William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

4.4 93
Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo


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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


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. He relies heavily -- and with serious consequences -- on his rebel gender-bender of a friend, Mercutio (Harold Perrineau Jr.), and Father (not Friar) Lawrence (Pete Postlethwaite) for protection and support. Romeo is, of course, exiled, and it looks like Juliet will be forced into an arranged marriage with the bland Paris (Paul Rudd). It ends, as Romeo and Juliet must, when Romeo hears a tragic piece of misinformation and brings his suicide wish to what was meant to be Juliet 's temporary tomb. This time, though, the turf and the weapon of choice have taken a turn toward the surreal. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
It's Shakespeare for the MTV generation. Director Baz Luhrman (Strictly Ballroom) brings his gaudy, overheated aesthetic to this hyperkinetic rendering of the Bard's famous romantic tragedy -- a movie that moves like an action film while keeping Shakespeare's text intact. Updated to the present and set in an unspecified Latin city bursting with tropical colors, red-hot mamas, gun-toting skin heads, and oversized religious icons, this Romeo and Juliet was a big hit with young moviegoers. Leonardo DiCaprio's turn here as Romeo put him on the map as a teen heartthrob, but it's the radiant Claire Danes who carries the picture. As the child-woman Juliet, she has a gravity and heartbreaking intensity that allow her to hold the screen in the midst of fast cuts and flying bullets.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
For the 1996 cinematic version of Romeo+Juliet, Strictly Ballroom (1992) director Baz Luhrmann opted to flamboyantly update Shakespeare for the MTV generation. From the moment the Capulets and Montagues are introduced via the evening news, and the rival gangs engage in a semi-automatic "sword" shoot-out, Luhrmann's restlessly post-modern interpretation of the teen romance to end all others never lets up. The vibrant colors and costumes, florid "Verona Beach" settings, souped-up pace, watery balcony interlude, and kinetic widescreen cinematography culminate in a neon-lit death scene that alone was worth the Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction. The diverse soundtrack, including 1990s alternative rock, dance music, and a choral cover by Prince matches the equally eclectic cast. Not all critics, though, were enthralled by Luhrmann's hyper-stylized vision, nor convinced that Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio's naturalistic style did justice to the Bard. Still, the couple's youth and chemistry added up to a convincing romance, helping to turn Romeo+Juliet into a box-office success, and leaving Berlin Film Festival prize-winner DiCaprio poised to become a teen dream in 1997's blockbuster Titanic.
Los Angeles Times
Like flaming youth everywhere, this film is loud, exuberant and excessive, but it has enough positive energy and dizzying high spirits to make it irresistible. Kenneth Turan

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Music machine feature; 3 audio commentaries with director Baz Luhrman, co-composer Craig Armstrong and co-composer Marius De Vries; Romeo + Juliet: The Music; The London Music Mix featurette; Journey of the Song featurettes - "Young Hearts Run Free," "Everybody's Free," and temp music

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leonardo DiCaprio Romeo
Claire Danes Juliet
John Leguizamo Tybalt
Harold Perrineau Mercutio
Pete Postlethwaite Father Laurence
Paul Sorvino Fulgencio Capulet
Dash Mihok Benvolio
Vondie Curtis-Hall Captain Prince
Christina Pickles Caroline Montague
Jesse Bradford Balthasar
Brian Dennehy Ted Montague
Vincent Laresca Abra
Miriam Margolyes The Nurse
Paul Rudd Dave Paris
Diane Venora Gloria Capulet
M. Emmet Walsh Apothecary
Jamie Kennedy Sampson
Carlos Martin Manzo Ortalora Actor

Technical Credits
Baz Luhrmann Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Craig Armstrong Songwriter
Kym Barrett Costumes/Costume Designer
Jill Bilcock Associate Producer,Editor
Brigitte Broch Set Decoration/Design
Martin Brown Co-producer,Screenwriter
Maruis de Vries Songwriter
Catherine Doherty Set Decoration/Design
Garbage Songwriter
Miguel Gil Asst. Director
Doug Hardwick Art Director
Nellee Hooper Score Composer,Songwriter
Rebecca Marie Special Effects
Catherine Martin Associate Producer,Production Designer
Gabriella Martinelli Producer
Miguel Lima Martinez Asst. Director
Donald M. McAlpine Casting,Cinematographer
John (Cha Cha) O'Connell Choreography
Craig Pearce Screenwriter
David Rubin Casting
Martin Walters Asst. Director
Rob Young Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
1. The Prologue [2:24]
2. Sycamore Grove [2:20]
3. Bachelor of the Year [2:49]
4. The Pool Hall [2:01]
5. The Capulet Mansion [2:10]
6. Mercutio at Sycamore Grove [2:42]
7. The Party Parties [7:14]
8. Romeo Spies Juliet [2:35]
9. Fulgencio Warns Tybalt [1:58]
10. Juliet, the Flirt [1:06]
11. First Kisses [1:07]
12. The Revelation [4:46]
13. The Party's Over [2:27]
14. Romeo Sneaks Back In [1:59]
15. Arranging the Marriage [4:09]
16. Boys on the Beach [1:25]
17. Romeo Gets the Word From the Nurse [6:31]
18. The Nurse Teases Juliet [4:19]
19. The Wedding [1:00]
20. Death on a Summer's Day [1:25]
21. Retribution at Twilight [2:37]
22. A Wedding Night [1:46]
23. Juliet Learns Her Options [2:57]
24. Romeo Misses a Message in Mantua [3:33]
25. Juliet Takes Her Medicine [8:23]
26. Romeo Learns of His Beloved's Fate [2:15]
27. Together at Last [1:47]
28. Epilogue [4:24]
29. End Titles [2:28]


