Kingdom of Heaven

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Kingdom of Heaven is a fictionalized epic adventure about the 12th century Crusades. The story follows a troubled blacksmith named Balien (Orlando Bloom) who seeks forgiveness and redemption in the holy city of Jerusalem. After inheriting a noble title in the Holy Land, Balien finds himself thrust into the raging political and religious conflicts over the city of Jerusalem. The dying King Baldwin (Edward Norton) attempts to maintain a tenuous peace with the Muslim warlord, Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). Other nobles led by the apparent heir to the throne, Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas), believe that it is the Christians duty to rid the Holy Land of the Muslim infidels. Siding with the frail king, Balien must choose whether to do a little evil by plotting against Lusignan so as to become the next king himself or to serve Lusignan with a clear conscience and defend Jerusalem at war. Also starring Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons.

In an even-handed portrayal of brutal religious war, director Ridley Scott tackles a topic that has long offended critics of Christianity. While the Crusades are indefensible, this film should a least help viewers understand them in the context of the social and religious values of the Middle Ages. It may also help disarm critics by portraying the wars in the Holy Land as two-sided religious conflicts in which both Muslims and Christians refused to compromise. Yet the film also sends a clear and entirely unbiblical message about religion: Misguided zeal can only be cured by recognizing that all religions are essentially the same. In fact, the filmmakers put words to this effect in Baliens mouth when he says that the Muslims praise is just like the Christians. While it is a thought-provoking story, Preview urges viewers to think twice before attending because of the extensive and raw violence in the film.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times moderate (b-stard 2)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times mild (men push and struggle with each other leading up to more severe violence); moderate (numerous scenes involving hand-to-hand combat with swords and primitive weapons such as bows/arrows, some combat scenes involve numerous deaths, some deaths are very bloody); strong (man murders another man by pushing him into a blacksmiths furnace; man shown impaled by arrows; many gory wounds and gashes; man shown being beheaded; many decapitated bodies and heads shown; man kills another man by slitting his throat with a sword; intense battle scene involving siege of Jerusalem includes many gory deaths, death by burning, etc.)

Sex: One time moderate (married woman seduces unmarried man with brief scene of them together in bed with motions)

Nudity: Few times mild (man and woman shown with nudity implied but obscured by camera angles)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times moderate (man refers to knowing a woman and fathering a child with her, man referred to as a b-stard because his father was promiscuous); strong (man claims to have known another mans mother in a sexual way)

Drugs: None

Other: Many (20+) appropriate references to God with several references to Allah as God and several references to Christ; portrayal of religious conflict and war, Crusades addressed in a fairly neutral way; numerous references to the will of God related to religious wars; characters from the Middle Ages seem to be operating with 21st century ideas about religion; implication that all religions are equal and worship the same god; references to heaven and hell and implication that there are ways of getting to heaven other than faith alone in Christ alone; several references to the Christian theology of the Middle Ages

Running Time: 145 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults, fans of historical fiction

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