Birthday movie for 11 year old-fantasy or medieval edition.
September 14, 2020 12:34 PM   Subscribe

The boy from this question turns 11 on Friday and our plan is to rent a small local theater for him and his two best friends to watch a movie of their choice (it’s a thing in our town right now). We need to decide ASAP what that movie will be and are having a hard time thinking outside of the old standards. He loves medieval movies, sword fighting, some martial arts. He enjoyed A Knight’s Tale and Kung Fu Hustle recently-the LOTR trilogy is his all-time favorite. Doesn’t love Princess Bride which is eternally disappointing for me. We are ok with profanity and some violence (obv) but need to avoid any child death themes. Help!
posted by purenitrous to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is the right age for Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
posted by phunniemee at 12:38 PM on September 14, 2020 [13 favorites]

There was a 2010 remake of The Karate Kid that I quite liked: the trailer.
posted by foxfirefey at 12:42 PM on September 14, 2020

Some movies my 12 yr old son has recently enjoyed (he is a fantasy and sci-fi fan also):

- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (wuxia movie, would be super appealing to any kid who likes sword fights but it does have a sex scene, depends on your 11 yr old! It's a short scene with no nudity, but the male character is obviously using his hands between the female character's legs, and there is some panting, sweating, etc. It all lasts less than a minute. There is no other scene in the movie inappropriate for kids.)

- Coraline (no fights, but my son was absolutely hooked and creeped out in equal measure.)

- Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (might be the best one on this list for your 11 yr old, it checks every single box)
posted by MiraK at 12:43 PM on September 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

100% agree with PotC #1. Formative influence for me, that movie.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 12:44 PM on September 14, 2020

Pirates of the Caribbean. Stick to the first movie, it's the best & must buckle swashing of all the PoTC franchise.
posted by wwax at 12:55 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

If child peril is acceptable, I loved Willow at that age.
posted by Candleman at 12:59 PM on September 14, 2020 [13 favorites]

Ooh, and how about:

- The Matrix (1999)

- Jumanji (1995)

- The Jungle Book (1994)

- The Mummy (1999)

- Jurassic Park (1993)

- Any of the Indiana Jones movies, probably!
posted by MiraK at 1:19 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Has he seen Willow? That checks a lot of those boxes.
posted by cosmicbandito at 1:25 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Dragonheart? It's been a while so I'd check Common Sense Media but it was my now-partner's favorite movie when we met at 12.
posted by brook horse at 1:28 PM on September 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oldies, but goodies:

Dragonslayer (1981). I recently re-watched it. It's a straight-up fantasy movie about a wizard's apprentice who has to go kill a dragon.

Ladyhawke (1985). Stars Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer. It's been a while but I recall enjoying this.

Highlander (1986) Stars Christopher Lambert. A cult classic. Plenty of swordplay in this one. I recommend.

(1988) Stars Val Kilmer & Warwick Davis. Directed by Ron Howard. A beloved classic.
posted by cleverevans at 1:30 PM on September 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

The Dark Crystal may be in or out depending on whether Jen and especially Kira read to you(r child) as children. Watch it yourself first, if you haven't already, before watching with your child.

Labyrinth might work, though -- The Babe is never really in serious peril.
posted by humbug at 1:37 PM on September 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Time Bandits!
posted by TDIpod at 2:01 PM on September 14, 2020 [17 favorites]

erroll flynn swashbucklers
posted by brujita at 2:08 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Willow for sure, and Jurassic Park!
posted by BReed at 2:09 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding brujita, I was coming in to say the Flynn version of Robin Hood (especially if he has seen the Bugs Bunny version where they insert a clip from this film)--that is if he can take cope with "old" movies. The fan in me also wants to say the Tyrone Power version of Zorro, but that's in black and white, and I'm betting it's a step too far for him and his friends.
posted by sardonyx at 2:18 PM on September 14, 2020

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
posted by sexyrobot at 2:39 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have a terrible memory, so I won't swear to all of these being age-appropriate, but I think some would fit the bill.

