DVD - 2016
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A thrilling interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most famous and compelling characters, Macbeth is a dramatic re-imagining of the realities of war-torn times and a tale of all-consuming passion and ambition.


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Feb 09, 2019

I first saw the Scottish play at Stratford-on-Avon in Avon, CT, when I was 15, and was consistently given the traditional interpretation of Lady Macbeth as a conniving, cruel, selfish, ambitious woman; and Macbeth as a weak man. This new interpretation of Macbeth living with PTSD is GENIUS, and it rings much truer; the effects on marriages and relationships of the aftermath of war zone experience. It is so important especially now as so many service people and veterans are suffering with PTSD to the point of suiciding, to take this (my favorite) Shakespeare play, and make art reflecting life today. Brilliant actors, outstanding historical fleshout.

May 11, 2018

Thanks to the pair of easy-on-the-eye lead actors and spectacular Scottish landscape, enjoyed this adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. A critics said “Though last to the party, this account easily takes the prize from the Orson Welles version of 1948 and Roman Polanski’s splatter-movie adaptation of 1971.” Can’t remember those two films but no reason to disagree because of the actors and superior modern film making techniques. If you are still not tired of the story and ready for a new twist, suggest to watch the old Japanese 1957 Samurai version titled “Throne of Blood.”

Note: No choice but to turn on subtitles to follow the old English dialogue.

Apr 23, 2018

There are many beautiful images in this Macbeth - misty moors, forbidding mountains, shadowy Gothic buildings illuminated by slanting rays of light. The people, on the other hand, are drab, dirty, and nearly indistinguishable. This does not seem to be an accident. The filmmakers have taken Shakespeare's tale of order and justice shattered by diabolical ambition, dramatized by the vicious descent of the title character into murder and madness, and reimagined it as a tiresome exercise in cynicism, in which all power is guilty, virtue is never more than a mask, and innocence nothing more than ignorance. Muddying up the morality of what may be Shakespeare's most moralistic play also muddies up the plot, and the whole film, like its hero, descends into incoherence despite all of the care spent on set design, cinematography, and costuming.

Dec 27, 2017

Macbeth is one of my favorite plays, but I've always been frustrated with how the leads are portrayed: Macbeth isn't bold enough to acknowledge his own ambition until Lady Macbeth selfishly pushes him to it, but both descend into madness once events spiral out of their control. This production gets it right: Lady Macbeth is not barren (an interpretation which never made any sense to me) but the child she and Macbeth had has died. She latches onto the promise made to Macbeth by the witches as a way to salve her grief. Macbeth, for his part, is indeed tempted by what he's promised, and when he wavers, Lady Macbeth does push him through (in a much more sexually charged interpretation than most have seen before). But while she may have been satisfied with the throne, Macbeth becomes obsessed with his destiny--and future.

What fascinates me about Macbeth is his relationship to prophecy: it's a promise, a threat, and a crutch, and his dependence on it changes him from a skilled and brave general to a raving lunatic. Fassbender plays that, as well as his final return to reality, perfectly. And while I always imagined the witches to be the cauldron-stirrers seen in most productions, I thought the director's alternative characterization--and cast addition--was brilliant.

rebecca_c Jul 18, 2017

Brutal and raw, but very well done. Fassbender and Cotillard give understated but powerful performances.

Jul 01, 2017

Powerful - a bold, inventive adaptation that cuts right to the heart of Macbeth's tragedy. Shakespeare purists may object to some of the liberties taken here (much of the original text has been rearranged or omitted altogether), but the results are so good, it's hard to complain. One gets the impression that every decision the filmmakers made was carefully thought through, in order to craft an authentic portrait of Macbeth and his medieval world. Filmed on location in Scotland, the movie makes the most of the hauntingly beautiful Highland setting. It's like a darker Braveheart. English teachers, show your students this movie - they'll appreciate it. Though a word of warning: The violence is brutal, definitely not for the squeamish.

VaughanPLKelly Apr 08, 2017

This adaptation features excellent acting by the two leads, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, as well as striking visuals.

Aug 03, 2016

One of, if not, the best adaptation of Shakespeare I've seen on film.

"Macbeth," stripped of all window-dressing serving to stir up and counsel King James, shortly after the Gunpowder Plot might have caused him to rule with a heavy hand, is really about how power corrupts, especially when killing opponents is part of the job description. This has a modernity that speaks to what we see today. Its imagery is stronger than the stage conventions miring earlier productions. It cuts straight to the bone.

Jun 16, 2016

Better than expected. This is a full film rendition of Macbeth. Fassbender can do Shakespear. Marion is fantastic as always - intense. The wee bit of CGI was not the best quality but overall more visually engaging than a stage production.

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