King Richard

The story of how Richard Williams served as a coach to his daughters Venus and Serena, who will soon become two of the most legendary tennis players in history.

  • Released: 2021-11-18
  • Runtime: 138 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History
  • Stars: Will Smith, Demi Singleton, Saniyya Sidney, Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn, Susie Abromeit, Dylan McDermott, Judith Chapman, Katrina Begin, Erin Cummings, Andy Bean, Kevin Dunn, Craig Tate, Calvin Clausell Jr., Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew, Daniele Lawson, Layla Crawford, Erika Ringor, Noah Bean, Josiah Cross, Vaughn W. Hebron, Jimmy Walker Jr., Brad Greenquist, Johnno Wilson, Robert Nuscher, Christopher Wallinger, Chase Del Rey, Connie Ventress, Vivienne Bersin, Andy Hoff, Carrie Gibson, Doug Simpson, Brandon Morales, Wil J. Jackson, Erica Shaffer, Matt Kirkwood, Chet Grissom, Alden Sherrill, Eman Esfandi, Jessica Wacnik, Jonathan Bray, Robert Walker Jeffery, Rich Sommer, Kaitlyn Christian, Geoff Nathanson, Marcela Zacarias, Jake Jensen, Chris Pentzell, Sophia Sanders, Mia Jovic, Iva Jovic, Michael Andrew Baker, Tom Holmes, Kamea Medora, Tom Degnan, Virginia Schneider, Jeff Cohn, Adam Cropper, Danya LaBelle, Rod Sweitzer, George Ketsios, Valerie Davidson, Christian Yeung, Teri Cohn, Hannah Barefoot, Mel Fair, Holly Haggerty, Mary Pascoe, Albert Ton, Ebboney Wilson, Hailey Winslow, Chris Wolfe, Gunner Wright, Tory N. Thompson, Sean Berube, Sean Fabian Billings, Sophia Bui, Kika Cicmanec, John Dinan, Diana Dray, Mathew Trent Hunnicutt, Jeni Jones, Trent Longo, Johnny Mansbach, Katie McCabe, Aryn Nelson, Tristan Nokes, Dan Sachoff, Gabi Stewart
  • Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
  • tonypeacock-1 - 10 March 2024
    King Richard of USA tennis, not England!
    Biopic of the Williams' sister's of tennis and their childhood and in particular their father, Richard Williams (an excellent Oscar worthy performance!) by Will Smith.

    Richard Williams is portrayed as an annoying, loving, determined influence on his five daughter's and in particular the tennis talent of Venus and Serena Williams.

    I say annoying in a good way. He (Richard) in some scenes just goes over the too and has to be reined in by his wife.

    As in all these films I don't know how much h is true such as a crescendo that ends with Venus journey onto the professional tennis tour. Richard also wants to protect his daughter from the influence of dark forces that have ruined the career of other young stars.

    Will Smith's performance is good. He battles at all stages the system, in that I mean a white orientated tennis circuit in the USA. The ending shows he (Richard) is ultimately right.

    Even for non experts of tennis there are elements of the film that will appeal to everyone. A typical underdog sports film as has been seen so often! In some ways I don't know where else this film could have gone.
  • Kitahito - 1 December 2023
    If I saw further than others, it was because I was standing on the shoulders of children.
    Richard Williams sacrifices the fate of his first five children for the next five. He then sacrifices the fate of his three daughters for the remaining two. Then finally, he sacrifices one of the remaining children for another. As to why he does this, we can give answers that are kind-hearted, cynical, or declaratively condemnatory. I don't know how much it was in Richard Williams' character to consciously and deliberately manufacture black idols of his children who would inspire generations of African-Americans with their success stories, and how much it was dominant in his desire to unload the racist abuse he himself suffered on majority white society in such an indirect way. Sadly, no sadly, meanwhile, the father pressed Serena and Venus into stardom by the means of what the film euphemised as playful, but still just hardcore means, while sadly, no sadly, as a side circumstance, becoming a star himself, enjoying the celebrity lifestyle in front of the cameras and making a shet ton of money.

    This kind of genius building, where the child is the nail and the father is the hammer that drives them relentlessly into the tree, is to me somewhat revolting, and however much it may be ideologised by the fact of discrimination and poverty, it still borders on child abuse in my eyes. And the film teases with these issues when the wife takes Richard Williams to account for his motives, but nevertheless glorifies the father who, stomping on the backs of his 'not destined for success' children, pushes Serena and Venus to the top of the podium. He was a seer! A visionary! Oh, the master plan! He was right all along! Well, perhaps it's the kings and not the kingmaker who should be celebrated. Cause it kind of stinks this way. It does not leave a good taste in the mouth.

    The story itself was for me suspiciously convenient, too clean and polished. The experience is that reality is not like that, and even if facts were not deliberately distorted, important details were omitted which would have been unpleasant for the narrative that was ironed into the edge. This film could have been exciting if it had gone deeper into the question of whether it is permissible to use this level of force on a child? Because the answer is not "but the girls are world champions! Look how many medals they won! It just proves that it works, which we have known for a few hundred years. It's not a big revelation. But the moral aspect of it would be interesting to go around, and you could even nuance it by adding the reality of the racial issue if you wanted to. This is an action that the film did not take, because it would have involve taking risks and potentially making divisive content. And that is something to be wary of like a fire. So let's stick to the level of a feel-good movie with a puddle of depth, shall we?
  • Slarkshark - 17 June 2023
    Good For You Venus and Serena
    I put this movie off for awhile because of "The Slap". I still always intended to watch it, I just didn't feel motivated to following the the Oscar debacle. That being said, it's not the Williams fault that happened, so their story shouldn't suffer based on one actors stupid choice/behaviour.

