Richard III


Richard III

Critics Consensus

This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.



Reviews Counted: 50

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,004


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

This innovative, fast-paced, cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare's classic work transposes the setting to an imaginary Nazi-like 1930s England. Ian McKellan is mesmerizing as the ruthlessly ambitious Richard, who rises to power by having anyone standing in has way murdered, including his own brother and the young children of his predecessor.

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Ian McKellen
as Richard III
Annette Bening
as Queen Elizabeth
Jim Broadbent
as Buckingham
Robert Downey Jr.
as Earl Rivers
Maggie Smith
as Duchess of York
John Wood
as Edward IV
Jim Carter
as Lord Hastings
Bill Paterson
as Richard Ratcliffe
Adrian Dunbar
as Corporal James Tyrell
Edward Jewesbury
as King Henry
Christopher Bowen
as Prince Edward
Marco Williamson
as Prince of Wales
Kate Steavenson-Payne
as Princess Elizabeth
Dominic West
as Richmond
Dennis Lill
as Lord Mayor
Dennis Lili
as Lord Mayor
Ryan Gilmore
as George Stanley
Donald Sumpter
as Brackenbury
Roger Hammond
as Archbishop
Tres Hanley
as Air Hostess
Stacey Kent
as Ballroom Singer
Matthew Groom
as Prince James
Bruce Purchase
as City Gentleman
James Dreyfus
as 1st Subaltern
Marc Williamson
as Prince Of Wales
David Antrobus
as 2nd Subaltern
View All

News & Interviews for Richard III

Critic Reviews for Richard III

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (16)

  • Rarely has a film used London's landmarks so cannily.

    Apr 26, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • An outrageous, wickedly funny, 1930s fascist version of the Shakespeare play starring Ian McKellen as Richard of Gloucester.;

    Apr 21, 2016 | Rating: 4/5

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The "fascist" staging could have been hackneyed, but Loncraine carries it off superbly as the showcase for action-thriller noir.

    Apr 21, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A sure-fire crowd-pleaser among recent Shakespeare movies.

    Jul 9, 2008
  • In a shamelessly entertaining display of acting brilliance, McKellen 'plays' the demon's good arm as if it were a Stradivarius, executing one showy stunt after another.

    Feb 27, 2008
  • This triumphant take on the Crookback king is as different from Olivier's '50s historical pageant as chalk is from malmsey.

    Jun 24, 2006

Audience Reviews for Richard III

Ian McKellen is Mesmerizing in this performance. The modernized setting and story-telling are a bit off-putting.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Ian McKellan was magnificent as usual. Annette Bening was magic. Jim Broadbent was incredible. Maggie Smith was brief, but fantastic. Robert Downey Jr. was confusing.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Richard III like you've never seen it before! Ian McKellen was amazing in this as he embodies the evilness of Richard III. Inventive and ruthless, this version cuts much of the dialogue in the play which makes it much more bearable than Olivier's 1995 snore-fest. Even if you're not fond of nor familiar with Shakespeare, you'll find this movie pretty enjoyable.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


one of shakespeare's more brutal plays reset in the '30's with striking atmosphere and a stellar cast. it's obvious sir ian had a blast making this and he is bloody marvelous. this is a very abridged version but it's definitely one of the most successful 'modern' adaptations i've seen. worth checking out even if you're not a fan of elizabethan drama!

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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