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Hamlet (1996)

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Kenneth Branagh

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Plot Summary

Kenneth Branagh ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "The Road to El Dorado") writes, directs and stars in this four-time Oscar-nominated classic Shakespeare saga about the melancholy Dane. With an all-star cast, including Oscar-nominee Kate Winslet ("Iris," "Titanic") and Oscar-winner Julie Christie ("Dragonheart," "Dr. Zhivago"), as well as appearances by Charlton Heston, John Gielgud, Jack Lemmon, Gerard Depardieu, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and many others. Branagh received an Oscar nomination for his outstanding screenplay. The Hollywood Reporter says "Branagh has boldly invigorated William Shakespeare's most celebrated play to a towering visual dimension that captures the tumultuous tragedy as no stage or filmic version has... Multiple Oscar nominations seem in order."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 55
  • Fresh: 52
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As star and ringmaster, Branagh gets to the heart of Hamlet and goes to admirable lengths to take his audience there, too. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Glorious as it is, this unexpurgated workout is ultimately a movie of moments. – Mike Clark, USA Today, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: With his handsome and compelling Hamlet, Kenneth Branagh brings the Bard's greatest tragedy passionately alive on the screen. – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A vigorous, four-hour adaptation that's 100 percent Shakespeare and 100 percent cinema. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A classic brought to the screen

This film is a great tribute to the classic masterpiece. This 4 hour picture is the entire play of Hamlet with no edits, and it is well worth your time. Kenneth brings together a team of brilliant actors to create this epic story. It is by far my favorite Shakespeare film. If you are unable to see a staged production of Hamlet, this will do you well.

Finally! A Hamlet I watched all the way through!

I read Hamlet in highschool and again in college and recall being impressed by the language, but like alot of school the focus was not on appreciating it, just on passing the test. Since then I have always had a mind to really engage with Shakespeare and Hamlet in particular, and to that end I tried to watch the one with Mel Gibson.... and couldn't follow it ... whispers and screaming and mutters and mumbles in an unfamiliar cadence...Ditto the Olivier movie.... This one however, this one I was able to understand what they were saying and was interested in it. Its interesting that they use 19th century costumes and bright colors and bright spaces. Other productions are always so overwhelmingly, unrelentingly, depressing, dark and gloomy. Hamlet is still "melancholy" but his gloom stands in contrast to the court which I always thought was kinda the point. So if, like me, you have tried to like Hamlet before and just couldn't do it, I recommend trying this one. And by the way Billy Crystal as the grave digger was a real treat and Charleton Heston was marvelous as an actor... not that there are any bad performances, but those stood out for me.

God awful

Heavy, leaden, pretentious production of this classic. Dull, dull, dull and painful to watch. And Hamlet is anything but. Shame on Branagh for letting his ego drive this trainwreck.