike_Noga29 January 2019
SO it's a kid's movie and as such I judge it differently than a movie aimed at someone my own age. And I have to say, the kids I was with felt it was " OK". And I agree with them. For a modern " re-imagining" it was surprisingly by the numbers. There weren't any surprises and the second act dragged. The kids I was with ( 10 and 11 ) looked pretty listless during the middle of the film. The exception was Merlin. The actor who played him did a good job of making him comic relief without portraying him as a buffoon. I mean he acted the way you'd want a major wizard like Merlin to act, while still being funny. He was a hit with the kids and they wished the movie had been more about him. Tge SFX were good too. Morgana, while not being given much to do,came across as a formidable villain and frighteningly, her argument for subjugating all of Britain seemed well reasoned. Finally, there was a lot of talk about how Arthur excelled at making enemies into allies and a united England. And the kids were all told by Merlin that they could grow up to make a difference if they would only fight for what they believed to be the right thing. You have to think that in these days of Brexit and political devisiveness that's not a mistake that that message wandered into the film. It's a good message, I just wish the film makers told it more effectively.
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Heartwarming Film About How Anyone Can be A King
rannynm24 January 2019
The Kid Who Would Be King is a heartwarming film about a boy named Alexander who finds out that he is the future king of Britain. Now he, his friends and his enemies, must embark on a quest to defeat a wicked enchantress named Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) before the end of a solar eclipse. This film is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, including the legend of the magical sword, Excalibur. At night, everyone disappears from the world except for Alex and anyone he has knighted. This way they can take whatever they want and try to defeat all of Morgana's minions. When they are all gone, Alex and his knights stay where they are and everything else returns to normal.

There are lots of cool scenes in this film that involve exciting sword battles. In my interview with Patrick Stewart (Merlin), Rhianna Dorris (Kaye) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (Alex), I learned that the cast used real swords to train with to learn the real feel and heaviness of medieval swords and armor. However, in the actual film they used realistic plastic swords, because otherwise it would be too dangerous.

My favorite character in this film is Merlin (Angus Imrie/Patrick Stewart). He is serious and gets things done most of the time, but he also does a lot of funny and cool things that are really appealing to watch. For example, when he does his magic, all the stuff around him is flying through the air and all the lights are flickering. That is a really interesting effect.

My favorite scene is when Alexander and a few of his knights are rushing through the woods on horses, while trying to defeat a large army of fire monsters on fire breathing horses who are trying to take Excalibur away from them. This scene is very exciting and has a few funny parts in it too.

The message of this film is that anyone can be a king; you just need to have a good heart and follow the knight's code which says that you must "honor those you love, refrain from wanton offence, speak the truth at all times and persevere in any enterprise until the end."

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because it is a good combination of an action movie and a heartwarming storyline that gives it a great message. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kdisfirst dot org.
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Just because we've, essentially, seen it before doesn't mean it isn't good.
Pjtaylor-96-13804428 February 2019
Let's be honest, we've all seen 'The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)' before. It's a kid-friendly, modern-day reimagining of an old legend entered around a 'chosen one' narrative and an ensemble of single-trait characters. That doesn't mean that it's without its merits, though. It may occupy a well-worn genre but it occupies it well, comfortably conforming to - and occasionally contorting - the conventions it knows so keenly. It also has a good amount of edge, self-censoring only through its central conceits, and, as such, it feels much closer to the fondly-remembered 'kid' films of yesteryear than most of the stuff being pumped out today (and not just because it's live-action). This actually makes it feel incredibly authentic as each moment seems to serve the story. Whether it's scary, funny, heartfelt or just plain action-packed, the flick always makes a point of staying true to itself, having an excellent understanding of its target audience in the process. Of course, this means that much of the piece is painted in pretty broad strokes. The humour is never really successful and the character-work is all incredibly basic. Still, it's appreciated. By the time the finale rolls around, you'll be invested in the characters and will actively want to see them succeed. Speaking of the finale, it's probably the best part; it's exciting, well-staged and uniquely large-scale. Unfortunately, it's preceded by a pace-killing 'fake-out' that's not only obvious but also just far too long. Without it, I feel the picture would have moved much more smoothly into its final movement and, generally, been all the more successful. It doesn't destroy the experience, though. Overall, the movie is a fun and well-executed entry into a widely-seen genre. It's, essentially, as predictable as it is enjoyable. It's not groundbreaking, nor extremely engaging, but it's entertaining enough to be worth a watch, especially - I suppose - if you aren't as familiar with its framework as I am. 6/10
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I don't huddle
nogodnomasters13 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The story follows that of King Arthur. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) raised by a single mom discovers he is descended from King Arthur. England and the world is divided (didn't mention Brexit) and Morgana is poised to return. Alex must mount an army of kids to defeat her.

