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Anonymous Review Critics


Dave White Profile

The play's, like, the thing. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Leave Bill alone. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    In a movie that rings false at every turn, Ms. Redgrave's Elizabeth is truly and infallibly regal.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Thumpingly silly yet self-serious period-piece what-if.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Ifans is convincingly world-weary as the earl who prefers writing sonnets to the pageantry of court life. Anonymous aims to be epic but is closer to stately soap opera.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film grabs at historical facts, mangles them into a plot worthy of a John le Carré spy novel and takes the viewer on a breathtaking ride through ye olde London.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Uneven drama questions Shakespeare's identity.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that that this period drama set in Elizabethan England questions whether William Shakespeare was truly the author of the plays and poems attributed to his famous quill. The film focuses on several huge deceptions, so there's plenty of lying, manipulation, and scheming -- just about everyone is trying to obscure the truth. There are also some intense torture scenes and a few battles, as well as lots of innuendo and several scenes showing cleavage, glimpses of bare bottoms, and people in bed -- though there's no graphic nudity. Many of the movie's themes are rather adult, including the central literary hoax and the political implications of children born out of wedlock to royal parents.

  • Families can talk about Shakespeare. Do you buy the controversial theory that he might not have written his plays? Why do you think such ideas persist?

  • What are the movie's messages? What is it saying about honesty? Is it ever OK to lie?

  • What would you do if you were forbidden from pursuing the one source of passion in your life? Why was the Earl of Oxford willing to let others take credit for his work?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In this period drama, honesty is rarely the best policy. Almost all of the characters are lying about something, whether it's to achieve wealth, power, love, or some combination of the three. People are happy to engage in a huge theatrical deception because it's quite lucrative. Others conspire and manipulate people for political reasons.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The Earl of Oxford will do almost anything to pursue his passion (writing), even letting others take credit for his work just so he can see his plays performed. His passion is impressive, though he ignores his other responsibilities and his own family to pursue his work.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Several scenes feature swordfights and armed clashes between soldiers, as well as intense torture sequences and an angry mob attempting to storm a castle.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Love scenes show people embracing, passionately kissing, and lying in bed (during/after simulated sex), both clothed and partially clothed. Implied oral sex, and some sex sounds. Several cleavage shots and both partial and complete views of men's bare bottoms. Lots of innuendo/suggestive talk and discussions of the political impact of children being born out of wedlock. Infidelity and prostitution; references to incest.

  • language false1

    Language: "Bollocks," "my God," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A few scenes show people drinking in pubs and occasionally being drunk.