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4.5 out of 5 stars313
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 July 2009
Okay so when you first begin to watch this movie your so close to branding it over dramatic, Americanised drivel. I'll admit it I nearly turned it off...then when Leo Dicaprio smoldered onto the screen and began versing in the perfect words of old Shaky himself I sat up and listened. Never could I imagine a better choice of a young brooding Romeo than he. He plays the role with youthful innocnce, passion and is just utterly captivating. Clare Danes wouldnt have been my perfect Juliet..granted, but she is fresh looking and truly beautiful and by the end of the movie I had warmed to her and her infectious smile. The chemisrty between these two is almost tangible its so real. What convincing and memorable preformances!
You must see this movie...its like marmite. Some will feel the that this film isnt a true reflection of the oridginal works and dismiss it as another dull remake. But in relaity its so much more than that. Its a modern take done on a true classic that keeps the spirit of these charaters alive and the story as tragicly heartbreaking as ever.
On a side note the soundtrack is perfect. The setting sets the tone amazingly well and the direction although sometimes over the top and a little silly (opening gas station scene) is pretty dam good.
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on 8 December 2005
I hear so many people say that this film 'butchered' Shakespeare but I strongly think otherwise. Prepare yourself to see a modern twist of the classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It is a feast for the senses with lavish sets, a hip soundtrack, colorful costumes, and cutting edge direction. Leonardo and Claire give heart-wrenching performances. I think that Shakespeare would be pleased because this film really captures the raw teen-angst that the star-crossed lovers experienced. So, expect to see something different, and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
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on 18 February 2002
Two fantastic films by director Baz Luhrmann that will each enchant the viewer.
Romeo and Juliet turned an old classic love story into a modern masterpiece which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the film (even though I, as do many others already know the ending!) Set in Verona, it's use of antiquated Shakespearean language is given a modern twist in the context that the film is set in, with the use of modern props like cars. The two stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo), and Claire Danes (Juliet)are very believable in their roles of the tragic star crossed lovers led by fate, each going against their families wishes to pursue their love for one another.
Moulin Rouge is a musical in which Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman deliver an outstanding performance in the roles of Christian and Satine. It will make you laugh, and guaranteed it will make you cry as the tragic love story is revealed. I didn't see one dry face as I walked out the cinema after the film had ended.
Try and see how many modern songs you recognise as they are joined together to make the story even more emotive, and look out for a cameo appearance by pop star Kylie Minogue.
Two tragic love stories that the director has successfully modernised to contrast with the old periods in time in which the films are set.
Don't forget your box of tissues for two emotional rollercoasters!
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on 2 May 2009
Forget the Shakespeare; this is a damn good film in its own right - if a record is going to be covered or a film of a classic drama made, then it ought to be done as differently as possible; there are plenty of faithful adaptations of The Bard's most famous play if that's what you want - hats off to Baz Luhrmann for being bold enough to reinvent the classic story of star-crossed lovers. Great performances (especially Harold Perrineau as the mercurial (geddit?) Mercutio, and Claire Danes as a stunning Juliet. Deserves five stars and gets 'em.
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on 16 March 2001
This isn't like any Shakespeare you'll have ever seen. This isn't like anything you'll have ever seen. Shot in a style which makes NYPD Blue look sedate, Baz Luhrman's version of Romeo and Juliet is one to take the breath away. The story is the same, the setting totally different. Placed in a world of pimps and drugs, crime and revenge Romeo and Juliet sizzles with the wit, energy and passion that the bard deserves. The acting throughout is superb with DiCaprio and Danes in especially good form. John Leguizamo's Tybalt also deserves a mention as a brilliant characterisation. This has to be the best version of Romeo and Juliet around. With a brilliant soundtrack, incredible camera work and of course the incomparable script this film is a work of art that deserves to be seen time and time again
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on 20 May 2011
I must disagree with previous posters saying the lead actors were equally awful - I think Danes was pretty good when on her own (although she pales in comparison to Olivia Hussey). DiCaprio was awful. When I first saw this, I had yet to see the 1960 version, and I thoroughly enjoyed this. As a fifteen year old girl, it was a good introduction to Shakespeare, and I found Dicaprio's performance pretty good. (Although looking back, I suspect his looks and popularity may have had a hand in the casting - it certainly had an effect on my fellow female classmates!) However, after watching the 1960 version, this one just - falls flat. The opening scene seems melodramatic - why say the prologue twice? And why to grainy images that flick forward so quickly we can't appreciate them? And why to echoing, OTT choir music? The love between Juliet and Romeo seems forced - although I think they were attempting for a more natural sounding dialogue it just didn't work. It was a good theory, and a good attempt - like I said, I think Danes does OK on her own, but DiCaprio just isn't convincing. Romeo is a tricky one to play - he is melodramatic, but has to then convince the audience his love for Juliet is real. But here, it just feels like more overdramatic gestures.

