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The Kid Who Would Be King | 2019 | PG | – 3.5.1

content-ratingsWhy is “The Kid Who Would Be King” rated PG? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “fantasy action violence, scary images, thematic elements including some bullying, and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes brief, unclear nudity, demons, dragons and flaming swords used to fight humans with a few scratches shown, and many demons destroyed including a few beheadings, scary sounds and voices, magic and legends, and some name-calling and mild obscenities. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


A contemporary retelling of the Arthurian legend with an ordinary British schoolboy (Louis Ashbourne Serkis), who happens upon the legendary sword Excalibur and must unite his schoolmates into a band of knights and along with Merlin (Patrick Stewart) take on the evil Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). Also with Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris and Angus Imrie. Directed by Joe Cornish. A few phrases are spoken in Latin with English translation. [Running Time: 2:00]

The Kid Who Would Be King SEX/NUDITY 3

 – We see a fully nude man from the back and from a distance (his bare back and buttocks are evident but without clear detail; we just see flesh tones). We see a nude man enter a store and the clerk reacts to his nudity (we see his bare shoulders and chest).


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The Kid Who Would Be King VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 - Many demon knights on horseback break up through the ground and charge a school carrying flaming swords: school children slam many of them with cars destroying them, others are taken out by ropes pulled up, throwing them from their horses, and the children then fight them with swords; gymnastic boxes are swung from a ceiling knocking others to the ground and many children with swords fight with many demon knights (we see a few heads being lopped off, a couple run through and we see what looks like a spurt of liquid or blood while others turn into glowing embers).
 A dragon pushes up out of the ground with a skeletal knight on its back; the knight attacks a pre-teen boy using his flaming sword and the boy falls back onto the ground before another boy hits the knight and dispatches him; other knights come out of the ground and chase three children that tip over a barrel of flammable liquid that ignites the attackers and they chase the children through the streets (one is obliterated when it runs into an opened car door, one disintegrates when it crashes into a bus stop enclosure and the final one is destroyed by a car crashing into it head on and they all burst into glowing embers). Many demon knights push up through the ground and ride on horses chasing four teens on horses through woods; one knight is knocked off its horse, and a pre-teen boy falls off his horse and is held by the throat by a demon knight until someone attacks the knight. Several teens run to a cliff and jump landing on a ledge below unharmed, as many demon knights on horseback follow and fall into the ocean below, disappearing. A pre-teen boy is chased by a winged demon that blows fire at him, and other teens wrap ropes around the demon's tail and wings to keep it from flying away until the boy jumps on its back and cuts its head off (we see the head separate) before it is sucked into a vortex and out of sight. A winged demon flaps around a pre-teen boy, who pretends to hand her a sword, and then stabs her in the abdomen; the walls of a cave passage crumble and we see the demon covered with rubble as the boy and three other teens run out of the cave to safety. A woman holds a man by the neck and wraps a root around his throat. A winged demon blows flames at an owl and it falls to the ground; we see the owl transformed to a man with char marks on his face and he is fed a tonic that revives him.
 We see a demon with large bat-like wings and sharp teeth and a long tail flapping in the air. A pre-teen boy wakes with a start and hears noises in his back yard, where he sees a skeletal knight pushing up through the ground and holding a flaming sword; the boy tries to run and the knight enters the house and comes after him, but is struck down by a man (the knight bursts into glowing embers). We see what a city will look like if things are not put right with people shackled and trudging through streets and everything in flames. Several pre-teens are held by roots that wrap around them and pull them into the ground.
