Outlaw King

Outlaw King

Film Netflix
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A solid historical drama that tells the story of how the 14th century Scottish 'Outlaw King' Robert the Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.

Outlaw King is a historical action drama film released on Netflix in 2018 and starring Chris Pine.

Directed by David Mackenzie, the movie tells the story of Robert the Bruce, a Scottish nobleman who becomes a legendary figure and leads a rebellion against the English occupation of Scotland during the 14th century.

With an ensemble cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Sam Spruell, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmo, and Stephen Dillane, it premiered in November 2018, on Netflix.

What Is Outlaw King About?

The film begins in the late 13th century when Scotland is under the oppressive rule of King Edward I of England (Stephen Dillane). After the execution of Scottish patriot William Wallace, the Scottish Lords and nobles, including John Comyn, are forced to submit to English authority.

Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine), a nobleman who initially supports Edward I, witnesses the harsh treatment of his people and the growing desire for independence.

Moved by the plight of his countrymen, Robert is inspired to take up the cause for Scottish independence. He begins to rally support from various clans and nobles, seeking alliances to challenge the English forces.

However, his initial efforts are met with scepticism and caution from other Scottish leaders who fear the consequences of rebellion. Despite the challenges, Robert remains determined and gains the support of James Douglas, a Scottish knight and warrior.

Together, they launch a guerrilla warfare campaign against the English, targeting their strongholds and supply lines. Robert's passionate speeches and his ability to inspire loyalty gradually win over more Scottish leaders, and his forces grow in number.

As the rebellion gains momentum, King Edward I sends his son Prince Edward (Billy Howle), to quell the uprising. The prince proves to be a formidable opponent, inflicting several defeats on Robert's forces. However, Robert remains resilient, learning from his mistakes and adapting his strategies.

The film also explores Robert's personal life, particularly his relationship with his wife, Elizabeth de Burgh (Florence Pugh). Despite the hardships and dangers they face, their bond remains strong, and Elizabeth becomes an influential figure in the fight for Scottish independence.

The film reaches its climax with the decisive Battle of Bannockburn, where Robert's forces face the English army in a final showdown.

Outlaw King Official Trailer

Is Outlaw King Worth Watching?

Directed by David Mackenzie, Outlaw King offers an immersive and intense portrayal of Robert the Bruce's struggle for Scottish independence, showcasing his determination, leadership, and the sacrifices made by those who fought alongside him.

Mackenzie has created some great films like Hell Or High Water which is a great layered cinematic experience. That said, Outlaw King seems to be missing his usual fluency.

With a tricky accent to master, Chris Pine does a great job. It is a bold, powerful performance, and he carries the dignified presence necessary for this role perfectly. Florence Pugh is brilliant as Elizabeth de Burgh, Roberts's wife. However, her role should have been expanded more.

The film achieves a solid level of realism, particularly in the battle scenes. This is a brutal time in history, and the fighting scenes are blood-soaked and brutal. So if this is not your type of thing, it is probably best to avoid Outlaw King.

I really wanted to like this film more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it is shot amazingly, the cast does an excellent job and there is enough action woven into the historically factual story that should make it work.

But for me, something is missing. It felt like the whole film was several episodes of a Netflix series bolted together. It lacks fluency and ends up feeling disjointed.

The ending is so abrupt that you end up feeling somewhat robbed. That would be ok if this was a finale in a series that is getting a follow-up, but that is not the case here.

As a feature movie on the life of Robert the Bruce, omitting The Battle of Bannockburn or many of his other achievements seems very odd. It left the film feeling like it was rushed or that only a small part of a bigger script had been used.

It is worth watching, just don't expect to see a full story. So give it a go as long as you are willing to sit for two hours to see a tiny window of a great historical story.

Is Outlaw King Based On A True Story?

Yes, Outlaw King is based on true events and characters from Scottish history. The film depicts the story of Robert the Bruce, a Scottish nobleman who led a rebellion against the English occupation of Scotland during the 14th century.

While the movie takes creative liberties and fictionalises some aspects for dramatic effect, it draws inspiration from historical accounts and the struggle for Scottish independence.

Robert the Bruce was a real historical figure who played a significant role in the fight for Scottish sovereignty. He was crowned King of Scots in 1306 and led a successful campaign against the English forces, culminating in the famous Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

The battle marked a turning point in the Scottish Wars of Independence, leading to increased recognition of Scotland's autonomy.

While the film may not provide a completely accurate retelling of events, it offers a cinematic interpretation of Robert the Bruce's story and the broader historical context of Scotland's fight for independence.

Cast Of Outlaw King Movie

Chris Pine (Star Trek Beyond) as Robert the Bruce, a Scottish nobleman who takes up the cause for Scottish independence and leads a rebellion against the English occupation.

Florence Pugh as Elizabeth de Burgh, Robert the Bruce's wife. She is a strong and influential figure who stands by Robert's side throughout the struggle for Scottish independence.

Stephen Dillane as Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks, is the King of England and the primary antagonist of the film. He is a ruthless and oppressive ruler who seeks to maintain English control over Scotland.

Billy Howle as Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales and the son of Edward I and a formidable adversary to Robert the Bruce.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Douglas, a Scottish knight and one of Robert the Bruce's most loyal allies.


  • Excellent Cinematography
  • Brilliant Cast
  • Amazing Battle Scenes


  • Felt Rushed
  • Lacking Excitement
  • Disappointing End


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