The acting was bad and the plot dragged along. The dialogue wasn't cute and clever like it should be for a kid's film. They had demons in flames but no Nicolas Cage. Even Patrick Stewart didn't help.
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A delightful surprise
Doeh26 January 2019
If I had to start anywhere, it would be the action. The action sequences in this film aren't half bad. If anything there excellent and engaging. Specifically, there's a scene with a horse chase, and it's better than most pursuits we get in action movies nowadays.

There were cheesy jokes that will probably make you cringe, but, there were jokes that landed and the pop culture references are always a plus.

The final act is the best part of this film and has a fantastic final battle with a great message behind it. The film's message is something we can all get behind and relate too, especially in today's political climate.

Regarding negatives, the first two acts of The Kid Who Would Be King is decent at best and might take some people out of the film. As I mentioned earlier, the jokes are good at times but can be very cringy. But that's it. It's an excellent movie for the family and something everybody can enjoy. Maybe if I were younger, I would have given it a higher rating, but the cringy jokes and slow start brought it down for me.

The Kid Who Would Be King gets a 7/10
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Merlin the useless wizard...
mutantmarine28 January 2019
From a wizard in the old Disney movie who was powerful and loving, to a wizard whose powers are drained by one spell and basically only knows how to do duplication glitches. This interpretation sucks. It could've been so much better.

Also, get a better storyline please. The book addition was cool but the bullies were so forced and obviously shoved into the story to fill the "enemies turned into allies" quote. Don't waste your time on this movie.
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A good kids film
Benslie26 January 2019
First of all, the musical score, which is composed by Christophe Beck and Electric Wave Bureau, was incredible. You could just listen to the score and understand what is going on in the film at that point in time. It helped to understand what was going on in the scenes and what you should feel in that moment. The scenery in this film looked well done and you could tell a lot of detail went into them. At certain times in the film, the CGI and special effects were decent to look at but for a majority of the film, it looked like the special effects department was rushed to get something done. The transitions in this film were awkward and made no sense. At some points, it would feel like the scene had more in it but they had to cut out something to get to a shorter run time. Now, I understand that a majority of the actors are kids and I believe they all can go far in the future is just their acting in this film was really bland. There was very little to no emotion given in any scene from the four main characters. There was only one actor who actually showed emotion and that was Angus Imrie, who plays young Merlin. His character was weird and outgoing and he was probably one of my only favourite things in this film. Although at some parts he probably should have toned his acting down a notch. The villain in this film was just bad and made no sense. I think if they had a longer run time this film could have fixed any of the flaws the had. The last thing I want to mention is how this film relies on certain things to happen and if one of those things didn't happen the entire film wouldn't happen. In the end, this film is a good time for younger kids but not for the whole family.
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I'm not even sure if kids would enjoy this offering
markthomassintek8 February 2019


The story of king Arthur and the sword of Excalibur has been told many times before, some great, some good and some terrible but how does this film fare?

Let's start with the best the film has to offer.

Patrick Stewart is of course excellent as the older version of Merlin and I particularly enjoyed the way how both the older and younger versions used their magic (no spoilers), the effects of the flaming horse and riders are exceptional and honestly that's about it.

Acting is ok, very moralistic as with many films from the US but the story is honestly boring especially how the lead actor finds the sword of Excalibur.

Ok this is a kids film and the makers certainly threw a lot into the mix but there were many parts that for me didn't work, (no spoilers) but how the bully turned into a loyal companion, how the sword was found, the trek and especially the hapless fashion the fight sequences were conducted (I suppose I'm being harsh here because they are kids but).

