Coriolanus

Critics Consensus

Visceral and visually striking, Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus proves Shakespeare can still be both electrifying and relevant in a modern context.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 155

58%

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User Ratings: 13,622

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Movie Info

Caius Martius, aka Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes), is an arrogant and fearsome general who has built a career on protecting Rome from its enemies. Pushed by his ambitious mother (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the position of consul, Coriolanus is at odds with the masses and unpopular with certain colleagues (James Nesbitt, Paul Jesson). When a riot results in his expulsion from Rome, Coriolanus seeks out his sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler). Together, the pair vow to destroy the great city.

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Critic Reviews for Coriolanus

Audience Reviews for Coriolanus

  • Sep 28, 2015
    Coriolanus is unexpectedly well-played. It goes for a more natural style where the action is blended with the environment and the dialogue is acted out rather than recited. This does not come off always but it does work a surprising amount of the time. While it is not a masterpiece, Coriolanus is still a pretty damn good film and recommended to fans of Shakespeare.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2013
    An anti-democratic Roman general battles a rival general and later creates a public relations nightmare. It's been almost two decades since I've seen or read Shakespeare's <i>Coriolanus</i>, so it's difficult to remember how the film compares to the original material. What I can say is that I got more out of the film than I remember getting out of the play. Ralph Fiennes's direction is flawless. In <i>Coriolanus</i> he creates a film first and a Shakespeare film second. With short scenes, long establishing shots, and pregnant pauses between conversations and monologues, Fiennes uses all the techniques germane to film and relies on the rich text when its most needed; his balance of film and Shakespeare's words is better than most other adaptations. Fiennes's vision of <i>Coriolanus</i> fits our time and politics. Martius's open contempt of the proletariat contrasts with the successful patricians who, sharing his contempt, lie to the people to ingratiate themselves. Thus, <i>Coriolanus</I> becomes about how people in power manipulate the masses. Fiennes gives a masterful performance, at times gritty and murderous and at other times vulnerable and weepy. Gerard Butler keeps up, and that's the best I can say while seasoned veteran Vanessa Redgrave hits her role out of the park as one of the most bad-ass Shakespearean mothers. Overall, <i>Coriolanus</i> is a tour de force for Ralph Fiennes, a too-often underrated actor and director.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2012
    Cool modern take on Shakespeare. The battle scenes are absolutely fantastic. I like that they put their all into illustrating the conflict in these epic urban combat sequences, even though they really didn't need to. I really like that they put in the extra effort here. As a random side note, be wary of the ridiculous face close-ups, especially on Ralph Fiennes...they work well sometimes, but they're really overused, particularly at the end. Anyway, this is a good film, just not for everyone--you need to know how to read into what is being said, since the entire film is in Shakespearean English.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2012
    Nature Teaches Beasts to Know Their Friends Decent Shakesperian based movie! Shakespeare's dramas may well be set up in a contemporary set, because the content is timeless. Here the screenplay drama is performed in its original text. The old lines sometimes are in conflict with the modern outfit, but you are quickly caught back to the drama by the violent intrigues and you become strongly affected by the deep conflicts between power and love. The war scenes are realistic and bloody. It is exciting and the outcome uncertain for the uninitiated. Ralph Fiennes both directs and plays the title role and succeeds well. He has got a star team both in front and behind the camera. The film photo by Barry Ackroyd is brilliant. The set and costumes are next to perfection. The 74-year-old Vanessa Redgrave portrays Coriolanus' mother, Volumnia, powerful and convincing. Gerard Butler as the rebel leader acts with strong charisma and realism. Additional casting is also very good. Coriolanus is a tense and violent political wartime thriller which makes Shakespeare not only accessible but utterly captivating. A credible directorial debut from one of the industry's finest working actors. The citizens of Rome are hungry. Coriolanus, the hero of Rome, a great soldier and a man of inflexible self-belief despises the people. His extreme views ignite a mass riot. Rome is bloody. Manipulated and out-maneuvered by politicians and even his own mother Volumnia, Coriolanus is banished from Rome. He offers his life or his services to his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius.
    Manu G Super Reviewer

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