User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 46
  2. Negative: 7 out of 46

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  1. Mar 26, 2014
    3
    Oh the missed opportunity. It cuts me deep. Great visuals and direction from Ralph Fiennes in his directorial debut. The modern day adaptation of Shakepeare's play was a very creative way to change it up. The difference in setting when we see Apple Computers in one shot and then we see this very 1500s/1600s set pieces outside was a very interesting choice that I enjoyed. The action sequences were intense and the thrills were certainly there. In spite of knowing that this is a tragedy, you still get attached to the characters even though you know there is no other way for this one to wind up. Impressive on those fronts for sure.

    Now, the negatives. There are, admittedly, not many, but they are major enough to knock this down all the way to such a low rating for me. The major negative here is the dialogue. You can kind of piece together what is going on, for sure, but the Shakespearean language made this one a pain to watch. Very intense scenes could have been all the more intense if I understood what they were saying. The fact that they were intense at all speaks to Fiennes' talent in the director's chair, but his failure to realize that Shakespearean language is very hard to understand and does not really translate well to film is a major redmark on this debut. In addition, aside from Fiennes, the acting was incredibly spotty. In too many scenes, it felt forced and as if I was watching a bad play. I am sure the language used played a role in this feeling, but the acting was anything but up to snuff. With such a capable cast of actors, I expected much more, but was instead left disappointed as I never really "bought" a lot of it, as it was painfully obvious they were acting.
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  2. Nov 20, 2013
    4
    Did the people who made this film know the differences between cinema and theater? I think not. That's why the characters speak as if they are on stage and the city of modern Rome has a population of one hundred people and an army of thirty. Moreover, why didn't they place the story in antiquity? Their 'modern Rome' is just an average city of today with dysfunctional institutions. Fiennes' powerful performance and Shakespeare's finely crafted story depicting the destructive consequences of human pride and jealousy and the ingratitude of the people are wasted here.
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  3. Jan 27, 2013
    6
    Coriolanus is not for everyone, in fact many people will likely hate it. I can't say I particularly loved the film, but it features many admirable qualities nonetheless. The cinematography is really good. Although it borrows heavily from it's Shakespearean roots, making it hard to understand, the script and solid and the actors deliver it wonderfully. The performances are all top-notch, Vanessa Redgrave in particular is stunning; she steals every scene she's in. If you're a fan of Shakespeare you absolutely must see this, and if you're not, it is still a good film even though it wasn't my cup of tea. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    A great film. I enjoyed most aspects, notably the adaptation to the modern setting and particularly the characters. It is true that Caius Martius Coriolanus (R. Fiennes) remains something of a mystery and his motivations and ultimate intentions are not clear, but the relationship between him and Tullus Aufidius (G. Butler) is excellent. Fiennes and Butler portray their respective characters well, getting into the gritty rivalry and respect between these two men of war. The plot explores the vagaries of the mob excellently and the tension between one's role as an enforcer of the will of the electorate and the will of the people. Martius is an excellent portrayal of a barbaric general: violent and unrelenting; and the film captures the feeling of warring tribes and ethnic groups (as Rome was then, as Eastern Europe was in the nineties and as parts of Africa are today). The dirty, drab and dull nature of this Europe of conflicting city states is real, if not particularly beautiful to look at - dirty streets, spray painted walls, litter and trash - the abandoned detritus of a war zone. The film doesn't focus excessively on the battles themselves, using them mainly to develop the characters of Martius and Aufidius; and uses mass media shots to carry background action forward. I felt the film managed to step across time and portray the essence of tribalism, ethnic conflict and charismatic warlords particularly well. Do we like Martius? Do we feel some connection to his humanity? The same could be said of any warlord and general. They do what must be done and people's fear of their power leads to an ambivalent national relationship with them. One thinks of the relationship between the British and American masses with their own soldiers and police, which is equally confused and undecided. At times the olde English can be a bit tiring and confusing, particularly if you don't know the play well but overall a great film. Expand
  5. Aug 28, 2012
    8
    I've never watched movie like this before, I couldn't even describe it but I really like it. Ralph Fiennes proves us that Shakespeare can still exist in modern time.
  6. Jun 20, 2012
    6
    I can give this film a tepid thumbs up for two reasons: 1) great acting by Fiennes and Redgrave, and 2) Shakespeare is always worth the effort. The exchanges between the two actors are mesmerizing, and the Bard's words are music to the ears.
  7. May 15, 2012
    2
    I must admit I really didn't enjoy this movie at all. I struggled to watch it for 45 minutes then just gave up and felt frustrated. It does have some good well known actors though if you can look past the short comings of the movie.
  8. May 14, 2012
    4
    Fiennes' acting is great, but the direction is fairly eccentric, with MTV-style editing and extreme closeups ala Tony Scott style.

    The overall movie is pretty gimmicky, it's just Shakespeare with explosions and a modern day set design. The dialog isn't altered to fit the new style, nor is it particularly interesting to follow in it's theatrical overbearing dialog scenes, where rarely
    more than 2 of the dozens of con-screen actors ever talk at a time.

    The film would've been far better as a more true adaptation keeping things in their time period. Trying to randomly bring everything to a modern and American setting makes no sense, and keeping the dialog in it's untouched original form means the film is only going to be enjoyable by self-proclaimed Shakespeare fans.

    This won't be the film that makes Shakespeare interesting or identifiable to you.
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  9. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    I hadn't watched or read any Shakespeare material since high school, and walked out the theater awestruck. I think I only got about 80% of the dialogue, but this was definitely the "watching the first shakespeare play" experience that critics talk about that I never understood. The set pieces and the action and combat scenes are expertly done, the visuals alone could carry this movie. Unfortunately the modernization didn't work 100% of the time. The scenes with unwashed mobs inside council chambers and new conferences kind of creaked. Movie would have been far better served repurposing their dialogue into "man on the street" news footage or town hall meetings. Roman style forums just don't translate into modern day life that well. Expand
  10. Mar 17, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To be honest I struggled with the dialogue and it really killed my experience of this one. Wished they had gone all the way with turning this in to a contemporary take on the original material with the script too so the more average minded peeps like myself could get a better understanding of the drama unfolding.

    There were some interesting things going on, I really wanted to get some insight into the whole drama of a man turning on his own country and family and it seemed like the film might have drawn some interesting parallels to modern events but unfortunately I couldn't figure out much of it.

    Performances seemed strong and great visuals too.

    Definitely one best left to the Shakespeare types to figure out though.
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  11. Feb 8, 2012
    0
    What a pointless film !!â
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 30, 2012
    100
    That action is bloody, but Fiennes' choices as director are unassailably apt and artful. Coriolanus is a triumph.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Mar 22, 2012
    88
    Coriolanus is not by any stretch a hero, and yet Fiennes makes him magnetic, a warrior you can't look away from even when you might want to.
  3. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Mar 10, 2012
    80
    As a portrait of modern warfare, politics and propaganda, Coriolanus is intriguing, even if the gritty action sequences don't quite measure up to the realism of "The Hurt Locker."