3.8/10
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23 user 45 critic

Cymbeline (2014)

R | | Drama | 13 March 2015 (USA)
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Cymbeline is a movie starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, and Milla Jovovich. 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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(screenplay), (play)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Iachimo
... Cymbeline
... The Queen
... Pisanio
... Posthumus
... Imogen
... Cloten
... Dr. Cornelius
... The Hangman
... Caius Lucius
... Philario
... Guiderius
... Sicilius Leonatus
... Belarius
... 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 | Add 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Milla Jovovich and John Leguizamo starred in movies based on video games. Leguizamo starred in Super Mario Bros and Jovovich starred in the Resident Evil series. 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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Connections

Version of Royal Shakespeare Company: Cymbeline (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Fear No More
Written by Nicholas Britell
Courtesy of Lake George Entertainment LLC
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User Reviews

 
Reductive
15 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

Michael Almereyda once again stuffs a Shakespearean play into modern day society and comes up with an incomprehensible mess. His film of "Hamlet" at least used as its framework an enduring masterpiece with themes as relevant to today's world as when it was written. But "Cymbeline" is an obscure, rarely produced oddity from Shakespeare's canon which employs unlikely plotting centered on obsolete sexual morality which has no relevance to today's world. Why Almereyda thought this archaic chestnut needed to be set in the present day is baffling.

It is up to the actors to inject some life into this dull mess and for the most part, they are not up to the task. Dakota Johnson is stunning to look at as the ill-used Imogen, but gives a one-note performance that is insufferable to watch. Ethan Hawke brings to the evil Iachimo the same dull monotone that he employed as Almereyda's Hamlet. And Penn Badgley makes the gullible Posthumus seem like a refugee from a boy band. Only Delroy Lindo and Ed Harris project the charisma necessary to make their characters interesting, although demoting Harris' Cymbeline from the King of Britain in the original text to the head of a motorcycle gang is unimaginably reductive.

Almereyda seems to have a fetish for updating Shakespearean drama into the modern world and has no issue with pummeling it into a different shape to fit his concept no matter what the Bard's original intention was while writing it. The approach worked intermittently with "Hamlet" but fails completely with "Cymbeline." Almereyda would be well advised to seek out contemporary stories to make films of and leave Shakespeare alone.


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