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Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Will Shakespeare, whose words shine on, bright and brave, Is turning o'er with laughter in his grave."
‑ Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Knowing that non-Masterpiece Theater audiences will grow fidgety over this sort of thing, Emmerich and Orloff throw in plenty of sword-fighting, bear-baiting, and bodice-ripping."
‑ Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
"'s ultimately clear that Emmerich should stick to the larger-than-life, blockbuster fare with which he's become associated."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Bad history beautifully done."
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"Roland Emmerich's lurid, pulpy approach isn't subtle, but it suits the material, since this is presented as a controversial exposé."
‑ Eric Melin,
"File this one in the category of entertaining historical fiction. There are facts here, but one must possess more than a passing familiarity with history to be able to spot them."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"The digitally wrought period settings are simply gorgeous."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"The director offers up an unfocused but intriguing alternate look at William Shakespeare."
‑ John Hanlon, Big Hollywood
"Don't let the fact that it's different - or unadulterated bullshit of the highest order - put you off a story that, in truth, is more interesting than it is wholly entertaining or accurate."
‑ Ali Gray,
"Fairly absorbing in an alternately classy and salaciously trashy way that operates not too unlike Emmerich's popcorn entertainers."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"John Orloff's screenplay could have used a rewrite by de Vere -- or whomever."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"This is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"Roland Emmerich takes a questionable literary controversy and deftly forms it into an Elizabethan political drama in the Shakespeare-themed 'Anonymous'."
‑ Amy Curtis, We Got This Covered
"It may be one of the signs of the apocalypse, but thanks to a well-written screenplay, spot-on performances, and a fantastic production design, Emmerich has finally made a great film."
‑ Jeff Beck,
"Bombastic claptrap."
‑ Richard Knight, Knight at the Movies
More reviews for Anonymous on Rotten Tomatoes

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