A Guide To The Best Scenes In Outlaw King (Yes, Including That One)

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Outlaw King is now available to stream on Netflix, which means you are now free to pause on Pine peen in the privacy of your own home. Directed by David Mackenzie, the film stars Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce, the burly, bearded nobleman with a heart of gold who fought to unite Scotland and drive out the British in the early 14th century. And if you’re thinking, ”Didn’t we already have a movie about that?” the answer is kind of — 1995’s Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson, acts a prequel of sorts to the action depicted here.
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Despite the buzz around the unexpected full-frontal nudity, the film has been getting mixed reviews. It’s long (although significantly less so than it was when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival), a little confusing, and well, isn’t Braveheart. But I will happily and loudly confess to anyone that I love it. Outlaw King is one of those movies that as a whole, is good, but contains so many wild, zany, incredible elements that it’s impossible not to want to watch it over and over again.
It has something for everyone: Florence Pugh’s regal, queenly presence, romance, gore, history, Chris Pine, beards, swords, swans, and more! If you love Game of Thrones, good news: There’s even an allusion to “raising the dragon.” (Not a real one, in this case, but still.)
So, even if you don’t have 127 minutes to devote to a movie where beautiful boys Chris Pine, Billy Howle, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson commit to medieval fashion, here’s a guide to catching the most stand-out moments. (Yes, including that scene.)
Most Game of Thrones Reunion
A struggle for the throne involving sword-wielding knights, dragon banners, and gruesome deaths? Sounds familiar. Think of Outlaw King as Game of Thrones heaven, where dearly departed characters can live out their thwarted fantasies. Would-be king Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) finally gets to wear the crown as King Edward of England, while Lord Commander Mormont of the Night’s Watch (James Cosmo), who so desired a close relationship with his disgraced son Jorah (Ian Glen), is a Good Dad to our hero, Robert.
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Plus, Outlaw King is basically as long as the final six Game of Thrones episodes are projected to be, so think of this as practice.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Most Likely To Be Talked/Tweeted/Messenger Pigeon-ed About
Chris Pine, uncrowned king of the Hollywood Chrises, has already pointed out that the media frenzy around his very, very brief full-frontal nude scene is a symptom of the systemic gender imbalance in Hollywood. "I bear the ‘full monty,’ and it got a lot of attention,” he told Entertainment Tonight adding, "I thought the witty reviews were brilliant, but what did strike me most is that Florence Pugh bares everything too and no one commented.”
He’s right — there is a double standard at play here. Female nudity on screen has become so commonplace that it barely registers anymore. Actors, let alone A-list actors and living demi-gods like the Hollywood Chrises, almost never do full-frontal. Chris nudity is news. Still, should we be objectifying men when we so readily criticize that behavior when it’s directed at women?
Having said that, I know you're interested, and I’m interested. Yes, I am fully aware that this could be construed as hypocritical. I don’t know. I throw my hands up. I just want to see Chris Pine’s dick. I’ve made peace with it.
It’s between you and your conscience, but if you’re wondering just where to pause that Netflix stream in order to get an optimal view, head on over to the 01:27:53.
Those twelve frames comes roughly three quarters through the film, as Robert is shown emerging from a pond. It’s not essential to the action in the film — but like, it totally is.
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Most Nauseating Torture Scene
They say chivalry is dead, but I’m starting to believe it was all a myth in the first place. The thing you should know about 14th century warfare is that it’s absolutely disgusting — even more so when the laws of basic human decency (aka chivalry) are suspended, giving soldiers the freedom to do things like hang a man and cut out his intestines while he’s still alive. I don’t care if that was the standard punishment for treason against the king. There is A CHILD present.
