I wasn't sure about this film to start with. It always takes me a little while to adjust to modern interpretations of Shakespeare. But once you get past Shakespeare with American accents the style and substance of this film shone through. Fine performances from Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles capture the emotional confusions of youth and grief. Liev Schreiber's Laertes has made me reconsider the whole relationship between him and his sister Ophelia - he is an actor who always manages to capture man's conflicted nature - and he brings a fresh energy and eloquence to a role often playing second fiddle to Hamlet. The most surprising find was Kyle Maclachlan's Claudius - the best rendition of this power hungry regent that I have ever seen. I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves Shakespeare, or who doesn't and wishes they could, or who like edgy character driven films that compel and challenge the viewer.