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William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent movie!!! No doubt about it!!! This is what Romeo and Juliet would have looked like if Shakespeare was alive today!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
riveting. visually stunning yet beautifully rendered Shakespeare!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the director hit on Shakespeare’s intention. You can clearly see the original story but with a contemporary turn to it. This would make it better for high school students to understand. Luhrmann made sure that when you watch this movie full of fun and action, he will have you thinking this is nothing like what’s in the book, when really it’s the same story line. His use of details in the movie shows clearly what happen from the exposition to the resolution. I think if Shakespeare wanted Romeo and Juliet to be a movie this would have been it.      
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
very wonderful ! better than the orginal. Leo did a great job as Romeo and i recommend this movie to all the Leo fans.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A loud, screaming version of Shakespeare's most beloved play, this new version hardly warrants watching. With practically every word done at a scream, the movie loses some of the play's most tender moments. The only saving grace is Claire Dane's performance as Juliet. If only DeCaprio was up to the task. However, he seems stuck in an MTV video and screams his lines at such volume (at times) that they are barely recognizable. Brian Denney seems totally out of place as Lord Montague. Thankfully when I showed this to my Freshman English class (who had just finished reading the play and seeing the Zeffirelli version) hated it as much as I did. There is some hope for the future after all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
And so the film begins. It is a timeless tale of two starcrossed lovers, struggling to end a longlasting feud between their families. Don't be fooled by the modernization of Shakespeare's classic play...this movie was so cunningly directed that it seems as if Shakespeare wrote it for these times! The script (spoken in the original Shakespearean dialogue, mind you) is excellently adjusted and played out. The acting is so powerful that you'll be shivering as you watch the movie! Teenagers today can relate to this film wonderfully, which is another reason why it is so good. The music is haunting and astronomically moving...you can't go wrong with this great film! Rent it! Buy it! Watch it today! Parting is such sweet sorrow...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie, i feel, was intended for non-old fashion people! It is so entertaining and moving in everyway. I felt the acting was fantastic and very believable. This is the movie that got me to come to love Shakespeare's work. Watch it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved this movie ever since it came out in '96 and this DVD is so awesome! The special edition is totally worth it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great film, they shoulda casted John as Some one else though, cause he dies, and I hate that....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this moive! It made me cry! I would watch it over and over again if only I could find it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. It's the classic tragic love story set in a modern, Miami-like beach town, while still keeping all the same situations, characters, and old-fashioned dialogue. At first, it seems weird, because of the way they speak, but as you continue to watch, you become intrigued. Leo DiCaprio is sooo hott in this movie, and gives his usual excellent, and very emotional performance. Claire Danes is pretty good, but another actress might have done better. Still, the two have chemistry on-screen, and acted well. I had seen both this and the older version in class, but this film was so much better. I was crying at the end. Also, all the girls in my English class were hooked on the Quindon Tarver version of the song ''When Doves Cry'' from the soundtrack, which is also very good. This movie is extremely sad, but moving. I definitely recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie brought about a love of Shakespeare that this world has never seen before. Excellently acted and directed. It grabs your attention from the get go and keeps you interested throughout the entire length of this wonderful film. It tells of an endless love story that will never grow cold. It shows me that two people can love each other so much that they cannot imagine life without each other. They would rather die than spend even one day without each other. That inspires me to strive for love in a world where marriages and families break up everyday. Baz couldn't have found anyone better to play Romeo and Juliet. Leo and Claire have charisma together that can never be duplicated. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I can't wait to see it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie not only showed shakespeare in a modern setting, but keeps you in to it. I have seen other versions and they just seem to go on forever; however, this version portrays the romance acurately without being boring. Leonardo DiCaprio was GORGEOUS in this movie, as was clare danes. I have so much more respect for both as actors after seeing their portrayal of Romeo & Juliet! Great Movie! and i LOVE the version of ''When Doves Cry'' from the movie!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a truely great movie, recommended for all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
we read the play in 9th grade and afterwards, watched this movie (along w. the older version) in class. after awhile, we ended up only watching this newer version! it was great to see how actual lines from the play were put into the storyline... it was so dramatic and the best movie EVER
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this version of Romeo & Juliet because it gives you a modern understanding of what the story is really about. I first read the play in 9th(1999) and I just fell in-love with the story. After seeing the movie, it gave me a better understanding and I loved it even more. I must have read the book at least a hundred times and seen the movie more than that. I suggest that anyone one who is starting high school or even the 8th grade should read the play before watching the movie because the play gives you an idea and the movie confirms your idea. I will always love this story and will always recommend it to the younger generations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having just seeen he movie for the fist time in a while, it renewed my passion for the story. It inspired me to start working on my own version..something very small. I loved Qindon Tarver's 'When Doves Cry' and 'Everybody's Free'. Those two songs totally make the movie complete. Over sll I loved it and will watch it over and over again. BAZ ROCKS!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry, but Leonardo DiCaprio should not be allowed to do Shakespeare ever again. He is horrible at it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS MOVIE WITH ALL MY HEART! It had so much depth and it was very moving. I like how it was more modern because it was easier for me to understand the story. I recommend this movie to everyone who loves a good drama.