The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Poster

Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated R for violence

Sex & Nudity

  • Suggested re-rating: PG-13 for brief violence
  • No sex or nudity of any kind, unless you count a very brief kiss between husband and wife

Violence & Gore

  • Somewhat strong albeit very infrequent violence, all of which is consistent with Shakespeare's actual play
  • Macbeth is shown murdering King Duncan in his sleep. We see the dagger cut into his neck, but the scene cuts before Macbeth slits it open. Later, we briefly see a pool of blood dripping from the bed onto the floor.
  • Macbeth is shown murdering Duncan's two chamberlains. The first we briefly (albeit somewhat graphically) see have his throat cut open and blood pour out. The second Macbeth stabs through the chest and kicks him down the stairs. Somewhat bloody but obscured in detail due to the black and white cinematography.
  • Macbeth sends murderers to kill Banquo. The murderers are shown knocking Banquo off his horse, followed by a sword fight between them. Eventually, one murderer stabs Banquo through the chest, and another murderer slits his throat but the camera edit does not show the wound or any strong bloody detail.
  • We briefly see Banquo's ghost come to haunt Macbeth as a bloody corpse.
  • A group of murderers come to murder MacDuff's family, but very little is shown. A man grabs a little boy and throws him off the castle wall, but he falls into a fog and we don't see anything graphic or violent. It is later reported that the whole family was murdered, but we see almost nothing.
  • The violence is infrequent albeit somewhat strong. Nevertheless, an R-rating is overkill. This is not suitable for young children, but a PG-13 would suffice.


  • Per Shakespeare's word play, there's a couple curses if you can pick up on them, but go unnoticed due to the use of Middle English.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • None, except mild social drinking by adults

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The tone of the film is very macabre, but it is not overly frightening or disturbing and is consistent with Shakespeare's play.
  • The witches are presented in a very dark and symbolic manner
  • The scene where Macbeth's henchmen murder MacDuff's family is quite intense but not graphic. We hear screams and the sound of swords slashing. This is disturbing despite the fact very little is actually shown.
  • The opening scene is quite odd and disturbing. Otherwise it's mainly just macabre with a few disturbing images scattered infrequently.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • Macbeth is beheaded at the end, consistent with the play. Macbeth drops his crown on the ground while fighting MacDuff. When Macbeth reaches down to pick it up, MacDuff decapitates him. We see the head fall to the ground and blood squirt, but we only see this for about two seconds. MacDuff is then later shown carrying in Macbeth's bloody and decapitated head.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Numerous scenes pertaining to the witches and ghosts involve crows suddenly flying out of nowhere and attacking people. This is often done in a "jump scare" like presentation. It is meant to be symbolic and to convey the psychological and spiritual state of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and it is effective but also quite frightening at times.
  • Lady Macbeth is shown dead, presumably after deliberately hurtling herself down the rampart stairs.
  • One of the murderers is shown chasing down Fleance to murder him after murdering Banquo. He chases him through a grain field and ultimately catches him. We are meant to assume Fleance was murdered, but it is later revealed that the murderer actually spared Fleance's life. This is an interesting twist that is not actually part of Shakespeare's play, but it lends an interesting aspect to the interpretation of the play in this film.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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