Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Baz Luhrmann's dazzling and unconventional adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic love story is spellbinding. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes portray Romeo and Juliet, the youthful star-crossed lovers of the past who now meet in the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona Beach. Their two rival families, the Montaques and the Capulets, are now gangs and every other aspect of life surrounding Romeo and Juliet's tragic love affair has moved from its Elizabethan origins to a decidedly contemporary, brilliantly stylized reality. (Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 100
    Amid the clamor from outraged purists and Shakespeare spinning in his Stratford-on-Avon, England, grave, you should notice that Luhrmann and his two bright angels have shaken up a 400-year-old play without losing its touching, poetic innocence.
  2. This Romeo & Juliet is a rich visual feast, besotted with the fervor of its acrobatic camerawork and kinetic staging and its mind-bending aggregation of unrelated but resonant fragments of 20th-century iconography.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    As the doomed lovers, DiCaprio and Danes -- both luminous, limpid-eyed beauties -- are allowed to deliver delicate, unpretentious performances, and their love becomes a modest, frighteningly fragile oasis amidst a tawdry saturnalia of noise and glitter.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Luhrmann, an Australian who pretty much let his camera go nuts in the egregiously overrated "Strictly Ballroom", here makes reasonable, imaginative decisions that are, arguably, true to Shakespeare.
  5. Mr. Luhrmann's frenetic hodgepodge actually amounts to a witty and sometimes successful experiment, an attempt to reinvent "Romeo and Juliet" in the hyperkinetic vocabulary of post-modern kitsch. This is headache Shakespeare, but there's method to its madness.
  6. 50
    I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of "Romeo & Juliet" makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.
  7. The result is embarrassing: quick cuts and shaky, hand- held camera work, bad acting and lots of attitude.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 6 out of 15
  1. jess
    May 21, 2009
    I think this beautiful adaptation gets no justice, the melodic storytelling and dramatic performances don't seem out of place in this tragic film, it keeps to the Shakespearean roots by maintaining the language which in its form sounds poetic, the story has however been updated to suit today's audience. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes do a excellent job in the lead roles. A must watch for people who like love stories. Collapse
  2. StefanS.
    Mar 5, 2009
    Baz Luhrmann's take on Romeo + Juliet is - highly emotional - lush and wild - innovative - unforgettable.
  3. ryann
    May 30, 2009
    A great adaption of the original. It's like listening to the Ramones version of Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World. Some could argue it's an embarrassment but my opinion is that it is genius. Baz Luhrmann totally made this movie his own. Great acting as well by everyone in it. The only problem with this movie is how hard it is to follow the dialogue but that is to be expected with Shakespeare. Expand
  4. LouisH.
    Nov 18, 2007
    this is a weird movie. The drama loses all of its touch. Just the modern stuff with the past dialouge makes everbody seem like they all escaped from the nut house. Still, they had the cool modern police gun fights and all that. Final rating=5. Expand
  5. [Anonymous]
    Feb 15, 2009
    Alright, Baz Lurhmann, with all due respect, what the fuck have you done? Modern day Miami with verona dialog? "get me my longsword"=big gun? Mercution a crossdresser? God, this movie sucked. The only thing that keeps it from being a complete dud was Leo DiCaprio's performance and the scene where Romeo kills Tybalt. Expand
  6. Patrick
    Apr 3, 2007
    Romeo and Juliet in a modern-day setting. Does any more need to be said?
  7. Jun 15, 2014
    Quite possibly one of the only few movies I could not physically tolerate to hear or watch. Modernizing the Shakespeare play, which I think is hyped up exceedingly too much as it is, is made worse by, a surprise, the faithfulness of the dialogue from the play. DiCaprio acted exactly like Romeo, which I think is the worst that he could ever achieve. Shakespeare should be left to the British actors. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews