Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Critics Consensus

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead struggles in its journey from stage to screen, but a well-chosen trio of veteran talents keep things consistently watchable.



Total Count: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,208
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Movie Info

Based on Tom Stoppard's play, this erudite comedy rethinks Hamlet by telling the story of two of its least important characters. The duo debates the theory of probability, the nature of Hamlet's madness, and which of them is Rosencrantz and which Guildenstern while Shakespeare's tragedy plays out in the background.

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Gary Oldman
as Rosencrantz
Tim Roth
as Guildenstern
Richard Dreyfuss
as The Player
Joanna Roth
as Ophelia
Iain Glen
as Hamlet
Donald Sumpter
as King Claudius
Joanna Miles
as Queen Gertrude
Vili Matula
as Horatio
John Burgess
as English Ambassador
Livio Badurina
as Tragedian
Mare Mlacnik
as Tragedian
Srdjan Soric
as Tragedian
Mladen Vasary
as Tragedian
Branko Zavrsan
as Tragedian
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Critic Reviews for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The title gives away nothing, and that is the genius of this film. One feels like anything can happen, anything goes, in this fictive world. But the fact that everyone already knows how it goes, except for Rosencratz and Guildenstern, makes for this spellbinding and elastic tension that draws us through the film. The action conjures up feelings like that of watching a spinning top: it is highly playful, curious, and inventive. Gary Oldman and Tim Roth play their roles with such natural ease, they make this quirky film into a personal favorite. For lovers of wit and whimsy, this is a must see.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2013
    Pretty funny for a spinoff of Hamlet. This is a lot longer than it needs to be, though. Roth and Oldman are a great acting team and have a ton of chemistry. Entertaining film, even though it's not really my thing.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2012
    "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" is a two hour long movie about two commoners that wander around making mathematical discoveries and posing existential questions while Shakespeare's "Hamlet" unfolds around them. Though Tim Roth and Gary Oldman have interesting performances and are genuinely funny in a few scenes, the film is simply a downright bore. It's written and directed with no excitement or visual flair and there are times where it almost seems like Tom Stoppard wants to send his audience to sleep. On top of that, it's muddled and pretentious, and a few moments of intelligent humor can't compensate for two hours of uneventful humdrum.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2012
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's a very intelligent and clever way to use characters that were merely trivial and use them to examine some interesting subjects. Like free will and the fact that these characters absolutely have none and they have no choice in the direction their lives are taken, because they are simply pawns in a much larger game. They also explored some existentialist themes with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern trying to figure out their lives and what the meaning of their lives are. I thought it was very good stuff. The problem is, and this is something that professional critics mentioned, is that the film would seem to play better on stage than on the screen. The movie is definitely very wordy and the movie's pacing is a bit off. I also think the movie runs too long, as in 20 minutes could've been easily cut out to make the experience far much better. Thankfully the movie has some very talented leads in Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, and Richard Dreyfuss and they do a great job at keeping the movie from going off the rails. And the script is very good too, again it brings a very clever and vastly different approach from what would be expected. It has its flaws but I would most definitely recommend this film. So if you have Netflix and you love Shakespeare then queue this bitch up.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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