Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Much as he would later do with Shakespeare in Love (1998), writer Tom Stoppard delivered a tale of Shakespearean origin from a skewed and unexpected perspective. In this case, it's the perspective of two relatively minor characters from Hamlet, Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) and Guildenstern (Tim Roth), courtiers who, in the original play, were dispatched offstage before the narrative's conclusion. In Stoppard's script (which he also directed), the two supporting players take center stage as the events unfold in Elsinore Castle. Unable to determine the source of the prince's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Both Oldman and Roth turn in flat and uninspiring performances."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Staged as they are here, the jokes and the fourth-wall gamesmanship don't seem as funny as they did on the page."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"...On stage, the sprightly teleological riffs and bebop dialogue delight as ends in themselves. Here they're leaden and compromised. What happened?"
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Tom Stoppard's 1967 morality play has been translated into a high-spirited and well-acted film."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"At a full two hours in length, there are just too many stretches where little or nothing is going on..."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"As happens at the opera, one usually laughs (if one laughs at all) not because something is funny, but because one has successfully recognized that it is supposed to be funny."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Unfortunately, Stoppard the director does not match the invigorating brilliance of Stoppard the writer."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Really head-twisting adaptation of the play with fine work from Oldman and Roth."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"By trying to take advantage of the medium, Stoppard loses track of what makes his work so wonderful. This belongs on the stage."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern may be dead, but they do save the day."
‑ Kathleen Maher, Austin Chronicle
"As a movie, this material, freely adapted by Stoppard, is boring and endless. It lies flat on the screen, hardly stirring."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A disastrous adaptation of an excellent play."
‑ , Film4
"Probably the best stage to screen adaptation I've ever seen. Essential."
‑ Widgett Walls,
""belongs on the stage, but for what it is, not bad""
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"A mess, but a damn amusing one."
‑ Oz,
More reviews for Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead on Rotten Tomatoes