Parents' Guide to

Romeo and Juliet (2013)

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen-friendly take on Bard's classic has spark, little soul.

Movie PG-13 2013 118 minutes
Romeo and Juliet (2013) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

One of the "tamer" versions of Romeo and Juliet

I teach Shakespeare to a group of youth from 12-16. We have to be choosy with the movies we watch as a group. I felt as this version was a great adaptation and was appropriate for my students. The "love" scene's are very mild, there is some kissing, but nothing that pushes it over comfort level. As for the violence... cannot say this is too much violence. This is Shakespeare, they use swords and knives which seems to turn up the violence level a few notches. All in all I think this is a great adaption and it is great for any student/youth wanting to watch Shakespeare in a modern-ish form.
age 9+

Lives up to expectations

This Romeo and Juliet is exactly what you would expect from the creator of Downton Abby. Gorgeous sets, costumes and light, dramatic music interesting actors, all dialed up to 10. I think the general criticism is that it was not subtle and smootchy, but not really sexy. These seemed like features when taking pre-teens. The two fourth graders I brought were on the edge of their seats at the end and the audience (all teen girls) were totally absorbed. Good entertainment.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (12 ):

ROMEO AND JULIET's titular hero is the stuff of teen dreams; he is made as appealing here as can be. He's an artist (a broody one, too), a heartfelt romantic and impetuous, driven to grand gestures and wearing shirts barely cosseted. Booth fares fairly well with the Bard's challenging lines, reciting them with real-life cadence. It's too bad that his counterpart, Steinfeld, doesn't. She doesn't so much say her lines as mutter them, gobbling up the beautiful poetry. She doesn't shortchange the material when it comes to acting, however. Steinfeld plays it straight and it suits the film well. Booth and Steinfeld may not share a white-hot chemistry, but they are starry-eyed, indeed.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes wrote this remake, and it's prone to soap opera-ish flourishes. (Director Carlo Carlei doesn't do it any favors, either.) The music is overdone, as are the lingering shots of Booth's handsome face. Fellowes' and his cinematographer's take on Juliet is quite obvious, too; they encase her in a gauzy, dreamy light -- cheap shots that curb the movie's potential. And Westwick's Tybalt seems to relish his role too much. This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet won't break new ground like Baz Lurhmann's did. It isn't lush like Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version, either. But it's pretty and earnest in wonderful ways, and that's nothing to scoff at.

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