Othello

Critics Consensus

Perhaps less than the sum of its parts, Othello is still highly entertaining, and features excellent performances from Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,768

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Movie Info

Heroic general Othello (Laurence Fishburne), the only African in the Venetian army, is carrying on a courtship with white noblewoman Desdemona (Irène Jacob). Their hasty marriage causes some political upheaval, but the military leader is quickly dispatched to halt an invasion on Cyprus. Once there, Othello's lieutenant, Iago (Kenneth Branagh), who believes Othello has wronged him, conceives a plan to get revenge by convincing the new husband that his wife is unfaithful.

Cast & Crew

Irène Jacob
Desdemona
André Oumansky
Gratiano
Jonathan Olsberg
Executive Producer
Luc Roeg
Producer
Charlie Mole
Original Music
David Johnson
Cinematographer
Tony Lawson
Film Editor
Tim Harvey
Production Design
Simon Moseley
First Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for Othello

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (13)

  • A highly engaging attempt at Shakespeare's most domestic tragedy.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Anna Smith

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Branagh's superb performance...guarantees this film an immediacy that any audience will understand.

    May 20, 2003
  • Davies has done an admirable job of condensing the sprawling action.

    October 15, 2002
    Hollywood Reporter
    Top Critic
  • Parker has shown how involving and moving Shakespeare can still be on the screen.

    February 13, 2001 | Full Review…
  • Parker, whose screenplay strips down the original play, merely produces a lackluster essence.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • ... Will not give its viewers much of an idea of the Shakespeare play, and may inadvertently give them other ideas, about interracial love, that were not much on Shakespeare's mind.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Othello

  • Feb 06, 2012
    Fishburne's Othello has more more money associated with it than Welles' work but it is nonetheless as effective thanks to Laurence himself and a darkly effective Iago played to the hilt by Kenneth Branagh.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2010
    The evil Iago(Kenneth Branagh) pretends to be friend of Othello(Laurence Fishburn) in order to manipulate him to serve his own end, comes up with a devious plan to suspect that Othello's wife Desdemona(Irene Jacob) of infidelity. Oliver Parker's directorial debut is a bit of a disappointment. The language is so hard to comprehend(unless you are familiar with Shakespear's vocabulary), the cast is kinda distracting(thanks to Jacob since she still sounds French) and Kenneth Branagh as the evil snitch Iago, he mostly does his Woody Allen homage by talking to us in front of the camera. Laurence Fishburn as Othello is kind of on the quiet side since I felt this film wasn't about him but about his jealous friend Lago who wants Othello's power.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2010
    Recommended only to those who haven't yet seen enough Shakespeare on film.
    Robert F Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2008
    As if we didn't have Othello transactions in the past,Branagh (Parker is a cover-up) lifts the emotional barrier in such high levels,the utmost banality is that Othello's character...is slowly revolting to become the hero!The supporting cast with Nathaniel Parker and Jacob are the unanimous film extracts.The "Cypriot" fortress and the flashy costumes are Venus' sapphires,i won't deny it,just next time remember to create some kind of innovation.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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