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

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Reviews

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½ November 15, 2017
The Merchant of Venice is an original and masterfully done adaptation of the Shakespeare's original piece, filled with emotions and a powerful acting performance by Al Pacino.
March 30, 2017
Al Pacino's performance as Shylock is complex, deep and powerful, as is Irons' performance as Antonio, but whenever they're not on screen, the movie loses steam and it can get pretty generic. It should be seen for the gritty portrayal of Venice and Al Pacino's Shylock. It's so good, that it might just be enough.
July 29, 2015
Expected better but still,how can not watch Picino's merchant.
June 6, 2015
Al Pacino was heartbreaking. I don't think I've ever felt so much emotion from watching Shakespeare before. Gorgeous sets, too.
April 28, 2015
Gotta love the Pacino
March 29, 2015
Watched this back in school when we had Shakespeare as a topic. Maybe thats why I was so bored, but for a "school movie" this one was not that bad, but pretty much not interesting.
½ January 17, 2014
This is a great popularized and verbally simplified version of Shakespeare for a wide audience with a top-notch cast. Especially Al Pacino's performance is genuinely moving, in his assuming the role of an embittered and torn old man, with superior feel for emotional shift and outstanding voice-acting. Lynn Collins also convinces with a good performance. The soundtrack is likable, light and strangely enchanting, and the scenery is beautiful.

The movie does a great job of complicating the character of Shylock, and makes the viewer question his role as a victim or a villain. In the end, nobody will feel unmoved by the truly excellent and genuinely poignant court scene.

The courting prices are shallow stereotypes and constitute the only kind of (unintentional) humour this otherwise dry movie brings. I do not understand the choice of not giving the play-appropriated importance and weight in consequence to the casket-scenes. This is strange, since the movie is clearly a dramatized version of the play, and else there is not much that distinguishes Portia from a common harlot when every man can come make his suit without consequence. It saddens me to see the superficiality of these scenes, because Shakespeare did provide more complex and sympathetic characters in the original.
½ January 9, 2014
Not a big fan of Shakespeare stories or movies. I haven't read the book / script, so I wasn't aware of the story. The film manages to build up some tension, but it was overlong.
½ December 31, 2013
although it seems interesting and al Pacino is great the complicated language used in many Shakespeare stories makes it hard to understand anything anyone is talking about making it very boring mostly and the long length doesn't help
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2013
This is a true and superb work of art. A fantastic piece of Shakespeare that anyone who is a fan, should see immediately. Director, Michael Radford crafts a beautiful and emotionally gripping masterpiece. A thrilling, engaging and breathtaking movie. It's tastefully romantic, sharply funny and sensationally entertaining. All the performances are in the film are incredible and deserve to be noticed by every audience. Al Pacino is brilliant, he gives one of the best performances of his career and one of the greatest performances given in a film adaptation of Shakespeare's work. Jeremy Irons is terrific. Joseph Fiennes is magnificent. Lynn Collins is a revelation.
October 7, 2013
Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons are both equally fascinating and compelling as the Jewish Shylock and the Christian Antonio respectively. Historians still debate today as to whether the Merchant of Venice is anti-semetic but I do not believe it is because neither character is portrayed as too sympathetic or too villainous. The overall message is about how mutual intolerance damages both sides of the spectrum and I believe this film portrayed it admirably.
½ September 16, 2013
Pacino as Shylock? Awesome.
½ July 13, 2013
A fair adaptation.
I like these lines:
"Shylock: I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Bassanio: Do all men kill the things they do not love?
Shylock: Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bassanio: Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shylock: What! wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?"
½ July 12, 2013
William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is a decent film. It is about when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead in 16th century Venice. Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Michael Radford did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and romance.
½ July 11, 2013
The only thing that made this movie suck, is the fact that the play is so sad...
Super Reviewer
July 10, 2013
No redeemable qualities. Al Pacino once again raises the score for a performance that outdoes the entire film, including its full art direction, but more seriousness and even dramatic merit are expected from these complex plots.

June 4, 2013
Al Pacino gets top-billing in this movie, and he earns it. His performance felt stiff at the beginning, but gradually her merges his explosive acting style with the character to create a memorable climax. The film attempts to focus on anti-semitic attitudes in Venice in the late 16th century, and explain Shylock's thirst for vengeance. But faithfully adapting the play makes it very difficult to make Shylock appear heroic. Sympathetic yes, but a protagonist no. The dark tone also makes the comedic, romantic scenes feel a little disjointed and out of place.
April 9, 2013
VIOLENCE & GORE: 3/10 Characters in peril and some arguments. No graphical/bloody scenes. SEX & NUDITY: 4/10 No sex, some brief nudity and cleavage. LANGUAGE & PROFANITY: 0/10 No profanity. AGE: 11+
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