Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 53,565
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Movie Info

This version of the classic horror tale closely follows Shelley's book. The story begins in the Arctic Sea as the feverish Baron Victor von Frankenstein is rescued by a passing ship. He tells the skeptical captain the ghastly story of how he created a living monster out of exhumed corpses.


Kenneth Branagh
as Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Tom Hulce
as Henry Clerval
John Cleese
as Prof. Waldman
Aidan Quinn
as Capt. Walton
Ian Holm
as Victor's Father
Richard Briers
as Grandfather
Robert Hardy
as Prof. Krempe
Cherie Lunghi
as Victor's Mother
Celia Imrie
as Mrs. Moritz
Alfred Bell
as Landlord
George Asprey
as Policeman
Ryan Smith
as William
Charles Wyn-Davies
as Young William
Rory Jennings
as Young Victor
Christina Cuttall
as Young Justine
Hannah Taylor-Gordon
as Young Elizabeth
Susan Field
as Frau Brach
Jimmy Yuill
as Grigori
Chris Barnes
as Ship's Crew Member
Shaun Prendergast
as Ship's Crew Member
Tommy Wright
as Ship's Crew Member
David Kennedy
as Ship's Crew Member
Paul Gregory
as Ship's Crew Member
Chris Hollis
as Ship's Crew Member
Robin Lloyd
as Ship's Crew Member
Alex Lowe
as Ship's Crew Member
Graham Loughridge
as Ship's Crew Member
Simon Cox
as Ship's Crew Member
Robert Hines
as Ship's Crew Member
Lonnie James
as Rough Woman
Jenny Galloway
as Vendor's Wife
Peter Jonfield
as Rough Man
Edward Jewesbury
as City Official
Francine Morgan
as Assistant Midwife
Sue Long
as Woman in Labor
Michael Gould
as Stablehand
Max Gold
as Servant
Abigail Reynolds
as Mansion Staff Member
Theresa Fresson
as Mansion Staff Member
Mark Inman
as Mansion Staff Member
Dudi Appleton
as Mansion Staff Member
Meriel Schofield
as Mansion Staff
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Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (25)

  • Kenneth Branagh has indeed created a monster, but not the kind he originally envisioned.

    Jun 20, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Watching the movie work itself into an operatic frenzy, one remains curiously detached: the grand gestures are there, but where's the music?

    Mar 31, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Not frightening, just silly.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Branagh is in over his head. He displays neither the technical finesse to handle a big, visually ambitious film nor the insight to develop a stirring new version of this story.

    May 20, 2003
  • Branagh doesn't evoke terror, only repulsion.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • As this movie switches, unevenly, from swashbuckling adventure to classic horror to frilly-shirted romance to campiness to graphic gorefest, there's no telling what you're watching.

    Jan 1, 2000 | 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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