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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 26.42%
Just Average: 13.99%
Pretty Crappy: 5.7%
Sucks: 17.1%

8 reviews, 145 user ratings

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Knight's Tale, A
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by iF Magazine

"Colorful, loud and cheeky."
3 stars

Profoundly enjoyable to anyone who can get into the spirit of a Renaissance Faire, A KNIGHT’S TALE is a mixture of merrie olde storytelling technique that has heroism, humor, romance, vigorous high-impact/no splatter medieval action and musical choices that may strongly influence viewer reaction.

The intention behind integrating rock ‘n’ roll hits into a tale set in the 14th century seems clearly to underscore the contemporary aspirations of the medieval characters. Some audiences will buy it, some will feel that the mood is shattered before it has a chance to take hold and many will giggle at the rather goofy juxtapositions of sound and image but get a bang out of the whole package nonetheless.

John Thatcher (Heath Ledger) is squire to a tourney-going knight who suddenly drops dead off the field in France. Unfortunately, John and his fellow servants, Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk) were counting on their master to win the next joust so they could have money for food. In desperate straits, John dons the dead man’s armor and impersonates him in the contest.

Emboldened by success, John sees that if he can fake being a noble with lance in hand (only nobility are allowed to compete), he has a future as a jouster. Persuading his reluctant pals to help him and aided by new acquaintance Geoff Chaucer (Paul Bettany), John reinvents himself as Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland, tournament champion and a reasonably nice fellow to boot (the behavior of most of the real nobles leaves a lot to be desired). John falls in love with the beautiful lady Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon) and runs afoul of the rotten Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), who will stop at nothing to bring down the competition.

No trophies for guessing most of the plot developments, but writer/director Brian Helgeland keeps everything rolling forward with energy, good humor and just enough sentiment to make us actively like his people. For all the anachronistic song choices – the first tournament thunders along to the strains of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and a pavanne dance frisks along to David Bowie’s “Golden Years” – A KNIGHT’S TALE winds up being considerably straighter-faced than, say, ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES or THE THREE MUSKETEERS.

Helgeland achieves a delicate pop balance where his universe works on its own terms, weaving modern jokes and sentiments into the events without ever violating the fourth wall. We can’t help noticing the balancing act, but it works. He also does a dandy job of making the thundering hooves and walloping body blows into a reasonably impressive spectacle, giving a sense of danger to the challenges. A subplot about John’s origins goes for the tear ducts with some dignity, helped by an intelligent performance by Christopher Cazenove as a caring parent.

Ledger is straightforward and hearty as the hero and Sewell knows what he’s doing as the cold, arrogant baddie. Sossamon, in her first role, is lovely and flirtatious and Addy and Tudyk give solid support. However, the film is all but stolen by Bettany, who is having and providing so much fun as the fictitious von Lichtenstein’s self-appointed herald that his glee practically sparkles off the screen.

A KNIGHT’S TALE is colorful, loud and cheeky. Whether its particulars suit the individual is a matter of taste, but it’s made by people who know something about dialogue, narrative structure and pacing (to say nothing of stuntwork), timeless virtues and all.-- Abbie Bernstein

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4627&reviewer=119
originally posted: 05/11/01 23:48:11
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User Comments

12/20/08 Valerie Very entertaining, and doesn't try to be something its not. 5 stars
10/07/08 Shaun Wallner This film is hilarious!! 5 stars
6/17/08 sugar I thoought the movie was Boring...i nearly fell asleep watching it 1 stars
8/10/07 Hello Stranger alot of anachronisms. sometimes it crap, sometimes its good. ledger is a great actor here 3 stars
7/21/07 gr117 If loving this movie is wrong, then I don't want to be right. 5 stars
3/27/07 samantha great movie! Heath Ledger looks his hottest in this movie! 5 stars
1/07/07 Nagendran Not Historical. But Entertaining. 4 stars
12/15/06 Michele fun 5 stars
11/21/06 georgia what a lot of rubbish you switch to sky1 watch it for 2 seconds and your bored and in a bad 1 stars
11/12/06 bond, james bond sucks and them some- you have to see some guy's ass 1 stars
10/13/06 hbk the funniest medieval film ever.And there's a good story line as well i'm glad it works out 5 stars
10/09/06 India insultingly, juvenile. queen in the 14th century? 1 stars
9/27/06 Edward Shandis I'm still lost. This movie makes no sense and the actors suck!!! 1 stars
8/19/06 Beau very comical storyline that turns into an action packed love story, clever combination 4 stars
8/08/06 Dragon The Artist A comlplete abomination& desicration to Queen, the rock band that will rock you! 1 stars
7/08/06 Me Lovely film, Heath is incredible. 5 stars
6/15/06 Michele loved it, fun 5 stars
6/02/06 jeanne In what twisted universe is Rufus Sewell the booby prize? The man's scorching hot! 3 stars
4/05/06 Kyah awesome heathe ledger is so hot! 5 stars
9/14/05 Dan Good movie! 5 stars
8/23/05 ES Fun and witty, good action and soundtrack, but not your traditional medieval fare 4 stars
3/12/05 Ronin It's one of these movies where you yawn after 5 minutes and turn it off after 10. DULL 1 stars
2/05/05 R.W. Welch Not sure how you classify this, but it's entertaining enuff,if you don't mind anachronisms. 3 stars
1/15/05 chritzie its a very fantastic movie! i like it very much... and its very romantic! 5 stars
10/28/04 ODH I thought this movie was going to suck, but I was pleasantly suprised. 4 stars
8/16/04 Rusty Klichowicz Modern crowd behaviour in mediaeval times... Inspired! 5 stars
8/04/04 Jerlie Baruiz its humurous 4 stars
7/29/04 paolo enea I agrre with the efc, it's a great movie 5 stars
4/27/04 Manny Very funny with much historic accuracy. When it is not accurate, it is obvious and funny. 4 stars
3/28/04 Margie it's a fun movie... and if you thought Chaucer was boring, this might lighten your view 4 stars
3/27/04 The More You Know Nobody wins when 2 losers + 2 hotties vie for the privilege to hold Ledger's jock. 1 stars
2/26/04 john i loved this movie 5 stars
1/27/04 joe smith 4 stars
10/07/03 Ingo Entertainment with a twinkle. 4 stars
9/07/03 Gray good parts and bad parts 3 stars
8/26/03 nick It was the best movie of all 5 stars
7/30/03 Nicole The soundtrack was annoying as hell 2 stars
7/21/03 I Would A boring, contrived and predictable. All complete with a shitty Queen soundtrack. 1 stars
7/16/03 Katie Roberts i don't think i could bare 2 watch it again 2 stars
6/07/03 valeria The film was excelent!! 5 stars
4/06/03 Jack Sommersby Laughabe absurdity. 1 stars
12/11/02 Jamie I loved this movie! It was an interesting twist of the medieval times! 5 stars
12/06/02 Kevin I like how a jousting arena appeared in London 1 stars
11/13/02 Adam The best film ever, I love this comedy 5 stars
7/28/02 Jon Since when were random anachronisms funny? That said, Chaucer was fairly amusing... 2 stars
6/30/02 Smoogles Different and interesting, a step away from the usual sequel/prequel crap 5 stars
6/28/02 Drew A fun film, that's all it is and all it was trying to be 4 stars
6/20/02 Bart Impossible to watch 1 stars
6/05/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi wats rong wif all u peeps, jesus this woz boring! shanks gracy lionheart, i understand u!!! 1 stars
2/24/02 Peter Anderson Excellent, worth the rent 5 stars
1/26/02 Berat Kosovo Shannyn is too beatiful i like her too much i could not sleep for two days after i saw her. 5 stars
12/26/01 Wreddg Lovin' that film. Yeah yeah, Shannyn Sossamon was so HOTT in that film.. dammn. 5 stars
12/14/01 DJ I loved it. SHANNON SOSSAMON WAS WONDERFUL. 5 stars
11/11/01 Gracy Lionheart Bad acting, script, and music. Ledger's love interest was awful. An all over UGH!!! 1 stars
10/16/01 JesseL Excellent movie. One of the best. Movie Freek is a moron. 5 stars
10/15/01 JD Sweet movie!! 5 stars
10/03/01 Jess This movie was GREAT!!! the actors were well selected and Heath was magnificent!!! 5 stars
10/01/01 The Bomb 69 mindless fun, I couldn't believe it was more than 2 hours long, very entertaining 5 stars
9/28/01 Minh I love Shannyn Sossamon 5 stars
9/28/01 Phoenix A Knight's Tale is so much fun, that you forget it's over 2 hours. 5 stars
9/23/01 Tamsyn Loved it! It made me laugh and feel great...a movie you walk away from feeling happy! 5 stars
9/16/01 Bri Different, amusing, good time. 5 stars
9/10/01 Matthew Bartley More fun you shake a stick at. Chaucer was great! 4 stars
9/03/01 Babybelle Ye olde fashioned film of yore...rock on !! 4 stars
8/27/01 Al I urge you to see this one. 5 stars
7/29/01 Jennifer Gaissert F-U-N 5 stars
7/24/01 ron20003 I couldn't get into it. 1 stars
7/09/01 Anne I don't know why, but I loved it. The acting raised it to great entertainment. 4 stars
6/24/01 Lara Frazier An Excellent Comedy! 5 stars
6/22/01 Barton Fink This film was okay, but mostly was silly and dumb. Hot girls though. 2 stars
6/18/01 Jameson Triplett This movie created a fun new twist to what could have been only a variation on a theme 4 stars
6/18/01 Bob Fun, entertaining, and highly recommended. 4 stars
6/09/01 Anne This film is great! 5 stars
6/08/01 Bill This movie was great and I loved the dance scene. 4 stars
6/06/01 AngieH Unlike "Moulin Rouge" this movie doesn't take itself serously, and it's a lot of fun. 5 stars
6/05/01 bats main review is on-target; I really tried to like it...no dice 2 stars
6/05/01 Muad'Dib Tells you in the first scene not to take it seriously and just have fun. Both are easy. 4 stars
6/04/01 Obi Wan Flick was very entertaining. I went in wanting to hate it, and instead loved it. 4 stars
6/02/01 Why do you need my name i thought the way they mixed the music into the movie made it better 5 stars
6/01/01 Jennifer Heath makes it all happen! 5 stars
5/31/01 Hayley Wells This movie broke all the rules in an awesome fashion! It was superb! 5 stars
5/30/01 Heath Ledger, not aproving of your review Thought the movie was great. It was supposed to be more of a commedy than serious btw Eric 4 stars
5/29/01 Katie I love this movie 5 stars
5/29/01 Kendra It was so good Heath is a really good actor 5 stars
5/29/01 Roy Smith Telegraphs better than Western Union, no suprises at all! 3 stars
5/28/01 Mike Montemayor This isn't a bad film, if you can get over the extraordinarily clean peasants. 4 stars
5/28/01 Denise Dionisio It was cute 4 stars
5/28/01 thefirkin Never listen to newspaper critics! Don't look for an oscar! THIS IS ENTERTAINMENT ONLY!! 5 stars
5/28/01 Edward Shandis ok, I saw it again with the ol' lady. It REALLY SUCKED this time. 1 stars
5/28/01 Kathy Although it's a bit corny at times (i.e. dance sequence), it's a cute movie worth seeing. 4 stars
5/27/01 steverino Lighten Up, and Enjoy it 4 stars
5/27/01 Alaman Fun movie. Go see it... 5 stars
5/26/01 katie this movie was so amazing, i really enjoyed it 5 stars
5/25/01 Kristi J Smith Wonderful, Entertaining, THIS MOVIE ROCKS!!! 5 stars
5/25/01 S What the hell! I am i missing something? i think this movie was great. 5 stars
5/25/01 Serena Witzke really good for what it is 5 stars
5/24/01 SlamRipley I don't know what the script writers were smoking, but I want some!!! 2 stars
5/24/01 Edward Shandis what in the hell happened back then? 2 stars
5/24/01 Jason Either have a comedy or a drama, don't try to mix the two; these guys aren't Chris Farley. 3 stars
5/24/01 Noelle This is a great film. It's unusual but that is what makes it fun. 5 stars
5/24/01 Brandon Herberger Could not stand this film 1 stars
5/23/01 Courtney Maxwell It ROCKS!!! Best movie ever!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/23/01 bluebeena Very disappointing... great for teeny boppers... 2 stars
5/23/01 malcolm good action, mix of music and medieval culture was hilarious, awesome ending 3 stars
5/22/01 Robynn A movie to go and have fun at, a few bits of dialogue made me cringe. 4 stars
5/22/01 Chris Shannyn Sossamon is sooooo damn fine...thats all i gotta say 5 stars
5/20/01 Kassandra This movie was very entertaining and heath ledger was gorgeous 5 stars
5/20/01 Lara This movie kicks ass! 5 stars
5/19/01 Murf Jocelyn was extremely hot! 5 stars
5/18/01 Barry Moyerman great movie, lots of fun for all 5 stars
5/18/01 Xalt Interesting, and very fun. The mingling of past and present was skillful and exciting. 4 stars
5/18/01 lorraine much more fun than I expected 4 stars
5/17/01 Graca excellent 5 stars
5/17/01 Matti Dwyer Awesome! The best movie I've seen lately! 5 stars
5/15/01 Thomas Albert Could have more detail and better dialogue but otherwise it was an epic in the making! 5 stars
5/15/01 Laura Fun and Whimsical! I loved the contemporary themes and music...it's just a movie! 5 stars
5/15/01 Kirsten One of the most visually uninteresting movies. Predictable, overly sentimental. Yuck. 2 stars
5/15/01 Rampage much better than Man in the Iron Mask and Mask of Zorro 4 stars
5/14/01 Krystal I smiled most of the time...did get quite long though 4 stars
5/14/01 Obisidianbear Very good Movie, and the girls love it. :P 4 stars
5/14/01 arvind comedy,drama,history,romance,emotion.all 3 stars
5/14/01 Kymbric Less historically accurate than a Disney film -- but charming and funny! 4 stars
5/14/01 Kirsten I loved it 5 stars
5/14/01 Aubie LOTS OF FUN!!! GREAT SOUNDTRACK!!! 5 stars
5/14/01 Julia I loved this movie. Great music and Great FUN! 5 stars
5/14/01 Airborne_Dan A good time, and a fun film. Relax and Enjoy..... 4 stars
5/13/01 Aaron Hanson I love historical flicks, especially the Middle Ages, thats just me, of course 5 stars
5/13/01 nang the best ever 5 stars
5/13/01 Stephanie I am glad to see some thin different than the same old midevil movies, i loved the music!! 5 stars
5/13/01 Out for fun I had a great time watching this flick. 5 stars
5/13/01 Sheila Collins awesome... although so far from reality, it doesn't even count. 5 stars
5/12/01 Johnny Kicks fucking ass!!! 5 stars
5/12/01 Jon Westrm Not worth the time or money. 1 stars
5/12/01 rlvj DO NOT LEAVE until after the theater cleaners have left! 4 stars
5/11/01 Chris A fun, light-hearted movie - Some great laughs! 5 stars
5/11/01 Kathleen Williams Funny! Definitely worth the $7 to go see! Not much these days is!!! 4 stars
5/11/01 Jake A Knugget's Tale made my root canal look like a fun time. Awful movie... 1 stars
5/11/01 Intestinal Discomfort This movie gave me painful gas cramps. It sucks big beefy balls. 1 stars
5/11/01 Todd Worse than Hitler 1 stars
5/09/01 nanny wow dont miss it 5 stars
5/09/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) The best part of this cinematic experience was sampling Cherry Mountain Dew. 2 stars
5/08/01 Katie This movie is the best movie I've seen all year!!!l 5 stars
5/06/01 Loretta Fischer I left with a grin on my face. 2 stars
5/05/01 Boyd Possin I was magnificently entertained--and I see a LOT of movies! 5 stars
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  11-May-2001 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Sep-2005



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