Critic Reviews

77

Metascore

Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Such is literature's power that the cast is more at ease portraying ancient Romans than speaking as versions of themselves.
80
The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
80
The result feels, like Shakespeare's play, at once ancient and dangerously new.
80
What works best is what's readily accessible, the startling power of performers who understand the drama all too well.
80
“Ever since I discovered art,” laments one participant, “this cell has truly become a prison.”
75
Deceptively modest on nearly all accounts, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die employs seemingly minor directorial contrivances to ruminate on a unique quarrel.
75
Not surprisingly, prison must be the perfect incubator of sadness and anger, because every one of the “performances” is astonishingly vivid. At the extremes of the emotional spectrum, at least, these guys are brilliant.
70
This is a looser, grittier film than their work of late, and while it's more successful in the sequences of bold theatricality than in the faux-cinéma vérité of the surrounding scenes, the mix is nonetheless an interesting one.
70
Almost as much as the play itself, the rehearsals are staged; the inmates learning to act, then, are acting like inmates who are learning to act. This leads to some on-the-nose scenes in which they observe the parallels between the text and their own lives.
60
A hit in Berlin, the Taviani siblings' documentary has plenty of wit and punch, although compared to the best of the medium - "Man On Wire," for instance - it sometimes comes off as guileless and clunky.
60
The most powerful thing about the film is the "audition" scene at the beginning in which the prisoners have to introduce themselves in two ways: sorrowingly, and then angrily. It is a brilliant sequence, and the rest of the film doesn't quite match it.
40
Though the Tavianis' intent is clear-to comment on the thin line separating part and performer, as well as on the quite literally liberating powers of art-the meanings rarely emerge with any elegance or resonance. Hardly a dish fit for the gods.

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