Hamlet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hamlet Reviews

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November 19, 2014
A 4 hour long movie about Shakespeare's play Hamlet! What's not to like? Everything if you hate dialog ridden movies, but nothing if a fan you are. It is a masterpiece. Strong performances all over! Kenneth Branagh is simply mesmerizing! His Hamlet is amazing. Every word that comes out of his mouth is emotional and powerful! It is a pleasure seeing an actor do such an excellent job at portraying a character. A lot of people are still not happy this movie is 4 hours long, but every minute is important in this movie. It is as reading the book. As every single page was transeffered onto the big screen with every little detail, and every bit of emotion. It is a movie worth seeing, not only for it's quality, but for it's cultural meaning.
½ September 24, 2014
This is not, as advertised, William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" but Kenneth Branagh's, and it shows in every painful way you can imagine. That means pomp and pretension as no other widely accepted actor or filmmaker could ever get away with--Derek Jacobi's performance as a space opera star trying to break into Shakespeare on that episode of "Frasier" leaps to mind. (Ironically, Jacobi is in this "Hamlet.") It means Branagh strutting before a camera he controls, making sure he has ample time to say his thousands of lines while other actors are obviously rushing through theirs. It means an unfortunate over-arching stylistic choice, moving the setting from medieval times to an opulent Victorian palace for no apparent reason other than peacock-like pageantry. But most of all, it means sheer excruciating boredom, and this, one of the greatest dramas ever written, deserves more than to end up someone's vanity project. Some vanity projects, like "Under the Cherry Moon," are at least tolerable. But then, "Under the Cherry Moon" isn't four hours long. "Hamlet" doesn't feel like four hours, either--more like twelve.
½ September 9, 2014
This is an epic film that clocks in at just over 4hrs, but is never boring. The film was shot on 70mm and has a grandness to it, both in terms of the visuals, but also the cast and acting. I originally saw it in theatres, and have been wanting to rewatch it for ages, and I'm glad I waited as it looks stunning on Blu-ray. The whole cast is excellent. This is a must watch!
½ August 29, 2014
This version of Hamlet is overrated, and the fault lies with the director Kenneth Branagh. He has a great script to work with, but he takes too many over-the-top liberties. He directs it like it is a play, it was originally a play, but he is not making a play here he is making a movie, and I don't think you understand that. He doesn't need to worry about conveying subtle nuances to the people in the back row.
This is best demonstrated in two scenes of the movie. One of those scenes is the play that Hamlet puts on for the king. Rather than simply speaking with those sitting around him, (Ophilia, the king and queen) he runs around the entire theater screaming at everyone. He even runs onto the stage during the play. The King barely notices the big reveal, because he's too busy watching Hamlet run around the theater as if he were training for a marathon, it is the epitome of ridiculous.
The other scene that outlines the absurdity of Kenneth's directing is with Ophilia. In order to show the audience that Ophilia has gone mad he puts her in a straight jacket and matching hat. It is as if he doesn't believe that the audience can pick up on her madness without those extreme visual aids. It is simply demeaning to the audience.
This movie got in the 90s on Rotten Tomatoes with both critics and audiences; it is the perfect example of the emperor's new clothes syndrome. Because it is Shakespeare and because it is old everyone is too afraid to say that it's not great.
August 29, 2014
it was alright extremely long although
August 16, 2014
A spectacle of grandiose proportions. However, it was hard for me to cope with a Hamlet so far afield of the waxing poetic college student I always imagined him to be.
August 10, 2014
Excessive but wonderfully filmed and (mostly) brilliantly acted. Richard Briers portrayal of Polonius is the finest I have ever seen.
August 1, 2014
The first unabridged adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is yet the finest adaptation of the play that we have ever come to know. Don't be put off by the 4-hour length, since the film wastes none of it at all.
½ June 26, 2014
A wonderful 19th century version of Hamlet. Long but worth sitting through.
June 21, 2014
oh Branagh. You have a wonderful style, and comprehensive structure, but you're pretentious as shit.
June 15, 2014
A Shakespeare adaptation doesn't get much better than this. Despite some awkward casting, Branagh's version of Hamlet does everything right. Great acting, awesome cinematography, and the film captures the sweeping emotion the play was originally going for.
May 19, 2014
Fantastic film. Very closely-resembles the play. Kenneth is a fantastic director and he directed/played Hamlet well. I loved the movie.
May 18, 2014
Simply put, this is an outstanding film on every level. Every character and performance is rich and deep with meaning and emotion. Given that this is Hamlet in its entirety, not a minute of screen time is wasted. Every actor, no matter how large or small the role, makes their moment(s) memorable. Kudos to Kenneth Branagh for delivering the gold standard in Shakespeare adaptations.
April 26, 2014
First off, this movie is FOUR HOURS long [HOW did I miss that?]. Second, it barely seems that long. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this movie as much as I did. Even with the language being just like the book, it was still engaging and visually it is just stunning.
Glad I got to see this one.
½ March 26, 2014
Delicately and passionately directed and performed.
January 29, 2014
One of the best play to screen movies of all time. Almost word for word to the book, Kenneth Branagh plays the young prince Hamlet of Denmark perfectly. Every actor does a stunning performance. A must watch. Worth four hours to watch you ask? Oh yes, totally worth it.
January 26, 2014
There's so many memorable quotes in this drama, and it well executed by the most stunning performers. Well done.
January 21, 2014
So glad we watched the movie in class. It's a love letter to Shakespeare that's worth its 4 hours.
December 13, 2013
The first half feels much more compelling and interesting, but that might reflect the title character and his change over time.
December 7, 2013
Bloody brilliant. Hands down... no other rendition compares. I don't care if you think its over-rated or over-the-top... This is arguably the BEST version of Hamlet... Branagh does it again!
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