Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin by director Joss Whedon. Shot in just 12 days, the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love. As matchmaking schemes are put into play and disguises are donned, loathing and love soon prove to be close cousins. [Lionsgate] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Jun 21, 2013
    Would the magic hold? The magic holds. It holds from beginning to end.
  2. 90
    The movie’s singular acting triumph is Nathan Fillion’s Constable Dogberry, one of Shakespeare’s simpler buffoons made poetic by understatement. Fillion speaks softly, with ­uninflected sincerity, a brilliant departure from the standard gregarious-­hambone Dogberry. It’s his insularity — his imperviousness to the interjections of more observant people — that makes him such a touchingly credible clown.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 20, 2013
    It's a pleasant, engaging version of probably the closest thing to a sitcom the Bard ever penned.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Jun 4, 2013
    With its interrogations of gender, feminism, and marriage, Shakespeare's comedy is an apt vehicle for Whedon's own storytelling agenda.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 20, 2013
    With Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has crafted an endearing bagatelle, made with equal parts brio and love, ambition and pared-down modesty.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 5, 2013
    The film isn't as fast and funny as it could be, although Nathan Fillion's easily offended constable injects some sorely needed comic relief.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 3, 2013
    The film is nothing without the physicality of the performers, as Joss Whedon's script handles the transition of Shakespeare's language to modern day indifferently.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Jun 9, 2013
    Brilliant! Rarely have I enjoyed a film this much. "Much Ado" was funny, beautiful and held the audience rapt. The cast was captivating. The artistic and directorial choices in tone, setting, photography, staging, and pace were all spot on. I guess a little less camera shake would have been OK. Expand
  2. Mar 12, 2014
    joss whedon once again proves he is a good director and he must be good after avengers , clark gregg did well and so does the rest of cast. always good movie Expand
  3. Jun 11, 2013
    This early premiere of Joss Whedon's low budget Shakespearian film of Much Ado About Nothing. Mr. Whedon has created a new black and white love story that takes place in Santa Monica, California, and he developed his stylistic movie at his own home with great actors from his TV series and other movies. Based on William Shakespeare's short novel, the story is about Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and the Dons are approaching at Leonato's home during the war and they take their custody of Don John (Sean Maher) and Conrade (Riki Lindhorne). While they approach to Leonato's home, Claudio wants to fell in love with Leonato's daughter, Hero for his permission to marry her. Also, Benedick and Beatrice (Amy Acker) have love chemistry to each other from the past, and they both have good moments like love and passion. The actors are excellent for portraying Shakespearian characters like Clark Gregg as Leonato, Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, and Franz Kranz as Claudio. One actor who did portray as Benedick is Alexis Denisof, who did an excellent job for performing as a likable character with good acting skills and clever dialogue than other actors try so hard to perform their characters in big blockbuster movies. The scenes are so incredible to look at with great black and white editing, everything is so dark, and the lines are so funny. Much Ado About Nothing is a flawless Shakespearian movie that has incredible cast, great love story and great moments. Joss Whedon makes a nice romantic film that doesn't get too much audience to enjoy this low budget movie than other summer blockbuster movies that are coming out, but this one is a perfect film that I recommended to see this movie in a small local theater near you. Two Thumbs Up! Expand
  4. Jun 22, 2013
    Joss Whedon is best known as writer/director of "The Avengers," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," so this departure into Shakespeare is atypical. It was shot in 12 days at his own house using his cast member friends (not movie stars). He's given the romantic comedy a more somber tone, shot it in classic B&W and injected some musical interludes (which he also wrote). The performances are all strong with Nathan Fillion adding in a delightful turn as Dogberry. If you enjoy the Bard, this contemporary restaging is attractive, well-crafted and entertaining. Expand
  5. Sep 1, 2014
    Josh Whedon's take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing retains the original script but updates the setting to the modern day.

    Truth be
    told it's not always easy to follow the 17th Century dialogue but the bard had a way with words that few others can match and his tales still largely stand up today, even if some of the humour is lost in translation. The performances, including a host of Whedon favourites, are excellent and help belay the movies small budget. Expand
  6. Oct 8, 2013
    Saying anything bad about Shakespeare or an adaptation of one of his works is a quick and easy way for people to jerk their knees and call you an uncultured heathen. Doing one of his works is the fast track to get great reviews because syndicated snob critics really, REALLY don't want to look uncultured. Joss Whedon's adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" doesn't do much wrong but it isn't doing much to stand out either. Most of the acting is decent and the heart of the play is there, so it's funny. But it doesn't change the fact that it looked cheap to me. Modern day retellings always come off cheap to me because it looks like a film student's last minute project. It's like they forgot the movie was due so they just filmed their friends reading the lines, excused the modern day attire by saying it's a "modern retelling" and put it in black and white so it looks, "you know, deep and stuff." This movie looks less like it was done by Joss Whedon and more like it was done by a student who's semester got away from him and decided to make this the Sunday afternoon before the Monday it was due. Expand
  7. Dec 23, 2013
    Thank you, Mike_M. After trying to watch this god awful movie I searched desperately to see if others felt the same way. The critics are idiots and have truly disappointed me. What is worse, they made me feel as though I was taking crazy pills. This movie was terrible. Thank you for the very accurate and well written review. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews