A Knight’s Tale (2001)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Entertaining movie that looks great

Cliche plot and characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Knight’s Tale

Studio:  Escape Artists

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  May 11, 2001

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

knights tale heath ledger joust

Fear me and my flowing hair!!!

Squire William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) dreams of being a knight…something that he can never be.  When his master Sir Ector (Nick Brimble) dies before an important tournament, Will, Roland (Mark Addy), and Wat (Alan Tudyk) are forced to enter Will for survival.  As Will’s skill increases, Will finds himself catching the eye of Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon) and animosity of Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell) as Will’s supporters grow to include a female blacksmith Kate (Laura Fraser) and Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany).  As a fake knight Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein, Will is rising in the ranks…but the higher he goes, the farther he could fall!

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, A Knight’s Tale is a action-drama.  The movie was released to mixed to positive reviews and became a cult classic.

knights tale villain knight rufus sewell

There’s got to be a villain!

A Knight’s Tale was one of those movies that you weren’t quite sure how to take.  It combined a period drama with a rock (the same year that Moulin Rouge! made a bigger splash doing something similar).  The movie’s cliché plot and characters is lifted by a generally fun movie.

You pretty much know how the movie is going to go from the onset…and it doesn’t really waver.  Despite a few minor twists, the movie follows a very typical plotline…a hero emerges!  It is filled with stock characters and over-the-top villains.

Heath Ledger’s group of work is quite small with Ledger’s life cut short.  This movie helped make him a headline star and showed his range with the lauded performance in Monster’s Ball coming out in 2001 as well.  He’s backed up by a great supporting cast with Rufus Sewell and the stereotypical bad guy, Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk as the best friends, Shannyn Sossamon as the romantic lead, and Laura Fraser as the woman who doesn’t follow societal rules.  Paul Bettany plays a fun Geoffrey Chaucer and Academy Award nominated Bérénice Bejo made her American film debut.

knights tale cast heath ledger

We’re kooky!

The movie does look good.  The jousting scenes are actually pretty impressive.  The movie’s decision to “modernize” by including modern music seems a bit gimmicky but it is needed to boost the generic plot…and it kind of works.

A Knight’s Tale is a fun movie that is light and thoughtless.  It is essentially a Rocky type movie with boxing substituted with jousting.  With a runtime of two hours, the movie could definitely have been shortened, but if you don’t go into A Knight’s Tale with big expectations, you won’t be disappointed.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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