Action / Biography / Drama / History / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 10759


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September 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM



Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth
Martin Shaw as Banquo
Jon Finch as Macbeth
Ronald Lacey as Macbeths man - killed Banquo
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
930.44 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 20 min
P/S 2 / 27
2.05 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 20 min
P/S 3 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by camicardenasp 9 / 10

Beautifully crude and shocking.

Polanski addresses the transposition by trying to maintain a high degree of credibility and squeezes us into a general state of the world sieved into battle and a victory situation. It encloses the presentation of deep characters on their way through a landscape of rude climate that seems to condemn in cold to all living being. As a human individuality the determined pathos leads to guilt and injustice, regardless of the legitimacy that may be elaborated, as in the case of Lady Macbeth, all this through the contradiction that transcends reality and transposes and sees through that other it is itself but far from the normal thought carried by the drives.

Reviewed by Eric Stevenson 10 / 10

Best movie I've seen this month

I think this is my favorite movie for Shakespeare Month! The reason why this movie is so great is because of how amazing the atmosphere is and the great action scenes and drama. This movie has really made me realize how violent and sexual Shakespeare could get. Well, I'm not that familiar with the original play, but I believe it's faithful. There's a scene where there's nothing but naked women (or witches) huddled around a cauldron. The witches are probably the thing about this story that people remember the most. They really aren't in it for very long but their scenes are so great and so important everyone takes notes of them.

Many people are unaware that MacBeth was in fact a real king of Scotland. Well, I don't think the witches were real. Well, maybe there were women who did indeed claim to be witches and their prophecy turned out to be accurate by chance. Even the very beginning of this movie is brilliant by showing the witches on the beach. MacBeth works great as a villain protagonist. At the same time, the true hero of the story, MacDuff is very interesting and you really do want him to succeed in slaying MacBeth. Yeah, there's a lot of blood in this movie.

I am reminded of Penn Jillette saying that it's silly for people to think that video games are a bad influence because pop culture has always been violent, including Shakespeare. Yeah, the gore and sexuality in this movie really was pretty shocking to me. I guess as movie content ratings were invented, a lot of people were just experimenting with it. We even get some great surreal scenes where MacBeth continually looks at himself in mirrors over and over. Everything makes sense in the end and it's so great such a long movie keeps your interest for so long. It's just a beautiful looking film and I know where that "Out damned spot!" line came from. ****

Reviewed by sharky_55 7 / 10

Thou werest born of woman.

Let's start with the Manson murderers, because it seems that everyone feels the need to mention them when talking about this film. Pauline Kael herself likened the infamous slaying of Macduff's wife and children to the real life tragedy, referring to the bodies as no longer human but "pieces", "scattered" round like a "chicken yard". Well, Polanski may or may not have deliberately mirrored the two, but in any case the scene would have remained as an integral part of the violent takeover of Macbeth. Others might draw comparisons to the moral degeneracy of the characters or the bloody gore and graphic violence, never mind the fact that 11th century Scotland contained far more than any screen might allow, and a fair share of nudity to boot. If there are personal foundations in the film they remain deeply buried within Polanski himself, and a few splatters of fake blood could never truly account for that.

It is nevertheless a gloomy and miserable experience for most. Not even the splendour or status of a king can fully combat the elements (partly due to Macbeth's insistence to remain at his own seat), and much of the establishing wide shots seek to portray this; an ugly grey castle sitting atop a twisted hill, with miles and miles of icy grassland and nothing pushing against the dismal clouds. The opening battle takes place is what is basically a swamp, and no shot is complete without a heavy dose of mist, smoke or wind, the sun rarely managing to pierce through. The insides of the great castle are much the same - cold walls and colder inhabitants getting by, and even the brief elation of the king's visit is drowned out by a rainstorm. Their whole existence is akin to the flickering candle in the wind and rain; try as they might to resist with music, dancing and a warm dose of Scottish merry, the light never quite reaches the edges of the frame.

If Polanski has gone for atmosphere then he has also gone for characters that do not quite fit them. The casting of young Finch and Annis seems to favour spirit and impulsivity over wisdom. Polanski wants them to burst from the seams of the dreary Scottish wasteland, and be utterly consumed by lust of each other and more importantly, power. But the performances don't follow suit. Instead of dramatic performance he opts for internal monologue, so their physical youth and beauty is not nearly the factor it should be. Worse, when they do speak Polanski insists on constantly moving the camera to show off his shadows and set design, as well as having the actors turn their back on us. When Finch wrests with the love of Duncan from the peasants, imagining their tears if he was slain so immeasurable that not even the rain could compare (as the storm drips on, a nice touch), he doesn't seem to know whether he should face the camera or look away from it, and spends the whole soliloquy awkwardly nodding back and forth. And there is the infamous naked sleepwalking of Lady Macbeth, which demonstrates the error in casting Francesca Annis. She's too frozen and stilted in the face and lips, so Polanski has to show off her body to compensate, but does it clumsily, and doesn't enable her to use her physical beauty to her advantage. She's much too pretty to be whispered grotesquely about wanting her womb to be ripped and unsexed, and the encounters between husband and wife are not filled with urgency and desire. Instead of leaping and clawing at each other Finch carries her up the stairs like a new bride over the threshold, which only demeans her character further.

The action has been described as ugly and awkward, to a degree unrehearsed, which lends to its authenticity. Certainly the final duel is staged along these lines, the sword swings heavy and erratic, the stances stumbling from the blows, the shots a little on the dirty side (they utilise the kick quite well). But veering too much towards that side of authenticity and 'grit' can result in something completely out of the ordinary: unintentional comedy. Macbeth's stolen crown falls off during the fight, and midway he staggers from a blow, and sits for a breather to clutch at it and desperately place it back on top of his head, as if trying to reassert the last remaining vestiges of his power. We can understand the meaning behind this action, but the way the fight pauses and focuses onto it immediately breaks any tension that Polanski had accumulated. And for all the ugliness of this duel, we have the fight before it, where the apparently invincible Macbeth (in his mind) prances and sidesteps his way through a soldier's attack before allowing the defeated to fall back into his own arms, stab him in the neck, and whisper dramatically into the ear: "Thou werest born of woman." Is this medieval warfare, or ballet recital?

Still, one change that Polanski has conjured up is inspiring. The end recalls the beginning, where the oft forgotten second son Donalbain once again rides through fog and mist to meet with the three witches who will bestow upon him an equally deadly premonition. By luring another man of similar stature into their web, Polanski denounces any glory or significance that the late Macbeth might have acquired in his brief tyranny. It suggests that this lust can creep around and into other men's minds, and that is has ruled and dictated our actions for many years past. That man became Donald III of Scotland, who laid siege to Edinburgh and seized the throne after his brother Malcolm's death.

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