The casting of Connery as an old Arthur was not bad. He was at least effective in the role the script provided him. Julia Ormand was a wonderful Guenivere. And Cross as Maliagaunt was especially great as the villain. I consider him to have stolen the movie outright from the others. I thought Gere was not the right pick for Lancelot, and further, it seemed he merely gave a pay-the-rent type performance.
The movie does get points at least for using as inspiration a source other than Sir Thomas, for a change, in favour of one of Chretien de Troye's tales. The whole of the Maliagaunt kidnaps Guenivere plot was right out of Chretien. It is not without some irony that where it is closest to Chretien, it is best. It does take things in different directions with different characters which seems more whim than artistic decision. The other Arthurian characters are either minimized, or not utilized at all. Maliagaunt is used most effectively, Arthur and Guenivere work fairly well, while Lancelot is just too card-board tragic as scripted. Those are the only characters that get the film time, really.
One of the oddest things about the movie was that they sent Arthur off in a pyre, burned up like a viking! No way the king will "return" after that, thereby killing the nationalistic resonance of the legend.
The visual look of the film is more of a pristine sort of, fantasy look. It isn't very gritty at all, with all the bright costumes, and bright architecture. There seems nothing dirty in the realm. And apparently, in some cases they didn't use real swords, that is, real prop swords even. If one pays attention there is a moment in the climactic battle where Lancelot is holding a sword, then merely a hilt, then his sword reappears again!
This film as far as I know is the only English language film that seems to have taken any inspiration from Chretien (there is a much better adapted French language one, script-wise). It is fairly acceptable for family viewing, (something which, generally, can not be said about EXCALIBUR) the good are fairly good, and the bad are really bad.
Judging from younger relatives, if they can sit through and enjoy Harry Potter, this might not be a bad introduction at least to other realms of fantasy.