The Tempest Reviews

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Cath Clarke
Time Out
March 2, 2011
You expect Nicolas Cage to pop up from behind a sand dune on a Harley brandishing a rocket launcher.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
January 12, 2011
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David Denby
New Yorker
December 27, 2010
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...
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2010
Primarily an exercise in eccentric (and, I would argue, empty) spectacle.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 17, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 17, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
December 17, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 16, 2010
A pretty frustrating adaptation of Shakespeare's play, one that dog-paddles around in ever-more-frenetic circles, searching for a way inside the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lawson Taitte
Dallas Morning News
December 16, 2010
Julie Taymor's The Tempest adapts Shakespeare to the screen with boldness and imagination. Bard buffs are likely to love it, despite the liberties it takes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 16, 2010
The effects are dazzling, the cast is stellar, the play is timeless, the movie is wretched.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 16, 2010
A movie that veers from ethereal beauty (its closing credit sequence, as a book of magic softly drowns in a dark sea, is a stunner) to mystifying cheesiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 16, 2010
The best sequences in "Tempest'' are all quiet, not that there are many of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 16, 2010
With so much going for it, why does The Tempest become a mere storm in a teacup? The reasons are many.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 16, 2010
These gifted actors sometimes seem to be saying the words as someone with a chain-saw cuts firewood in the next room.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 13, 2010
Although it falls off precipitously, it's better to have Julie Taymor's The Tempest than not: The first half-hour is nearly as unfettered as Shakespeare's language.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 10, 2010
I found myself wishing that Taymor would turn off the sound and fury and let The Tempest speak for itself. My wish wasn't granted.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 10, 2010
Mirren, of course, is wonderful - in those few scenes when the CGI stops. But those rare moments are separated by tedious songs and far too many close-ups of Ariel laughing, laughing, laughing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 10, 2010
Taymor's visual pyrotechnics (used better in her 1999 Shakespeare adaptation "Titus") come across as forced, dampening any warmth in Shakespeare's final play.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 10, 2010
A surprisingly unengaging and charmless fantasy from a director whose previous films ("Across the Universe," "Titus," "Frida") were, despite their other issues, never boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 9, 2010
It's unimaginatively staged and poorly acted by everyone involved, especially Russell Brand, who has never seemed so lost.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 9, 2010
Ms. Taymor's overscaled sense of stage spectacle can be impressive and effective, even moving, but her three-dimensional, high-volume compositions translate awkwardly into the cosmos of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
December 9, 2010
In contrast to Shakespeare's gift for weaving words into enchanted worlds, Taymor's Tempest leeches most of the magic out of his language...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 9, 2010
Smaller parts aren't on par with the lead role, and special effects are overdone and cheesy. At times, the essence of Shakespeare's poetry is drowned out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 9, 2010
Taymor seems to have assembled an interesting cast and colorful costumes and chosen a fitting locale-some scenic, forbidding corners of Hawaii-and hoped for the best. Occasionally she gets it.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 8, 2010
Too often the visual effects in The Tempest' look like something that would have seemed high-tech during the early days of MTV.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 8, 2010
Theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end cinematically inert...
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 8, 2010
A tiresome mess that's completely bereft of a quiet moment in speech or manner, The Tempest aches for the wisdom of discipline.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Ernest Hardy
Village Voice
December 7, 2010
There's sound and fury, but the result is more drizzle than tempest.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 10, 2010
Just another example of middling, muddled Shakespeare.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
September 14, 2010
Far less daring than her 1999 Titus, which took an electrifying, stylized approach of a lesser-known play, The Tempest in comparison looks disappointingly middle-of-the-road.
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Leslie Felperin
Variety
September 12, 2010
So kitschy, yet curiously drab and banal.