William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Reviews

July 4, 2008
Pacino is at least dynamic, something harder to say about the women in the cast.
June 24, 2006
This is Al Pacino's show, and thankfully his Shylock is absorbing enough to carry the day.
September 26, 2005
It tilts so far in one direction that the comic elements seem to come from another, lesser film.
March 10, 2005
Radford has rendered off the comedy to find the dramatic skeleton underneath. It is an approach that works stunningly well and is perhaps the only way the play can now be done.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
February 25, 2005
A vivid, engrossing and defensible Shakespeare adaptation, a period piece that truly has a feel for a time long past -- and a place and attitude that are not.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
February 18, 2005
Pacino's stentorian delivery and punctuating hands are almost parodistic, as likely to draw a chuckle as to elicit empathy.
Read More | Original Score: C+
February 18, 2005
Radford remains fairly reverent toward the text and the intent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 4, 2005
Ranks as one of the most powerful recent adaptations of the bard's work.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
February 4, 2005
Radford makes the most of Venice's dark, entangling corners, and Merchant certainly has its better moments, even if its melange of acting styles and directorial intentions don't quite build into a totally successful production.
Read More | Original Score: B
February 4, 2005
Balanced, beguiling -- even funny.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 3, 2005
The give-and-take between the two veterans [Pacino and Irons] is a delight to witness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 28, 2005
For lovers of the play's language ... the losses will hurt. But as cinematic storytelling, it works.
January 28, 2005
Perplexing blend of comedy and tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 27, 2005
[Al Pacino's] terrific to watch and listen to; you can't take your eyes off him.
January 27, 2005
The Merchant of Venice is a problematic play, but Michael Radford's new movie version passes most of the cinematic Shakespeare tests with flying colors.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 27, 2005
In what is, unbelievably, the first English-language film of Merchant since the silent era, Collins and Pacino plumb the depths of acting, of Shakespeare, of the difference between law and justice.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 21, 2005
Beauty and ugliness mingle in this play, with the beauty of language ultimately triumphing.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 21, 2005
Were it not for the stain of anti-Semitism that forever marks Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, there is little doubt that Michael Radford's brave screen adaptation would currently be in serious contention for awards.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 21, 2005
Splendid film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 21, 2005
A lean, stripped-down and unapologetically cinematic take on Shakespeare's work, an adaptation designed at each turn to diminish the mechanics of the comedy and to explore the depths of the pathos.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 21, 2005
Shylock is an intense, passionate character in a great play, and Radford's film does them justice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 20, 2005
An important, timeless and sometimes troublesome classic has been filmed successfully and at long last.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 15, 2005
To quote the touching words of one correspondent, posted during an online discussion of this movie, 'I didn't like the story.' Not much to be done about that.
January 14, 2005
An exceptional example of Shakespeare on film, one that will leave audiences moved but also unsettled, in that strange way characteristic of Shakespeare's comedies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 14, 2005
Pacino takes Shylock, perhaps the most insistent and troubling character in all of Shakespeare, and roots him powerfully to the ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 13, 2005
Radford doesn't solve the problems of The Merchant of Venice, which nowadays is too disturbing to be played for comedy and too unresolved to qualify as tragedy or even that ever-shifting hybrid, tragicomedy.
January 13, 2005
Promises more than it delivers.
January 6, 2005
The film itself occasionally plods, but Pacino, tackling a tough trap of a role, raises the bar in a mesmerizing acting triumph.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 5, 2005
Despite some clunky exposition and rote iambic line readings, it attains a bona fide Shakespearean vibrance.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 30, 2004
It all collapses under an atrocious performance by Pacino.
December 29, 2004
Worth seeing for its lovely Venetian settings and evocative score but most of all for Pacino's spectacular rendering of Shylock.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 29, 2004
Intriguing but ultimately unfulfilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 29, 2004
Shylock, Portia, money-lending and betrayal get a little too much help from director Michael Radford.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 29, 2004
Left us all weary, begging for a rest.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 29, 2004
Shakespeare's most problematic play at least with respect to modern sensitivities receives an intelligent interpretation from Michael Radford and a superb cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 29, 2004
An uneasy blend of tragedy, comedy and anti-Semitism.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 29, 2004
A queasy comedy in which Pacino burns a hole in the screen while the frivolity around him sputters.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 28, 2004
Even notwithstanding this version's inert blocking and awkward camera placements, The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's more crooked and hollow contraptions in any guise.
December 27, 2004
This is one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare I've ever seen. Pacino's amazing.
September 18, 2004
Pacino gives a keenly measured performance, leading an excellent British cast through their paces in a richly colorful production.