The young, ambitious and talented D’Artagnan moves to Paris with dreams of becoming a Musketeer. He meets the currently unemployed Athos, Porthos and Aramis and soon becomes embroiled in a bid to thwart a plot to overthrow the King of France and start a war in Europe. Meanwhile, the dastardly Duke of Buckingham has created a flying machine which could turn the tide in his favour if war does break out.

The Three Musketeers (2011) – Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

is the three musketeers appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 110 mins

Starring: Matthew Macfadyen, Logan Lerman, Orlando Bloom

Genre: Action/Adventure



A very loose adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas classic novel, ‘The Three Musketeers’ follows the trials and tribulations of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan. The flimsy yet overly complicated plot, heavy use of CGI and silly comedy sadly makes this a movie which is more about style and less about substance with very little to redeem itself. While kids will probably enjoy the spectacle of the visuals, this is not a movie that will be giving anyone a history lesson and it bears virtually no resemblance to the literary work that it is based upon.

While a lot of money must have been spent on getting some top names on the billing, none of the actors look particularly comfortable in their roles and there are no outstanding performances. It appears that the director was so keen to have so many well-known actors on-screen, each being gifted with decent chunks of time on camera that the subsequent plotting is disjointed, making everything seem incredibly confusing and, disappointingly, no-one has the chance to shine. If the comedy had been sharper, the audience may be able to forgive some artistic license with the plot, however even this was ham-fisted and poorly done, making it seem childish (and sometimes quite embarrassing). Overall, ‘The Three Musketeers’ is a deliberately trashy movie which stylistically seems to be emulating the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Pirates of the Caribbean. However, unlike those films, ‘The Three Musketeers’ is unlikely to be remembered in years to come, despite having some entertainment value.


While very much a ‘family friendly’ movie, there are a few notes to make relating to the content which adults may wish to be aware of before they allow a child to watch this movie.

At the very beginning, a guard stands watch outside a door at night and notices something moving in the water below him. He looks over and is killed when two daggers are thrown at his throat. This scene is at night and there is no blood and it is therefore not overly graphic but younger viewers may find this upsetting. Later in the movie, someone has a noose lowered over their head and tightened around their neck. When they are yanked upwards, they are seen to kick and struggle. It is unclear what happens to this guard as no further shots show his fate.

Several ladies are seen to be wearing revealing clothing and although some of this could be put down to the fashion of the time, some of the dresses are much lower cut than others! One scene shows one of the main female characters removing her outer layers and is seen to be wearing a low-cut dress which is long at the back but very short at the front, revealing the garter on her upper thigh. Another scene shows a male character ripping the top of a female character’s clothing. Although the scene ends at this point and nothing further is shown, the implication from the dialogue is that they are about to get intimate. This is subtle so younger children may not pick up on this.



‘The Three Musketeers’ is a relatively poor attempt at a swashbuckling film which has been too interested in its stars and not interested enough in the plot. Kids are bound to enjoy the colourful, over the top visuals but will not necessarily get anything substantial from it. We would recommend this movie for kids aged 8 and over, depending upon whether the supervising adult is happy for them to hear some bad language.

  • Violence:  3/5 (a few fight scenes using swords, these are mostly light-hearted and slapstick in nature)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (D’Artagnan is shot early in the movie but is quickly seen to be ok, with his wound being described as minor. Another character commits suicide and someone they were once close to is shown to be mildly upset)
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (revealing clothes and one instance of implied sex between two characters)
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (several instances of mild to moderate uses)
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of standing up for what is right, honour, loyalty, believing in brotherhood and a cause worth fighting for.

Words by Laura Record

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