Family Review: THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING is First-Rate Fun3 min read

By Trina Boice


Writer/director Joe Cornish presents a delightful family-friendly adventure that puts a modern spin on the legend of King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone.  The story takes place among British middle school kids where evil gets schooled and kids rule.


Yes!  It’s both charming and cheesy and will remind you of the fun and magic of movies you watched when you were a kid.  There are some really good special effects and great cinematography with attention to delicious details.

There is a little bit of a Lord of the Rings feel to this movie, and the characters in The Kid Who Would Be King even refer to themselves as having an adventurous battle for good like Frodo and Sam.  The scriptures are filled with inspiring stories of men and women who are surrounded by evil, yet never give up trying to shine the light in the dark.

Young English actor Louis Ashbourne Serkis plays such a likable character and is a great little actor!  Classically trained British actor Patrick Stewart is also in the movie as Merlin, which is especially appropriate because he starred in the movie Excalibur many years ago.  Rebecca Ferguson blew everyone away by her beauty and grace in last year’s film The Greatest Showman, as well as in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. In fact, she filmed scenes for her role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout during the week and then spent the weekends working on this movie where she plays an elegant, evil villain. Her fans might be a little disappointed that we don’t see much of her in this film.

You get to see the lovely British countryside in the movie and Stonehenge is featured a few times. The exploding owl gag throughout the film was funny every time and there are lots of entertaining pop references to comic book heroes and movies.


  • Fantasy-action violence.

  • There are some scary demons and dragons.

  • Kids unfamiliar with The Sword in the Stone story will benefit from the introductory cartoon that explains the backstory.

  • Talk to your kids what it means to have a “hollow” heart or a “pure” heart.  The Lord can see into our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). When He looks at yours, what does He see?

  • The movie paints a very grim world scene with everything in commotion. Talk to your kids about world conditions and how they can learn to also see all of the good that is happening in the world today. 

  • Bullying and name-calling

  • Beddars (Dean Chaumoo) talks about the popular TV show Game of Thrones which is definitely not family-friendly, so it’s disappointing that it got a shout-out in a kid’s movie.

  • From a distance, you see a blurred backside of a naked young man.

  • Some profanity

  • Your kids will probably want to learn more about the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

  • Encourage your kids to learn and live the chivalric code told in this charming retelling.

  • Kids in perilous situations.


  • “Be brave and resolute.” – Young Merlin (Angus Imrie)

  • “The path you choose must be your own.” – Young Merlin

  • “The most worthwhile path, my friends, is seldom the easiest.” – Young Merlin

  • “Use your wits.” – Young Merlin

  • King Arthur’s half-sister represents greed, entitlement, vengeance.

For another imaginative family-friendly adventure, we recommend The Gnome Mobile, which you can rent or buy here

Trina Boice is an author of 23 books and teaches online for BYU-Idaho in the Pathway program.  She received the Young Mother of the Year honor in 2004, an award that completely amuses her 4 sons. She’s a popular international speaker in China and writes movie reviews at You can find her books on Amazon, and at

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