William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Reviews

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December 9, 2016
Michael Hoffman's adroit adaptation of the Bard's most eccentric comedy showcases wonderful sets, beautiful costumes, terrific production values, and a strong affection for the source material. Kevin Kline's Bottom steals every scene that he's in, but there's also solid acting by Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Anna Friel, Stanley Tucci, Dominic West, Calista Flockhart, and Christian Bale. There's no shortage of cinematic translations of A Midsummer Night's Dream out there, but this version's mixture of mirth, myth, bicycles, and body glitter manages to leave a unique impression.
September 3, 2016
Movie way better then the play.
May 8, 2016
It's as charming and sweet as the day is long. I'd say, considering the play, that's about perfect.
½ March 29, 2016
I liked the book, but not this movie. Far too long.
January 11, 2016
It's a solid adaptation to my favorite Shakespeare play with great performances from Dominic West, Stanley Tucci, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The art direction, costumes, make up, visual effects, and score are all strong as well
½ November 25, 2015
I've always believed that you cannot and should not make a film adaptation of Shakespeare's work. It's not the language style or the settings. It's all because of the fact that Shakespeare's plays are written in a way where every character can be performed in many, many, many different styles, and these styles are used thousands of times every year in America to this day. To take Hollywood heartthrobs and to through them in front of a camera to perform something that has been performed so many times by so many different people is honestly a shame to me.
But... the mistake was made in 1999, and we can at least agree that the cinematography was decent, and that the sets were fun to look at. Even with the use of Shakespeare's magnificent language, however, the chemistry between the actors do not fulfill the interest in the story, and in this situation that's the worst mistake you could ever make in a film production.
The conclusion is this: either go see the story performed on stage, or watch all the other film adaptations that will occur in the future roll in. It'll be entertaining either way.
October 18, 2015
Faithful to both the language and visionary of Shakespeare's with fine performances, but for some reason the film became incomprehensible and less compelling as it progresses to be somewhat torturous at not understanding what's going on or what they're trying to say. This adaptation is for those who admire Shakespeare's work with complete understanding. (B-)
October 4, 2015
Bottom is absolutely hilarious. A total show off, he seem to loves the extra attention
½ July 30, 2015
A Midsummer Night's Dream is an enchanting take on William Shakespeare's story, delivering the delight and joy of the play
½ April 30, 2015
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a fun adaptation of Shakespeare's play, featuring mostly solid performances across the board (Most notably Kevin Kline as Nick Bottom and Stanley Tucci as Puck), the payoff of moving the setting to the late 1800's, and being generally faithful to the source material. Verdict: B
March 6, 2015
An interesting take on Shakespeare's brilliant play, however plot inconsistencies and awkward scenes really hold this film back from it's source material.
½ January 29, 2015
The cast are clearly having a great time but there's nothing entirely new or exciting about this adaptation. Full review later.
July 11, 2014
Am imaginative take on one of the Bard's most accomplished comedies. Rich costuming and sets, superb performances from the likes of Kevin Kline and Stanley Tucci; A Midsummer Night's Dream is just as romantic and just as funny as you'd hope for from a Shakespeare adaptation.
May 5, 2014
It's well constructed, but the comedy doesn't seem as visible as it should be.
½ April 3, 2014
Unfunny and rather boring.
½ March 21, 2014
It's as scattershot and muddled as the play from which it is based, but Michael Hoffman's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a sweet, funny, and cheerful Shakespeare adaptation with a brilliant cast and marvelous production values.
½ March 14, 2014
A Midsummer Night's Dream is faithful towards the famous play by Shakespeare, but it seems a bit dull. The performances are fine, and the scenery is quaint, but the movie just seems a bit off-center.
½ February 28, 2014
gr8 cast brings this often filmed shakespeare to life
½ January 21, 2014
The acting in general was not very convincing, especially not as is required for a good Shakespearean rendition. Most lines are uttered without real feeling and with clichéd emotion, facial expression and gesture. Calista Flockhart (Helena), Sam Rockwell (Francis Flute; especially in the play-in-the-play) and Kevin Kline (Bottom) were best, my favourite being Calista Flockhart who brings Helena's emotions convincingly with great authenticity. I have read that "this was Kevin Kline's play", but I disagree because the character of Bottom has a lot of potential as a funny Shakespearean stereotype (but this was probably acted out under the director's guidance). Only in the end did he really show himself in the play-in-the-play. Michelle Pfeiffer (Titania) and especially Rupert Everett (Oberon) show us that the failing fairies' relationship was not only due to adultery and jealousy, but also because of the lack of emotional depth in their relationship - which speaks out of their performance. The biggest disappointment is that I don't see the Shakespearean stereotypes played out on screen, Bottom is supposed to be the idiot with a carpe diem lifestyle, but he is portrayed too gravely, which stifles a lot of potential humorous approaches to the character. Puck also didn't come to life as the witty and mischievous knave he is. I also feel that the director could have done more with the mute characters on screen, their short scenes are there to set a mood, but they seem superfluous.

The soundtrack was nothing spectacular and the sound-effects and background noises were cheap clichés we see everywhere nowadays (cf. forest background sounds). Most of the actors' voice-acting was also uninspired, and does not do homage to the verbal virtuosity of Shakespeare's play.

I sincerely wonder whether the director knows of the potential comedy that lurks in the play, because I did not have the feeling that I was watching a comedy at all. The play-in-a-play was in it's 10-minute totality more funny than the whole 100 preceding minutes. There were no genuinely funny situations, and the movie was absolutely not original in creating these, Instead, it relied too much on the inherent comedy of the incompatibility of some characters and emotions in certain situations, and so took a too passive and unoriginal approach. The movie lets a lot of very obvious occasions of potential funny situations slip by, even the potential very comic situation with the chink in the wall slip (hint: "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all"). The only scene that comes closest to a comic situation is when Helena runs away from a chasing Demetrius and Lysander, but even this scene was more dramatic than funny. Bottom's lying with Titania too was also disappointing.
January 4, 2014
Even at 116 minutes, I thought that this was so goddamn long. Honestly, it's boring as hell. There's absolutely no funny scenes, nothing exciting or intense, and it's overall just a dull mess.
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