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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is ambitious and visually striking, but the overwrought tone and lack of scares make for a tonally inconsistent experience. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

As Viktor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh) is dying he shares a tale of gruesome terror with a sea captain. Viktor, using previous experiments by a brilliant scientist, was able to bring a creature (Robert De Niro) assembled from body parts back to life. Once he realized how destructive his experiments had become, he abandoned the creature and tried to live a normal life with his fiance (Helena Bonham Carter). The lonely creature seeks out Viktor and demands one of two things: a bride or revenge.

Cast & Crew

Robert De Niro
The Creature
Kenneth Branagh
Victor Frankenstein
Tom Hulce
Henry Clerval
Aidan Quinn
Capt. Robert Walton
Ian Holm
Baron Frankenstein
John Cleese
Professor Waldman
Robert Hardy
Professor Krempe
Cherie Lunghi
Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein
Steph Lady
Screenwriter
Frank Darabont
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (28)

  • Branagh's version is too respectful and ultimately, well, lifeless.

    November 27, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • They're calling it "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," but, with apologies to the former rock group, "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" is more like it.

    November 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Sumptuous to look at, with some decent performances...

    November 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Kenneth Branagh has indeed created a monster, but not the kind he originally envisioned.

    June 20, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Watching the movie work itself into an operatic frenzy, one remains curiously detached: the grand gestures are there, but where's the music?

    March 31, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Not frightening, just silly.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

  • Oct 01, 2017
    With a sophisticated direction, awesome make-up and a beautiful score, this underrated adaptation does an excellent job expanding and enriching Shelley's story, especially by making the creature less a monster and elaborating more on why Victor creates him in the first place.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    Good adaptation of the novel into this suspenseful, traditional horror film. While everything was not completely accurate to the novel, the film did an excellent job making its own way through the story. DeNiro as The Creature was amazing, definitely the best performance of any of the actors in the film. If you study this book in school, don't take your test based on this film, but it's a good supplement to the book.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2016
    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein attempts to deliver a faithful cinematic adaptation of the literary classic. With a strong focus on characters, the film follows an ambitious scientist whose obsession with unlocking the secret to creating life leads to his ruin and the destruction of his family. Starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, and Helena Bonham Carter, the film features a solid cast, but the performances are rather underwhelming. And there's no real horror or sense of foreboding to the experimentations or the Frankenstein Monster. While Mary Shelley's Frankenstein sticks fairly close to the source material, something is missing in the tone and portrayal or the characters.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2011
    This adaptation by Kenneth Branagh is much like Coppola's version of Dracula, they are very close to the original works of their respective creators. Branagh's vision for the adaptation of the classic Horror work is superb. I read the book in my early teens, and still remember ii, it's one of those books you do not forget. By what I remember, Branagh kept [pretty much everything intact. The film has an old school monster atmosphere, but is modernized slightly. The cast do a fine job at bringing the classic characters to life and the story is chilling, creepy and has everything you'd expect from a classic horror film. Robert De Niro plays the monstrous creation created by Victor Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh plays Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious young doctor who seeks to defeat death. Instead he unleashes a monster who is bent on ruining his life. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an underrated horror film. Critiques of the film has been severely unfair and some downright dismissive. But this horror story is really a close adaptation of Shelly's work, and though not perfect, it does have enough momentum to terrify the audience as it tears across the screen. What you have here with Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is a good, underrated film based on one of the greatest horror tales of all time.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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