Movie Review: William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1996)

Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet (B+) features a Floridian gang war set to iambic pentameter and a soliloquy submerged in the deep end of a swimming pool. It’s a tropical-infused, altogether modern take, set in America with young stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes doing superb work as the central tragic lovers. The director has a strange way of distancing viewers from his concept for the first 30 minutes or so before the film settles into a beautiful rhythm. By the time a chorus is singing “When Doves Cry,” most are won over. The movie dazzles and moves and rarely misses a beat of what the Bard intended.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 1996

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