Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Reviews

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½ November 14, 2017
New Notes 11.2.2017

Branagh's adaptation spends relatively little sympathy on the Creature and almost excessively on the true monster of this tale, Frankenstein himself, who is overly romanticized, at times annoyingly. Typical of Branagh, who's a bit obsessed with seeing himself portrayed in this over-the-top, melodramatic, epic movie staginess.

The film takes on more the appearance of an adventure film, less a horror with it's sweeping, circling camera moves and Patrick Doyle's brassy chivalrous epic score.

It fails to capture the spirit of the book with it's rapid edits and inability to settle into frame of mind, which is the essence of Shelley's writing that makes it all the more horrifying. Images fly across the screen to shoot plot points out like a semi-automatic, but we're unable to linger in these places, experience the sensations, know the torture.

I was delighted at first to see Creature would spend some time at De Lacey's cabin, but it turns out to be the only sympathy we get, besides what happens outside of Ingolstadt. From here, Creature makes a campy transition as the cabin burns, swearing vengeance upon his creator, thus becoming the film's villain.

One too many liberties are taken to call this 'Mary Shelley's' Frankenstein. Though I enjoy some of these changes, as they pertain to my own thinking. I too thought Justine was well suited to be Creature's choice of bride, a missed opportunity in the novel that Branagh and company seize. Just as well, his cause to reanimate Elizabeth is sensible for a man like him, and the tragedy it results in is obvious, though absurdly filmed.

I feel like the film is confused between whether or not it wants to completely honor Shelley's work or merely be inspired by it, which the latter it ultimately was. But it didn't commit to that, which I feel contributed to the suffering of it's pacing and troubled, unsettled screenplay. Universal took bolder steps establishing their own cinematic universe for the character and a screenplay befit for film audiences. James Whale's direction was clear and concise, committed to his own vision and the telling of that script, less the novel. As a result, the film honors the book in ways perhaps not directly focused. We spend peaceful moments with the Creature, and his sympathy is tremendous. Frankenstein is truly heinous, and there's no attempt to cover that up. Branagh's feels confused and jarring, perhaps in an attempt to depict how confusing and maddening life might seem when you suddenly wake into it from the depths of darkness. Perhaps the intent is for us to see the world as Creature sees it, sweeping around frenetically - but if that was the intent, it failed with it's romantic adventurism. Some moments of peace, quiet, birds chirping, water flowing, and butterflies flapping surely would've helped.


Old Review:

Branagh took a nice piss on one of the greatest stories ever written. DeNiro brings a fascinating sympathetic performance to his monster that is so necessary, but otherwise Branagh takes his very un-cinematic approach to the film so as to keep us bored to death.
½ November 11, 2017
interesting storyline that was different from the others. Good job by Robert DeNiro as this was a different role for him
October 27, 2017
Loved this remake...WTF is wrong with people? Seriously...look @ the full cast. I ADORE AIDEN Quinn & would see him in anything. Celia Imrie is the most UNDER-Rated Actress ever. John Cleese is ALWAYS Brilliant.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2017
With a sophisticated direction, awesome make-up and a beautiful score, this underrated adaptation does an excellent job to expand and enrich Shelley's story, especially as it makes the creature less a monster and elaborates more on why Victor creates him in the first place.
July 17, 2017
Kenneth Branagh pudo hacer un mejor trabajo.
June 29, 2017
This is one of the absolute worst big budget films I have ever seen. It gets two stars because it is HILARIOUS to watch. To be sure it is awful, however, it is awful in a way that is fun to experience and make fun of (and awful in a good enough way that I do own it and watch it on occasion).

I don't really know what Kenneth Branagh was thinking with this one--the fact that his films are usually way above average, stylish and smart makes it all the more baffling as to how this cringe-worthy mess occurred! Literally every single aspect of this film is over the top. The overdone acting from all involved--including the PHYSICAL aspect of acting (only DeNiro can *possibly* be excluded from the OTT acting comment), the frantic camerawork and Patrick Doyle's over affected score all work wonderfully together to create a throbbing embarrassment of a film.

A note on the score by Patrick Doyle: oddly, Doyle's score to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is easily one of my all time favorite film scores. I have listened to it so many times between 1995 and today that I know each and every single note. It is in my constant rotation. Out of context it is FANTASTIC. However, in context of the film, the score simply amplifies everything that is wrong with this movie. Certainly an unexpected outcome. At any rate, I highly recommend listening to the soundtrack on its own as it is the one thing about the movie that truly is great--again, out of context.

