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Coriolanus Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

It's winter. Time for discontent. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

The Hurt Locker in iambic pentameter. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    79

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in Coriolanus as William Shakespeare's Rambo in a production that delivers heavyweight screen acting at its best.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Vanessa Redgrave nimbly plays Coriolanus' mother, Volumnia, a blend of formidable stage mother and a puppeteering power behind the throne.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Martius comes to a bad end, while Mr. Fiennes achieves a great beginning. As a director, his grasp exceeds his daring reach, and his performance stands as a chilling exemplar of psychomartial ferocity.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    With its warring factions, citizen uprisings, guerrilla insurgencies, political intrigue, bloody warfare, family tensions, and homoerotic subtext, Coriolanus is one of the year's best political thrillers.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Coriolanus reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

War-set Shakespeare adaptation has plenty of blood and gore.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while it might be tempting to introduce teens to Shakespeare with this movie -- Coriolanus is adapted from one of The Bard's lesser-known plays -- the movie's somewhat modern wartime setting means that there's lots of strong, bloody violence, including guns and shootings, knife fights, hand-to-hand fights, and dead bodies. One character commits suicide by slitting a wrist. In fact, it's probably the most violent Shakespeare movie adaptation since Roman Polanski's 1971 Macbeth, and the handheld camerawork only adds to the general chaos and unease. Characters are also sometimes seen drinking and smoking in a background way. All of that said, this is a powerful work with great performances, and it could turn on older teens who can handle the content to the rest of Shakespeare's work.

  • Families can talk about Coriolanus' violence. Is it necessary to get the film's plot and themes across? How do you think it might have been different if had been set further in the past?
  • Is Coriolanus a hero? Is he a good role model? Why should we root for him?
  • Do you think adapting Shakespeare to a period of modern warfare works? Does updating a book or play's setting make it more accessible, even if the language is the same?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Teens could get a dose of Shakespearian culture with this movie, but the general themes are anger, suffering, power, and revenge.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character acts selfishly, motivated by anger and revenge. His mother is no saint either -- she's shown to be manipulative and cruel -- but she does use her considerable power, marching into the front lines in an attempt to prevent a deadly attack on Rome.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The story is set during a modern-style war, with lots of violence and blood. There's a gunshot through the head, guns and shooting, knife fighting, and hand-to-hand fighting. There's also an angry mob, rioting, beatings, bombs, and explosions. Viewers see bloody faces and dead bodies, including women and children. A boy is shown holding a gun. A character commits suicide by slicing his wrist.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Even though the language is all Shakespeare, during a battle sequence, a soldier can be heard saying something that sounds like "f--k me!"

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters are seen drinking socially and smoking in a background way. In one scene, soldiers party and drink beer, wine, and other liquor.

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