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Coriolanus Reviews

Page 2 of 48
April 19, 2014
Pretty good modern rendition of a Shakespearean play. Fabulous classic acting. Nobody does it better than the English. Violent action, intense rivalry between two warriors, one of who is banished from his own country only to join his rival in a march on Roman, only to be betrayed by his rival who has a change of heart due to jealously as his men favor Coriolanus. Good movie.
April 12, 2014
Coriolanus is a long way from being one of Shakespeare's most accessible plays. The Roman plays in general have a not entirely fair reputation for being full of long speeches and low on plot; it's tempting to meet the title with a shrugged 'who' (or 'what'?); it's not a very regularly performed play anyway, so it doesn't have many opportunities to make a bid for the limelight.

So on the face of it this is strange choice of material for Ralph Fiennes on his directorial debut; especially when you consider that he's also the star. In Fiennes and his adapter's hands the play becomes a sleek, streamlined political drama with visceral action sequences Transported to "a place calling itself Rome" that plays more like a wartime Bosnia. Coriolanus is heroic general, feted with praise and encouraged, or forced, by his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the powerful position of Consul. He finds himself unable to play the political games with the people required to get the post; his anger on not getting the position leads to a riot and exile. In exile he forms an alliance with former enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) in order to take revenge.

It's a tense and gripping watch; the new setting lends greater immediacy and sense of threat, the edits give clean lines a plot that fairly zips along. The action sequences are fine; not outstanding, but suitably brutal to maintain the law of the jungle sense of ancient Rome. The air is suffused with testosterone, with men not backing down from each other. The female characters are cleverly dressed to look more military, if not masculine then at the least not emphasising femininity. This is a male environment, with the smoke of combat never far away. That approach explains the choice of Gerard Butler for the role of Tullus; which would make sense if he didn't appear so dramatically out of his depth. He alone amongst the cast doesn't seem comfortable with the language, brooding too much and forgetting to back-up his physical presence with words that are threatening or venomous.

Which is a huge contrast to Fiennes in the lead role. Battle-scarred and, for most of the film, bloodied, when he's not fighting he's a caged tiger. It's clear why men will follow him into battle; haranguing bullet-ridden corpses for a lack of commitment, his men fight for and with their leader. It makes sense of his unwillingness to stay around to hear the story of his exploits; this is a man of deeds, not words. When he's finally bought face-to-face with his estranged family in a climactic showdown he's largely silence, trying to keep a crumbling facade in place.

Which all works well as far as plot and the themes of power and alpha masculinity go, but does mean that the film has precious little emotional heft; even in a denouement which should at the least brush the heart, it becomes more of an action movie showdown with much better dialogue. It seems a hard criticism, but ultimately it's the fruit of the understandable choices made with the plot and style of the film. The updating convinces; the drama grips; the action impresses. It's just a shame there's not more heart to go with all the guts.
April 9, 2014
At times it feels forced, but enchanting characters and sharp dialogue lead it home.
April 9, 2014
A well-made thriller that is need of translation subtitles. Based on a Shakespearean tragedy, this is about a war hero (Ralph Fiennes) that gets betrayed by his country, which leads him on a downward spiral of revenge. This may seem a bit tangential, but just follow me for a moment. The very first time I watched Trainspotting, it took about ten minutes before I broke down and turned on the subtitles. Now when I watch, I know what to expect with the dialect, and it has since become one of my very favorite movies, even without visual aid. Getting back to the movie at hand, and to put it simply: I just don't have an ear for Shakespeare, and turning on subtitles didn't make all that much of a difference. I have stage managed a production of As You Like It, and the man's undeniably a genius, so much so that I don't understand exactly what I am processing until somebody sits me down and explains it to me. The prose just don't make sense in my mind unless I do my due diligence and study the text, at which point I do develop an appreciation for how much is going on within the spoken words. That said, I haven't read this play, and while I do think that the decision to place this in a modern guerrilla setting is one that works, the choice to leave the script in Old English is a lot of work to ask of your audience, especially if you haven't done the legwork in prepping yourself for this material. I really ended up watching this as I would a silent film with sound effects; I had lots of difficulty keeping up with the sentence structure, and I just followed along mostly by keeping up with body language. I really like the score, all of the performances are committed, and while I do feel that Ralph Fiennes shows tons of promise in his directorial debut, almost all of the nuances here went over my head.
December 3, 2011
This modern day take on a Shakespeare play is brilliant and brutal. Ralph Fiennes at his imperious best as Caius Martius Coriolanus who is banished from Rome and seeks the help of his most sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take revenge on the city. With the fact Ralph Fiennes is also the director of this piece it is brilliant work. I think this is the first Shakespeare adaptation that ive ever enjoyed so kudos to this film
March 19, 2014
A voir par curiosité , pour les dialogues de Shakespeare transposés à notre époque
March 17, 2014
gr8 cast and a modern day take on one shakespeare's lessor plays
Dave J
March 6, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014

