Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

Excalibur

PG Released Apr 10, 1981 1h 59m Adventure Fantasy List
72% Tomatometer 94 Reviews 80% Audience Score 50,000+ Ratings The magical sword of Excalibur starts off in the hands of British lord Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) and then, years later, finds its way to his bastard son, Arthur (Nigel Terry), the knave destined to become king. Aided by the sorcerer Merlin (Nicol Williamson), Arthur fulfills his fate by bringing together the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot and unifying the country. However, this flawed monarch faces greater tests ahead in pursuit of love, the Holy Grail and his nation's survival. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

Excalibur

In Theaters Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent Excalibur on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

Excalibur

What to Know

Critics Consensus

John Boorman's operatic, opulent take on the legend of King Arthur is visually remarkable, and features strong performances from an all-star lineup of British thespians.

Read Critics Reviews

Critics Reviews

View All (94) Critics Reviews
Pauline Kael New Yorker John Boorman is an intoxicated moviemaker, with a wonderful kind of zeal -- a greed to encompass more and more and more in his pictures... I don’t know-of any other director who puts such a burnish on his obsessions. Sep 18, 2023 Full Review David Denby New York Magazine/Vulture Excalibur is full of visual fustian -- flames in the night, mist rising ominously from the ground, bits of klutzy magic. Yet, despite all the rhetoric, the movie never takes off. Jun 17, 2022 Full Review David Robinson Times (UK) Boorman reveals a wonderfully individual gift for embodying the mystical and the magical. Jan 3, 2022 Full Review James Berardinelli ReelViews The closer one pays attention to Excalibur, the more frustrating the experience is. Rated: 2/4 Feb 26, 2023 Full Review John Brosnan Starburst Excalibur is an embarrassment... it’s the banality of much of the dialogue in Excalibur that’s so depressing. Jul 27, 2022 Full Review Phil Edwards Starburst Excalibur can be regarded as a personal epic, a humanizing of mythological figures and on this level the film works superbly, aided by some remarkable performances. Jul 27, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (1000+) audience reviews
He-Rex Excalibur is a visually stunning distillation of the Arthurian legend bolstered by the musical genius of Richard Wagner. Fine performances, and a real achievement by director John Boorman. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/24 Full Review Tom Hands down the greatest Arthurian Legend movie ever made, to the exclusion of all others! Breathtaking visuals, first rate acting, and the coolest ass costumes you'll ever see. Boorman is the only one to truly reproduce the "knight in shining armor". And all this set to Richard Wagner's "Sigfrieds Rhine journey" and "Tristan and Isolde". The final scene, with the death of Arthur, is perhaps one of the most emotionally stirring in film history. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/08/24 Full Review Ted H Realistic in storyline depth and characters fulfilling their roles. Great directing, and any disjointment may come from editing from an intended length. But length may not always be appreciated by the general public nor film critics. All in all an excellent production that accomplishes the goal. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/22/24 Full Review William S The imagery and sense of fantasy in this movie are great. With that said, it's story is nothing spectacular, and the characters left something to be desired for my personal taste. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 12/29/23 Full Review Mike P Excellent sword and sorcery epic; stands tall amongst others of it's type; like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jack the Giant Killer, Disney's Sleeping Beauty, DragonSlayer and Game of Thrones...and even Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark in terms of actioner epics of that era... (It was an obvious antecedent and prototype for the Game of Thrones books and movies; in particular).... This represents a huge comeback for legendary director John Boorman, who almost ruined his career in 1977 by directing Exorcist 2, which was one of the worst movies ever made.... And then he rebounded with this masterwork!! Great costuming; thrilling photography and cinematography; classic cinema archetypes like Arthur, Gwenevere, Lancelot, Merlin, Mordred and Morganna abounding...(A sexy young Helen Mirren as the mischievous Morganna pretty much steals the movie...Infact she and fellow sorcerer Nicol Williamson should have had their own spinoff series...). Infact all the performances are delicious! Look fast for a young Liam Neason...Overall a classic of it's type from the 80s. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/05/23 Full Review neil t A feast for the eyes, John Boorman at his absolute best 👌 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/16/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Excalibur

My Rating

Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

Cast & Crew

Krull 35% 52% Krull TRAILER for Krull Dragonslayer 84% 63% Dragonslayer Hercules 22% 27% Hercules Highlander II: The Quickening 0% 23% Highlander II: The Quickening King Kong 54% 31% King Kong Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis The magical sword of Excalibur starts off in the hands of British lord Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) and then, years later, finds its way to his bastard son, Arthur (Nigel Terry), the knave destined to become king. Aided by the sorcerer Merlin (Nicol Williamson), Arthur fulfills his fate by bringing together the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot and unifying the country. However, this flawed monarch faces greater tests ahead in pursuit of love, the Holy Grail and his nation's survival.
Director
John Boorman
Producer
John Boorman
Screenwriter
Thomas Malory, Rospo Pallenberg, John Boorman
Distributor
Orion Pictures, Warner Home Vídeo, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros.
Production Co
Warner Brothers
Rating
PG
Genre
Adventure, Fantasy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 10, 1981, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 59m
Most Popular at Home Now