The young Merlin and the business of him getting tired and suddenly getting a job in a fast food restaurant that used beetle blood to colour the milkshake, need I say more, in places it just seemed lazy writing.

I'm not even sure if kids would enjoy this offering.

Rating 4 out of 10
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It's just... stupid
kyleshannon-839235 February 2019
I've never done a movie review because I can tolorate a lot of different movies. But this one... this was bad. Extremely cheesy and just flat out boring. I have no idea what the my were trying to accomplish with this movie. It's just bad. I wasted 2 1/2 hours on this movie. Yeah that's right 2 1/2 hours!!! Don't bother because it's just bad.
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To long, low action
jchesnut-5545931 January 2019
For kids film this movie was 2 1/2 hours and moved very slowly. At one point we thought the movie was over and started to leave only to find out it continued on and on after that. At least the pizza in the theater was good
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A great film for a pre-teenage boy with an active imagination, but passable entertainment for everyone else
sbweightman23 February 2019
The classic King Arthur story has a modern take with a good number of comical and clever moments, but also a few moments that will make you cringe, and overall, it does go on for too long. The acting quality varies significantly between the small cast of characters, but the special effects are good and the morals it promotes are sensible.
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I agree with the other comment...a surprise!!
alohatwou31 January 2019
Run run run! Don't waste your money or time! No wonder Disney is losing big money on this incredibly big flop, probably their largest to date. Disney, once a leader in children's cartoons and movies, sinks to a new low in boring, boring, boring, and the occult. Very bad version of Harry Potter clone. One movie I couldn't WAIT to end...
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cheesy take on a british tale.
realamandastone3 February 2019
For having this as a kids movie was not surprising. For a movie about the king arthur legend I would have liked to see a PG-13 version with more action then this version had. The storyline was very cheesy and the characters were good at some parts but it was an overall slow movie. very disappointing take on the King Arthur legend and in my opinion, not worth the money.
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Did I watch a different film to everyone else??
markjohnevans797 April 2019
How this movie has had so many positive reviews is baffling to me. It is absolutely bloody dreadful. The acting is appalling and the writing is like something from the pen of a talentless first year media studies student. Utter garbage and literally one of the worst films I've ever seen. I know taste is a subjective thing but if you enjoyed this you must be VERY easily impressed!!
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yankeedoo20 March 2019
Way to bad assumed be for all ages but it was not And more Nepotism It seemed on this too
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Teen Arthur
stevendbeard26 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "The Kid Who Would Be King", starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis-Noddy,Toyland Detective, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Oh yeah, he is the son of Andy Serkis, aka Gollum; Angus Imrie-Pond Life, Kingdom_tv; Rebecca Ferguson-The Mission:Impossible movies, The Greatest Showman and Patrick Stewart-Logan, Robin Hood:Men in Tights. This is an updated telling of the King Arthur Sword in the Stone tale starring teens instead of adults. I guess you could call it 'Teen Arthur vs the medieval menace'. Louis plays the young boy that literally gets his hands on Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur. Angus plays Merlin in a teen age body and Patrick is the adult version of Merlin-he is a magician so he can change shape, he also turns into an owl. Angus tells Louis that he must gather an army of other teens to do battle with the evil Morgana, played by Rebecca, to save all of England, and quite possibly the whole wide world. Louis must form his own version of the Knights of the round table and fight Rebecca's demon warriors-luckily, they are pretty easy to kill. The movie is alright to take your family to see, without worrying about tons of blood filling the screen-when the demons die they usually just crumble and disappear. It's rated "PG" for fantasy action and violence, scary images, some bullying and language and has a running time of 2 hours. I wouldn't buy it on DVD but I could see buying it for my grandkids to watch. Otherwise, it would be a good rental.
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A penchant for fantasy collections
Otuoacheampong9725 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone knows the cliche storyline of King Arthur.But what has been the significant addition over the past years? THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING stoled my heart with its stout hearted performance and extra diversification to the basic storyline. JOE CORNISH was good this time. With extra improvement in his direction. Normal movie but edges over other movies with same storyline. Giving it a scor
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