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Coriolanus
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Reviews & Ratings for
Coriolanus More at IMDbPro »

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152 out of 200 people found the following review useful:

Look out Kenneth Branagh

8/10
Author: gervasiustvinkleminkleso from Serbia
27 February 2011

This is my first review on IMDb so bare with me. Coriolanus has the right ingredients for a good movie, great story(can you top Shakespeare?) and a strong cast.Only thing that was unknown so far is the director.IMO Mr. Fiennes did very well in his debut, his camera moves around at eyes height and often lingers close up to actors faces(it keeps the film from being stagy and lets you see all the nuances they convey).Locations are interesting and there are couple of nice fight scenes.The language is Shakespirian but i had no problems understanding it( not my native lang.), musical score is kinda tribal and quite appropriate for the theme of the film. It's a very dark movie and it gets a bit bloody sometime so if you're not into that be warned. My vote is 8/10 i recommend it to everyone and hope to see more of Mr. Fiennes work behind the camera. P.S. Look out Ken Branagh you've got some competition now :)

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109 out of 139 people found the following review useful:

AMAZINGLY relevant - even in 2011

9/10
Author: dbaggett1 from San Diego, California, USA
14 November 2011

I had the pleasure of seeing Ralph Fiennes's "Coriolanus" at the St. Louis International Film Festival, on Nov 11th, 2011. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire film. Needless to say, the filming, production values, etc., were fantastic; but it was the relevance of the film that kept me glued to the screen.

Ralph Fiennes captured the timeless concepts that Shakespeare expressed in his play brilliantly - so much so that I feel there will be strong/visceral audience reaction to the film's depiction of themes that reflect in today's front page stories.

The theme of a military officer's political role resonated with me as a retired Navy Officer. The theme of the contrast between "high society" and the proletariat resonates in the "Occupy XXX" protests occurring today. The conflict between liberal and conservative (dare I say Democrat vs. Republican) ideals played very loudly in this film. Even the issues in European politics reflected themes we see in today's news.

The acting by Ralph Fiennes, Vanessa Redgrave & Gerard Butler propelled the story and kept it moving swiftly. Some have panned the use of Shakespeare's original language. I, for one, had no trouble following the language. This film ranks with Kenneth Brannagh's "Henry V" and Baz Luhrmann's "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" for making a film in Shakespearean English accessible by 21st Century Man.

I've always believed that some folks in the U.S. malign William Shakespeare's writings today, because they were forced to read his plays in a cold classroom setting in their youth. Shakespeare didn't intend his works to be read. He meant them to be performed and watched. This film proves the power of a good telling of a Shakespeare tale.

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71 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

Spectacular

9/10
Author: laurenchide from Canada
20 January 2012

A jaw-dropping interpretation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. I was literally in awe when I left. Admittedly, I know my way around the story, I've read Coriolanus a few times. But I have to say that this adaptation is so well executed that I caught myself discovering incredible lines and themes and ideas to which I had never paid attention before. Ralph Fiennes' interpretation of Coriolanus is solid. The pride, the wrath, the one-track-mindedness are all very palpable. And one couldn't wish for a better Volumnia. Terrifying. Fascinating. I've always been reluctant to modern settings, but this time, I loved it. It just worked. Go and see for yourself. As for me, I'm definitely going to watch it again.

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79 out of 115 people found the following review useful:

The language makes the play.

8/10
Author: Elizabeth Tudor from Oxford, England
1 February 2012

I couldn't disagree more with the review that slates Shakespeare's text as 'too wordy for modern audiences'. Viewers may find it challenging, but even those who haven't read his work should appreciate his superb capacity for character, metaphor and sheer innovation. To reduce the play to just the plot with some poor, clichéd and genuinely meaningless Hollywood script is to deprive it of its value, and to do a great disservice to its literary status. The responsibility for understanding the language (which I staunchly believe has a timeless relevance), lies with those who struggle to do so, not with the text itself. I cannot disagree strongly enough with the implication that we should dumb-down Shakespeare.

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69 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Gripping and Powerful

8/10
Author: samlapidus from Toronto
12 September 2011

I just got out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) North American Premier Gala event of Coriolanus. The movie was both gripping and powerful. Yes it is always nice to see a film with cast and director in hand to introduce the film and take credit at is completion, but this movie definitely earned the audiences standing ovation. Some may fear a presentation in Iambic Pentameter though the script and delivery made every line understandable. Setting Shakespeare in a modern day Roman city state was smart. I enjoyed ever minute of this film and if you are a fan of good story telling, Shakespeare or war movies, you will enjoy Coriolanus.

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44 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Fiennes has made Shakespeare not only accessible but utterly thrilling

9/10
Author: Greig from United Kingdom
23 January 2012

Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare without Shakespearean language. It might be difficult to understand exactly what the dialogue is during parts of Coriolanus, but there's no difficulty following the meaning. The action, the direction and some powerful performances – most notably from Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave – carry the film and more than compensate for the language barriers. Some people walked out about halfway through but the climactic third act made it well worth the perseverance – especially Redgrave's moving monologue as the formidable matriarch Volumnia.

Gerard Butler was pretty forgettable in this. Whether that's because he isn't exactly of thespian discipline or because his character isn't particularly pronounced in this play, is up to you to decide. Perhaps he and Jessica Chastain are nothing more than a bit of totty to sell the film? Perhaps that's just a bit cynical.

James Nesbitt added an interesting, somewhat unexpected dynamic to the play with his enigmatic nuances of jest and malice. Also worth a mention was the little-known Dragan Micanovic who played a minor character, Titus, but delivered a couple of pivotal lines with engrossing presence.

The real star of the show is obviously Shakespeare. His poetic prose courses through your mind and adds fuel to the fires of his drama. His characters are bold and consistent, truly agents of their own destinies. The subject matter resonates with political allegory and the film's release is timely and relevant. The play set in a present day context highlights the tribal social system which still dominates our affairs. The story also works to express the futility of war.

Fiennes has done well to translate Coriolanus from the stage to the screen and he hasn't stretched it too far so as to alienate it from the original text. Stylistically, the film is quite gritty. The focus is mostly on the actors, their eyes, their expressions and their delivering of lines, but there are a few purely cinematic moments (fight scenes in particular) which justify the adaptation to the screen. There are a couple of truly violent moments in the film which blast the cobwebs off the old play and hook the modern, desensitized audience into the story.

Coriolanus is a tense and violent political wartime thriller which makes Shakespeare not only accessible but utterly captivating. A credible directorial debut from one of the industry's finest working actors.

http://ionlyaskedwhatyouthought.blogspot.com/

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31 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Theatrical and violent Shakespeare drama in a brilliant film version.

Author: info-16827 from Sweden
5 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) uses military force against people's uprising when they demonstrate against oppression and starving in Rome. Coriolanus is first declared as a hero but later relegated from the city by the Senate for his brutality. He then allied himself with its former enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) and they march together to Rome to destroy the city. Coriolanus's mother, wife and son plead for peace and reconciliation and when he gives up he is murdered by Tullus Aufidius.

Shakespeare's dramas may well be set up in a contemporary set, because the content is timeless. Here the screenplay drama is performed in its original text. The old lines sometimes are in conflict with the modern outfit, but you are quickly caught back to the drama by the violent intrigues and you become strongly affected by the deep conflicts between power and love. The war scenes are realistic and bloody. It is exciting and the outcome uncertain for the uninitiated.

Ralph Fiennes both directs and plays the title role and succeeds well. He has got a star team both in front and behind the camera. The film photo by Barry Ackroyd is brilliant. The set and costumes are next to perfection. The 74-year-old Vanessa Redgrave portrays Coriolanus' mother, Volumnia, powerful and convincing. Gerard Butler as the rebel leader acts with strong charisma and realism. Additional casting is also very good.

The staging reminds strongly of the NATO's efforts in the Balkan War. Military leaders are wearing American uniforms and the recordings are made in the environments of Belgrade and in Serbia.

Eight of ten for a masterful direction, brilliant acting and a clever staging.

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33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Shakespeare's Ancient Tragedy Brilliantly Told

9/10
Author: Shakespeareances from United States
29 February 2012

Shakespeare's most complicated tragedy set in the early days of the Rome Republic gets an updated setting in Fiennes' movie. Using story-telling techniques combining CNN, CSI, and YouTube along with images of street demonstrations, riots, and urban warfare, Fiennes gives us a Coriolanus befitting our times, clarifying how the titular hero can fall from national hero to banishment in a matter of minutes on the whims of a fickle populous easily swayed by political spin-masters. Still, the mamma's boy element of Coriolanus' tragedy remains intact.

Though significantly cut, the text is pure Shakespeare, even in the mouths of TV talking-head pundits. Spoken by the likes of Fiennes and Brian Cox, the verse lifts what could have been a gimmickry telling of Coriolanus into a five-star Shakespearean movie.

