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Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 17

Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.

47

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 9

Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 568,949

My Rating

Movie Info

The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred toward violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs. Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the goings-on of his Montague cousins, but after he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

May 25, 1999

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (17) | DVD (24)

A slick blast of ''decadence,'' the kind of violent swank-trash music video that may make you feel like reaching for the remote control.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Doesn't approach the emotional resonance of Franco Zeffirelli's immensely popular 1968 screen version.

June 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Luhrmann's gleefully cinematic version of the play is so relentlessly inventive and innovative, it takes 20 minutes to get a grasp on how appropriate is his approach to the material.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where is the audience willing to watch a classic play thrown in the path of a subway train?

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (2)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Puts Shakespeare's greatest romance in a choke-hold and takes it slam-dancing.

August 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A monumental disaster.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comments (3)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

a fantastic introduction to Shakespeare for the novice and the young

January 7, 2014 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Put simply: you're not likely to regard Romeo + Juliet as truly great cinema unless the song "Lovefool" stirs your soul.

May 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Look back on your first love, without it making you wince.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

One of the liveliest Shakespeare adaps of the past 20 years ...

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Luhrmann bombards us with startling images, audacious camera tricks and breathtaking action ... [in order to recreate] the overwhelming experience of adolescent love.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Luhrmann would use the same techniques with better results in Moulin Rouge!

November 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A sexy, innovative and memorable sumptuous feast for eye and ear.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)
Film4

It's a genuinely fresh take on an oft-told tale.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

When the filmmakers decide to jazz it up with crazy camera angles and rapid cutting, along with screaming and shooting, it just gets lost.

July 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Tries so hard to be hip that it loses the soul of the story.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Comments (2)
Reeling Reviews

Despite a flawed start, Romeo & Juliet proves the story deserves an adjective often attached to it: 'timeless.'

June 6, 2003 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A psychedelic assault on the senses; a trip of unparalleled originality.

May 14, 2003 | Comment (1)
Palo Alto Weekly

Keeps the integrity of Shakespeare's text, but mostly thanks to the actors speaking the very same lines of iambic pentameter as written four centuries ago.

May 7, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The hyperactive movie seems goofy and gimmicky at first, but it acquires real power when the cinematography settles down enough for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes to do some excellent acting, helped by a superb supporting cast.

April 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

It's just a little too jarring to be top notch, but it sure is powerful.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

An amazing feat of ambition and imagination.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Audience Reviews for Romeo + Juliet

Excellent modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. I love the vibrant colours, costumes and soundtrack. I'm also very impressed with the use of ole English. Leo and Claire make a good on screen couple. As usual Leo's character dies. It seems to be a recurring event, but then R&J is a tragedy. Leo is the greatest tragic hero.
June 2, 2013
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

Romeo + Juliet isn't a Shakespearean film. It's a film for MTV addicts who, quite frankly, couldn't care much less about Shakespeare. Ironically, it tries to show off its beauty so pretentiously and gratuitously, I can't envision such MTV fiends watching it without shunning it. And now it's in my head like a parasite...if I may quote Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth, "Out, damned spot!"

read it all at themoviefreakblog.com
October 1, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

A fresh, very enjoyable and engrosing adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play. DiCaprio and Danes are excellent.
September 22, 2011
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

Romeo: Did my heart love 'til now? Forswear its sight. For I never saw true beauty 'til this night. 

"The Classic Love Story Set In Our Time" 

I found little enjoyment in this modern Romeo and Juliet. Its style was really annoying and left my head aching. This movie boarders on unwatchable. Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio are okay, but they don't give amazing performances. Nothing about it worked. The film was way too busy and could have possibly worked if Luhrmann had went for a more subtle approach. 

I probably went into this with too high of expectations, which were completely crushed by the first 10 minutes of the movie. In a different directors hands, this could have possibly worked. In Luhrmann's, it is a complete mess and a waste of time.
August 15, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Romeo: Courage man the wound cannot be much.
    2. Mercutio: To observe ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man! A plague on both your houses, they have made worms meat of me! A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (19 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Latest News on Romeo + Juliet

June 21, 2011:
Douglas Booth Joins Romeo and Juliet
At last, Hailee Steinfeld knows wherefore art her Romeo.
June 8, 2011:
Kodi Smit-McPhee Joins Hailee Steinfeld in Romeo & Juliet
But he isn't playing Romeo.
October 19, 2010:
Five Favorite Films with Baz Luhrmann
For a director whose films -- from the eclectic pop confection Romeo + Juliet to the...

Foreign Titles

  • Romeo und Juliet (DE)
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (UK)
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