    I'm by no means a bug tennis fan... but the WIlliams sister are in the echelon of athletes where it doesn't matter. You know who they are regardless of what you're paying attention to based on their complete and utter dominance of the sport. Just like pretty much anyone you talk to will know who Michael Jordan is. So, of course I was interested in their beginnings and how they came to be who they are. It makes sense that if you have two sisters who are that good, that they would have parents who pushed them, and pushed hard along the way. I didn't know their story, so to me, this movie was entertaining and quite enjoyable. Though, I understand it may not be totally accurate, but that's a given with pretty much any movie that is "based" or even worse "inspired" by a true story. Because I was ignorant to the true story, it didn't affect me as much, but I totally understand for those that are well versed on their story, and I would likely feel the same way if I was too. And it was interesting to read about Richard after the fact and some of the negative aspects that they of course left out of the film. There are not many who don't have at least a few skeletons in their closet.

    I'm not really sure why he's known as "King Richard", that wasn't exactly talked about, and seems like an absurd nickname, especially if it's self appointed. And it's almost unfortunate that the Williams sisters take a back seat to a film about their legacy. The plan seemed to be to go to school, get an education, and train at the same time. I'm pretty sure that's every parents plans. I suppose they stuck to it more than most? In any case, I guess it worked.
  • Davalon-Davalon - 11 November 2022
    Interesting, but not earth-shattering
    Since Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, I had certainly heard of this film. I also certainly knew who Venus and Serena Williams were. Since Will won the Oscar for this film, I felt it was required viewing.

    I think this film is great for hardcore fans of Venus and Serena. If you have a strong interest in their lives, this film may appeal to you. Otherwise, I found a lot of the story seemed somewhat forced and repetitive. Also, because the screenwriter/producers were saddled with creating a story based on the lives of real people, who had a hand in this project, they were compelled to include any number of stories or characters or moments that were really not that compelling.

    I didn't know that there were 5 Williams sisters. But despite great efforts to portray the other three, they are 100% not essential to this story. In fact, in many ways, Serena isn't important to the story either, because the movie mainly focuses on Richard, Venus, the mother Oracene, and the two coaches that were involved in helping Venus become who she became.

    The character of "Richard" is not likable. To me, he saw his two prized daughters as cash cows. I'm not sure he actually saw them as individuals with the ability to make their own decisions. He has mapped out their lives in something called "the plan." Now, was he successful? Yes. But I wonder if there was eventually some resentment by the girls for the way he forced them to go practice in the rain at night. (In addition to other things he did that I found to be unpleasant, such as forcing one of the girls to put down a cookie she was eating at a country club, because "it wasn't free.")

    Certain story points did not make sense to me. How is it that Richard was able to wave his way past security and drive his family car on to the parking lot of a country club/tennis court so he could harangue Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn) into coaching his daughters? And when Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal) agrees to take on Venus as his protégée and have her study with him in Florida (the Williams lived in Compton, California), why is it that Richard insisted that he be given a mobile home to bring his entire family (except "Tundy") there? Hadn't anyone ever heard of airplanes?

    Also, during the same scene when Rick offers to teach Venus, and Richard offers Rick the "Williams family contract" (best schools for all his kids, home, a job for Richard at Rick's workplace), Oracene pipes up and says, "except for Tundy. She just graduated as valedictorian of her high school. Her life is here (meaning in Compton? In California?)."

    Why is it that because she graduated as "valedictorian" that it meant that her life was "here"? It made absolutely no sense. It didn't indicate what her future might be or if she was going to college or anything else. And since they (the Williams family) were living in a dodgy neighborhood in Compton, and since a gang of boys earlier in the film threatened Richard, saying they were going to "get their training on Tundy" -- which leads to Richard almost losing his life in a gang fight -- why didn't Richard, protector of all, insist that Tundy come with them?

    It was a small detail, but it stood out for me, because the filmmakers had to keep on giving lives to these other sisters. Yes, we are all clear: the family was tight. Yes, we are all clear: the parents invested in their kids. But the kids, including Venus and Serena, were mostly quiet robots, doing what they were told with no backtalk and no arguments. Venus finally stands up for herself a bit about two-thirds of the way through the film. On the other hand, I had no idea how young these girls were when they started to compete in major tournaments. Still, everyone was just a little too perfect (except Richard, who was allowed to be extremely flawed).

    All actors did a great job, including the two young women who portrayed the sisters. There were also some fun tennis moments that were heightened with music, crowds and computer graphics. But I was left feeling that I had been just made privy to a lot of stuff I didn't need to know, and that the filmmakers were required to include certain key moments or statements that occurred in real life, because the subjects of the film had definite sway over and input into what ended up on the screen.

    So, while "authenticity" is important, it doesn't necessarily translate into a riveting movie.

    Also, it seems that Richard's penchant for the girls to play with an "open stance" was extremely important, because he must have repeated the phrase at least 5 times throughout the movie. I'm not a tennis player. Perhaps that instruction was revolutionary? I don't know. But it did become annoying after a while.
  • ethan-76589 - 1 August 2022
    A good movie but ....
    It is a very good movie with great storyline. The movie cast is great too. A great life inspirational movie. But I still couldn't swallow how arrogance Will Smith is at the Oscar. He should be charged by law.
  • brianbb-21250 - 7 July 2022
    Definitely worth watching
    I was not expecting to watch this film the whole way through when I clicked on it, but for me, it was gripping. Mainly for two reasons 1. The sister's story is so intriguing to know that it is based on their lives and the determination it took for them to get where they got, against the odds. So that kept me hooked wanting to know more. 2. Will Smith's performance - It probably is one of his best. He was very believable in the role. Reminded me of his performance in The Pursuit to Happiness. These type of roles really suit him and allow him to show his range. Entertaining.