Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Shakespeare in Love is a romantic comedy for the 1990s set in the 1590s. It imaginatively unfolds the witty, sexy and timeless tale behind the creation of the greatest love story ever told. (Miramax Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    100
    If she (Paltrow) were the only good thing about Shakespeare in Love, it still would have been worth seeing; that she is the crown jewel in a glittering tiara of a film studded with writing and acting gems testifies to the deep pleasures to be found in this remarkable movie.
  2. Shakespeare meets Sherlock, and makes for pure enchantment in the inspired conjecture behind Shakespeare in Love.
  3. 100
    I was carried along by the wit, the energy and a surprising sweetness.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    The beauty of this extremely clever movie, directed with fleet, robust theatricality by John Madden, is how deftly it manages to work on multiple levels.
  5. The end result is a delightful, though a smidge too long, reminder of one of the reasons we so enjoy going to the movies: perchance to dream.
  6. Its brazen mixture of the comic and dramatic, the high and low and the emotional and intellectual is positively Shakespearean.
  7. 40
    It soon becomes evident just how inane a film this is.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 8 out of 39
  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 onewonderful 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. 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.
  3. Feb 25, 2015
    9
    This film is very tender, i like very much the argument and the actors are charming. Funny situations and drama mixed with naturalThis film is very tender, i like very much the argument and the actors are charming. Funny situations and drama mixed with natural performances not wanting to imitate the air in that time if not giving a touch own. Expand
  4. Jan 5, 2014
    7
    The movie begins to shine in the second half. It is witty and funny, but the romance is over the top and not believable. The score is stellarThe movie begins to shine in the second half. It is witty and funny, but the romance is over the top and not believable. The score is stellar and makes for some great moments. Expand
  5. 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'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
  6. 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 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. Expand
  7. 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 deservesShakespeare 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. Collapse

See all 39 User Reviews

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