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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Very bloody take on Shakespeare's classic tale of betrayal.

Movie R 2015 113 minutes
Macbeth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 15+

Haunting, intense, gory, and strikingly beautiful

Of any and all of the Shakespeare film adaptions I've seen, this is my favorite. This is an astounding film for someone who seeks to find amuse and education in Shakespeare as it is expertly written, visualized and dialogued. Great for teens. Thematically dark and painfully human, the gore of this film pales in contrast to the human deeds and emotions presented. Truly an incredible adaption.
2 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Cinematically Beautiful Depiction of Shakespeare's Scottish Play

Easily the greatest film of the year and does justice to Shakespeare's great tragedy. The film brilliantly portrays the tale of a man who is corrupted by his own ambition and ultimately comes to his demise by his own tragic flaw. A brilliant depiction of the play, with impeccable acting, beautiful cinematography, and a haunting soundtrack. The value of judgment that asserts that this extraordinary work of art should be restricted to 16+ is very unfair, especially to children interested in exploring Shakespeare. The violence in the film is only in keeping with the violence of Shakespeare’s original play, and it is depicted in a very discreet manner and is by no means gratuitous. For example, the scene when Macbeth kills King Duncan could have been much more violent, but instead was presented more along the lines of the Psycho shower scene, showing the knife and the terrified facial expressions, but doesn’t actually show the graphic details of the murder. This, in turn, makes the presentation much more powerful, allowing us to feel the power of the scene, rather than see it. Also, the scene where Macbeth kills MacDuff’s family is notorious for being very disturbing scene of violence, but this adaption rather chooses to cut away right before their death and imply what happens rather than actually show it on screen. This decision allows the audience to focus more on the story and the psychology of the tragic hero, rather than on the gory details. It was very well done and the “R” rating is obviously an extremely severe overreaction. The film ought to be “PG-13” at the very worst. Not only should it be available for all audiences interested in exploring Shakespeare, teenagers ought to be encouraged to see this extraordinary adaption of the Immortal Bard’s great tragedy. Director Justin Kurzel presents a very potent and raw depiction of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play, which brings the story to fiery life. Highly recommended!

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1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (8 ):

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.

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