Great bad movie to watch with friends who also appreciate the fun that can be had when watching great bad movies. :)
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2017
I like certain design elements but I wish the movie's tone wasn't consistently hysterical from start to finish. There are no moments of quiet to appreciate the Gothic horror.
May 24, 2017
An admirable attempt by Kenneth Branagh but it should NOT be called Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
May 6, 2017
Very interesting performance from DeNiro, His portrayal was the only likable character in the movie. Branagh's direction was a little "over the top" as he made the movie more of an "action" movie than horror. I think the movie could have been better with some more subtlety but some people like all the "overly dramatic" scenes. By the way, Branagh looked AMAZING in his shirtless scenes!
½ November 12, 2016
At times it's exceptional poetry - at others, it can be a fine mess.
½ November 7, 2016
2016-11-08 lots of plot holes and illogical actions
October 25, 2016
Bold, overblown and heavy, this is a disappointing adaptation but a marvel to watch thanks to Branagh (both behind and in front of the camera) and DeNiro's inspired performance.
October 22, 2016
While it veers into melodrama, Mr. Branagh's take on the gothic tale is undeniably faithful to the literary source material.
Super Reviewer
½ June 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.
½ June 7, 2016
Theatrical in the hand of Kenneth Branagh.
½ June 4, 2016
This adaption of Frankenstein is stylish, entertaining, humorous, and filled with a nice cast. It's far from the best adaption of the novel (though it is one of the more accurate depictions), nor does it get everything right on its own. Nonetheless, it's easy to sit through and to revisit.
½ May 1, 2016
A atuação de Robert De Niro é gigante e a inteligência visual de Kenneth Branagh é surpreendente, transformando esse filme em um perfeito exemplo de injustiça em sua recepção.
March 13, 2016
Beautiful costumes and music. A wonderful adaptation!
Super Reviewer
February 9, 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.
½ November 2, 2015
Well, let's say that the movie had it's problems. It's big problems. Most of the time, it was only unnecessary Melodrama, which sometimes really annoyed the shit out of me. I don't want to see emotions and other boring stuff in a fucking Frankenstein movie, I'm here for the horror, the scientific aspects and the interesting thought behind it. And the good thing is: I could also see alot of that in this movie, which atleast satisfied me after the not really that believeable romance scenes. I admire the movie for how near it is to the novel, and the fact, that it isn't comperable to these stupid cliché films that most of the times don't have a single little bit in common with the original masterpiece. I liked the fact that the "monster" looked realistic, you could still see that it once was an human being, and that the Doctor wasn't one of these overloaded insane geniuses who have a totally over the top design, with their disabled assistent Igor right on their side. It seems alot more real like in said films. I didn't like many of the characters, well I don't expect much of a Frankenstein's movie anyway, but well, here you had alot to deal with the characters, and you know.. they were all boring as hell. Only the monster gave you a few smiles, because of how cute it was acting all the time, and hell I wish I could know if that's actually a good or a bad thing. I called the monster Herbert and got really attracted to it, unlike to all the other characters... but you should be scared of it right? Ooops.... But well I like Herbert so much, I will overlook that fact.


The next big problem is, the logicial issue. Well, in a novel where a corpse was brought back to life, I don't expect much logic to be honest. But here I could see alot of plotholes, the monster for example knew many things, which it couldn't know if you look at the plot closely enough. Or even if, we didn't saw it, is it that hard to show this to us? The family was also fucking creepy, I felt like in a TV commercial for some outdoor stuff at the mountain scene. It wasn't really believeable, more like a false paradise to me. In the university it seemed a little bit too harsh, and at home a little bit too friendly for that time period. But well, the time setting was still pretty well handled if you ask me. I also admire how balanced the background places were, not too much of the castle, not too much of the university, I could make the list go on, and they always knew when it was the right time to make a change of place. It had a very good visual content in general, my eyes liked what they saw when looking at the landscapes. The beginning and ending scenes were simply epic.


this Review may Sound more harsh than it should, but I actually really enjoyed this movie. Sure, I mentioned enough Problems for others to hate it, but I personally know how to appreciate it.
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