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Macbeth

Macbeth (1999)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

Roman Polanski's Macbeth is unsettling and uneven, but also undeniably compelling.

40

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

Roman Polanski's Macbeth is unsettling and uneven, but also undeniably compelling.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 8,586

My Rating

Movie Info

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" - but the bodies keep piling up today, from the opening battle, to the beheading of the traitor Cawdor, to the - onscreen - murder of Duncan, to the electrifying final duel to the death (at each clash of metal on metal, and flesh on stone wall, Polanski cut a single frame of film, making the impact almost palpable). His first work after the Manson massacre of his wife and friends, Polanski's graphic adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of ambition, as Jon

May 7, 2002

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (4) | DVD (12)

Does Polanski's Macbeth work? Not especially, but it was an admirable try.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wide-screen visuals swamp the dialogue, and the thematics have been turned inside out -- but that's what movie adaptations ought to do.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Polanski's evident desire to elicit understated, naturalistic performances from his cast also underplays the poetry of the play...

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

This is an original film by an original film artist, and not an 'interpretation.'

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film's bear-baiting, barnyard pageantry is less convincing than its clammy locations.

May 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you're a fan of Shakespeare or Polanski, you won't want to miss this.

May 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

a bloody, rip-roaring good time

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Polanski's worldview of brutish power-plays couldn't be more at home in Shakespeare's medieval times

December 6, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Polanski elicited naturalistic understated performances from his actors which bolstered the play's realism while bringing the poetry down to earth. Some would argue he brought it too far down.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Polanski has increased the film's barbaric realism and fills the screen with blood, mud and brooding atmosphere.

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Released just two years after Polanski's then pregnant wife was brutally murdered by members of the Manson family, and morbidly preoccupied with violence and cruelty

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Something of a disappointment.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

[VIDEO ESSAY] Nothing else in the cannon of Shakespeare filmic adaptations comes close to the dramatic purity that Polanski achieves with "Macbeth."

November 7, 2005 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

An over-the-top bu highly effective adaption of the Shakespeare classic with Polanski's disctinctive touches.

March 25, 2005
Nitrate Online

With its apparent fixation on murder and cruelty, it is difficult to overlook a number of the unsettling autobiographical details in the film.

November 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Forces Shakespeare into the modern terrain of sickly spiralling sensibilities, with blood, lust, and madness at the forefront.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Shakespeare's bloodiest play gets a chilling existentialist update from Roman Polanski

July 26, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Shakespeare wrote "the play's the thing," but it makes an argument that the setting and direction can play just as important a role in dramatizing an adaptation.

June 10, 2002 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

Made shortly after the Sharon Tate murders, there's a disturbing resonance when Macbeth's gang of wild-eyed assassins butchers noble MacDuff's wife and children.

May 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A worthy addition to the Bard's cinematic canon.

July 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Macbeth

In case you ever wondered what would happen if Polanski did a Shakespeare production, check out this movie, it's actually very cool. I loved it.
June 8, 2013
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Rich and thick as stew. A graphic introduction to Shakespeare in shocking display.
June 8, 2013
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

Bloody yet brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. One of the few film adaptations of Shakespeare that I've thoroughly enjoyed watching. Jon Finch was absolutely incredible as Macbeth. I also loved the actress who played Lady Macbeth. Highly recommended.
June 8, 2013
Raajay

Super Reviewer

The very real murder of Polanski's wife was the genesis of this ultra violent take on Shakespeare's finest play. A riveting spiral of hate, ambition and betrayal. great performance by Jon Finch.
June 8, 2013
pier007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Macbeth (DE)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (UK)
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