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Much Ado About Nothing (2013)


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 153
Fresh: 129
Rotten: 24

Critics Consensus: Lighthearted to a fault, Much Ado About Nothing's giddy energy and intimate charm make for an entertaining romantic comedy -- and a Shakespearean adaptation that's hard to resist.

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 34
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Lighthearted to a fault, Much Ado About Nothing's giddy energy and intimate charm make for an entertaining romantic comedy -- and a Shakespearean adaptation that's hard to resist.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 25,720


Movie Info

Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's film, "Much Ado About Nothing". Shot in just 12 days (and using the original text), the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love. (c) Roadside Attractions

PG-13 (for some sexuality and brief drug use)
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Oct 8, 2013
Box Office:
Roadside Attractions - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Much Ado About Nothing

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (129) | Rotten (24) | DVD (1)

Much Ado About Nothing is a delightfully spirited romp, filled with visual splendor, strong performances and flashes of post-modern absurdity.

Full Review… | August 21, 2013
USA Today
Top Critic

The movie swings along, with a grace denied to some of Whedon's grander projects ...

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

The magic holds. It holds from beginning to end.

Full Review… | June 21, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

This fast and loose independent production is enjoyable as a home movie, but not much more.

Full Review… | June 21, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A delightful mix of the modern and the Elizabethan, a sort of do-it-yourself re-imagination of a true comic classic.

Full Review… | June 21, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

There's no fire, and where their lines should ricochet with wit, they just spill forth, affably.

Full Review… | June 21, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

This new adaptation of the Shakespearean play is very odd looking, like a modern film done on the cheap, in an ancient language, viewed on a 60-year-old television set.

Full Review… | December 8, 2013
Laramie Movie Scope

The wine flows freely throughout the film, and likely, all through production too.

Full Review… | November 24, 2013

But it is the dark side of Much Ado-everything associated with the smearing of Hero's reputation and her lover Claudio's savage rejection of her-that emerges most forcefully here

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

More familiar than fresh, but no less amusing. Whedon uses Shakespeare to remind audiences that the problems that existed in the seventeenth century remain relevant and embedded in the human heart.

Full Review… | November 2, 2013
Yahoo! Movies

Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing is a highly-entertaining romp with an exceptional cast. Easily one of the best films of the year.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
We Got This Covered

Has a wit and style you won't find in his kick-ass work for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly or The Avengers.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013

Framed in Whedon's lucid black and white it recalls the feisty romcoms of the Fifties, whilst scenes of subterfuge out on the streets at night employ the visual language of film noir.

Full Review… | August 19, 2013
Eye for Film

The movie brings to life a high-toned summer dreamland ... that exists in a dimensional rift between the Renaissance, the era of My Man Godfrey and now.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Seven Days

The Elizabethan speech rarely totally flows, the modern setting jars and not all the actors convince. It's as slick as you'd expect, if not a little forgettable. A frothy passion project.

Full Review… | July 17, 2013
Concrete Playground

Super-charged with giddy enthusiasm, Whedon's ensemble brings Shakespeare to life in a riot of boozy passion and slapstick giggles.

Full Review… | July 13, 2013

Whedon's legendary talent for dense dialogue and wrangling sprawling casts of strong characters into engaging stories has never been put to better use.

Full Review… | July 12, 2013
The Mercury

A delightful celebration of Shakespeare's rapier wit...

Full Review… | July 12, 2013
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It's a boozy, lusty, all-night party interpretation of Shakespeare that ultimately casts frivolity aside for a disarmingly moving finale.

Full Review… | July 11, 2013
The Dissolve

A sublimely jolly presentation of a delightful play.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013

Though it's not terrible, neither is it terribly good.

Full Review… | July 8, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Delivers ye old fashioned entertainment with a slick makeover

Full Review… | July 7, 2013
The Popcorn Junkie

A self-contained, astutely executed project, with Whedon's old guard giving their all for the sheer joy of performance. Great fun.

Full Review… | July 7, 2013
The Sun Herald

The film's biggest problem is that its Beatrice, played with spunk and spark by Amy Acker, is far more engaging and enchanting than its Benedick.

Full Review… | June 28, 2013

Audience Reviews for Much Ado About Nothing

If you dislike Shakespeare or are unfamiliar with the story then stay away from this film.

Gregory Dark

Super Reviewer

I know Much Ado About Nothing very well, it was my first Shakespeare and I got an A+ for writing a piece on why I disliked it so much at collage. Something I was quite proud of. It was never too good for a modern retelling in my opinion and I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the mighty Joss Whedon was going to give it a go. Unfortunately it became evident fairly early on that he and many of the actors didn't really understand it. The cast is a mix of actors that will have Whedon fans doing back flips as pretty much everyone has worked for the director at some point or another in his popular TV work. That is half the problem, these are clearly TV actors. I'm sorry about how unfair that sounds but most of them are like robots who scan the script, repeat the script and stand where they are supposed to, nothing more and nothing less. Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion are the two exception to be fair, both understand the story and how to deliver, although their talent only goes towards showing how bad everyone else is and ultimately make the film worse. It has a rushed (which I believe it was) feel to it too, a rushed made for TV feel that they try to make arty by filming in Black and White. I used to say that everything looks better in black and white but this film has proven me wrong. Honestly, it's pretty bad and does nothing for Shakespeare, Whedon or anyone involved in the film. It looks like Whedon can do wrong after all!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


I'm no Shakespeare aficionado. Save for high school reading and the stellar works of Kenneth Branagh, my exposure has been limited do to my finding a lot of the Bard's work unintelligible. But that didn't stop me from really enjoying "Much Ado About Nothing" and Joss Whedon's fresh, revisionist take. I've always found Shakespeare more palatable on the screen than page... so Whedon's light tone, snappy, jazzy rhythms and all around accessibility was right up my alley. The movie is also really funny. The cast (mainly Whedon regulars) was uniformly great, and at least half of the film's fun comes from them trying to deliver such lines in a not so theatrical way, while inhabiting such an idiosyncratic setting. The contemporary backdrop (Whedon's real home) really works here, and never distracts. It's actually why this "Much Ado" is so entertaining and so damn charming. Make no mistake, this is a minor film; and one that will leave viewers seeking out the next movie from the guy who directed The Avengers baffled. But it is also a fine entertainment and an adaptation for people who don't like Shakespeare and his enthusiasts alike.

Michael S

Super Reviewer


I enjoyed it but I found it a bit hard to relate what was being said with the actual action. I would've preferred that they had adapted the dialogue as well. Good movie otherwise.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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