The Tempest

2010

The Tempest (2010)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Director Julie Taymor's gender-swapping of roles and some frenzied special effects can't quite disguise an otherwise stagey, uninspired take on Shakespeare's classic.

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The sorceress Prospera's journey spirals through vengeance to forgiveness as she reigns over a magical island, cares for her young daughter, Miranda, and unleashes her powers against shipwrecked enemies in this exciting, masterly mix of romance, tragicomedy and the supernatural.

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Critic Reviews for The Tempest

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (31)

The special effects are intrusive and anything but magical and the text is rather curiously edited. But it's worth seeing for Mirren.

Mar 7, 2011 | Full Review…
Guardian
Top Critic

Mirren is a powerful presence: maybe gender-bending Shakespeare is the only way to give Mirren the movie roles she deserves.

Mar 4, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

You expect Nicolas Cage to pop up from behind a sand dune on a Harley brandishing a rocket launcher.

Mar 2, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Taymor, by turning Prospero into a woman while retaining an "imperialist" view of Caliban, will no doubt simultaneously please and enrage left-wing critics. The rest of us can enjoy the movie's strengths...

Dec 27, 2010
New Yorker
Top Critic

Primarily an exercise in eccentric (and, I would argue, empty) spectacle.

Dec 17, 2010 | Full Review…

Normally I'd watch Helen Mirren in anything, even if she was just putting out the laundry or reading the phone book. But, given the roteness of her line readings here, it might have been better if the phone book rather than Shakespeare was her text.

Dec 17, 2010 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Tempest

This one is hard to keep up with because of languaged used, old english. Has a good plot. 3 stars

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Once the Duchess of Milan, Prospera(Helen Mirren) has suffered through twelve years of exile which have done little to lower her ire at those she finds responsible. One day, she takes revenge by casting a spell through the sprite Ariel(Ben Whishaw) that capsizes the boat Antonio(Chris Cooper), the new duke, is traveling on with King Alonso(David Strathairn) of Naples, amongst others. Her teenaged daughter Miranda(Felicity Jones) manages to assuage her anger just in time. So she has them desposited safely on a beach somewhere on the island, with Alonso's son Ferdinand(Reeve Carney) arriving safely elsewhere. Now, with that all done, Caliban(Djimon Hounsou) would like to file a complaint... If all Julie Taymor had brought to this version of William Shakespeare's venerable play was its great look, impressive design and Helen Mirren, it would have gone a long way towards putting this definitely in the win column. Sad to say, she doesn't stop there, going overboard on the visual effects.(Just remember that the play is the thing.) Putting together a great supporting cast is usually a very good idea in cases like this. But here, it verges on stunt casting in a couple of prime examples and Taymor does little to rein them in, throwing the movie off balance in the bargain. That having been said, I now believe that Chris Cooper would fit in well no matter what movie he appears in.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Apparently very well made. Apparently very wonderful actors. Apparently Shakespeare was a genius. Apparently I just don't understand it....and I tried for an hour. I was lost....

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Cast: Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Reeve Carney, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Tom Conti, David Strathairn, Ben Whishaw Director: Julie Taymor Summary: After years stranded on a deserted island, exiled duchess and sorceress Prospera (Helen Mirren) exacts vengeance on her enemies, whose passing vessel she has shipwrecked. What she doesn't know is that the ship also carries a potential suitor to her daughter (Felicity Jones). My Thoughts: "I hadn't heard of the film, seen a trailer, or read anything about it. But I seen Helen Mirren's name attached to it so I of course picked it up. Now not doing any of above and then seeing it was a WTF kind of moment for me. As I went back and forth from thinking bout turning it off or keep watching, I of course went with keep watching it. The longer I watched the more fascinated I became by this unconventional film. It's funny, entertaining, and it captivates you whether you want it to or not and draws you in. Not a film all will like, but it's sure one you can't help but watch."

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