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Reviews & Ratings for
Macbeth More at IMDbPro »

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109 out of 149 people found the following review useful:

Mumbles And Mumbles

Author: AliceofX from Latvia
15 December 2015

Well it was certainly very artistic and certain parts were just gorgeous. However there is not much more to recommend Macbeth. The worst part to me was how the dialogue was spoken, or not spoken since it was mostly whispers and mumbles. Just mumbles and mumbles. Shakespeare's prose just begs to be enjoyed but here I couldn't understand what they were saying half the time.

Also they seemed to have no idea what to do with the talking parts and just tried to invent weird action scenes to go with them that felt out of place. Too theatrical is how I would describe this film. It tries to be realistic and set in historical times, but it just makes the theatrical stick out more in awkward ways.

Performance wise there is nothing to complain about as everyone did a great job. Overall there are sparks of brilliance here but I just get the feeling that the makers gave up before reaching the goal and the final product is hence mediocre.

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86 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

A Stunning And Savage Epic Drama

Author: Calum Rhys from Worcester, England
3 October 2015

Fantastic adaptation of Shakespeare's iconic tragedy, Justin Kurzel's drama is a stunning and well-crafted epic, featuring some unforgettable performances from Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris and of course, Michael Fassbender in the role of the savage tyrant, Macbeth. Joining the other great Shakespearean masters such as Olivier and Branagh, Kurzel has created a brutal and ambitious depiction, caught by the awe-inspiring cinematography of Adam Arkapaw. Featuring glorious locations across the bleak and wintery Highlands of Scotland, 'Macbeth' is a film adaptation that even the great playwright himself would be proud of.

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72 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender excel in Justin Kurzel's thrillingly savage interpretation of the Scottish Play.

Author: nsharath009 from mars
5 September 2015

As the shortest, sharpest and most stormily violent of William Shakespeare's tragedies, "Macbeth" may be the most readily cinematic: The swirling mists of the Highlands, tough to fabricate in a theater, practically rise off the printed page. So it's odd that, while "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet" get dusted off at least once a generation by filmmakers, the Scottish Play hasn't enjoyed significant bigscreen treatment since Roman Polanski's admirable if tortured 1971 version. The wait for another may be even longer after Justin Kurzel's scarcely improvable new adaptation: Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it's a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period. Though the Bard's words are handled with care by an ideal ensemble, fronted by Michael Fassbender and a boldly cast Marion Cotillard, it's the Australian helmer's fervid sensory storytelling that makes this a Shakespeare pic for the ages — albeit one surely too savage for the classroom.

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63 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Shakespeare - it's about the language, stupid!

Author: vstefani-260-404872 from Tucson, AZ
18 December 2015

I wanted so much to love this movie! A stellar cast, wonderful source material, what could go wrong. What went right was the visuals; the film looks great. Locations, costumes, cinematography, all are just splendid. But all that is spoiled because most of the time you can't understand what the actors are saying! Other critics commented on this issue but I went anyway, hoping they were wrong. They weren't. And there is simply no excuse. I've seen all these actors in other roles and they know how to enunciate quite well, so what went wrong? It's Shakespeare, people! The words matter! Now, I don't know if this was sloppy sound editing or deliberate obfuscation, but the result was that a movie that worked magnificently on every other level was totally spoiled, a disappointment to viewers and I'm sure an embarrassment to the cast and, I hope, the filmmakers.

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51 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Gripping, Intense, Beautifully shot, with Unforgettable Performances

Author: stephendaxter
14 October 2015


WOW, that was a gripping, intense, beautifully shot film with unforgettable performances and has to be the best retellings of not only 'Macbeth' but all of Shakespeare's plays on screen. This movie did an incredibly amazing job at sticking to the source material whilst also incorporating a visually stunning cinematic style. It has a very interesting cinematic style using slow motion effects and sped up film in order to capture the emotions that the characters are feeling at every moment. I was in awe at how beautiful this film was, the wide shots of the landscapes were incredible whether there was something going on or nothing at all. And i don't know where the cgi in this film was if there was much at all because it all looks so incredibly real and grand and it only adds to the scope of the film. The movie's amazing cinematography is accompanied by many amazing performances including two of the best performances this year.

Sean Harris and David Thewlis were standouts in their supporting roles as Macduff and Duncan and really displayed some of their best performances but the show was stolen by the two leads. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were absolutely mind- blowing and amazing and encapsulated these characters as perfectly as you could get. They did incredible jobs at playing these extremely complex personalities and led me to see only Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, forgetting their previous roles. They pull of their monologues so well that you are fully engaged in what they are saying and can see that what they are feeling is not only expressed through what they are saying but just from the expressions on their faces. And Lady Macbeth's most iconic scene/monologue was represented so perfectly that it was one of the best and most gripping scenes in the film. The Oscar race is heating up and Fassbender and Cotillard have to be the front-runners for Best Actor and Actress, truly amazing.

