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The Tempest Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Sound. Fury. Silliness. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Boring Movie with Great Zippers 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film simply doesn't come together fluidly. Smaller parts aren't on par with the lead role, and special effects are overdone and cheesy. At times, the essence of Shakespeare's poetry is drowned out.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Far less daring than her 1999 "Titus," which took an electrifying, stylized approach of a lesser-known play, The Tempest in comparison looks disappointingly middle-of-the-road.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    She (Taymor) doesn't capture Shakespeare's tone (or his meaning, I believe), but she certainly has boldness in her reinvention.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Theatrically ambitious, musically busy, and in the end cinematically inert - clearly reflects the authorship of myth-loving director Julie Taymor.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Flashy, uneven Shakespeare movie has some scary stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sometimes-scary adaptation of one of Shakespeare's final plays is all about revenge. The central character, Prospero, has been changed to a woman (Prospera); she's powerful, though not exactly a positive role model, given that she's the one consumed by vengeance. Two of the male characters are seen in skimpy costumes and/or semi-nude, and there are some frightening fantasy images and threats of violence. One character is portrayed as a comical drunk who uses alcohol to influence another character's will. Teens who enjoy Shakespeare may find it an accessible adaptation, but kids who aren't fans of the Bard likely won't be interested.

  • Families can talk about the use of alcohol in this story. Is it funny? Should it be? What messages does the movie send about drinking and alcohol?
  • Are there any admirable characters in this story? Is there anyone who isn't acting selfishly? Why is a play about such flawed characters considered a classic?
  • Did you find the movie violent? If so, how did this violence come across?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The main thrust of The Tempest is revenge, as Prospera tries to get even with those who wronged her years before. She plays cruel tricks on her visitors and eventually gets everything she wants. Most of the characters behave selfishly and squabble amongst themselves. There are no consequences for any of this behavior. Prince Ferdinand and Miranda are the only ones who rise above this, coming across as both naïve and redeemed by true love.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Prospera -- a powerful woman and a single mother -- is an interesting role model, if not exactly a positive one: She withholds information from her daughter and is bent on revenge. And aside from the story's pair of young lovers, there are no other admirable characters; most of the players are selfish and/or cruel and pay no consequences for their behavior.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: No real fighting, but there are threats and shouting. Sebastian and Antonio draw their swords in an attempt to kill their king while he sleeps. There are also some frightening images when Ariel appears as a "black angel of death" and as Prospera conjures up some of her black magic.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Prince Ferdinand and Miranda declare their love for each other and are seen kissing. Ariel and Caliban are seen wearing very little clothing. Caliban wears a loincloth, and Ariel's naked buttocks are on view from time to time.

  • language false1

    Language: One use of "damned."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Stephano turns up stumbling drunk, carrying a bottle of booze. He shares it with Trinculo and then gives some to the monster, Caliban. Caliban has never tasted alcohol before, and he becomes instantly enchanted and overcome by it; he pledges his servitude to Stephano in exchange for more.