Although now a bit dated, this movie continues to impress. The imagery and cinematography, classic strengths of John Boorman, are spectacular -- ranging from the dark and gory battle of human conflict to the lush beauty of nature. Added to this rich visual feast is an excellent score of classical music. This is one of the most nicely shot films you will experience. Nicol Williamson's portrayal of Merlin was critically acclaimed, and was my first introduction to this versatile actor. Helen Mirren gives her usual strong performance. (There is also a short appearance by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, if you care to track those kinds of things.) The story is full of symbolism of mans' struggle to balance nature against progress, wrapped up in Arthur's relationship to "the Land" via Excalibur. While many will find the symbolism and imagery tiresome (again, manifest in most Boorman films), I found it to bring depth to the overdone and overplayed Arthurian legend. Warning: the gore factor is fairly high.