Romeo + Juliet
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The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred toward violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs. Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) is aloof toward the goings-on of his Montague cousins, but after he realizes that Juliet (Claire Danes) is a Capulet at the end of one very wild party, the enmity between the two clans becomes the root of his angst.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A slick blast of ''decadence,'' the kind of violent swank-trash music video that may make you feel like reaching for the remote control."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Where is the audience willing to watch a classic play thrown in the path of a subway train?"
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"a fantastic introduction to Shakespeare for the novice and the young"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"One of the liveliest Shakespeare adaps of the past 20 years ..."
‑ Andrew Lowry, Total Film
"A sexy, innovative and memorable sumptuous feast for eye and ear."
‑ , Film4
"Doesn't approach the emotional resonance of Franco Zeffirelli's immensely popular 1968 screen version."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Puts Shakespeare's greatest romance in a choke-hold and takes it slam-dancing."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Put simply: you're not likely to regard Romeo + Juliet as truly great cinema unless the song "Lovefool" stirs your soul."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Luhrmann bombards us with startling images, audacious camera tricks and breathtaking action ... [in order to recreate] the overwhelming experience of adolescent love."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"It's a genuinely fresh take on an oft-told tale."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Luhrmann's gleefully cinematic version of the play is so relentlessly inventive and innovative, it takes 20 minutes to get a grasp on how appropriate is his approach to the material."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A monumental disaster."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Look back on your first love, without it making you wince."
‑ Anna Coatman, Little White Lies
"Luhrmann would use the same techniques with better results in Moulin Rouge!"
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"When the filmmakers decide to jazz it up with crazy camera angles and rapid cutting, along with screaming and shooting, it just gets lost."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
More reviews for Romeo + Juliet on Rotten Tomatoes

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