King Richard Poster

King Richard (2021)

Biography | Drama | Sport
Rayting:   7.6/10 17K votes
Country: United States
Language: English
Release date: February 3, 2022

A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after the coaching from their father Richard Williams.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

CubsandCulture 22 November 2021

Smith fans should be pleased with this film. It is a good show case for the actor. It is one of Smith's better performances as well. It's almost real acting from the star. The film is perfectly pleasant because of Smith alone.

I however am not overly fond of the film for two reasons. First, the direction and parts of the screenplay are dramatically inert. The climax of the film feels much more like a reversal of fortune and not an ending. And while the direction is technically polished it is uninspired. Second, the decision to frame the story as Richard's is decidedly odd. Some of the material is refreshing in a sports film context but Richard Williams should not overshadow his daughters because they are the ones who did the main work. The film robs the William sisters of a lot of agency-it feels gross in retrospect because it is clear that Smith shaped the story to make the film a vehicle to win an Oscar.

The film works and I think tennis people will get a lot from it. But the film is basically just a really good lead performance from a character who should have been in a supporting role.

DarkVulcan29 1 December 2021

The story of Richard Williams, who is the father of famous tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. Who was eager to showcase there talent for the game of tennis, although his way of pushing them is not the way everybody agrees, but all he wants is to showcase there talent but at the same time is to be very humble.

Will Smith performance really holds high for an oscar, he just becomes King Richard, just makes you forget he is Will Smith.. The other cast do well also including Tony Goldwyn(Ghost) and Jon Bernthal. The actress's playing Venus and Serena are also good too. The tennis playing scene create a good level has a sports movie.

paul-allaer 22 November 2021

As "King Richard" (2021 release; 144 min.) opens, we are immediately in the thick of things as Richard Williams is a man with a plan, "to go from protege to pro" for his young daughters Venus and Serena who are budding tennis players. Alas, things are not as easy as they look, given that the Williams family is from Compton, CA and nobody in the tennis world is waiting on a black female tennis star (let alone two). But Richard perseveres... At this point we are 10 min into the film. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green ("Monsters & Men"). More importantly, the Williams family gave its full blessing to this film, and Venus and Serena are both credited as Executive Producers. The script focuses very much on the complicated figure that is Richard Williams. Is he the well-meaning father who just wants his girls to succeed, at any cost? Or is he a self-promoting grand schemer? What if he is both of those, and more? The script dives deep into this character, and that is the ultimate reason why this film is so surprisingly effective. Because we know how this will end (spoiler: both Venus and Serena will conquer the tennis universe!), it's all about the journey on how Richard got them to that point. Much has been said already about Will Smith's lead performance, and let's just go ahead and say it: he is fantastic in this role, and his Best Actor Oscar nomination is already assured (with a win quite likely). The rest of the cast is equally great. Check out a pivotal scene between Richard and his wife Brandy (played by Aunjanue Ellis) when Richard has made a pivotal decision without consulting her. Top-notch acting all around. The movie covers events up to 1994 (when Venus was just 15, and Serena just 13). I had forgotten the details of Venus' first tournament as a pro. It gave me the chills as I watched this.

"King Richard" was supposed to be released exactly a year ago, but a little thing called COVID-19 had other plans (and almost almost brought the movie theaters industry to its knees). The movie FINALLY premiered in theaters this weekend, while also simultaneously streaming on HBO Max (where I caught it). Despite universal acclaim for both the movie (certified 92% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and for Will Smith, the film underwhelmed at the box office (just $5 mill, significantly below expectations and projections). It's not hard to see why: this is not an "action" movie or a movie about superstars Venus and Serena. It is a nuanced character study of a man with obvious flaws but who also surprises us in other ways. If that sounds like it might be your cup of tea, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in theaters or on HBO Max, or later on other streaming platforms and also on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

Top_Dawg_Critic 25 November 2021

Even though the 144 min runtime flew buy, I felt there was too much filler on Richard and little substance for the sisters. I would've enjoyed more of Serena and Venus at the current runtime, or cut out much of the fluff on Richard down to 110 mins tops.