I think this is a good film for first time veiwers of Shakespeare - I myself first saw it in school and then bought it on DVD. The modernized settings bring something fresh and new to the play,and will help Shakespeare newbies around a bit if they get confused with the dialogue. However, if you enjoyed this, I fully recommend getting the Zefirelli version - the Romeo and Juliet there are a delight to watch, and the traditional version brings a timeless feel to it.
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on 2 December 2000
Here the adaptation is a modernization in a mythical city of Verona Beach in Calidornia, a city that does not exist, even if we may think of Venice next to Los Angeles. It uses the editing technique and the shooting technique of modern cinema and video clips. The prologue for instance is given three times : on TV by an anchorwoman, over real life pictures by a male overvoice emphasized by headlines in papers, and finally in text injections on black screens at high speed. The situation is changed and the brawl is transformed into a gang war betwwen two rich boys' gangs, the Montagues being some kind of punks and the Capulets some kind of Latin America mafia, with a strong set of allusions to western films, and even to Clint Eastwood's « a Man named Nobody ». Tybalt is the direct impersonification of evil with his metal teeth printed with SIN, with his image of Christ on his waistcoat that he flashes at Benvolio as an image of the death that is awaiting Benvolio, as if this picture were a mirror image of Benvolio in the process of dying. The main change though is the transformation of the Prince into the head of the police that comes from the sky in a helicopter and that has full power to keep the peace in Verona's streets. It is a vision of a society where the police is omnipresent and where the youth can only organise their pleasures and entertainments in a rebelious search for street adventure. It is in a way marvelous. Di Caprio is admirable as a romantic, naive and completely lost young man or old teenager. Mercutio is a prodigy as a black man and a drag queen, even if only for fun. He is a pretty jolly good fellow even if a grave man in a many ways. One excellent adaptation. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.
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on 1 January 2014
Ok, I have been a fan of Baz Luhrman films since I watched Strictly Ballroom. I was blown away by the wild mix of music and rich visuals in Moulin Rouge and surprise, surprise, I thought this treatment of Romeo & Juliet was incredibly bold and inventive. A modern setting; guns for swords (yes and it works) but still true to the themes of the original play and the beautiful language. If Shakespeare were alive to see it, I think he would wholly approve of its treatment in this film. It's full of the visual montages you expect and modern popular music is woven into the fabric of the whole, again, as you expect with this director to create a truly thrilling experience. The casting is spot on with gorgeous performances across the board and some truly stand out moments. I won't go into details, listing names and characters because I'm really rubbish at names. Just watch it! Even if you don't think you like Shakespeare, I think this DVD will bring you closer to understanding the appeal of the Bard in a way, not always achieved in more classic versions. I think there is room for both; this isn't a definitive version but it is a really fresh interpretation. Watch it with an open mind and remember that Shakespeare was essentially a popular entertainer - he had to give his audiences what they wanted or he didn't work! For me, this works as a stand alone piece of entertainment. I laughed, I cried - what more can I say?
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on 22 July 2011
I think this version of Romeo and Juliet is absolutely amazing. I have been recently been learning Shakespeare in English and we are doing Romeo and Juliet. This film not only keeps the original words of Shakespeare but makes it good enough for you to want to keep watching - you won't get bored and want to turn it off!
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on 21 April 2012
The pace of this production is FAST!! I feel you would have to be very familier with the intricities of the plot to follow it as the speech is like rappers on caffine. Having said that, the film is very entertaining and the characters believable. I really enjoyed it and have watched it 3 times.
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