William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004)

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A respectable if uneven take on the Bard's The Merchant of Venice.


Movie Info

One of William Shakespeare's most powerful comedies has been given a bold cinematic adaptation in this film version of The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) is a young and vital member of the aristocratic classes in 16th century Italy; however, Bassanio's impulsive nature and lavish lifestyle have put him deeply in debt, and he will need at least the pretense of a fortune if he is to win the hand of the beautiful Portia (Lynn Collins). Bassanio turns to his close friend Antonio … More

Rating: R (for some nudity)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: William Shakespeare, Michael Radford
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 10, 2005
Box Office: $3.8M
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site

Cast


as Shylock

as Antonio

as Gratiano

as Lorenzo

as Launcelot Gobbo

as Solanio

as Old Gobbo
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (41)

Pacino is at least dynamic, something harder to say about the women in the cast.

Full Review… | July 4, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

This is Al Pacino's show, and thankfully his Shylock is absorbing enough to carry the day.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It tilts so far in one direction that the comic elements seem to come from another, lesser film.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Radford has rendered off the comedy to find the dramatic skeleton underneath. It is an approach that works stunningly well and is perhaps the only way the play can now be done.

Full Review… | March 10, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Pacino seeks his pound of flesh as a tragic outsider.

Full Review… | January 3, 2011
sbs.com.au

The text is wonderful, Radford's film has some fine performances from Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, and he makes good use of Venice locations.

Full Review… | July 10, 2009
At the Movies (Australia)

Audience Reviews for William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

This is a true and superb work of art. A fantastic piece of Shakespeare that anyone who is a fan, should see immediately. Director, Michael Radford crafts a beautiful and emotionally gripping masterpiece. A thrilling, engaging and breathtaking movie. It's tastefully romantic, sharply funny and sensationally entertaining. All the performances are in the film are incredible and deserve to be noticed by every audience. Al Pacino is brilliant, he gives one of the best performances of his career and one of the greatest performances given in a film adaptation of Shakespeare's work. Jeremy Irons is terrific. Joseph Fiennes is magnificent. Lynn Collins is a revelation.

allan913
Al S

Super Reviewer

Saw it last night on DVD and my husband and I are still talking about it this morning: is it anti-Semetic? Can you talk about uncomfortable things without appearing to endorse them? I thought it was beautifully done; Pacino was great as the self-righteous man who looks to the law for his comeuppance and instead finds himself hung by the law--a wonderful take on the fact that the ruling class will always have its way no matter how just your cause. Irons played a somewhat cowardly Antonio...was he like that in the play? Don't remember. Fiennes was singularly unappealing as Bassanio. Wassup with that, Portia? The unbelievable bit of Portia and her maid playing learned (though young and male) doctors from Padua was so hare-brained it was like something out of a Woody Allen film (specifically the part in Sleeper where Diane Keaton and Woody Allen are operating on the dictator's nose), but that's Shakespeare, not Radford, so can't fault the movie.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

The world was raising. Thunderous canyons shot from below to meet my footsteps. Forests rose and died behind my back. Birds evolved and turned to dust before me. The sky was fire and shadow, and it covered the sun like a closing fist. My hair was a wild brown spirit dancing in the tempest. My consciousness tore apart into a thousand different pieces, each shot itself like a rocketship to a thousand stars. The moon crashed into the earth. Humanity begged to be. Civilization threw its hands up. Existence screamed.

My body is an auditorium. Memory is music fading, acoustics wearing.

Starlight is taxed. Clouds rule the universe. The bridges I walk end before they begin. All the islands and planets are sinking. An air just above me is a melancholy fragrance, and yellowness stains reality. The madness of my flesh is annihilated. I am just a tangle of wires choking a soul, stranded in a breath and under the dead mountains. The edge is deep. I let go, and fall back into a flock of glimmering crystal angels. I dream that they are building me beautiful white wings.

neumdaddy
Neum Daddy

Super Reviewer

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