Titus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Titus Reviews

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May 15, 2016
I've tried & so wanted to appreciate it a bit more... however.
March 30, 2016
Titus has a spectacular vision and some hints of brilliance, but the director took too much artistic license with the play. It has a grand and extravagant scope, filled with colors and elaborate costumes and awesome music, but it's also too theatrical and weird. It has some ferocious moments and bloody violence that keep it grounded in its gripping story, but mostly the film is a lot of frilly hysterics and jarring visual effects. The dopey emperor and the two sons are ridiculous, some of the timeless props are disorienting (cars, motorcycles, guns) and most of the visual metaphors are really odd. It sort of feels like a Shakespeare play blended with a Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands kind of movie. I thought some of the casting was pretty bad and they should've kept the story in Ancient Rome.

That isn't to say that it doesn't have its moments. Anthony Hopkin's performance is reliably compelling and Tamora's fiery aside at the beginning is awesome. Aaron is actually my favorite character in the film, though. He's cold, terrifying and he fully accepts his villainy. His line where he tells Lucius that his only regret was not doing a thousand more awful acts was awesome. I also really liked some of the aesthetic elements because the costumes had a lot of luxurious style and the settings were richly drawn, even though I disagreed with the choice to include multiple time periods. The film has a lot of energy and style, but it's too artsy and not grounded enough in its very gritty story.
March 14, 2016
A visual and audible feast. Tho Taymore could have picked up the pace in a few areas it remains truthfully gruesome to its source material
½ February 26, 2016
Julie Taymor's anachronistic mess. Why on earth was this film was made in this way? I simply can't understand, and I'm sure her financiers are wondering the same thing now. I'm glad this movie was a box office flop. Perhaps she would have learnt a lesson not to waste the audience's time on her liberal stylish whims. This extreme hoity-toity is for those wanna-be "artsies" that want to be part of their groupthink crowd, rather than stating the obvious - this sucks!

Outside of anachronistic setting, this film may have been virtually perfect. The acting is excellent, except for the overacted, dreadful performances of the Goth Queen's sons. Hopkins nails his role. The settings were terrific if only they stayed within the period. The music is as foolish as the modern setting. Most of the time, when the music and setting are within a Roman period, you focus on the plot and dialogue and appreciate the drama. However, it seems that every now and again, modern music and setting are uncomfortably forced upon the audience, as if to make a statement that this film may be "cool" or "avant garde". Julie Taymor effectively achieves neither and the viewer is left angry for the interruption. This movie could have been an 4.0-4.5 stars if it were just left as Shakespeare intended.

I did not mind the 2:42 hour length. Most of the visuals were absolutely stunning. Others were horrible. I also get the fact that Julie Taymor may have taking anachronistic liberties on an old play to give it a fresh twist. But, this is Titus Andronicus after all, not Hamlet. This is not a popular Shakespearean play, and could have used an original and genuine cinematic representation. My only wish is that this same cast and most of the sets and style would be redone in its originally intended setting. Perhaps a mature director and producer can film this play again one day with Kenneth Branagh (or even Anthony Hopkins!) for a wider and more genuine adaptation.

Julie Taymor should stick to theatre and stay far from cinema.
½ January 9, 2016
This film was my first exposure to director Julie Taymor, and I have to say that I loved her stylish and colorful adaptation of Shakespeare's work, so I'm doubly happy to have finally revisited it on Blu-ray, because that presentation really pops.

