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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 November 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 157,015 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 500 user | 101 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


The classic story of Romeo and Juliet, set in a modern-day city of Verona Beach. The Montagues and Capulets are two feuding families, whose children meet and fall in love. They have to hide their love from the world because they know that their parents will not allow them to be together. There are obstacles on the way, like Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, and Romeo's friend Mercutio, and many fights. But although it is set in modern times, it is still the same timeless story of the "star crossed lovers".

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The greatest love story the world has ever known. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of contemporary violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,133,231 (USA) (1 November 1996)


ITL 3,795,630,000 (Italy) (2 May 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Romeo and Juliet first kiss which takes place in a cramped elevator with the camera dizzyingly swirling around them was achieved by making the elevator into sections and putting the camera on a circular dolly. As it spun round, stage hands would lift and very hurriedly replace the elevator panels to accommodate the bulky camera equipment. See more »


When on the beach preparing for a duel, Abra ejects all the bullets from Tybalt's magazine except one. Romeo uses that same gun, in a new location, to kill Tybalt, shooting him 6-7 times. However, Tybalt carries two guns. The one Romeo uses is the second gun, which at this point was not unloaded. See more »


[first lines]
Anchorwoman: Two households, both alike in dignity. In Fair Verona where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.
See more »


Referenced in David + Jonathan (2006) See more »


Performed by Gavin Friday
Written by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer
Produced by Tim Simenon with Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer
Gavin Friday appears courtesy of Island Records, Ltd.
by arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

An eye-catching, starkly bold and breathtaking update of Shakespeare's greatest work.
30 December 1999 | by (PA) – See all my reviews

This film is incredible. Yes, the play is modernized, and for those who panned the film, I suppose originality was too much to take. Luhrmann stays with the original dialogue, which I believe adds much to the film and gives it authenticity. Therefore it cannot be dismissed as a masterpiece dumbed down to appeal to us easy to please teenagers. The camera work at the most dark parts of the film is quick and choppy, adding to the already potent and ever present depressing, tragic atmosphere. All of the leads were strong, with Danes and DiCaprio having amazing chemistry. In this film DiCaprio wasn't popular yet, so again critics can't say Leo was the draw for this film. Danes was emotionally pure and driven, and this is her best work to date aside from the critical darling, "My So-Called Life." No, the leads were cast with good reason - there couldn't have been any better. Supporting roles were wonderful, with the roles of Mercutio and Tybalt being exceptional, and the friar, who may be the most important character in the story, is brought to life by Postalwaithe The dreamy underwater shots are fantastic. Luhrmann's version of this classic tragedy plays to both a younger and older audience, adding touches such as the names of the guns being the names of swords; and he yet updates the setting, bringing the fantastic Verona, Italy to Verona Beach, Florida. A timeless story such as this makes any criticism of this film unnecessary and foolish; view it with an open mind and you will see the story as Shakespeare wrote it and as Luhrmann envisioned it.

104 of 164 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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