3.8/10
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20 user 46 critic

Cymbeline (2014)

R | | Drama | 13 March 2015 (USA)
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A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Iachimo
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...
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Pisanio
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Imogen
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Dr. Cornelius
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The Hangman
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Caius Lucius
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Philario
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Guiderius
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Sicilius Leonatus
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Belarius
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Arviragus
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Storyline

A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures. Written by Lionsgate

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Kings Queens Soldiers Bikers War

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 March 2015 (USA)  »

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Trivia

It premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival on September 3rd, 2014. See more »

Quotes

Belarius: [about Queen's beheaded son] I do fear this body hath a tail more perilous than the head.
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Soundtracks

I'm Indestructible
by The Colored Parade
written and performed by Andrew R. Adkins
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User Reviews

 
Entertaining but slow Shakespearean self-parody

The play Cymbeline, with its stereotypical and at times silly plot devices, has often been considered to be a self-parody, a work Shakespeare devised as a comedy of 'in-jokes' and 'over the top' pretenses. The events are absurd, conveniently co-incidental and even impossible, at points. It is farce, like a Shakespearean "Naked Gun". It is not meant to be taken seriously, at least by those who know it isn't.

This has not been lost on the director of Cymbeline, the movie -- but it does seem to be lost on the majority of the audience that sees it. But, fear not, for now you have been enlightened and you can abandon any attempt to follow the plot and instead find amusement in Ethan Hawke's slimy scheming, Ed Harris' constipated look as he does his best to recite his lines, Anton Yelchin proving he can be as creepy as he can be adorable, John Leguizamo being John Leguizamo and so forth.

Now, it is possible to follow the dialog (and hence the plot) if you concentrate but it's probably advised to read the Wikipedia page on Cymbeline (the play) before you watch the movie. Then you won't get lost. Don't worry, it won't spoil anything (much). After all, this is a parody of Shakespeare written by Shakespeare -- there are no surprises. Everything is laid out in advance, or told to us in monologues before it happens. It's a play by the numbers.

Okay, so the plot is stupid and silly. But, is the film otherwise worth watching? Yes, for what it is. It's not pretentious, as other reviewers have suggested. Cymbeline does not take itself seriously. Firstly, it's set around Hallowe'en. The characters dress like stereotypes. The choice of decor and cars are somewhat unique. The actors overact, sometimes to the point of being hammy (I'm looking at you, Ethan Hawke!) If you take it as a parody it's amusing enough to be worth a hundred minutes of your time.

There's also something to be said for seeing bikers reciting Shakespeare.


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