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Romeo + Juliet

Romance . Drama

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is visually modern, the bard's dialogue remains.

Actors: Diane Venora , Miriam Margolyes , Vondie Curtis-Hall , Brian Dennehy , Paul Sorvino , Pete Postlethwaite , Harold Perrineau , John Leguizamo , Claire Danes , Leonardo DiCaprio
Directors: Baz Luhrmann
Country: USA
Release: 1996-11-01
More Info:
  • Peter Travers

    Amid the clamor from outraged purists and Shakespeare spinning in his Stratford-on-Avon, England, grave, you should notice that Luhrmann and his two bright angels have shaken up a 400-year-old play without losing its touching, poetic innocence.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Alex Ross

    It may be the most visually imaginative Shakespeare film since Akira Kurosawa's "Ran", and certainly one of the more operatic Hollywood creations of recent years.

    Slate Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    This Romeo & Juliet is a rich visual feast, besotted with the fervor of its acrobatic camerawork and kinetic staging and its mind-bending aggregation of unrelated but resonant fragments of 20th-century iconography.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Bob McCabe

    Baz Luhrmann takes the audience on a unique ride through one of the Bard's best-known texts, illuminating the story, occasionally subjugating the language but always delivering a vision that is bold, brassy, hugely inventive and accessible and, in a strange way, just right.

    Empire Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    While such a loud, brash interpretation may not go down in cinematic history as the definitive version of the play, hopefully it will open a few eyes and widen the audience willing to venture into any movie bearing the credit "based on the play by William Shakespeare."

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    For all the hubbub, the film succeeds in relating Shakespeare to modern times, thanks mainly to the use of energetic pop music and the gameness of the performers.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Staff (Not Credited)

    As the doomed lovers, DiCaprio and Danes -- both luminous, limpid-eyed beauties -- are allowed to deliver delicate, unpretentious performances, and their love becomes a modest, frighteningly fragile oasis amidst a tawdry saturnalia of noise and glitter.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    Despite implied fidelity, we might as well be watching William Shakespeare's The Cable Guy. Yet the film's skewed stylistic flourishes capture enough of the original's spirit to provoke more respect than rejection. [01Nov1996, Pg. 01.D]

    USA Today Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Moving the action to a modern American city, the hyperactive movie seems goofy and gimmicky at first, but it acquires real power when the cinematography settles down enough for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes to do some excellent acting.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Luhrmann, an Australian who pretty much let his camera go nuts in the egregiously overrated "Strictly Ballroom", here makes reasonable, imaginative decisions that are, arguably, true to Shakespeare.

    Time Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    For all of its departures, Luhrmann's largely successful reinterpretation is far from irreverent. He takes liberties with the world, but never the words of this achingly beautiful love story.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Janet Maslin

    Mr. Luhrmann's frenetic hodgepodge actually amounts to a witty and sometimes successful experiment, an attempt to reinvent "Romeo and Juliet" in the hyperkinetic vocabulary of post-modern kitsch. This is headache Shakespeare, but there's method to its madness.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Romeo & Juliet is a series of spectacular production designs posing as a motion picture.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of "Romeo & Juliet" makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Although arresting in spots, it falls far short of bringing out the full values of the play, and doesn't approach the emotional resonance of Franco Zeffirelli's immensely popular 1968 screen version.

    Variety Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    The movie, a frenetic, explosive experience full of car crashes and gun battles, is original and exhilarating. But more often, it's so overwhelming, it'll make you want to watch "Die Hard With a Vengeance" for peace and quiet.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    It would be destined for the trash heap of Shakespeare adaptations, if not for its female lead, and its heart, 17-year-old Claire Danes. Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The result is embarrassing: quick cuts and shaky, hand- held camera work, bad acting and lots of attitude.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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