User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 132
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  1. Jan 29, 2012
    10
    wonderful film.terribly underrated just because it's romantic comedy that won an Oscar instead of WWII epic. forget Oscars and enjoy in one of the most original and witty romantic comedies. though I wish it was less romantic and more wacky. but still the idea to use Shakespeare as a character in Shakespearean comedy makes this one the most original romantic comedies ever. Maybe Savingwonderful film.terribly underrated just because it's romantic comedy that won an Oscar instead of WWII epic. forget Oscars and enjoy in one of the most original and witty romantic comedies. though I wish it was less romantic and more wacky. but still the idea to use Shakespeare as a character in Shakespearean comedy makes this one the most original romantic comedies ever. Maybe Saving Private Ryan was better (it's the matter of taste, and they cannot be compared cause they are so different) but this is still one of the best Oscar winning films in the last 30 years (especially comparing to the subsequent ones). Expand
  2. TomW.
    Sep 6, 2004
    5
    Kinda boring film, although nice cinematography. I can't help feel though that it's overrated. If you're into a historically themed romatic comedy though, you should like it. Personally I *hate* Shakespeare -- he's too wanky ;)
  3. DrSteveH.
    Jun 19, 2003
    2
    Boring, sappy, and pointless. The performances were unispired and the writing lame. A waste of time.
  4. RodrigoR.
    Aug 7, 2004
    10
    Amazing acting, marvellous directing and quite good cinematography. There is no moment of the film when you think that the time consume is not worth it
  5. T.M.
    Feb 4, 2005
    5
    An innocuous, charming little movie that did not deserve the Oscars it got, especially Best Picture or Best Actress. And if I see another movie where a woman disguises herself as a man, still looks like a woman, but the characters are fooled by her disguise, I'm going to slit my own throat.
  6. PabloD.
    Apr 8, 2006
    10
    A gorgeous monument to Shakespeare and his greater master-piece "Romeo & Juliet". This is one of the best pictures of all time.
  7. JosephJ.
    Dec 16, 2002
    10
    A brilliantly written, directed, and acted masterpiece of romantic comedy. Deservedly won the Best Picture Academy Award.
  8. KimH.
    Apr 25, 2002
    10
    Beautiful, funny, sweet, androgynously sensual. Wonderful!
  9. Paulb.
    Sep 21, 2003
    10
    Paltry?She is simply at her best! you are an other jealous american loser.The movie is great.
  10. SusanM.
    May 24, 2005
    10
    Perfect movie, one of my favourites, Gwyneth is amazing, I could watch it a zillion times and never get bored.
  11. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    Beautifully written. Commendable costumes. Excellent cast and their acts. Emotionally convincing. Morally uplifting. One of the best in the 90s. SPLENDID.

    movienotesbook.blogspot.com
  12. BobJ.
    May 13, 2007
    3
    I found that the movie was not very good at all and was quite boring to say the least. The thing that makes me the most mad was the fact that it got Best Picture over SAVING PRIVATE RYAN!!! Saving private Ryan was a definite 9.0-10.0 rated film (out of 10). The other thing is (as T.M. mentioned) was the whole girl dressed as a guy to fool the other actors but still looks like a girl. This I found that the movie was not very good at all and was quite boring to say the least. The thing that makes me the most mad was the fact that it got Best Picture over SAVING PRIVATE RYAN!!! Saving private Ryan was a definite 9.0-10.0 rated film (out of 10). The other thing is (as T.M. mentioned) was the whole girl dressed as a guy to fool the other actors but still looks like a girl. This makes the film even worse (if that is possible). I would not recommend it at all. Collapse
  13. Mar 20, 2011
    5
    I'm not usually one to fault a film for historical inaccuracy, but this one went too far--and then failed to compensate with a decent story. I disagree with those who say knowing Shakespeare adds to a viewer's enjoyment, unless what is known is a play or two and some half-remembered facts about Elizabethan London. Knowing a lot about Renaissance drama just makes the film galling, as realI'm not usually one to fault a film for historical inaccuracy, but this one went too far--and then failed to compensate with a decent story. I disagree with those who say knowing Shakespeare adds to a viewer's enjoyment, unless what is known is a play or two and some half-remembered facts about Elizabethan London. Knowing a lot about Renaissance drama just makes the film galling, as real historical figures are wrenched from their actual lives and made to serve a contrived and fantastical plot. I almost walked out when John Webster, who would soon be writing complex, intellectual plays, was depicted as a child torturing rats and informing on Shakespeare's company, but that was just one of many instances. As for the love story and its theatrical issue, both were the height of silliness. I'm not saying it wasn't possible for a woman to cross-dress in early modern England; it happened. But Gwyneth Paltrow in a tiny fake moustache is about as masculine as a troupe of ballerinas at a quilting bee, so believing that everyone was fooled requires some serious IQ-shaving. I normally like Paltrow, but this film lowered my opinion of her acting chops. Then there's the idea that Shakespeare was blocked and needed experience to write from. Leaving aside the ample evidence that the playwright may have been the least blocked writer who ever lived, he always used other texts as the basis for his plays. I hope we don't get a sequel called "Shakespeare in a Jealous Rage" that shows him killing his wife so he can write Othello. On the plus side, the supporting cast, sets, and costumes are excellent. The film gets most of the little stuff right, oddly enough; would it had lavished the same care on the big stuff. Expand
  14. Oct 13, 2011
    1
    This movie deserves a special place in hell. On its own, it is a truly terrible movie - with boring characters and tons of whiny girly love cr&p.
    The real reason why all copies of it should be burned was the fact that it beat "Saving Private Ryan" for best picture. This is the 2nd greatest outrage of all TV/Movie history next to Firefly being cancelled. SPR is possibly the best war
    This movie deserves a special place in hell. On its own, it is a truly terrible movie - with boring characters and tons of whiny girly love cr&p.
    The real reason why all copies of it should be burned was the fact that it beat "Saving Private Ryan" for best picture. This is the 2nd greatest outrage of all TV/Movie history next to Firefly being cancelled. SPR is possibly the best war movie of all time, and this is just some sappy made-up fantasy cr&p which does not follow the realities of the time of Shakespeare at all.
    Boring, terrible, overrated - punch one of the members of the Academy if you ever meet them.
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  15. NickV.
    Aug 10, 2004
    1
    Very boring, need Will Smith & Martin Lawrence to jump out halfway through all guns blazing saying "We ride together, we die together, Bad Boy for life"
  16. PatC.
    Apr 17, 2006
    10
    Like Shakespeare, has something for everyone. Understandably easier to follow for one who appreciates Shakespeare, and some of the contrivances may distract some (how did the queen sneak into the theatre unnoticed?) But in focus and impact a perfect film that reminds us of the roots and power of drama.
  17. May 23, 2011
    1
    Wow, this movie was so terrible that the only good thing about it was Geoffrey Rush. So Shakespeare got his inspiration for Romeo and Juliet from experiencing similar events. Lame!
  18. May 20, 2012
    0
    There is a special place in my brain for movies/videogames/albums where I store things that are supposed to be amazing, but that I find rediculously terrible. This is one of those. This is like watching a high school play. As long as the high school actors are extra annoying beyond the abilities of a high school student. I'm not a big fan of romance movies but I believe I'm being objectiveThere is a special place in my brain for movies/videogames/albums where I store things that are supposed to be amazing, but that I find rediculously terrible. This is one of those. This is like watching a high school play. As long as the high school actors are extra annoying beyond the abilities of a high school student. I'm not a big fan of romance movies but I believe I'm being objective here. It's not as bad as Notting Hill (that one gets a minus 1,000,000), but it's in the ballpark. I never liked Shakespeare, but I like a movie about him even less. Expand
  19. Jun 12, 2011
    1
    I read a lot of good critics about this movie but I can't understand what was so great about it. Story is lame, actors are not that good (I can't stand Gwyneth Paltrow). Nothing original. In one word : boring.
  20. Apr 2, 2012
    0
    Shakespeare in Love flat out sucks, sucks, sucks. Who would want to watch this overperformed, over dramatic and overdone movie. It deserves to have a special place in hell right next to the Devil, also while your at it add the director.
  21. BlancoA.
    Apr 3, 2001
    8
    Solid movie, but better than "Saving Private Ryan"?? Hell no.
  22. TrottersIndependentCo.
    Jul 20, 2002
    10
    Brilliant movie, best ive seen in ages!
  23. SteveM.
    Mar 31, 2003
    9
    Once you get past the love story, the poor boy and the rich girl, and get to the meat of this pie, the love affair with the theater, this becomes really savory. it opens with an empty stage and an equally empty house. it ends with a richly peopled stage, and an equally packed house. they are all stage struck. we are all stage struck, or screen struck. this movie touched in that.
  24. YoonC.
    Sep 15, 2003
    7
    One can appreciate the writing but too clever an idea to pull off for over 2 hrs. And, Paltrow is as usual paltry, convincing neither as woman nor man.
  25. AndrewM.
    Jul 12, 2004
    9
    A remarkably original, uplifting film that is brilliant in its simplicity and its superbly crafted production. The marriage between the actors and characters is superlative, the writing gives it all the backbone it needs, and the smooth direction is simply the icing on the cake; it deserved every one of its kudos. Paltrow and Fiennes have never been better and Dench, Rush, et al, are the A remarkably original, uplifting film that is brilliant in its simplicity and its superbly crafted production. The marriage between the actors and characters is superlative, the writing gives it all the backbone it needs, and the smooth direction is simply the icing on the cake; it deserved every one of its kudos. Paltrow and Fiennes have never been better and Dench, Rush, et al, are the perfect support. This is an adorable film, accessible by all, and one that brings a little sunshine to the heart. Enjoy! Expand
  26. MichaelS.
    Feb 21, 2005
    8
    Smart script; well-executed. Knowing a thing or two about Shakespeare only adds depth to the experience.
  27. MattS.
    Mar 3, 2007
    9
    As far as romantic comedies go, this one is just about perfect. I loved the fact that the movie itself used so many classical theatre devices, from a woman disguising herself as a man to the Deus ex Machina of Queen Elizabeth's surprise appearance in the movie's climax. The acting is superb, the direction and cinematography are perfect, and the story is fun and moving.
  28. TheEvilOfGilbertMulroneycakes
    Nov 13, 2002
    10
    If you don't like this, there's no hope for you. Delightful.
  29. KimberlyB.
    Sep 22, 2002
    6
    Too long , it shouldn't have been written in bed, but excelent costumes, and perfect sets, great camera catching.
  30. GustavoH.R.
    Dec 31, 2003
    7
    Time is unbeatable. Giving the Best Picture for this simple, mediocre romantic comedy was a mistake: now most of the people know that.
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. This romantic farce has a talented cast and energy to spare, but somehow the ingredients don't burn as brightly as one would expect from such promising ingredients.
  2. 100
    I was carried along by the wit, the energy and a surprising sweetness.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    Accessibly brainy screen charmer.