The directing was excellent, and Smith's performance was stellar as Richard, and the rest of the cast was spot on. Cinematography and score were great. Certainly a decent one-time watch, especially for fans of the sisters. The ending real-life photos and videos had a really uncanny resemblance to all the actor's characters. It's a well deserved 8/10.

zkonedog 1 December 2021

Richard Williams--father of tennis phenoms Venus & Serena--was one of the most controversial figures in the history of the sport. Denigrated as eccentric and overly protective, he also produced perhaps the two greatest female tennis stars of all time. "King Richard" digs into the mindset of the elder Williams to find some interesting material, though perhaps a bit filtered through Williams family approval of the entire project.

For a very basic overview, this film tells the story of Richard (Will Smith) raising his daughters in Compton--an area much more likely to produce gang-bangers than professional athletes. Though his handling of Venus (Saniyya Sidney) & Serena (Demi Singleton) draws the ire of neighbors, coaches, endorsers, and even wife Oracene (Aunjanue Ellis), Richard is persistent that his "plan" is the only way to prevent the girls from burning out early and not reaching their true potential.

When Will Smith really commits and is heavily involved in a project, the result is usual of a high quality. That is exactly the case here, what with Smith often carrying "King Richard" for large stretches. He absolutely makes the character his own, expertly portraying Richard's idiosyncrasies while still maintaining his usual charm and wit. Without an actor of his caliber, this whole film falls apart.

Thematically, "King Richard" also delves into some very interesting material such as Richard's own history of racial persecution, his desire for his daughters (all of them--not just the athletes) to improve their life standing, and his persistence in the face of "temptations" such as easy paths to fame and lucrative endorsements before anything has really been "earned". Though very clearly slanted in such a fashion that Richard will never really be wrong in the end, director Reinaldo Marcus Green & writer Zach Baylin do a fine job of showing at least some of his warts.

Truth be told, the only reason I limit my star ranking here to 8 is because of the amount of time spent on the actual tennis (from Venus & Serena) in the film. I completely understand that decision to open the film to much wider audiences, but to me the material on Richard himself (most notably his background) was so interesting that the tennis scenes--especially one prolonged sequence--sort of took me out of the flow, as expertly crafted as they may have been. In short, I was looking for a 100% deep dive into Richard's psyche, and this movie gave me about 70%.

My overall take on "King Richard" is that it is both a solid & entertaining biopic, if one that pulls its punches a bit and can't help itself in feeling the need to feature the Venus & Serena characters prominently. But the sheer magnetism of Will Smith--which should garner him some award nominations at the very least--and the emotional depth that the themes sometimes touch on make it a fine addition to the sports biopic canon.

cruise01 23 November 2021

4 out of 5 stars.

King Richards is a good biographical drama film that gives Will Smith to shine with an outstanding performance. And making this film one heartfelt story about Richard Williams (Will Smith) who is raising his two daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) and plotting a life course of a successful professional tennis player path.

What Worked? It is a strong and heartfelt story. Richard plotting a path for his two daughters to become professional tennis players. It is strong. Richard is brilliant and stubborn. He even rejects professional tennis coach offers cause he felt like they were not right for his daughters. Which is a huge risk rejection. Of course things fall into place when he comes across Rick (Jon Bernthal). The story is good.

Will Smith delivers with another outstanding performance. Which he is a good actor. When he is on screen as Richard, he literally displays a whole different character on screen. Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton were both great with there characters. Aunjanue Ellis playing Brandy, there mother was also good. Jon Bernthal playing Rick who tries to lead the girl in a right path as a coach was also good.

What did not work? I felt like the film does have a little uneven pacing with its direction.

Overall, it is one strong emotional heartfelt story that will shine of seeing two rising tennis players becoming the famous players today.

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