Having read the play a little while ago i was able to still recall many of the key events and know mostly what was coming up next. So hearing plenty of familiar lines from the play and seeing these scenes was incredibly rewarding. And reading the play i feel helped to follow along with what is happening at all times. But for someone unfamiliar with the story of Macbeth i think it might be a little hard to follow at times. This is definitely not a film where you can look away for even a minute and still know what is going on. If you miss a few lines of dialogue or zone out during a scene, when you zone back into the film you will probably be lost. The Shakespearean dialogue is probably going to be a barrier for people to understand and if you can't understand that dialogue you really won't like this film. But as i was saying i felt that if i hadn't read the play i would have been quite lost during the film. If you aren't paying careful attention and reading into even the most subtle of hints some scenes will seem random and you'll have no idea what is going on. So i think this is definitely not for general audiences who just want to relax and check out a film, it requires a fair amount of attention.

So in the end, it is beautifully shot, intense, extremely well acted and a great adaptation of this incredible play. Maybe not for the general audience but any fans of the source material or lovers of film should love this movie. - 8.6/10

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60 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

poetry in motion

Author: Wendy Yd New Style from Netherlands
27 September 2015

peaceful candles on violent faces - rough vision of emotions deep - motion matched the poetry - of wondering thoughts to keep.

a master piece combining theatre - excellent acting and visual art - authenticity in dress and location - even Shakespeare would take heart.

Michael Fassbender made Macbeth, raw yet vulnerable which solved an issue I always had with this character. How can a strong war lord completely losing it? He portrayed Macbeth in a such a way that made me feel, that he truly (twistingly) believed it was also for survival and not just for simple ambition. He solved it for me.

At the same time, I always thought of Lady Macbeth as a conniving, over-ambitious gold-digger. She still was yet at the same time I saw a strong person who helped surviving despite her pain and loss. Marion Cotillard's acting was so pure and emotionally complex, awesome.

A Scottish friend who loves his country's history, was pleasantly surprised regarding the relative authenticity of highlander living and praised the costumes: no tartan, but Roman type with leather/metal battle uniforms which would be likely correct considering that Macbeth lived in the 11th century.

The music was powerful, supporting the Shakespearian lines, subtly giving them more impact. @Sales: subtitles would be useful even for people whose first language is English ... although it would reduce the magnitude of this visual spectacle.

This films was everything I was hoping for when seeing the trailer. It was a piece of art with moving pictures and words. Even if you don't like Shakespeare, it's an amazing film. A very high 9 score !

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43 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Complete and utter disappointment

Author: ( from United States
10 January 2016

Wow. What a complete and utter disappointment. From the moment that I saw the rumours and the pictures popping up around the web that Michael Fassbender was to play Macbeth, one of the most brilliantly written characters of all time, I was all over the place of excitement. The imagery looked stunning and anything that Fassbender touches becomes gold. To follow it up with a brilliantly cast Paddy Considine as Banquo and, in my opinion a little too young, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth I thought we were set for success.

The opening is harrowing, beautiful and brilliant and it really sucks you in to their world. From the first moment costumes, props and carpentry look great, cinematography beyond beautiful and it really sets the mood. For nothing.

What follows is a drawn out, slow-paced, pretentious interpretation of the text that loses it's insanity and rhythm completely. Now I'm all for revisioning and reimagining, and there's a LOT of room for that in the play Macbeth, so I was excited, but utterly disappointed.

It's an orgy of meaningless violence in slow motion, topped off with so many close ups of blood and vomit that doesn't serve a purpose, sprinkled with, what I can only imagine being a directors "vision" with complete disregard of his actors talents.

The "redeeming part" is it's beautiful imagery, but everything else pushes this movie down to the very bottom of my list. To cite Macbeth himself, "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

a muddled effort that fundamentally misunderstands the play

Author: guycox65 from Maryland
14 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not sure what I just watched. Every scene was cold and lifeless. Lady Macbeth could not decide if she were Scottish or English.... mostly she was just shell shocked and incapable of any emotion, particularly the passion she should have for her husband. Macbeth's castle, where he is supposed to defend the king, is worse than a poor Mongol's circle of yurts. Any wandering cow could have passed the tent entrance and gored the king to death.

The most important scenes are turned on their heads for no apparent reason and to the great diminishment of the work. The dagger doesn't float. It is carried by a ghost over to the king's bed. The King's ghost skips the feast perhaps the most important scene in the play - clearly spelled out by the bard. No ghost occupies Macbeth's chair. The director favors having a less important ghost at a side table, thereby removing the force of King Duncan's presence and the cause of Macbeth's madness.