3 Ninjas
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie
The Mask of Zorro
Surf Ninjas
Ip Man
The Brothers Grimm
Hero (2002)
Iron Monkey
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Fearless (2006)
Beowulf (there's several adaptations)
King Arthur (again, plenty of choices but I'm thinking of the 2004 version)
Jack the Giant Slayer
Kubo and the Two Strings
Ong Bak
Reign of Fire

Plus the rash of films when execs were looking for fantasy to put on the big screen in Harry Potter's wake: Eragon, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, The Golden Compass, The Spiderwick Chronicles, others I'm probably forgetting. Like I said, my memory's not great.
posted by xenization at 3:01 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding Time Bandits
posted by cda at 3:07 PM on September 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

Time Bandits, Baron Munchausen, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail have a common creator (well, Monty Python has many fathers and a handful of mothers) in Terry Gilliam, and that man definitely has a way of bringing out his inner 11-year-old. I'll second all 3.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:37 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Hallmark’s fantasy movies are excellent - lots of attention to detail. The one that springs to mind is Merlin. They were originally tv miniseries, so there shouldn’t be anything too extreme in any of them.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:33 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

School of Rock!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:12 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thirding Time Bandits.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:50 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Ladehawke for sure. Matthew Broderick is funny, Rutgers Hauer heroic, Michelle Pfeiffer a vision. Great score as well.
posted by lhauser at 6:55 PM on September 14, 2020 [5 favorites]

This might be an odd suggestion, but how about Flash Gordon? Timothy Dalton does some pretty great Errol Flynn-style swashbuckling, and it’s quite a spectacle. I bet the Queen soundtrack would sound amazing through cinema speakers.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:34 PM on September 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Time Bandits FTW!
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

We did this for our similar sounding son's last birthday party and chose The Kid Who Would Be King.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:22 AM on September 15, 2020

The correct answer to your question is The Kid Who Would Be King. The main star is the son of Andy Serkis (best known for playing Gollum) and is great. It was directed by the same person who directed "Attack the Block," which was a fun alien invasion movie and the first movie starring John Boyega of Star Wars fame.

Plus it is family-friendly, but with a bit of intensity/peril, and I enjoyed it as least as much as my kids did.

(Edit: Robocop's answer wasn't there when I hit submit. I swear!)
posted by tacodave at 6:16 PM on September 15, 2020

What about Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? The sequel is coming out soon so it might be a timely choice. It's a fun romp at that age.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 8:15 PM on September 15, 2020

I just rewatched Ladyhawke and loved it again, but it is very romantic, so if thats what he didnt like about Princess Bride, then dont pick Ladyhawke.

I also am a HUGE Terry Gilliam fan, but when I was a kid Time Bandits was upsetting (themes of missing/unreliable/killed parents). I recommend Baron Munchausen instead - its silly, richly done, funny, and just a little scary.

If your theater has The Fall, watch that! Very wonderful movie, thematically fun, and maybe one of the most beautiful movies ever made. The main character is a little girl in a hospital who gets told stories by another patient, and her imagination of the stories is the movie. Not available on streaming so if you can watch it in a theater, do it!
posted by Illusory contour at 9:12 PM on September 15, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you all! He loved reading the list and we’ve compiled ideas for later-for now, Holy Grail is the wonder. He’s seen it before and loved it and it’s the perfect level of silly for this age group (and the adults). He has recently watched Time Bandits, The Kid Who Would be King, and Baron Muchausen and they were all enjoyed so definitely on the right track here.
posted by purenitrous at 9:35 AM on September 16, 2020

Response by poster: PoTC would’ve been my choice, but we saw it recently and he oddly isn’t a huge fan even though it’s awesome.
posted by purenitrous at 9:37 AM on September 16, 2020

« Older Whiter whites without bleach?   |   Dog shampoo for dogs who love to roll in horrible... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments