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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Modern-day Shakespeare adaptation is quite violent.

Movie R 2015 98 minutes
Cymbeline Poster Image

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Shakespeare fans will find that Cymbeline -- which plays a little like Romeo & Juliet but with a more hopeful ending -- is very much worth a look. Sometimes remembered for his experimental filmmaking with the Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera, director Michael Almereyda previously worked with Hawke on a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet (2000), which became his most famous film. Now the two have reteamed for another Shakespeare adaptation -- this time the lesser-known, late-period Cymbeline.

As with the pair's Hamlet, Cymbeline makes the most of its contemporary locations and props, with skateboards, iPhones, and iPads figuring intriguingly into the plot and gas stations and graffiti-covered walls serving as backdrops. Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey) is remarkably good in her role, as is Hawke in the nastily playful, Iago-like role of Iachimo. Some of the other actors seem a bit awkward, and the final act wrap-up feels disjointed and rushed -- with an uninspired parking lot setting -- but on the whole, it works.

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