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Richard III (1995)

tomatometer

95

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 2

This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.

92

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 6,652

My Rating

Movie Info

Richard Loncraine takes Shakespeare's classic tale of treachery, Richard III, and transplants it to the 1930s. Ian McKellen is Richard who, as the film opens, begins plotting against his brother Edward, who has just ascended to the throne after a bloody civil war. Richard begins by seducing and wedding Lady Anne (Kristin Scott Thomas), whom he made a widow during the war. With the help of some loyal henchmen, Richard succeeds in murdering his older brother Clarence (Nigel Hawthorne), which so

R,

Drama

Ian McKellen, Richard Loncraine

Aug 15, 2001

United Artists

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (2) | DVD (15)

A sure-fire crowd-pleaser among recent Shakespeare movies.

July 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In a shamelessly entertaining display of acting brilliance, McKellen 'plays' the demon's good arm as if it were a Stradivarius, executing one showy stunt after another.

February 27, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This triumphant take on the Crookback king is as different from Olivier's '50s historical pageant as chalk is from malmsey.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is all in the grand manner of Shakespearean tragedies.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is Shakespeare exciting enough for even the most dubious, which, after all, is no less than the man deserves.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

McKellen's enormous performance as Richard represents the film's biggest tinkering with theatrical canon.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Richard III" is the kind of movie that earns the right to interpret the bard's ideas through alternate perspectives because it does so without sacrificing its core values or integrity.

October 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

...McKellan helped his own cause by writing a screenplay which captures the essence of Shakespeare's play while also working perfectly as a movie.

July 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

This glossy adaptation is arch, nasty fun.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Rigorous adaptation of the notoriously 'difficult' play.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Even if you hate Shakespeare, you'll love this.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

As played by McKellen, Richard is a consummate actor who knows what role to assume, what props to use, and what words and actions to employ to turn a "scene" to his best advantage.

October 6, 2007
KPBS.org

Ian McKellen plays Richard III, and he's a twisted, blackened, serpentine, lurching, spitting, menacing villain with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He is so hateful, it is easy to see why the Academy overlooked him.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An imaginative and visceral Shakespeare adaptation with a mesmerising perfromance by McKellen.

September 17, 2004
Nitrate Online

Striking, fun and, finally, disturbing.

November 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A great concept-- and McKellen still rules Shakes works!

September 22, 2003
Blunt Review

Interesting modernization of Shakespeare, before Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet.

July 25, 2003
About.com

Bold and rousing.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Snappy Shakespeare adaptation has guts, gloss and glorious performances.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

Ian McKellan is one of the best movie villains ever.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Richard III

Ian McKellen is Mesmerizing in this performance. The modernized setting and story-telling are a bit off-putting.
October 27, 2012
cchclaw

Super Reviewer

Ian McKellan was magnificent as usual. Annette Bening was magic. Jim Broadbent was incredible. Maggie Smith was brief, but fantastic. Robert Downey Jr. was confusing.
February 29, 2012
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Richard III like you've never seen it before! Ian McKellen was amazing in this as he embodies the evilness of Richard III. Inventive and ruthless, this version cuts much of the dialogue in the play which makes it much more bearable than Olivier's 1995 snore-fest. Even if you're not fond of nor familiar with Shakespeare, you'll find this movie pretty enjoyable.
July 11, 2011
Raajay

Super Reviewer

one of shakespeare's more brutal plays reset in the '30's with striking atmosphere and a stellar cast. it's obvious sir ian had a blast making this and he is bloody marvelous. this is a very abridged version but it's definitely one of the most successful 'modern' adaptations i've seen. worth checking out even if you're not a fan of elizabethan drama!
September 15, 2010
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Richard III

    1. Richard III: Let us to't pell-mell, if not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
    – Submitted by Brenda B (21 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Richard III (1995) (UK)
  • Richard III (1995) (CA)
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