The most intriguing prophesy in all of Shakespeare - Birnam wood moving to Dunsinane- - it goes up in smoke, literally. The forest doesn't move, so there is no reason for Macbeth to fear failure, yet he falls anyway, which makes it a pointless and inaccurate prophecy. So why not cut it out? In the end Macbeth is replaced (as king) by a child killer. Good does not prevail. The new king takes up a sword and goes chasing a child across the moors, despite the fact that Shakespeare goes to great lengths to establish Prince Malcolm as an honest and mild virgin.

The film is beautiful, in many respects, but it is a scandal to say it is Shakespeare's play - or that it is good.

Roman Polanski did a version that was true to the play. This version felt like Peter Jackson took over and tried to make it more-better.

We are not amused.

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45 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

What was done, was done well.

Author: Brendan de Vere from Sydney, Australia
2 October 2015

The world of William Shakespeare can be a tricky road to navigate, especially if you are not educated in his tediously difficult language that arrogantly lies in waiting, sprawled across the pages of his many plays. If you are neither a Thespian or English Literature Graduate (which I am clearly not), you will struggle to understand the famous playwrights narrative. It just might be easier to learn French or German at the local community college than it is to painfully study what Shakespeare is actually trying to say. I have seen just a handful of the Elizabethan era writers work; the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and the very puzzling comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Each time I came away scratching my head, my feeble brain trying its best to piece together the events that had actually taken place. Through all the confusion, I still found myself enjoying the fragments of dialogue and story that made sense to me. This is why I was drawn to another of Shakespeare's great tragedies, even though I knew I would be sitting through nearly two hours of theatre without the use of subtitles.

Macbeth is a well known story of ambition, murder, rage and tyranny but what I was looking for in Justin Kurzel's interpretation was a connection that an uneducated sloth like myself could get from a tale that had four hundred years of retelling. I wanted to feel the characters emotions and I wanted to visualise their world. I wanted to be able to identify Macbeth's tragic blind ambition and lust for power. More importantly, I wanted a tangible belief in the story being presented to me.

Kurzel knows his audience well because he has directed one of the greatest Shakespearean plays ever put onto film. The brutal and bloody world that Kurzel has visioned, creates an authentic and powerful atmosphere that never deserts the viewer, allowing the famous story to illustrate itself effortlessly across the screen. Half the battle is won. Accompanied by an outstandingly appropriate score sets the scene for a film that would not look out of place amongst the very best movie releases this year. The eerie and sombre acoustics help keep the audience fixed to their seats as the savage tragedy of Macbeth unfolds in all its brutal glory.

Michael Fassbender (Macbeth), plays the character to perfection and it is his performance alone that makes it easier for the common man to understand Shakespeare's historic language. Fassbender is thoroughly engaged in his role and every word he delivers oozes emotion. Marion Cotillard is equally impressive as the conniving Lady Macbeth. Cotillard was an interesting choice to play the femme fatal, but she has proved here that she can rise to any challenge. This performance is a very colourful feather in a exceptional cap. Her Lady Macbeth helped me to realise that she became somewhat of a victim to the King she had created. "What is done, is done." I am quite sure that she didn't envisage her warrior husband to become the tyrant that he became. Adding to the list of superb performances is Sean Harris, the vengeful and savage Macduff, who is hell bent on ending Macbeth's reign as the Scottish Monarch. Great little cameos by David Thewlis (King Duncan) and Elisabeth Debicki (Lady Macduff), along with brilliant visionary direction by Justin Kurzel will give the uneducated hordes a chance to witness one of Shakespeare's masterpieces.

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24 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

A hack job! And more fog please.

Author: donflush from United States
12 January 2016

I'm no Shakespeare expert. I really love Roman Polanski's Macbeth which was a cinematic master piece, IMO. This latest attempt has failed so miserably. It felt like a hack job done by a bunch of amateurs. The screenplay was unbelievably AWFUL! The characters were flat as a runway and without distinction from one another. Most of the cast looked totally out of place. The wide shots were great but the close-ups were really dim and gloomy looking, in a pretentious way, which worked negatively towards building tension, demonstrate emotion and electrifying the audience.There were no tension, no emotion and no one was electrified. I feel bad for these ppl that had to work so hard off a POS screenplay. You could tell that the director was way over his head. What's up with Fassbender mumbled his way through out and his eyeliners? Lol. It really felt like a TV-movie with all the pretentious special effect. The witches looked like some feminists with facial scars. There was no story-telling! Just bad monologues done by overrated actors. Honestly, it felt like an episode from those Vikings shows. When will these over-confident hacks realize they don't have it and stop wasting everyone's time. Smh.

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