(2011) Coriolanus

I guess, one of my mistakes upon watching "Coriolanus" was that I was watching it as a movie, rather than as a Shakespearean play. Obviously, inspired by Kenneth Brannagh's revision of "Hamlet" which takes place during the current time. And it's intended for fans of Shakespeare, but not for people such as myself, since whenever I watch the movie, I'll look at it as a whole, wondering whether or not the film was about the oppression of it's citizens fighting for wheat, or was it about "Coriolanus" himself being used and mistreated by his superiors since at the beginning, he was a respected high authority of his own army. He then decided to run for a legislative position, but of course, his superiors who were appreciated for what he does on the battlefield eventually turn against him. I can't relate to this, since it's main objective was to be faithful to Shakespeare's version of Coriolanus rather than using some material from it like "10 things I Hate About You" and Kurosawa's "Ran", so that the average viewer can make sense about the point of all that fighting in the first place.
Gerald Butler, Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave also stars in this movie too- all spoken in Shakespearean language.

2 out of 4 stars
February 9, 2014
Fantastically directed and acted by Ralph Fiennes, this modern update of Shakespeare is bang on with intensity and great performances. Fiennes plays the titular Roman General who is great at war, but not at peace, nor with the common masses. After losing the public support, and being banished, he seeks out his bitter enemy Aufidius (a strong Gerard Butler) and the two march against Rome united and unstoppable. This may be from nearly 400yrs ago, but the story of soldiers who can't handle peacetime is as relevant as ever. The work from Vanessa Redgrave as Coriolanus' cunning and manipulative mother is simply superb. How she wasn't nominated for a Supporting Oscar I'm not sure. Brian Cox is very solid, and Jessica Chastain has such a small role, it's hardly worth having her. That being said, it's all around a great film if you can manage the Shakespearean dialogue and the violent nature.
May 29, 2012
Dialogos dificil de entender por el lenguaje Shakespeareano pero con muy buenas actuaciones e historia
February 2, 2014
Ralph Fiennes has apparently given up trying to play "nice guy".....oh hell, who cares. It's a gift to be terrifying and seducing at the same time.
January 29, 2014
This is the best Shakespeare adaptation I've seen since "O". The actors are just so fucking good in this.
January 17, 2014
Muy buena critica, pero no tan buena como yo esperaba.
Erik R.
January 12, 2014
Shortly after starting Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes/Voldemort's directorial debut, I immediately groaned. The dialogue was taken from the original Shakespeare play and it was immediately off-putting and awkward. It was distracting, difficult to understand, an unnecessary contrivance.

Then I stopped being a dumbass and got used to it.

The thing of it is - most stories told in the Western mainstream are rather immature. There's a reason the young-adult genre has become so popular and that's because our entire society has a problem with maturity. No one wants to grow up. Now I'm not denigrating YA literature or childhood or having a good ol' rollicking time. But as a man who pays his taxes, takes out the garbage, enjoys sex, ponders the meaning of things in a non-angsty manner, and has otherwise done his time in the presence of death, abuse, and evil, I have to say that constantly being treated like a thoughtless child is wearying.

A little balance is nice and Coriolanus hit the spot like a crisp cola on a hot Global-warmitized summer afternoon.

Coriolanus tells the adult story of a heroic general who loves his country and hates its people. Yep, no floaty-haired, wise-cracking man-hunk here. His country is ostensibly Rome, but the whole thing is set in pseudo modern-times, meaning that he and his soldiers use modern fire-arms and there are cars and television interviews but at the same time, concepts like consul and tribunes and city-states lurk. I do feel that Coriolanus could have been a stronger film had it thoroughly modernized these as well, as there existed some distracting friction between these new and old elements. Like, there'll be a battle and it will involve only a handful of soldiers and it's rather unclear... Is this a battle? Like, in the modern sense? Between modern countries, with jets and tanks and laser-guided missiles? Because it sure doesn't seem the case. Or there'll be some obsession with Coriolanus showing his wounds to the people to prove his valor and thereby gain their vote to become consul and... well, that's not a modern concept. So yes it's full of anachronisms.

But if you can get past those, and the admittedly dense language, you'll find a complex, mature tragedy, just as you might expect from Shakespeare. Coriolanus is a proud man who nevertheless dislikes hearing praise, implacable before his enemies yet equally inflexible in his refusal to cater to the masses. You know, a nice real character, the type of character who can get you thinking. And you know what? Thinking is awesome.

Final Say: A flawed, awkward movie that was nevertheless thought-provoking and therefore worthy of a watch.

How to Watch It: With educated / well-read / intelligent people. I'm not being arrogant or anything here. I'm being serious. You don't want to watch this with people who are going to complain the entire time about how they can't understand the Shakespearean lines.

Trivia: Like most characters in Shakespeare, Coriolanus was a real dude. He was an orphan, which explains his devotion to his mother. In fact, if you care to, you can read all about him here, in Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.
January 11, 2014
Coriolanus is a bloody, bleak and visually impressive movie with excellent performances and great direction
January 3, 2014
A scary and rather relevant adaptation of this Shakespeare play about a man who does not understand that his ideal Rome needs to be connected to the real Rome with its people. Fiennes does a great job, and so do Redgrave and the rest of the rather ethnically mixed supporting cast. The tribal aspect of the play is emphasized by the footage and staging in Serbia.
December 20, 2013
Very good adaptation to modern-life, not at all pretentious as often the case is. Very good acting. Especially Vanessa Redgrave is impressive.
December 1, 2013
wow what a movie.....i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a great movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that ralph fiennes, gerard butler, brian cox (from the brilliant tv series fraiser), vanessa redgrave (from the brilliant tv series nip/tuck), jessica chastain, john kani, james nesbitt (from the tv series cold feet), paul jesson, gerard butler, play good roles/parts throughout this movie......i think that the director of this mystery/suspense/drama/thriller movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie......i think that this is a good enjoyable mystery/drama movie 2 watch.......i think that the fight scenes throughout this movie were really good throughout this movie.......,i think that the gun shoot outs were pretty good throughout this movie......i think that the special effects thorughout this movie were pretty good throughout this movie......i think that ralph fiennes was great throughout this movie.....i think that both ralph fiennes/gerard butler were great as the two leads throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a brilliant mystery/suspense movie 2 watch......its got a good cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is a really well written/directed/acted movie 2 watch........i think that this is a brilliant movie 2 watch for 2011 its such a really well directed movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie......i think that vanessa redgrave was brilliant throughout this movie.....its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such a wonderful movie 2 watch its quite sad in some scenes throughout this movie......i think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie......i think that the fight scenes throughout this movie were pretty good......i think that james nesbitt was good throughout this movie.......i think that this was such a really well acted/written/directed movie 2 watch as you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie i think that the director of this movie keeps you on the edge of your seats throughout this movie as you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie.....its got a really sad ending in this movie......i think that this is a good movie 2 watch for 2011 as its so enjoyable movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie its so enjoyable movie 2 watch n its quite sad in some scenes throughout this movie its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch for 2011
November 17, 2013
November 12, 2013
Shakespearean English flows from Ralph Fiennes and company as naturally as I would curse a stubbed toe. The tragedy of Coriolanus is converted seamlessly to the modern era in this film, with all characters flushed out and brought to life in a way I would have never been able to extract from paper. There is passion in this film and an obvious love for the material but not so much where it bogs the audience down with over the top theatrics or forced acting. It's both appropriately charged and suitably subtle when necessary. I look outside my window today and I can see Rome.
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