Macbeth
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"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" - but the bodies keep piling up today, from the opening battle, to the beheading of the traitor Cawdor, to the - onscreen - murder of Duncan, to the electrifying final duel to the death (at each clash of metal on metal, and flesh on stone wall, Polanski cut a single frame of film, making the impact almost palpable). His first work after the Manson massacre of his wife and friends, Polanski's graphic adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of ambition, as Jon Finch's Scottish laird decides to take those witches' advice and go for the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Does Polanski's Macbeth work? Not especially, but it was an admirable try."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This is an original film by an original film artist, and not an 'interpretation.'"
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"a bloody, rip-roaring good time"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Polanski has increased the film's barbaric realism and fills the screen with blood, mud and brooding atmosphere."
‑ , Film4
"[VIDEO ESSAY] Nothing else in the cannon of Shakespeare filmic adaptations comes close to the dramatic purity that Polanski achieves with "Macbeth.""
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"The wide-screen visuals swamp the dialogue, and the thematics have been turned inside out -- but that's what movie adaptations ought to do."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film's bear-baiting, barnyard pageantry is less convincing than its clammy locations."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Polanski's worldview of brutish power-plays couldn't be more at home in Shakespeare's medieval times"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Released just two years after Polanski's then pregnant wife was brutally murdered by members of the Manson family, and morbidly preoccupied with violence and cruelty"
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"An over-the-top bu highly effective adaption of the Shakespeare classic with Polanski's disctinctive touches."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"Polanski's evident desire to elicit understated, naturalistic performances from his cast also underplays the poetry of the play..."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"If you're a fan of Shakespeare or Polanski, you won't want to miss this."
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"Polanski elicited naturalistic understated performances from his actors which bolstered the play's realism while bringing the poetry down to earth. Some would argue he brought it too far down."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Something of a disappointment."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"With its apparent fixation on murder and cruelty, it is difficult to overlook a number of the unsettling autobiographical details in the film."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
More reviews for Macbeth on Rotten Tomatoes