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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  1 November 1996 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 137,395 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 491 user | 99 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Romeo + Juliet (1996) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. The gun-toting members of the families wage a vicious war on the streets as the star-crossed lovers meet their tragic destiny. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope & Despair. Tragedy & Love. Romeo & Juliet. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 692,167,000 (Italy) (28 February 1997)

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonardo DiCaprio was Baz Luhrmann's first choice to play Romeo. See more »

Goofs

Romeo's wound swaps sides when he's with Juliet. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Hollywood's Hot List (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever (I Had a Dream)
Performed and Written by Butthole Surfers
Produced by Nellee Hooper
Butthole Surfers appear courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shakespeare debased
10 March 2000 | by (Bolingbrook, IL) – See all my reviews

I have no problem with updated versions of Shakespeare. When I was in college, I was in a production of Merchant of Venice set in the 19th century; and I liked what Kenneth Branaugh did with his 19th century Hamlet. I once saw Coriolanus set in the Confederacy during the US Civil war -- which added quite a bit to the political dimensions of the play.

However, this one is over the top. When we see "Sword" brand handguns -- obviously so the line "put up your sword" would make sense -- and having Mercutio be a drug dealer is simply too much.

Nevertheless, I could have lived with it, except for two things: Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Neither one of these two has a clue about how to speak Shakespearian English. See DiCaprio with Peter Postlethwaite (Friar Laurence) or Danes with Miriam Margolyes (Nurse). Both Postlethwaite and Margolyes know the music of Shakespeare, and it is almost painful to see DiCaprio and Danes stumbling. And putting the balcony scene in a swimming pool is simply stupid.

Also, some of the secondary characters are badly done. John Leguizamo is a terrible Tybalt, and the limp-wristed Mercutio is ludicrous. Bryan Dennehy is simply wasted as Montague.

And I would like to inform the script-writer that Juliet wakes up AFTER Romeo dies, not before. If this were my introduction to Shakespeare, I would avoid him like the proverbial plague.


13 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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