The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (29)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (20)
What we get-a bitty and begrimed romance-has a lyrical sway of its own, and, even if some of the cast seem lost in the lines, Hawke returns to save the day, and the movie.
A conceptually weak and dramatically muddled mess that has acquired a game and good cast and then given them precious little to do.
If too many filmmakers try to amp up the excitement in Shakespeare with movie magic, Almereyda goes to the opposite extreme in Cymbeline.
A mash-up of social media shortcomings and Shakespearean tragedy that becomes as much a tale of cinematic ambition gone awry as anything the Bard intended.
The film has moments of real wit and stylish brutality, but its nods to modernity (motorcycles, iPads, Google) just feel like self-conscious stunts.
"Cymbeline" has been branded a tragedy, a tragicomedy and a romance, and Mr. Almereyda embraces all three categories. The movie is by turns grim, grimly amusing and romantic, sometimes at once.
It gives us Shakespeare, but with a murkiness and lack of poetics and too many story-lines converging all at once.
Ah, another modern Shakespearean adaptation with Elizabethan dialogue and guns. But Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet this is not.
Haunting and richly layered, tis such stuff as dreams are made on.
Of course, Ed Harris as a leather-jacket-wearing biker monarch blasting away with an assault rifle gives Almereyda a solid base to work from.
Almereyda is back at it fourteen years later with Cymbeline, a dramatically clunkier Shakespeare play, both in and of itself and for the challenges it presents to a modern adaptation.
Cymbeline's familiar Elizabethan tropes do not translate well to a modern context, nor do the constant references to 'Caesar' or 'Romans.'
A gritty, modern adaption of the Shakespearean play, Cymbeline is a compelling tale of hubris and tragedy. After his daughter secretly marries one of his henchmen, gang leader Cymbeline sends her away and prepares for a coming war with the police force. Starring Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Dakota Johnson, Penn Badgley, and Ethan Hawke, the casting is quite good, as are the performances; especially given the use of Shakespearean language. Additionally, director Michael Almereyda uses an interesting visual aesthetic, which paired with the score, creates an atmospheric tone. Cymbeline is a little plot heavy, but overall the film does a good job at delivering a bold new vision of one of Shakespeare's more undervalued works.
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