The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die just hit No. 1 on Netflix — should you stream or skip?

Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred, surrounded by other warriors, in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die
(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The latest conqueror of the Netflix Top 10 lists is a familiar one to some. The new Netflix film The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die follows up on Netflix's The Last Kingdom, which ended with season 5 in March 2022. 

And a year-plus off made its fanbase's appetite grow stronger. The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die jumped to the No. 1 spot on the Netflix Top 10 movies list in the U.S. on Saturday (April 15), the day after its release. And not only has it kept that spot since the weekend ended, it's also at the top on Netflix's U.K., Canadian and Australian list.

On top of that, it has a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score, though that comes with some caveats we'll explain below. None of this answers the question on your mind: should you watch The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die tonight? Let's find out. 

What is The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die about?

In short: England is at stake in the 10th century, back when it wasn't actually a united kingdom. And Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon) believes a peace can be found, though war must come first. 

But the regional conflict isn't the only problem Uhtred is dealing with. Much like a video game character in a sequel, he has been stripped of his belongings. His sword, land and title are no longer in his possession, while other rulers are being pitted against him, and trying to manipulate him.

But, as the world is chipping away at him, Uhtred is a decent man. Fans of the original series know this, as he's suffered a great deal along the way here. 

In short, The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die has all the Game of Thrones vibes without the dragons, and is on a more micro-scale. 

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die reviews: What critics are saying

Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Seven Kings Must Die earned a solid 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it comes with an asterisk or two. This tally is based on only ten critics' reviews, as it flew under the radar for many — and while some of these reviews were mostly positive, they're also a bit mixed.

At the New York Times, Robert Daniels writes "The film’s culminating battle isn’t much heartier: The compositions lack clarity, the score of undulating voices is comically clichéd and the visual effects are a dingy, nauseating mess. There are no stakes in a film that not only takes seven royal lives — it snatches several brain cells with them."

(L to R) Arnas Fedaravicius as Sihtric, Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred and Mark Rowley as Finan in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

A mixed note came from Meghan O'Keefe at Decider, who wrote "Look, as a casual Lost Kingdom fan, I enjoyed watching Uhtred and his boys take on one last adventure. Was I lost part of the time? Sure. ... Seven Kings Must Die is a fitting, frenetic end to The Last Kingdom journey. My only concern is that it might not be as accessible to newcomers as the producers hope."

Amanda Guarragi at Ready Steady Cut was also mixed, stating "If you enjoy historical fiction and have nothing else to watch this weekend, this will be a nice compact two hours filled with everything you love. However, for those who aren’t fans of the genre or the series, the character dynamics don’t hold this together, and it feels cluttered for most of the film."

Variety's Catherine Bray warned newcomers to beware its complex plot, writing that Seven Kings Must Die is "probably not a film that will engage too many people outside the show’s existing fanbase, though 'Lord of the Rings' acolytes may get a kick out of seeing its dramatizations of various historical inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s extensive world-building."

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die outlook: Should you watch on Netflix?

(L to R) Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred and Arnas Fedaravicius as Sihtric in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The big question about The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is simple: have you seen the original series? Because while fans may be familiar enough and excited for the conclusion of The Last Kingdom, others may not understand everything that it presents. 

If you don't need to follow every storyline closely, and love movies set in the time of England's creation? Then you too should probably give it a stream. The rest of us? Well, the best movies on Netflix and the best action movies on Netflix are a-calling.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.