King of California Synopsis
An unstable musician tries to convince his daughter that Spanish gold is buried in the suburbs.
Read Full Synopsis

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


TV Guide

By Ken Fox
Wood is excellent, but this is a career highlight for Douglas. His depiction of the manic Charlie stays surprisingly grounded and prevents...
Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
It's as if the star (Douglas) finally gets to integrate all his onscreen personas, all at once.
Full Review


By Glenn Kenny
The result is enjoyable and frequently affecting. The one weak note is Douglas' performance — he does more than phone it in, but his...
Full Review

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
Cahill deserves major credit for keeping the story from becoming mawkish or twee. He was also wise enough to realize it's Douglas' show,...
Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
The treasure of the film is the unearthing of the family bond, magically played by Douglas and Wood.
Full Review

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
Mike Cahill's King of California reminds me of those '70s-era pictures beloved of the counterculture about appealing rebels who go down in...
Full Review

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
When you stand back a step from the movie, you admire Douglas and Wood for starting with potentially unplayable characters, and playing...
Full Review

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
In updating Shakespeare’s "The Tempest," writer-director Mike Cahill focuses on the magic worth finding between a father and daughter....
Full Review

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
A flaky, tedious, intermittently likable fable about being crazy in a crazy world.
Full Review


By James Berardinelli
The movie develops in two pieces - one dealing with the quest for the hidden riches and once concentrating on the relationship between...
Full Review

a good story with intellectually and emotionally jarring twists

By Kathi10025
likable quirky characters, interesting setting-but most importantly, love, courage and intelligence where we might not have thought we would find them!...

King of California a Kingly Feast

By treeheart
I really enjoyed this film. It was delicately played by all parties -- including the director, who could have easily turned it into a melodrama. For all its sadness, it was a very sweet film and well...

The King of California Fails to be King

By madygoldstein
I had listened to an interesting interview on NPR radio with Michael Douglas recently, and was excited to hear about this new film--particularly where he sported his own beard, and had the...

Strtange but wonderful

By mary30
I expected a comedy which this really wasn't and, about halfway into it, I debated leaving because I didn't know how much my 10 year old was liking it. But she was hooked and I realized I was too....

King of California

By cultural barbarian
Pretentious and self-conscious, Michael Douglas in a wanabee Indy film that is dour rather than dizzy and sacherine rather than sweet. It wants to be Sideways but ends up full frontal baloney....

to be King

By king2b
Fantastic acting. Michael Douglas' fevered eyes convey as much of the story as the dialogue. Very thought provoking film....

king of california

similararties to Shakespeare's "Tempest", which makes Mr. Cahill's writing more significant. also only two actors carried this movie. Douglas very good, as was the beautiful Miranda....

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For some strong language, mature thematic elements and brief drug references
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 14+ Quirky dramedy mixes humor and mature themes.
Read the Common Sense Media Review