Shakespeare in Love (1998)



Critic Consensus: Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, Shakespeare in Love is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level.

Movie Info

William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is on a cold streak. Not only is he writing for Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush), owner of "The Rose," a theatre whose doors are about to be closed by sadistic creditors, but he's got a nasty case of writer's block. Shakespeare hasn't written a hit in years. In fact, he hasn't written much of anything recently. Thus, the Bard finds himself in quite a bind when Henslowe, desperate to stave off another round of hot-coals-to-feet application, stakes The Rose's … More

Rating: R (for sexuality)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Tom Stoppard, Marc Norman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 10, 1999
Miramax - Official Site


as Viola De Lesseps

as William Shakespeare

as Philip Henslowe

as Lord Wessex

as Ned Alleyn

as Queen Elizabeth

as Christopher Marlowe

as Tilney, Master of t...

as Ralph Bashford

as Richard Burbage

as Dr. Moth

as Hugh Fennyman

as Wabash

as Makepeace, The Peac...

as Will Kempe

as Lady in Waiting

as Lady in Waiting

as Henry Condell

as Peter, The Stage Ma...

as Actor in Tavern

as First Auditionee

as John Webster

as Second Auditionee

as Third Auditionee

as John Hemmings

as James Hemmings

as First Boatman

as Lady De Lesseps

as Scullery Maid

as Master Plum

as Servant

as Sir Robert De Lessep...

as Edward Pope

as Augustine Philips

as George Bryan

as James Armitage

as Second Boatman

as Chambermaid

as Lord in Waiting

as Makepeace's Neighbor

as Paris/Lady Montague

as Third Auditionee
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Shakespeare in Love

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Critic Reviews for Shakespeare in Love

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (37)

Sometimes it's the small things that provide the biggest delights. That's certainly the case with Shakespeare in Love, a tongue-in-cheek romance about the greatest romance ever written.

Full Review… | March 17, 2015
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

[An] inordinately clever, sprightly romantic comedy.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It restores to centrality of consciousness one of the great geniuses of our civilization. It makes us care for his greatness, for his passion, for his worth. In no uncertain terms, it tells us Willie Boy is still here.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

Scene after scene engages us as cheerful groundlings, tosses us jokes, toys with our expectations, then sweeps away the boundaries between film and stage, comedy and tragedy so we're open to the power of language and the feelings behind it.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

A triumph of talent and style over silliness.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Hilarious, sexy, clever, playful and as initially teasing as it is ultimately satisfying.

Full Review… | February 11, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love is a film that I really wanted to enjoy, but I simply didn't get into it. For me, it's a mediocre film, one that fails to really grab your attention and it really should have been something great. However this is a film that is killed by the hype, and watching this, I simply didn't understand its grandeur or reasons why it's superb cinema. Before I get flack for my review. I consider films like Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind, the Godfather to be great cinema. Not this. But that's my opinion. Shakespeare in Love felt like it just strived to please the board of the Academy, and it sure did, as it's your typical Oscar Bait film. I usually enjoy films such as this, but like I said, the film didn't grab my attention, I felt that there was something lacking in the film to really make it memorable. The cast did do a fine job in what they brought to the screen, but the film just tries far too hard to impress that it just ends up underwhelming. I felt that it didn't warrant an Oscar win, as there were far better films to win than this. Saving Private Ryan should have won, because it's a far superior, more emotional film, and one that is captivating from the first frame onwards. This on the other hand just feels tiresome in the long run, a film that is tedious and tries far too hard at grabbing your attention, and in doing so, you lose interest, and a film like this should have grabbed your attention effortlessly. But everything feels overdone, and it ends being a film that doesn't satisfy.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


sweet and pleasant but completely unworthy of its oscar win. gwyneth is fine but again not award worthy. the divine judi dench certainly deserves awards but not for this. ben affleck is charming however in this trifle.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


'Shakespeare in Love'. A genius, meta-adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', telling the story behind the story. A magnificent screenplay about the very truth and nature of love.


Super Reviewer

Shakespeare in Love Quotes

– Submitted by Mary Kathryn P (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Shiva K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Samira O (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Amelia C (3 years ago)

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