A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

Brian Helgeland (2001)

PG Certificate


Our Score
This irreverent medieval caper sets out its stall right at the start, when Queen's anthem-like We Will Rock You thuds on to the soundtrack at a joust. So far, so anachronistic. But the real twist is that the 14th-century spectators join in and clap in time. It's that kind of film, full of such cheeky flourishes - jousting fans sing rock songs, emcees talk up contestants like it's WWE wrestling, and dancers at a royal banquet groove to David Bowie's Golden Years. Writer/director Brian Helgeland certainly enjoys himself here, and so does his cast. Heath Ledger plays the commoner who dreams of being a knight, and so impersonates one with the help of sidekicks Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Alan Tudyk and Paul Bettany (who casually steals the film with his portrayal of writer Geoffrey Chaucer). It's tremendous, infectious fun, with a rocking soundtrack, and everyone concerned enters into the spirit of it (including Rufus Sewell as the evil Count Adhemar). If there's a downside, it's Helgeland's occasionally inexperienced handling of the action scenes, and the fact that, frankly, if you've seen one jousting match, you've seen 'em all.


A poverty-stricken squire spies an opportunity to make his dreams come true when his employer dies. He takes his place as a knight, launching himself on the road to riches by competing in jousting tournaments, but his ruse is jeopardised by a dastardly nobleman. Comedy adventure, starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Mark Addy, Shannyn Sossamon and Rufus Sewell.

Cast & Crew

William Thatcher / Sir Ulric of Liechtenstein Heath Ledger
Count Adhemar Rufus Sewell
Roland Mark Addy
Geoffrey Chaucer Paul Bettany
Lady Jocelyn Shannyn Sossamon
Wat Alan Tudyk
Kate Laura Fraser
John Thatcher Christopher Cazenove
Christiana Bérénice Bejo
Colville / Edward, the Black Prince James Purefoy
Director Brian Helgeland
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 31 Aug 2001
Comedy Drama