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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

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
"not only represents an apex of Polanski's darkest sensibilities, but it is one of the most fascinating of Shakespearean adaptations"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"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
"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
"I don't know that there's a clear winner in the contest for Roman Polanski's bleakest depiction of human nature. But "Macbeth" is indisputably in the running."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"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
"Polanski's evident desire to elicit understated, naturalistic performances from his cast also underplays the poetry of the play..."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"It's a model of how to stay true to Shakespeare and film without sacrificing one for the other, and if that wasn't evident in 1971, it ought to be obvious now."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"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
"The essential companion to the Welles and Kurosawa versions."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Macbeth on Rotten Tomatoes