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40 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

The Modern Shakespeare

8/10
Author: Mek Torres from Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
23 January 2012

Coriolanus is not quite one of William Shakespeare's famous plays but this adaptation is pretty great. It starts with a bang. Slow burn of loud noises. It's a decent opening. And it gets better when Caius Martius was introduced. Even though the setting is modern, the language stays to the film. But in some parts, the language doesn't fit to the scene. Ralph Fiennes' performance was fantastic. All the performances were fantastic. Well directed. Beautiful cinematography. Slick music score. Coriolanus is a solid Shakespeare adaptation.

The film introduces with loud noises and explosions. These elements usually overwhelm us in movies. Never forget, this is a Shakespeare film. The dialogue beats the loud noises from its greatness. Everything in this film is modern. The only thing remains here is the language. Of course, it's not Shakespeare without the language.The scenes in television are probably the ones that doesn't fit to the language but somewhat it doesn't matter. It still makes a great Shakespearean scenario.

These dialogues were amazingly delivered by the actors. Ralph Fiennes is fantastic. Even from the very start of the film, he already made the show fascinating. He's born to play these kinds of roles. His rage is the core of his talent. Vanessa Redgrave also compels to the picture. Gives a powerful delivery to her dialogue. In other filmmaking, the cinematography is beautiful but the shaky camera might messes some of the shot. The music score is simply slick with drums. Giving extra thrills to the scenes. Lastly is the action scenes, these scenes doesn't quite matter if it's good or bad but it feels like The Hurt Locker.

It's satisfying enough to see this by the actors and the language. Its context is more mind blowing than the explosions. The filmmaking is very decent. It's a clever modernization and great familiarization to this not so famous play of William Shakespeare. Ralph Fiennes keeps the interest and shines throughout the show. Coriolanus never disappoints. It's a truly Shakespeare picture even if everything but the language is modern. It's just fascinating.

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Coriolanus will have Shakespeare enthusiasts chomping-at-the-bit, students scrambling for the exits.

7/10
Author: Jack` Harding from United Kingdom
9 April 2012

A modern-day spin on one of Shakespeare's lesser known plays, Coriolanus is an ambitious and lyrical Greek tragedy that has everything you'd expect from the mind of the Bard; betrayal, revenge, pride, conflict, monologues, dilemmas, death- it's all in there. The only thing missing is a star-crossed lover or two.

Both its star and director, Ralph Fiennes follows past masters Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh onto the breach in this doomy and demanding directorial debut that may signal a new and exciting direction for the steely-eyed actor.

Set in a city on the verge of collapse that resembles Tripoli but calls itself Rome, the film charts the rise and fall of general Coriolanus (Fiennes); a fiery soldier of war-torn Rome who earns his stripes in a bloody battle against an insurgent army lead by Turrus (Gerard Butler). In the aftermath of a brutal bullet storm and knife fight, Coriolanus emerges victorious and is branded the symbol of a new and prosperous empire. It doesn't work out. The decorated vet is more brawn than brains; his strong sense of pride coupled with the dirty work of corrupt bureaucrats and advisors lead to civil unrest and, in turn, a verbal attack by Coriolanus' on the people of Rome which results in his banishment from the city. Bitter, betrayed and hell- bent on revenge, the spitting outlaw seeks refuge and redemption in who else but his sworn enemy, Turrus.

Swapping the frantic razzmatazz of Baz Lurhmann's Romeo and Juliet retool for a far more gritty and paced approach, Fiennes has crafted a brave and bombastic drama that'll probably find its way onto a school curriculum or two before the year is out. And why not. His contemporary vision of a 300+ year old morality play is one awash with thought, feeling, values, complexities, politics and emotion- pure, unadulterated Shakespeare.

Coriolanus is far from the vision of just one man, though. Gladiator screenwriter Josh Lucas lays the necessary footing for Fiennes and Hurt Locker cinematographer Barry Ackroyd to bring the tale to life. Stirling support also comes in the shape of seasoned thesps Brian cox, Vanessa Redgrave, James Nesbitt and....Gerard Butler; all of which are new to big-screen Shakespeare yet convincing nonetheless. Even Butler.

The screen belongs to a raw and rampant Ralph Fiennes, though. More than just a noseless sorcerer, Fiennes is an exceptional actor and, now, promising director whose verbose and gung-ho approach from both behind and in front of the lens makes for a fascinating commitment. "Such is the work of a man". Olivier and Branagh would be proud. Coriolanus will have Shakespeare enthusiasts chomping-at-the-bit, students scrambling for the exits.

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