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Hamlet (1996)



Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 55
Fresh: 52 | Rotten: 3

Kenneth Branagh's sprawling, finely textured adaptation of Shakespeare's masterpiece lives up to its source material, using strong performances and a sharp cinematic focus to create a powerfully resonant film that wastes none of its 246 minutes.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 3

Kenneth Branagh's sprawling, finely textured adaptation of Shakespeare's masterpiece lives up to its source material, using strong performances and a sharp cinematic focus to create a powerfully resonant film that wastes none of its 246 minutes.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 31,768

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Movie Info

Kenneth Branagh ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "The Road to El Dorado") writes, directs and stars in this four-time Oscar-nominated classic Shakespeare saga about the melancholy Dane. With an all-star cast, including Oscar-nominee Kate Winslet ("Iris," "Titanic") and Oscar-winner Julie Christie ("Dragonheart," "Dr. Zhivago"), as well as appearances by Charlton Heston, John Gielgud, Jack Lemmon, Gerard Depardieu, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and many others. Branagh received an


Drama, Romance

Kenneth Branagh

Aug 14, 2007

Sony Pictures Classics

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All Critics (55) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (3) | DVD (3)

There are many ... instances when you want to run screaming from Elsinore Castle.

September 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comments (6)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With his handsome and compelling Hamlet, Kenneth Branagh brings the Bard's greatest tragedy passionately alive on the screen.

August 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This Hamlet may not be perfect, but it is perfectly engrossing.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As star and ringmaster, Branagh gets to the heart of Hamlet and goes to admirable lengths to take his audience there, too.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every little triumph seems to inspire in Branagh some accompanying act of bad taste or judgment.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I have seen dozens of versions of this play (either on screen or on stage), and none has ever held me in such a grip of awe.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a wholly new take on Hamlet, with a cast filled with entertaining cameos.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A work of tremendous personal ambition equipped with a budget nearly equal in magnitude.

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Shakespeare's great tragedy -- all of it.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The play widely regarded as the best piece of dramatic literature ever written...[in] the only unexpurgated big-screen version. [Blu-ray]

August 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Simply gorgeous to look at, and a number of the performances are outstanding...

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brave, yes, but undeniably excessive.

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Die-hard Bard students may quibble, but this gargantuan and glorious Hamlet is a movie-lover's paradise.

September 17, 2007 Full Review Source:

Branagh combines one of the Bard's best plays with some of the best filmmaking the medium has to offer.

August 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Branagh has one-upped Olivier again by making his Hamlet a bold spectacle: big and loud and colorful.

August 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Fine version of one of The Bard's best plays.

December 8, 2006
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

If you're willing to sit through Branah's 4-hour Hamlet, you'll be rewarded with a lavishly mounted, full-bodied version that brings new dimensions.

July 15, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The few missteps, mostly in casting, are a drop in the bucket when it comes to this adaptation.

July 14, 2004

Viewers patient enough to sit through four hours of this film are going to be rewarded with a memorable experience.

June 1, 2004 Full Review

La cinta de Branagh evitó rescatar momentos cumbres y optó por dar fuerza al guión original.

January 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinenganos

Stars Kenneth Branagh as a vigorous man of action who sets out to accomplish his mission with firm resolve.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Uma versão à altura (senão melhor) do clássico de Laurence Olivier.

May 31, 2002
Cinema em Cena

Not many filmmakers would dare to film and then market a four-hour film like this, but Branagh pulls it off marvelously.

February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Hamlet

Just as a cinematic experience, this film is unparalledled. It takes the story and puts it in a different era, but for the most part keeps the rest of things intact.

This is a grand, long, sweeping epic that reaqlly does justice to the Bard and this, his most famous/popular (I'd assume) story. The technical stuff, like the sets, costumes, pageantry, art direction, all of that, is just perfect. This is high art that's also accessible. The camera work and direction are wonderful, and the massive ensemble cast filled with tons of cameos are awesome. Well, Jack Lemmmon (surprisingly) is a bit weak, but the rest are great.

This isn't a film I want to watch too often, mostly because it is a lot to undertake, but it is definitely one of those spectacle films that deserves repeated viewings. I don't know what it is, but Branagh and Shakespeare are just a perfect match, and this is exhibit a to prove that.
May 12, 2011
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Incredible direction coupled with incredible acting equals Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet. Full review later.
August 21, 2010
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

Good god, Kenneth Branagh plays Kenneth Branagh in everything he does. It's commendable that he chooses to play Hamlet as an ACTIVE character, rather than a PASSIVE one, but his interpretation is much too knowing, much too methodical for the unsure, questioning, brooding prince. Hamlet is driven by love for his father, mother, and Ophelia, but all I saw was an arrogant, attention-seeking, pretty-boy. Branagh had merely three notes in his performance- screaming fury, hushed seriousness, schticky madness. SOOO schticky and not even funny. Kudos for undertaking this full-length version on film but it's supposed to be film. There was nothing cinematically artistic about the execution - cinematography was lazy and scoring tried to compensate. I do have to admit though, out of Branagh, Gibson, and Hawke, Branagh does the best "I loved Ophelia!" Anguish!!!
October 29, 2008

Super Reviewer

One of the best literary adaptions I've ever seen. Branagh owns this movie, from a directing and acting standpoint, and the line-by-line dedication he presents impresses even the most anti-Shakespearean style people (like me).
May 13, 2008
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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