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The Tempest (2010)



Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 60

Director Julie Taymor's gender-swapping of roles and some frenzied special effects can't quite disguise an otherwise stagey, uninspired take on Shakespeare's classic.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 23

Director Julie Taymor's gender-swapping of roles and some frenzied special effects can't quite disguise an otherwise stagey, uninspired take on Shakespeare's classic.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 19,026

My Rating

Movie Info

The sorceress Prospera's journey spirals through vengeance to forgiveness as she reigns over a magical island, cares for her young daughter, Miranda, and unleashes her powers against shipwrecked enemies in this exciting, masterly mix of romance, tragicomedy and the supernatural.

Dec 20, 2011


Touchstone Pictures/Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Tempest

December 17, 2010:
Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest
In this new interview, Helen Mirren talks about what brought her to Julie Taymor's gender-bending...
December 15, 2010:
Russell Brand Talks The Tempest and Arthur
In a recent interview, Russell Brand discussed his experiences making Julie Taymor's "The Tempest,"...


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All Critics (92) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (60) | DVD (7)

You expect Nicolas Cage to pop up from behind a sand dune on a Harley brandishing a rocket launcher.

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taymor, by turning Prospero into a woman while retaining an "imperialist" view of Caliban, will no doubt simultaneously please and enrage left-wing critics. The rest of us can enjoy the movie's strengths...

December 27, 2010 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comment (1)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Primarily an exercise in eccentric (and, I would argue, empty) spectacle.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Normally I'd watch Helen Mirren in anything, even if she was just putting out the laundry or reading the phone book. But, given the roteness of her line readings here, it might have been better if the phone book rather than Shakespeare was her text.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The costumes designed by Sandy Powell - leather gowns and military uniforms, Renaissance in silhouette and detailed with zippers - are the film's most arresting element.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most plays-turned-movies try to open things up. Taymor still thinks like a theater director, ending up with a "Tempest" that takes place in a teapot.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dispensing with tableau compositions, this adaptation feels liberated from static theatrical and, to a lesser degree, cinematic convention by the overall openness of its staging and camerawork that's somewhere between handheld and Steadicam.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

There are two reasons to watch The Tempest: if you're a fan of Shakespeare, or a fan of Helen Mirren.

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare would have never imagined this story could look like Taymor's vision.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Taymor tries a little too hard, neither breaking nor broken by the play, but ultimately losing the wrestling match. [Blu-ray]

September 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Taymor excels at creating visuals that are so beautiful you want to hang every frame on your wall, but content-wise this film falls really flat.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source:

The film has plenty of detractors who see Taymor's approach as strained and overwrought, but Mirren finds some grace notes that no Prospero could ever have sounded.

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

While this had the potential to be a stirring cinematic experience, director Julie Taymor's trademark innovation and visual flair never soars.

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Shakespeare is spinning in his grave.

March 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

As a re-imagining, particularly by a director so well renowned, The Tempest is depressingly pedestrian.

March 13, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

[M]essy but thrilling... [B]rings a new perspective on the play, and a new appreciation for it, which is the best we can ask for the umpteenth adaptation of a centuries-old work...

March 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A noble stab at the Bard but ultimately an unsatisfactory film.

March 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The special effects are intrusive and anything but magical and the text is rather curiously edited. But it's worth seeing for Mirren.

March 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Despite the best efforts of an impressive cast, Taymor's adaptation ends up a curious mix of arse-achingly dull, and clangingly misjudged.

March 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

Lost for a***holes.

March 5, 2011 Full Review Source: News of the World | Comments (5)
News of the World

Mirren is a powerful presence: maybe gender-bending Shakespeare is the only way to give Mirren the movie roles she deserves.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

A game cast including Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Ben Whishaw and Tom Conti can't save this listing interpretation of the Shakespeare play.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK] | Comment (1)
Daily Mirror [UK]

Misjudged, un-poetic and tedious - like a pompous production of Mamma Mia, without the Abba songs.

March 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

An inspired, but sometimes irksome take on 400 year old material.

March 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Certainly good enough to leave us once more astonished by Shakespeare's invention, yet it ultimately lacks the interpretative authority that might have made it something special.

March 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

"I can do real rocks and seas," cries cinema. To which the right response is: "We don't want real rocks and seas. We want the ones in our head, put there by Shakespeare."

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for The Tempest

This one is hard to keep up with because of languaged used, old english. Has a good plot. 3 stars
October 1, 2012
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Apparently very well made. Apparently very wonderful actors. Apparently Shakespeare was a genius. Apparently I just don't understand it....and I tried for an hour. I was lost....
February 28, 2012

Super Reviewer

The part of THE TEMPEST that goes too far beyond awful is its number of asinine characters. Of all the great I've heard about Shakespeare, I'm convinced this was the fault of the screenwriter rather than the bard himself. Mind you, the gender change of the main character in order to offer Helen Mirren a role, does not even matter when looking at the rest of the ensemble. Among the most obnoxious characters are Trinculo (Russell Brand) and Caliban (Djimon Hounsou). Russell Brand, for whatever reason, seems to find screaming at the sky a decent imitation of a Shakespearean soliloquy. It comes across, instead, as an impression of a 16th century spin-off of popular video game The Sims. Djimon Hounsou is an instant reminder of Gollum from the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, prancing around oddly, dressed in almost nothing, speaking more cryptically than Shakespeare himself.
January 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Cast: Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Reeve Carney, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Tom Conti, David Strathairn, Ben Whishaw

Director: Julie Taymor

Summary: After years stranded on a deserted island, exiled duchess and sorceress Prospera (Helen Mirren) exacts vengeance on her enemies, whose passing vessel she has shipwrecked. What she doesn't know is that the ship also carries a potential suitor to her daughter (Felicity Jones).

My Thoughts: "I hadn't heard of the film, seen a trailer, or read anything about it. But I seen Helen Mirren's name attached to it so I of course picked it up. Now not doing any of above and then seeing it was a WTF kind of moment for me. As I went back and forth from thinking bout turning it off or keep watching, I of course went with keep watching it. The longer I watched the more fascinated I became by this unconventional film. It's funny, entertaining, and it captivates you whether you want it to or not and draws you in. Not a film all will like, but it's sure one you can't help but watch."
January 12, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Ariel: I have made you mad...
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
    1. Antonio: Here lies your brother, no better than the earth he lies upon.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Caliban: This island is mine!
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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