 Four teens walk through thick fog and water that rises as they move through; two boys with swords fight and one breaks one of the swords. Four teens jump into a deep passage where they find 4 doors and choose one to pass through; they hack the vines covering the opening and they grow back after they pass through. Vines on the walls of a passage grab four teens as they pass through; the teens hack at the vines with their swords and three of the four of them are seen wrapped with roots and hanging from walls (they are OK later) and the fourth runs through another passage and nearly falls into molten lava below. A pre-teen boy is held upside down by his feet and change falls out of his pockets while two bullies harass him; when another boy tells them to let him go, they shove him into a puddle and drop the other boy (he falls hard on the ground but we see no injuries) and the bullies walk away only to be attacked by another boy who knocks one bully to the ground and punches him repeatedly (we see one boy with a scratch on his face). Two bullies chase a pre-teen boy through a park and into a construction area where the boy falls off a ledge and lies motionless on a pile of dirt (the bullies run away). Police pick up a man walking along the side of a highway. A man stands on a table in a school cafeteria and students throw drink cartons at him knocking him off the table (no injuries). A pre-teen boy holds a large sword and startles his mother when he turns around quickly and the sword is pointed at her. A door is slammed preventing two pre-teen boys from leaving a room and a man in the room conjures up a magic spell that makes things in the room spin around them. A bus stops short on a highway and when a man enters the bus, he puts a spell on the driver (he looks like he's in a trance). Four teens huddle together to keep warm while sleeping outside on an island.
 We hear a hissing voice coming from underground and follow roots through the dirt to a woman attached to a tree trunk by roots wrapped around her (we see her in this condition a few times). A woman covered with tree roots and vines pulls away from the foliage and we hear squishing sounds; she then falls to the ground and crawls. A deep voice repeats, "The sword has returned," and a woman says, "The King must die." An animated sequence shows many knights with swords fighting with bloody splatters on armor and men falling dead. We hear about the souls of fallen warriors being enslaved. A voice talks about preying on the weaknesses of others.
 A man transforms into an owl when he sneezes (feathers float into the air with each change) and back to human form again in several scenes. A man transforms into an owl and slams into a closed fireplace and a closed window (he transforms to human form and holds his head in pain). A man looks pale and breathes heavily after performing a magic spell and says he's done for until sunrise (we see him OK later). A pre-teen boy pulls on a sword buried in a stone and he falls backward when it starts to come loose. A car speeds into an intersection and stops just before being struck by other cars. Four pre-teens with swords practice sword fighting with trees that are under a spell and can move; a man performs magic and blows the attacking trees to splinters and the young people are unharmed.
 A school principal reprimands a pre-teen boy for fighting and tells him that he has to change. A pre-teen boy receives text messages from a friend saying that someone is following him and pleading for help. We hear about the legend of King Arthur and about his half-sister Morgana who vowed to obtain Excalibur for herself. People talk about the world being more unstable than ever. A pre-teen boy tells his mother, "You wouldn't understand. Dad would understand." Letters written on a boy's fingers spell out, "UR DED," and he shows them to another boy that he is bullying. People talk about a solar eclipse. A pre-teen boy says a plan is too dangerous and, "We'll die." We hear about the code of knights and that they must be pure of heart, they must persevere, and respect their loved ones. A man says that Stonehenge is a conveyance system and when five people step among the stones, they disappear. A woman tells a pre-teen boy that his father was a drinker and angry at everything.
 A man talks about needing beetle blood, ground bone and beaver urine to revive him and in one scene he describes a fast food meal as containing all of those things.


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The Kid Who Would Be King LANGUAGE 1

 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (insignificant, powerless, bullyable, weird, kiddies, ladies, selfish, rotten, little rats, low-born serf, Simba, Percy jockstrap, freak, deluded, meek, callow, stupid, liar, cheat, beholden, creepy, humiliating), exclamations (Christmas day, shut-up, I swear), 9 religious exclamations (e.g. God Socks, Godforsaken, Oh My God, Thank You God, Thank God). | profanity glossary |


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The Kid Who Would Be King SUBSTANCE USE

 - A woman describes a man as a "drinker."


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The Kid Who Would Be King DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Legends, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, enemies, allies, fairy tales, sorcery, greed, entitlement, vengeance, destiny, danger, bravery, truth, trust, friendship, bullying, pity, ignorance, slavery, adventures, heroes, myths, lies, single parenting, giving up, estranged fathers.

The Kid Who Would Be King MESSAGE

 - Evil turns people against each other. A land is only as good as its leaders.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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