Most Braveheart Crossover
To an average American with no knowledge of the intricacies of Scottish medieval history, Outlaw King looks and sounds like Braveheart. It’s not though, even if the two stories do overlap. Starring Mel Gibson in the (extreme Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird voice) TITULAR role, Braveheart followed William Wallace’s struggle to repel the English from Scotland. Outlaw King picks up in the immediate aftermath of Wallace’s defeat at Falkirk, as Lord Robert Bruce joins prominent Scottish nobles in their surrender to King Edward. That doesn’t mean Wallace is forgotten though — in fact, it’s his brutal killing by the English that spurs Robert into starting his own rebellion. And you do see parts of Wallace in the film: his severed leg and decapitated head, to be exact.
Most WTF Moment
Chris Pine may play the lead, but Billy Howle is the Outlaw King MVP. As the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, he gives an absolute bonkers performance that includes a moment in which he holds up two beautiful, snowy swans by the neck and bellows “BY THESE SWANS,” vowing revenge on the Scottish rebels. It’s insane, and I love it.
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Most Overlooked Act of Sexiness
While Chris Pine’s peen is getting all the attention, let me direct you to the next frame, where he is handed a tunic and proceeds to put it on and walk around bare-legged, as soft folds of linen flap around him in the breeze. That, my friends, is confidence.
Most Yas Kween
Medieval times are not kind to women. Putting aside general hygiene concerns (with no pads or tampons available, women had to resort to rags during their menstural cycle), education and emancipation were not high on the 14th century priority list. Most women were married off very young, to men much older than they were, and expected to spread their legs, give birth, and stay generally silent. Not Elizabeth de Burgh. Florence Pugh’s character is the exception to the rule of such historically-conscious films: that wives are there to support their husbands character development, and not much else.
English-born Elizabeth does end up supporting Robert, whom she weds at King Edward’s demand, in order to cement the alliance between the two nations — but she undergoes a character arc that is very much her own, and doesn’t remain passive in the conflict roiling around her.
Bonus: Florence Pugh has the best voice, and I would listen to her say absolutely anything. Sing me lullabies, Florence!
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Most Tender, Because Even Renegade Kings Need Some Love
Chris Pine’s Hollywood Chris contract precludes him from harming any woman, and so Robert does something completely anachronistic by giving Elizabeth her space. The two don’t consummate the marriage until she initiates a physical connection months later, in a camp tent on the eve of battle. It’s a scene so earnest and sweet as to be a little goofy, but sometimes sex is like that. It also wins points for equal opportunity nudity. How many sex scenes have we seen where the woman is the only one shedding her clothes? Not this time!
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Still, if Chris Pine’s naked butt isn’t your thing, my real favorite love scene between the two of them takes place at the very end, when Robert and Elizabeth reunite on a beach after a long separation. She was held captive by the English and placed in a hanging cage outside a remote castle, vulnerable to the elements; he was off saving Scotland. But as they run towards each other and he swings her around, all of that is forgotten. Birds are singing, music is swelling, true love is in the air! It’s a lovely scene, and one of the few happy ones in this movie full of mud and blood. Savor it.
Most Battle of The Bastards
The Battle of Loudoun Hill marked a turning point in Robert’s battle for the Scottish Crown. It would still take years before the English withdrew completely from their occupied lands, but this was the moment that the outlaw king became the legitimate king, uniting his people in a common fight against the invaders. It’s also really, really bloody. And, though neither Robert nor Edward, Prince of Wales were bastards, they do have a fun little face-off at the end. No one gets munched on by overly aggressive hounds, but I think we can all agree that Edward is such a Ramsay.
Courtesy of Netflix.
Most Beard
Aaron Taylor-Johnson beards like no one else. His is the outlaw king of beards, an overlooked hero in a sea of shaggy would-be rulers. As James Douglas, he’s one of Robert’s most trusted companions, whose loyalty is matched only by his thirst for vengeance against the men who stole away his family’s lands. Taylor-Johnson is a gifted actor, and I’m sure he’d be able to convey all that rage with an eye-twitch. But the beard is a weapon, and he wields it like one, howling like a wounded animal out for blood as he massacres his enemies and revels in their demise. Did I mention this movie was intense?
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