Coriolanus Reviews

Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 8, 2013
The other actors do their best to help Fiennes define this curious anti-hero. Incapable of playing the role of peacetime compromiser, his Coriolanus comes across as a warrior who simply can't function without a war.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
January 8, 2013
The film has fifth-act problems, as did the play, but Fiennes' bleak overview should leave receptive viewers feeling daunted and haunted.
Top Critic
Greg Quill
Toronto Star
January 8, 2013
The play's inherent difficulties notwithstanding, Coriolanus, the movie, is a perfectly sound achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 8, 2013
Fiennes leads a cast that, at least in the major roles, is uniformly powerful.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 30, 2012
"Coriolanus" is a triumph.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 23, 2012
Slathered in blood, covered with scars and glowering with a predator's gaze, Ralph Fiennes makes a fierce and impressive Caius Martius Coriolanus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 9, 2012
It's all very unnerving, modern and yet veins-in-the-teeth visceral.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
March 8, 2012
As a portrait of modern warfare, politics and propaganda, "Coriolanus" is intriguing, even if the gritty action sequences don't quite measure up to the realism of "The Hurt Locker."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 1, 2012
Ralph Fiennes turns one of Shakespeare's least-loved plays into a slashing, muscular but uneven modern drama in his film-directing debut.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 16, 2012
Even in what is viewed as a minor work, the inevitable currents of ambition and violence, cruelty and competition, rivalry and rage run strong and truthfully.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 16, 2012
When Caius Martius heads into battle against the invading Volscians, we get 20-odd minutes of brutal street-fighting with RPGs and crackling automatic weapons. The film was shot in Serbia; dial a few decades back and it could have been set there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 2, 2012
In his first film as a director, Fiennes proves that he knows Fiennes the actor inside out, with a self-knowledge that's rare, even admirable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 2, 2012
You buy the concept, from start to finish, because it feels strong and purposeful and in sync with Shakespeare's own vision of a malleable, fickle populace and a leader raised by the ultimate stage mother.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 2, 2012
Visually and dramatically it works well-it's Shakespeare by way of Black Hawk Down-but as an allegory of modern-day geopolitics it doesn't really go anywhere.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 2, 2012
I admired the movie even though I found it neither fish nor fowl.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
January 23, 2012
What remains, in distilled form, is the poetry of violence and contempt-the source of the play's unfailing reputation for political threat and mischief.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
January 20, 2012
The questions Coriolanus poses are so timeless and urgent they could be pullquotes from today's op-ed page.
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
January 20, 2012
It's a film of vigorous performances and provocative modern resonances, though it sometimes struggles to grapple with a grim, politically ambiguous, 400-year-old play.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 19, 2012
Riches of character are revealed, with copious visual invention.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 19, 2012
Purists may holler that Fiennes and screenwriter John Logan have cut the Bard's second-longest play into two tense hours onscreen, but the power of the piece is undeniable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
January 19, 2012
It's a fine example of how a contemporary setting can accentuate the continued relevance of Shakespeare's themes, and it bodes well for Fiennes' future as a director.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
January 17, 2012
A committed and worthwhile celluloid version of a play so few of us really know.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
January 16, 2012
Fiennes directs theater on the grand scale, burning his characters down to expose the terrible beauty of the human soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 10, 2012
For Shakespeare neophytes whose primary familiarity with the Bard has been through the cinema, watching Coriolanus may seem like unearthing a lost treasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 7, 2011
Shakespeare on a trip wire.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 2, 2011
Finds something to say about the cult of personality, the trickery of political campaigns, and the potential dangers of populist movements.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 2, 2011
In attempting to update the play to a buzzing CNN world, Ralph Fiennes proves that as a director, he makes a fine actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
December 1, 2011
Ralph Fiennes makes Shakespeare modern and bloody brilliant.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 1, 2011
Fiennes' crackerjack "Coriolanus" stays true to the clever, almost mean-spirited twists and turns of the story, and preserves the authentic flavor and texture of the language.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 1, 2011
Fiennes brings to scorching life on-screen, spitting out his rage with such force the words seem likely to damage literally as well as figuratively.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 1, 2011
Fiennes brings an of-the-moment energy to one of Shakespeare's later tragedies. Yet with its forever-war landscape, it couldn't be more relevant.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 1, 2011
The language lives, as do the people, who are present enough that it's almost a surprise no one brandishes that timely protest sign, "Occupy Rome."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 1, 2011
It feels perfectly natural for iambic pentameter to be coming out of the mouths of cable-news pundits.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 1, 2011
Fiennes takes one of the playwright's lesser-known works, originally set in the 5th century B.C., updates it to current times and imbues it with a gritty blood-spattered fierceness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
November 29, 2011
The play has been significantly but artfully trimmed by John Logan's screenplay, which preserves Shakespeare's language.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 29, 2011
A spiky and complex counterweight to Hollywood sentiment and indie cynicism alike.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Village Voice
November 29, 2011
The transposition to present day is confusing and counterproductive, dulling the impact of an otherwise fierce, often unbearably immediate production.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 28, 2011
Fiennes and Logan haven't made a definitive Coriolanus, but they've made a sensationally gripping one. They have the pulse of the play, its firm martial beats and its messy political clatter. They tell a damn good story.
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
September 19, 2011
There is a narrative arc to Coriolanus, but it moves along at a snail's pace and the main theme of the film (the pride of Gaius vs. the people he's sworn to protect) isn't a grabber.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
February 16, 2011
As directing debuts go, Coriolanus could easily pass for the work of an accomplished master, and though the storytelling lends itself to easy confusion (owing more to the source material than to the execution), the emotional impact reads loud and clear.