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Romeo & Juliet

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United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland · 2013
Rated PG-13 · 1h 58m
Director Carlo Carlei
Starring Douglas Booth, Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Genre Romance, Drama

In Verona, bad blood between the Montague and Capulet families leads to much bitterness. Despite the hostility, Romeo Montague manages an invitation to a masked ball at the estate of the Capulets and meets Juliet, their daughter. The two are instantly smitten but dismayed to learn that their families are enemies. Romeo and Juliet figure out a way to pursue their romance, but Romeo is banished for his part in the slaying of Juliet's cousin, Tybalt.

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Fellowes' many changes diminish the power of Shakespeare's story.


Miami Herald by Connie Ogle

Carlei’s film is not particularly imaginative in terms of context, but it offers proof that this material never tarnishes, that with the right sort of movie magic, even a traditional telling can be thrilling.


New York Daily News by Elizabeth Weitzman

This version is never rough, nor rude, nor boisterous, but for first-timers, perhaps wisely and slow is the way to go. There will be time enough for them to discover cinema’s superior adaptations anon.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Romeo & Juliet looks chintzy. The Capulets’ masked balls is designed in Pier 1 Imports colors and texture, the lovers’ secret marriage is performed in front of a green screen, and when Romeo goes up to Juliet’s balcony, he climbs a plastic vine with cloth leaves.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

Doomed love will never go out of style, but would it have killed director Carlo Carlei to inject the proceedings with some modern-day aloofness? Today’s version will likely become a cheat sheet for slacking students, but it won’t inspire them to open their hearts to the text.


Variety by Justin Chang

Shorn of eroticism, intensity or purpose... it strikes familiar beats in a manner more strained than inspired.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service by Roger Moore

So as much as every generation deserves it’s own Romeo & Juliet, this latest one does nothing to make anyone older than Hailee Steinfeld forget the heat of Baz Lurhmann’s far sexier, noisier and passionate modern dress version of 1996, where Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio completely convinced us that they knew how to “play Satan’s game.” And how.


The Dissolve by Tasha Robinson

It’s all tasteful and polished to a fault, but it feels like exactly what it is: an abbreviated version that preserves the high points, zips past the rest, and never approaches the depth of the full text.

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