Macbeth (1971)

A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord siezes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of witches.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 13, 1971
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2002
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Roman Polanski's Macbeth is unsettling and uneven, but also undeniably compelling.

Variety Staff

Does Polanski's Macbeth work? Not especially, but it was an admirable try.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This is an original film by an original film artist, and not an 'interpretation.'

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Keith Phipps
The Dissolve

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The wide-screen visuals swamp the dialogue, and the thematics have been turned inside out -- but that's what movie adaptations ought to do.

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J. Hoberman
Village Voice

The film's bear-baiting, barnyard pageantry is less convincing than its clammy locations.

James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

not only represents an apex of Polanski's darkest sensibilities, but it is one of the most fascinating of Shakespearean adaptations

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Polanski's evident desire to elicit understated, naturalistic performances from his cast also underplays the poetry of the play...

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Ben Nicholson

A masterful adaptation of a master by a master.

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

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.

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More reviews for Macbeth

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
In case you ever wondered what would happen if Polanski did a Shakespeare production, check out this movie, it's actually very cool. I loved it.
Pierluigi Puccini
The very real murder of Polanski's wife was the genesis of this ultra violent take on Shakespeare's finest play. A riveting spiral of hate, ambition… More
Lafe Fredbjornson
Rich and thick as stew. A graphic introduction to Shakespeare in shocking display.
Jeremy Smith
Macbeth is creepy for all the wrong reasons. Roman Polanski real shows his genius turning into insanity with this appalling Shakespeare adaptation.
Wildaly M
Bloody yet brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. One of the few film adaptations of Shakespeare that I've thoroughly enjoyed watching. Jon… More
Dean McKenna
The violent refelling of this classic story was commissioned and underwritten by publisher Hugh Hefner. I watched this William Shakespeare's tragedy tale… More