Hamlet

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20

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User Reviews

  1. SusanS.
    Feb 18, 2002
    8
    Hamlet is one of my favorite plays in general, and any movie that does not do it justice angers me. This movie did not do so. The cutting choices were well made (although I do wish they had left in the graveyard scene, although I can see how that would not work in the flow that the movie was taking). Ethan Hawke made a wonderful brooding prince, and the setting enveloped the dark mood of Hamlet is one of my favorite plays in general, and any movie that does not do it justice angers me. This movie did not do so. The cutting choices were well made (although I do wish they had left in the graveyard scene, although I can see how that would not work in the flow that the movie was taking). Ethan Hawke made a wonderful brooding prince, and the setting enveloped the dark mood of the text. Everyone pulls off the language well--particularly Bill Murray, who manages to make it his own. I like the presentation of the ghost--seeing him in the security cameras, and also playing on the theme of camera and filming aides the who's-watching-whom theme in the play. One choice I especially like by the director was to have Gertrude drink the poison intentionally, a direction not usually taken, but it worked well here. Overall, this is a very solid movie, although the fencing at the end worked but seemed slightly out of place (didn't seem as creatively reworked as everything else); I wish Fortinbras had been brought in more, and it seemed the director tried a bit too hard to make as high tech as possible. I loved the way the director utilized the medium by focusing on characters who are not talking, allowing the audience to focus on other characters' reactions (particularly with Ophelia). This movie is not Kenneth Branaugh, and I wouldn't even compare the two. Branaugh did his version and Almereyda did his, and they both worked in thier own genres. Expand
  2. JacquelynM.
    Jan 29, 2008
    8
    I really enjoyed this adaptation of Hamlet, being set in todays society made it easy to see why shakespeare can be set in time period and still fit so perfectly into that society.... I loved the imagery in the play, the use of the films, photographs and the beautiful asides given by Young Hamlet(Ethan Hawke).....Most of all I loved that Shakespeares beautiful language was still held onto I really enjoyed this adaptation of Hamlet, being set in todays society made it easy to see why shakespeare can be set in time period and still fit so perfectly into that society.... I loved the imagery in the play, the use of the films, photographs and the beautiful asides given by Young Hamlet(Ethan Hawke).....Most of all I loved that Shakespeares beautiful language was still held onto and conveyed with such passion. Expand
  3. MaryM.
    Nov 18, 2003
    8
    It takes a bit of time to get into this film, but once you do, you won't ever want to leave it! Mr.Hawke's (and I call him Mr. for a reason),performance is absolutely outstanding! Of all of the cast members, he is the one who really, truly understands the words of the Bard. He makes Shakespeare's words roll off his tonge, with the emotions intact!!! Many, many kudos to Mr. It takes a bit of time to get into this film, but once you do, you won't ever want to leave it! Mr.Hawke's (and I call him Mr. for a reason),performance is absolutely outstanding! Of all of the cast members, he is the one who really, truly understands the words of the Bard. He makes Shakespeare's words roll off his tonge, with the emotions intact!!! Many, many kudos to Mr. Hawke for what is, in my mind an actor's performance!!! Thank you Ethan!!! Keep up the good, no... great! work! M.H.Muise Toronto, Ontario, Can. Expand
  4. DonL.
    Feb 10, 2002
    7
    Good modern day interpretation, but lacks what Branaugh's film has. Overall, not as good as other Hamlet films.

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    50
    But all the devices and upgrades do little to bring the poetry's meaning into clearer and more relevant focus for today's audiences.
  2. 70
    Stylish, funny, and smart...but only up to a point.
  3. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    63
    Almereyda has done a splendid job of rendering Hamlet as expressive visually as it is verbally.