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The Boy Who Would Be King

If you're looking for something adventurous for the whole family, then The Boy Who Would Be King is the family film you might be looking for. Written and directed by Joe Cornish, the Arthurian legend of Excalibur gets a quite likable 21st Century update. In the story, our hero is Alex (Louise Ashbourne Serkis) who stands up to two school bullies (a boy and a girl) and ends up running from them. In his escape through a construction site, he pulls Excalibur (the sword of kings) to defend himself. But that is not his only duty. Cornish goes political. When Merlin shows up in two forms, the older nicely played by Patrick Stewart, and the younger played by Angus Imrie, Alex gets his mission: stand up for yourself, always tell the truth, fight the political malaise of authoritarianism in the world and fight off Morgana, Arthur's half-sister who wants the power Excalibur can bring. That's a tall order for a kids movie. But it's just the kind of adventure kids dream about and it's worth the price of a movie ticket for the pint-sized crowd. Kudos to scene-stealer Imrie who delivers a clever punchline and a little gravitas along the way. I think the Merlin actor will make a name for himself in the future.

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