Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
|Featuring:|| Michael Fassbender … Macbeth
Elizabeth Debicki … Lady Macduff
Marion Cotillard … Lady Macbeth
Sean Harris … Macduff
David Thewlis … Duncan
Jack Reynor … Malcolm
Paddy Considine … Banquo
David Hayman … Lennox
Ross Anderson … Rosse
|Distributor:||The Weinstein Company|
The film opens with a funeral for the child of Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) and Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard). We then see Macbeth engage in a bloody battle, where he claims victory for King Duncan. He is soon visited by 3 women (witches), who claim Macbeth as the future King before they vanish. Filled with lust for power, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan to overthrow the King through murder, conspiracy and betrayal.
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are phenomenal. Their performances will keep you transfixed. They become Mac and Lady Macbeth on screen, truly well done. The story is a classic and, for a reason, changing the timeline was done with consideration of the source material. The supporting cast is great and fulfill the story well.
Now on to the objectionable content, there is plenty. There is extreme violence and blood and gore. There is several serious references to the occult/paganism and strong humanistic undertones. Catholicism is in the background, and is referenced many times. Shakespearen dialog has sexual undertones and other adult themes that may be missed by the general population. Suicide is shown.
There many references to religious themes, and the film shows guilt and conviction of sins. It shows that when a man follows his own way and does what is right in His eyes it will lead to destruction. However, it does not explain what that actually means—true repentance and turning from sin—trusting God who sent His Son as for all the sins of the world.
As for a recommendation, it’s a no go. It truly is consistent with the source material, and the acting is ideal, but the offensive and objectionable content won.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…the acting soars and the violence blazes… Kurzel's bold and viscerally thrilling approach along with a brutal, battle-heavy story line should ensure that even less initiated viewers will find themselves immersed in this classic medieval tragedy, a kind of “Macbeth” for the “Game of Thrones” crowd. …
—Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
…Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender excel in Justin Kurzel's thrillingly savage interpretation of the Scottish Play. …Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period. Though the Bard’s words are handled with care by an ideal ensemble… albeit one surely too savage for the classroom. …
—Guy Lodge, Variety
…awash in gorgeous carnage… Mr. Fassbender gives you a reason to see this “Macbeth,” although the writing isn’t bad, either.
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…Fassbender was born for this… this endlessly studied 400-year-old piece of drama regains its power to mesmerise and shock. … [5/5]
—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
…Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard shine in a dark, dank ‘Macbeth’… It must be admitted that Shakespeare wrote long, and Kurzel unsentimentally boils the script down to the greatest hits. The story becomes at times mere backdrop to arresting, even brilliant photography… [3/4]
—Kyle Smith, New York Post
…a spittle-flecked war film full of post-Braveheart mud, warpaint and Kurosawa-style heroic bloodshed. The tale is bookended by battles—faces meatily pummelled, bones crunchily broken and throats spurtingly sliced… Plenty of gore and action… [4/5]
—Mark Kermode, The Observer
…a Shakespearean noir-thriller soaked with operatic verve… [4/5]
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)