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William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

4.4 93
Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: 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

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


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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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this film several times now, and each time I see, I enjoy it a little more. Everybody who discredits it is just biased towards what is considered the "true" Shakespeare version, and unwilling to accept change or merit an artists freedom of interpretaion. I enjoy both versions of the film and hold neither above the other, but I am willing to go along with Raz and not hate his work simply because it's different. I whole-heartedly enjoyed this film and encourage anyone who is a fan of the timeless tragedy to go and see it for themselves.
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
First off, Claire Danes should never be allowed near a Shakespeare book ever again. You can tell that she didn't understand most of what she's saying. DiCaprio is only slightly better. Probably the most classic scene in all of English literature, the balcony scene, has them diving into a pool in the Capulet's backyard. Romeo is on drugs before he meets Juliet at the party, while Mercutio goes to the party as a cross dresser. All of the characters are reduced to nothing more than common gangsters in a Miami-esque Verona Beach, speeding around in convertibles and waving "sword" guns. The only scene I did like was tomb scene- that was an interesting take that I rather enjoyed, and I thought that was beautifully done. The rest of it was a sad attempt at modernizing Shakespeare. Needless to say it didn't work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want the lines delevered with the right pacing and the up and down beats, watch the 60's version. You want to see a classic seting and coustume, watch the 60's version. You want to see a different and refreashing take on your R+J watch this. Yeah, it's not the classic R+J but people need to realive that the other version isn't the classic either. The classic is writen by the bard himself and no other can come close. Both oposing films are a directors take on the play, not the real thing. Gosh, you people and your films are like the Montague's and the Capulet's. Both fighting for no appearnt reason. So take a break from your DVD players and read the play again, before you forget what the true Romeo and Juliet is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was pretty skeptical when I first started watching it, I mean, come on, Leonardo DiCaprio talking Shakespeare? I was almost embarrassed to watch. But after a while, I was sucked in. The humor was well placed, and the fast-pace-ness was just...amazing, the lines were well delivered, and the music hightened the story even more! I think I watched the whole thing about three times in a row. It's definitely a keeper and a movie that I will remember always. Definitely one to be recommended -- especially for the newer generations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the modernized movie. Leonardo Decaprio was awesome for the part of Romeo! I liked Claire Danes as Juliet, but I think they maybe could've picked somebody else. It was great though!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just started watching this movie and i like it so far. leonardo plays romeo very well and claire danes plays juliet well. and, all the other characters are very fun and acted out well. although, if you can not stand shakespeare, i do not recommend this movie. the whole movie is spoken in shakespeare's language!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sure. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays and it should be preserved 100%. But the work that they did in this version is outstanding! Even if you totally disagree with the theme it stays true to what Romeo and Juliet is. The actors are superb and the use of the city is beautiful and breathtaking. All in all- I don't know who could have done a better job on this play!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love romeo+juliet becuse of the romantic scenes
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never liked Shakespeare. In fact it is safe to say that I absoloutly HATED him. My teacher said I should watch Romeo and Juliet, the Leo version, I watched it and I fell in love. I could easily recite the Balcony scene for you with 15 grapes shoved in my mouth. The directing skills of Baz continue to amaze me. This movie shows real love, and also real hate, and how the fight of elders can effect even the most innocent of lovers. I highly reccomend this movie! I'd give it 10000000 stars if I could!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! i was absolutely apalled at this version of romeo and juliet. First of all what is up with romeo doing drugs!!! second of all there is a really good reason why it is called the balcony scene not the pool scene. The balcony scene is supposed to be the most romantic part of the play.Shakespeare is probably screaming his lungs out!!!!please stick to the 1968 version and avoid this........Dissapointment
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 is a movie that will stay with me forever. i think i liked the whole movie. the only part i didn't like was how they both end up dieing. i wish there was a different ending.
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 first saw this movie when I was 10 years old and it introduced me into the world of shakespeare. I recently saw it again and realized that there is so much depth to what I thought was a simple love movie! The movie was right on point with trying to make a shakespeare play appeal to the Masses. The movie provides an excellent alternative to the plays and other renditions of Romeo and Juliet that would put many to sleep... this movie was fast-paced, modern, and extremely well directed. The acting, especially by Claire Danes and Leonardo dicaprio were very authentic and believable. The set, costumes, colors, and whole idea is breathtaking! Never will you see another movie that shows such an advanced connection between the characters. Highly recommended.