Robert B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2015
Titus is a very uneven production where the positives outweigh the negatives. The 90s, early 20th century, and Roman era are combined to make for a surreal, fanciful, and often grotesque aesthetic. The acting and directing are at times strong and at others weak. Anthony Hopkins and Harry Lennix both give memorable performances. More recommended to those who enjoy experimental productions than to those who are looking for a classical rendition.
September 15, 2015
The best film adaptation of Shakespeare in history. This is a violent, tragic and bold film, simultaneously brimming with brilliant creativity and throwbacks to the films of yore.
July 27, 2015
Shakespeare's first tragedy, driven (without much help) into becoming an almost baroque black comedy, as others have already noted below. Very powerful performances from Hopkins and company. This was a very heady experiment; the grisly, atypical Shakespearean violence matched only by breathtaking and august visual style. Perhaps the surrealism of the film is the best way to tell this grim story. Still, the film ends with a note of hope, a faint beginning of life in the midst of suffering and death. One of the most powerful adaptations of any Shakespeare work.
½ July 6, 2015
A good story, who'd have thought that the Cartman/Scott Tennerman fued was based on Shakespeare. Possibly the best Shako adaptation I've seen. It's weirdly done in a sort of Baz Luhrmann style where the period of the piece is ignored totally resulting in a mixture of old and new, which doesn't often work but I think it does in this. At least it didn't have Kylie Minogue singing Nirvana songs. Be prepared to concentrate very hard on the Shakespearian dialogue for over 2 and half hours. It does take some doing, but it's worth it.
July 4, 2015
Classic gruesome tale. I Followed along with the Shakespearean script. Had no idea how wicked it was; more so than "King Lear." Not for the faint-of-heart. At least I know the story now.....
½ May 30, 2015
- Just a brilliant adaptation by Julie Taymor. This is a beautiful film based on Shakespeare's "Titus Andonicus" which has been called his only horror story. It's features an excellent cast including Hopkins and Lange, and some excellent supporting players. The commentary by Taymor is one of the best I've heard, highlighting production details from shooting in Rome and Croatia, to things she left out of the text and added, to inspiration to symbolism used throughout the film, even in the small details. This one is highly recommended, especially for Shakespeare lovers.

- Stunning cinematography and set design. The cast is great...also check out the commentary on the DVD.
½ March 12, 2015
Psychotic. Poor acting. Tries too hard.
January 29, 2015
While its acting is strong and its style is impressive, Titus doesn't grab your attention. When interesting thing happen, the film picks up but only to drop down to the same slow pace. It's language is not modernized, which makes anyone watching a little confused. It's run time is WAY too long. It actually took me a week to watch this film, because I would get so annoyed, I'd just stop and continue the next day. I love Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange, they're the films strongest elements. Overall, Titus is a dazzlingly strong acted adaptation of Shakespeare's bloodiest play, but its run-time makes it so boring and the plot raises too many questions.
½ November 13, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
September 22, 2014
I loved this movie. It has style and flair and the acting is great. Jessica Lange and Harry Lennix shine as the villains. Even though the movie takes place in a time more modern than the play intended, the original dialogue still fits as opposed to seeming ill-suited and anachronistic (see Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet). A Shakespeare movie for those who don't like Shakespeare, very underrated and a BLOODY good time.
August 26, 2014
As someone who's relatively neutral on the Shakespeare play but really admired certain aspects about it, I think this film is kinda similar. There's some genuinely creative ideas here and some real ambition, but at the same time, I just don't really find the story engaging enough on the whole. So I'm glad I saw it but I don't think it's great by any means.
½ May 1, 2014
While abridging may seem sacrilegious in a Shakespeare adaptation, a few more cuts may have been necessary in what is otherwise a stellar adaptation of one of the Bard's lesser works.
½ April 3, 2014
Titus is one of the best screen adaptations I had ever seen. It doesn't take place in the past, nor future, but seems to be in a completely separate world, or "in a land far far away." By removing the world in which it takes place, the Shakespearean language works for the film, rather than against it. Also, the scale of this film is huge! Huge palaces, amphitheaters, tables, beds, everything. And not to mention violent. More than a pair of hands are sliced off, throats are cut, human flesh is consumed, pointless murder ensues. This is a story about bloody revenge and there is a lot to be offered. Also, the performances were on key. Everybody did a good job of translating the Shakespearan language into communicable tone and gesture for the audience. Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, and Harry Lenix in particular were golden. It is a very long movie - almost 3 hours - and it has to be said, that this play isn't on the better half of Shakespeare's work. At least in my opinion. Solid adaptation, performances, and production design. It's just the story didn't grab me is all.
½ March 12, 2014
This film brings Shakespeare bloody tale of vengeance and madness to life in a very vivid and powerful way. I manages to be theatrical without being campy, and grandiose without being over the top. Nobody can quote Shakespeare better than Anthony Hopkins, and the supporting cast where all perfect as well. Yes the story is dark and disturbing, dealing with mankind's dark side better than anything I have ever seen. Why sugar coat it? It is what it is. Revenge is a dish best served cold and nobody understood that better than Shakespeare! The character Titus gets his revenge in the most shocking conclusion imaginable. It is basically two people clashing and destroying each others worlds. The film lingers, fully exploring the many nuances of the Shakespearean language. People who get impatient with slower paced films may get frustrated by this. However, this is a film that demands your focused attention, and if you are a fan of Shakespeare language like I am, you will not get bored!
½ January 27, 2014
The acting and the delivery of the lines is wonderful, making the text relevant and alive. Everything else drags this movie down.
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