Shakespeare Behind Bars (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shakespeare Behind Bars (2005)



Critic Consensus: Shakespeare Behind Bars is a moving testament to the power -- and universality -- of art.

Movie Info

Some 20 male inmates in a Kentucky prison form a Shakespearean acting troupe.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
International Film Circuit

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Critic Reviews for Shakespeare Behind Bars

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (15)

This fascinating video documentary covers a nine-month rehearsal of Shakespeare's final play by inmates at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in La Grange, Kentucky.

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The up-close interviews with the prisoners, many of whom are in jail for murder, are the heart of the film.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Rogerson and producer Jilann Spitzmiller ably convey the humanity of the inmates while also exposing them as deeply flawed individuals. The film also reconfirms the enduring relevance and power of Shakespeare and his adaptability to almost any milieu.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Albeit a tad repetitive, Shakespeare Behind Bars succeeds in humanizing men we might too easily label as monsters, and provides a solid argument in favor of prisons that place rehabilitation above retribution.

Full Review… | May 11, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Few non-fiction films about the arts hit as hard or soar to such heights of poetry and humanity.

May 11, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Observes as the inmates use theater to massage knots of guilt and anguish in their psyches.

Full Review… | May 5, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shakespeare Behind Bars


I viewed this on Netflix Instant Watch- halfway through I jumped on Amazon and bought it. It touches two nerves for me- the value of Shakespeare and the value of a human being. This is what art is supposed to be about- transcendence and transmutation.

River Eirtree
River Eirtree

Overall, a decent documentary... just another example of the way that we learn the importance of artistic expression has no boundaries:)

Lisa Kretschman
Lisa Kretschman

Interesting film about the reality of prisons and its victims. The documentary inspires hope in the hearts of murderers, rapists, and theives.

Vivian Lee
Vivian Lee

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