Hamlet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hamlet Reviews

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January 1, 2014
One Mel Gibson Film, 1995's Braveheart Is One Of My Favorite Films.
November 28, 2013
Although it doesn't show some of the scenes in the written play that are important to the main plot, which results in keeping the watcher wondering to find answers, Gibson's thrilling performance along with Close is what make the movie a success. Not forgetting also the wonderful out-door nature.
½ October 26, 2013
Wanted my freshman to see it and forgot how much I loved Mel Gibson.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2013
I tried watching Kenneth Branagh's version, but I couldn't stand the first 20 minutes of it. This version of Hamlet is much better, simpler, for those who doesn't want to go too deep into Shakespeare's analogy. I like Mel Gibson, although sometimes he mumbles with different kind of accents, he did pulled it off as Hamlet. Glenn Close on the other hand, fails miserably as Hamlet's mother. This is my first time watching Hamlet, I didn't bother to read the book before, but after watching this maybe I should.

½ September 16, 2013
I just found surprising to see Mel Gibson as Hamlet, he is sometimes out of tune but the other actors are fine, especially Glenn Close and Young Helena Bonham Carter. the setting has nothing extraordinary compared to other versions of Hamlet.
August 10, 2013
To be or not to be. That is the question. I had to put the TV way high b/c Shakespeare & mumbling are NOT a good combo. Otherwise, pretty good. Well acted by Mel Gibson, Glenn Close (whom I LOVE) and a very young Helena Bonham Carter. Not sure I buy Glenn Close playing Mel Gibson's mother, but hell, it was the medieval times. Women had babies at 12, so what the hell? Cool sets that vividly depict the drafty, dark, & damp medieval castles...Lots & lots of madness going around, but you probably already knew that. :)
August 6, 2013
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, who had directed Shakespeare adaptations like The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and Romeo and Juliet (1968), he had wanted to do Hamlet in the early 1970's, but Tony Richardson had beat him to it with his 1969 adaptation, so Zeffirelli sat on it, and it was revived 20 years later when Mel Gibson took an interest. It's a good adaptation, one that's close in style to Olivier's 1948 take, but this one has a very good cast. In Denmark, Prince Hamlet (Gibson) returns home to Castle Elsinore when news that his father has died, but his mother Gertrude (Glenn Close), marries Hamlet's uncle Claudius (Alan Bates), who is now the new king, and they both urge Hamlet to marry his long time sweetheart Ophelia (Helena Bonham Carter). But then the ghost of Hamlet's father (Paul Scofield) appears to Hamlet, telling him his brother Claudius had murdered him, Hamlet is torn whether to just let it lie, knowing he has no evidence that Claudius did it, or plan an elaborate revenge. He chooses the latter, and he plans to get the truth out of Claudius, with the staging of a play called The Mousetrap. It's a well made film, even if it is cold and sparse, with very quick editing you would normally expect from an action film, but Gibson relishes the part, and it's a pity he hasn't done more parts like this, as this is a reminder of what a good actor he can be with the right material.
½ June 24, 2013
They don't get it. The actors -- splendid pros all -- read Shakespeare's epic yet personal poetry like they were reciting a grocery list to a supermarket clerk. Gibson's "to be or not to be" sounds like he doesn't understand the lines. But these guys understand Shakespeare. What the hell were they thinking?
June 10, 2013
A decent rendition of the famous Shakespeare play. This was the film where we took Gibson seriously as an actor. As Hamlet, he feels stiff, like he's reciting the lines, about 50% of the time. The other 50% he feels like he's legitimately in the role. Ian Holm was fun to watch as always. The castle for the setting was used well to give the film a certain brooding ambiance. Of Shakespeare movies, this one falls somewhere in the middle. Not bad, but not awesome, but also fairly easy to follow.
May 1, 2013
no Mel, no Hamlet for you lol
½ April 24, 2013
More about star-studded on-screen presence than any fantastic direction, although the costume and sets are not compromised, but dull Shakespeare.
March 30, 2013
Zeffirelli delves once again in Shakespeare's work, this time Hamlet. The result is only half satisfactory, somewhat feeling rushed and overwhelming at the same time, with a talented cast that appears a little out of place and the film that sometimes takes things a little too far to the point where it's not daring anymore, it's just plain crazy. This version of Hamlet, however, still carries a theatrical appeal, and is vibrant and accessible.
March 24, 2013
Who will know that Hamlet its the Perfect role for Mel Gibson... lol
½ March 16, 2013
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark...
March 15, 2013
Surprizingly good...
March 5, 2013
Kenneth Branagh's version was way better.
½ February 25, 2013
In Zeffirelli's Hamlet, originally by William Shakespeare he made a few choices that altered the film heavily from it's play counterpart. For instance, he placed a new scene in the beginning of the film where there is a funeral for King Hamlet. He also misplaces scenes all around the film. He seems to forget about the scene where Hamlet sees his father in the courtyard. This scene, which is crucial to the plot development in the rest of the play is almost an afterthought. I am not sure this was intentional, but it should have had a more important place in the film. The performance by most of the actors was mediocre at best, no one really stood out. If anything I would say that Helena Bonham Carter stood out in her performance as Ophelia. All of the other actors did not seem to know their lines and simply weren't believable enough.
February 12, 2013
I do agree that Zeffirelli did not strictly follow Shakespeare's Hamlet, but I don't think that it was a bad movie. There were certain things that I liked and didn't like. I think the setting and costumes were very appropriate. Helena Bonum-Carters portrayal of Ophelia was phenomenal. I didn't like the sword fight, however. It's not the fact that he changed a fencing match to a sword fight, it's the fact that the sword fight was very horribly put together. The whole situation with Claudius putting poison in the cup and Gertrude drinking it was all very sarcastically acted out and I found it more comical than a serious portrayal.
February 11, 2013
In this extremely mediocre recreation, Zeffirelli strays too far from what has made Hamlet a classic. Knowledgeable viewers are left with the bitter cliché "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" in their mouths. From adding a sexual encounter between Hamlet (played by an average yet appropriately mad Mel Gibson) and his mother Gertrude, to leaving out Hamlet's foil, Fortinbras, and his Norwegian army; Zeffirelli made all the wrong changes in all the wrong places. This lackluster interpretation also fails to capture the deeper meanings and symbolism that Shakespeare meticulously concocted. The only redeeming quality one might find is the accurate madness seen in Hamlet, the insanity viewed in Ophelia, and the secretive evil apparent in Claudius.
½ February 11, 2013
Zeffirelli's interpretation of Hamlet was completely nontraditional, therefore making it unenjoyable for the Shakespeare lover. Hamlet is depicted as a driven man seeking nothing but vengeance for his fathers death. He not only distorts the character; he also leaves out vital parts of the play (remember Fortinbras?). I found myself unable to follow this version and was not amused by the mockery Mel Gibson made of Hamlet's character. The only positive feedback I have about the movie was the performance of Ophellia (a fantastic foreshadow of her later role as Belatrix Lestrange). I do not suggest this movie unless you would like a good laugh, whether it be at Gibson's acting or Claudius' toupee.
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