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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Your conscience will out, but if you live by the sword, you'll die by the sword. Revenge, betrayal, marital manipulation, mental illness, guilt, and corrupting power are themes.
Positive Role Models
Banquo and Macduff are both loyal to their lords, though Banquo doesn't benefit from it. Lady Macbeth is relentlessly scheming and manipulative. Macbeth himself isn't really anyone you'd want kids emulating, either.
Violence & Scariness
Very violent and bloody, sometimes gory. Men are beheaded, women burned alive, children chased down and killed. Nobody is spared Macbeth's fury. Bloody corpses are shown, throats are slashed, chests are stabbed -- all of this sometimes in slow motion close-ups.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown kissing and presumably having sex, though only their upper bodies (clothed) are in view.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The royal court drinks during a feast.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Macbeth is brings Shakespeare's epic tale of betrayal and madness to life, with Michael Fassbender playing the lead role. Because the movie is faithful to the the Bard's original text, there's no foul language and little sexual content (a couple is shown kissing and presumably having sex, but nothing graphic is seen). But the violence is frequent and brutal. Battle/fight scenes are prolonged, gory, and painstaking; sometimes it feels unrelenting. Men, women, and children die in horrible ways (burning, beheading, stabbing, and more). Plus, mature themes like marital manipulation, mental illness, and corrupting power are all part of the cocktail. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Macbeth is epic, cinematic, and gory, with scenes that are stunning to the eye and hard on the stomach. Director Justin Kurzel seems so intent on showing just how brutal the battlefield is that all that blood and gore threaten to overwhelm the film at times -- which may explain how damaged and haunted Macbeth becomes. You can't be so close to so much violence and not be affected in the process.
Fassbender is magnificent here -- bold, pained, defiant, and, yes, disturbed. He meets his match in Cotillard, who grounds Lady Macbeth's ambition in palpable yearning. When she finally takes stock of all that she and the king have wrought, or at least how Macbeth has become wrought by all that they've wrought, she's knocked off her feet -- and her sanity.
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.