Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Hamlet (1991)

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mel Gibson emotes as the doleful Dane.

Movie PG 1991 135 minutes
Hamlet (1991) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (3 ):

A brusque but engaging spectacle, the movie features a streamlined script, plenty of action, and an excellent supporting cast. Mel Gibson plays the deranged prince with vigor and gives the well-known tragedy teen appeal. This version strips down the engaging story so kids will understand it easily. For example, Hamlet and Ophelia's (Helena Bonham-Carter) relationship is made less ambiguous. Lavish sets and costumes lend the movie an old world feel that ideally suits the impassioned revenge story.

However, this adaptation loses some of the texture of the original. There's no political intrigue, nothing's rotten in Denmark except Hamlet's fragile mental state. By emphasizing Hamlet's emotional and rational dissolution, director Franco Zeferelli's (Romeo and Juliet) focuses on the Freudian sexual tension between mother and son. Gibson delivers a performance that is more than passable, but he lacks the verbal expressiveness of Kenneth Branaugh in his 1996 Hamlet.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate