Hamlet (2000) - Drama, Romance, Thriller

Hohum Score



Modern-day New York City adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal story about Hamlet's plight to avenge his father's murder.

IMDB: 5.9
Director: Michael Almereyda
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan
Length: 112 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 48 out of 169 found boring (28.4%)

One-line Reviews (115)

Dealing with an unexpected death so close to him results in Hamlet not being able to shake the shadow of death which follows him throughout the film.

This adaptation is candy for the brain rather than the heart: outside of engaging scenes between Gertrude and Hamlet, and Claudius and Laertes, it lacks the tension and emotional connection of drama.

this is one of two movies I have ever walked out on.

I'm not sure why, but I enjoyed it.

Indeed, the only laughs when I saw it came just as the King was revealing his crafty grand plan (ho hum) to the enraged Laertes, and only then because a boom microphone was momentarily seen hanging over their heads as the camera angle changed!

All in all, an interesting variation on a classic and an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.

And whatever team decided to cast Bill Murray and Julia Stiles as Polonius and Ophelia, respectively, must've been seriously deluded with the idea that they'd cast a wider net to lull an unsuspecting audience to their lackluster production.

I took my chances on it and watch maybe the first half hour and was utterly bored with it.

The scene when Polonius interrogates Hamlet is ridiculous and pointless in this adaptation.

More important this is a re-telling that really uses the film medium, and makes us re-think a classic in a new way, while being terrifically entertaining along the way.

The visuals are stunning!

But both I and another friend rented two different video copies of it, and the sound was muffled and the dialogue extraordinarily difficult to follow.

Add superb acting and directing (you believe Hamlet's father was killed by his sleazy corporate brother, Ophelia's confusion, Hamlet's wonder at the situation) and you have a winner.

A challenge for purists, but worth watching.

ROMEO+JULIET was exciting, RICHARD III inspired, and Traymor's TITUS visually and dramatically impressive.

However if the viewer has the mental discipline to overlook this, he/she will find a quite entertaining and, yes, moving film adaptation of the classic play.

Like the equally dismal version of GREAT EXPECTATIONS a few years previous to this, cutting so much plot and character development from such a rich and dense story puts unbearable strain on the remaining material - one the movie can't withstand.

He delivers his few lines in an intense burst such as never seen before.

This Hamlet is worth watching, simply for the kick it gives on the one of the most famous stories of all time.

Murray knows it too, but he can't find his footing, so he hops from ultra nonchalant to so bored out of his skull he's not even listening to himself.

And while it's true that the story is inherently introspective and melancholy, the director fails to explore the many possibilities available to him-- especially with the contemporary setting-- that could have made this vibrant and exciting cinema, such as the way writer/director Julie Taymor brought Shakespeare's `Titus' to the screen so successfully.

But his sullen, brooding Hamlet is a one-note prince, and a pretty tedious note at that.

she is very enjoyable.

A total bore.

I was riveted to my seat, and I know the story line well and many of the speeches and soliloquies, but it was different, more intense with a modern twist, with a modern location, with modern equipment of the digital age.

My assessment is that the director used a classic story to create compelling visuals -- as opposed to using compelling visuals to tell a story.

Boring; Ethan Hawke lackluster.

Bland, indeed .

Ethan Hawke practically croaked his lines all the way through which rendered much of the poetic dialogue in the play as dull and meaningless.

) Shakespeare's language, and the modern surroundings tend to be dull, dull, dull.

The quick cuts throughout the film were exciting and kept the audience engaged through the slower moments as the story unfolded.

It was bland, that's all I have to say.

This has to be one of the worst movies to come out of Hollywood, The plot was virtually incoherent, The setting and the characters never interacted, the lines were monotoned.

But it was already unoriginal when Luhrman copied this idea and filmed his utterly idiotic version of "Romeo & Juliet", with everyone armed with machine guns, for what is probably one of the worst movies ever made.

To me,the most passionate performance was probably Liev Schreiber's slow-burning Laertes,which seems a little off for a play where every character should be more driven.

Instead he is just a depressed, whining, toque wearing movie junkie that is a complete bore.

The locations were familiar enough to be distracting but too mundane to add grandeur.

Tis a pity she's a bore.

Hamlet is a truly exciting movie.

It was set up just right: Horatio, Marcella, and security guard Bernardo are anxiously awaiting the young prince's arrival upon the platform where they watch (an empty hall of fancy elevators) while they look for signs of the ghost's activity on their security monitors, when Bernardo calls Hamlet on the phone and wakes him.

Maybe that adaptation could've been a better fit, for the reduced length also makes the piece less-watchable, and much more bland with none of the intrigue.

How intense is that?!

In my opinion, this movie is pretty much a waste of time.

The script for a modern "Hamlet" is really bad and the entire movie is extremely boring.

It was boring and I'm disappointed I spent the money to rent this film.

It's definately worth watching, especially for the performances of Hawke, Diane Venora as Gertrude and Bill Murray as Polonius, and it is MUCH better than the Mel Gibson version.

I especially enjoyed Bill Murray as Polonius: his performance was all the more delightful because of the necessity of restraining his comic genius here; he appears always on the edge of cracking a joke, and of course doesn't, adding even more tension to an already extremely taught production.

Don't waste your time with egomanical Hamlet from Hawke .

I think the people who take their literature like medicine because it is good for them will be sorely dissapointed by how enjoyable this movie is but in my opinion it is an excellent balance between the beauty of Shakespeare's text as text and the exciting story contained within.

And in an earlier scene, Hawklet watches the pseudo-wise cookie-fortune ramblings of an empty-headed, drugged up Buddhist monk; this sort of thing is a direct nod of approval to that whole bird-brained New Age/Eastern philosophy nonsense which is so very hip in the morally decadent and infinitely dumb Tinseltown community.

Hawke's Hamlet is self-indulgent and humorless.

Truly a viscerally engaging Hamlet .

Our hero Hamlet is portrayed by Ethan Hawke who, thanks to exciting technological advancements, doesn't talk or change facial expressions at any time during the film.

Boring, predictable and hideous .

I particularly loathe Ethan's performance - uninspired, pretentious, and melodramatic.

It did get off to a very slow start.

Now comes Michael Almereyda who takes "Hamlet" by storm, setting the play in modern-day New York City, deleting large portions of the text and creating a truly exciting adaptation.

I was bored.

One of the worst movies I've seen in the past 10 years (I don't go to the major Hollywood releases) & the only movie I've ever walked out of.

It's just a waste of time to watch this piece of `art' or whatever they tried to do.

Hawke especially seemed bored with his character and does nothing to convince us that Hamlet was tortured with his father's death, his mother's remarriage, his love for Ophelia (which is never explained), and his own mortality.

Finally (and I'm actually leaving out a lot here, but this is far too long as it is), I despised much of the final duel between Hamlet and Laertes.

A very boring movie .

Most of the time, I found the performance boring--until he started screaming at someone, at which time it just becomes annoying.

While I was hoping for this film to be a solid introduction to Hamlet, that would at least be accessible to newcomers, I was sorely let down with a self-important, pretentious, emotionless disaster that actually took itself seriously.

It's watchable enough, but at half the length of Branagh's recent interpretation, it's twice as boring.

In the first half of the film, most lines were spoken in flat monotone--the absence of inflection made the plot harder to follow.

I am not much of a movie critic, but when I see a bad movie I know it, and Hamlet (2000) is the worst movie I have seen this year.

His delivery is so contrived and emotionless, that it totally defeats the inherent character of Hamlet, which is natural and emotional.

All this movie achieves is to induce unintentional laughter - and some considerably loud snoring and yawning.

Bill Murray, however, is always a pleasure to watch, and it's fascinating to see him bring his trademark sardonicism to the language of the Bard.

Her Ophelia is so wooden and boring that she becomes a laughing-stock in every scene...

) In fact, in spite of the reasonably skillful butchering of the text, the movie moves along at a surprisingly dull pace.

It's predictable and stupid.

While there are some elements that work in the film, chiefly being Bill Murray's shining performance as Polonius, the entire production is totally lost to a mundane, ignorant and amateurish interpretation and adaptation of the play.

However, the unintentional hilarity of this miserable filmic venture wears off sooner than one would like, and it's just dull from then on; boredom, disgust, and annoyance alternate.

His character is transformed from a student into a slacker, from an intellectual into a pretentious cinemaphile.

As a whole, the film works, beautifully filmed and visually stunning.

This movie is so visually impressive that I find so much of it absorbing.

Since Hamlet's an amateur filmmaker rather than an amateur playwright in this version, his famous soliloquies are typically presented as gripping scenes of Ethan watching himself on a monitor, completely undercutting the drama.

One friend fell asleep and the other loved it .

Unlike the Romeo and Juliet (96) which had a ton of stylized cinematography and pacing Hamlet 2000 is mundane, grey and not fun to look at.

Shallow, pointless, silly and pathetic.

Modern adaptations need modern visualization, and Almereyda's direction is flat and uninspiring.

No longer is the ghost played as an imperious, distant vision; Sam Shepard's ghost is a very real figure, and his relationship with Hamlet is intense, loving, and affectionate- both physically and emotionally.

That lacking, our imaginations must supplement and engross their motives, or the characters become exaggerated, volatile charicatures of themselves, moving too slow or too soon, reacting in too great tenor.

The play Hamlet puts on is changed to a pretentious "The Ring" like VHS tape though I kind of like that scene.

Karl Geary, too, is noteworthy as a Horatio torn by the loyalty to his friend and the confusion in the face of madness.

Gag confusion between who's Rosenkrantz and who's Guildenstern just don't work when they're phoned in.

This movie caused me to fall asleep much quicker then any other movie has.

The Mouse Trap is a complete disaster, witless and self-indulgent.

The cast,while all capable and intriguing casting(especially Bill Murray as POlonius),seem to be less than enthused about their parts,instead sort of playing up the brooding in their characters.

This movie is extremely boring,I was so bored that I had to go out of the cinema in the first 40 minutes.

Julia Stiles was really engaging, especially her flip-out scene at Guggenheim.

This is a riveting adaptation.

New York is always photogenic, but the treatment of the big apple in this production is a particularly compelling.

The second was that confusing punk-rock, too-hip-to-be-Shakespeare version of Romeo & Juliet by Baz Luhrmann, which starred hopeless posterboy, Leonard DiCapprio.

Another reviewer called it "bland" and that is a good description - it is almost wholly unengaging and consequently one of the most gripping of stage plays is produced as a tedious and uninspired movie.

Is this a major piece of pretentious garbage or what?


With this edit, the entire context of Hamlet's character was destroyed and the rest of the play became a confusing mess of "gritty" images and "prolific" editing.

Overall, this is a well-done film, but slow and difficult to stick with.

His character is supposed to be tremendously funny, but he just looks run down and boring!

Yes, this was a pretty boring rendition, except for Bill Murray's performance perhaps.

He was just a sort of artsy-fartsy college student with some Euro-trash friends (Horatio and Marcellus), more concerned with his video equipment and looking good while he was riding a motorcycle or at a chic club with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, than a man who was concerned that his uncle had "popped between the election and my hopes".

This movies take on the climactic duel feels contrived.

Coming to this with an open mind, but not completely new eyes, I do not think it is logically complete, like the play within the play, it ought to be confusing without our prior knowledge.

First the good; it was enjoyable to hear faithful Shakespearean dialogue in a modern New York setting.

It was very exciting to FINALLY have someone more age appropriate portraying Hamlet.

Filmmaker Michael Almereyda's hit-and-miss yet daring adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic story about the Dane prince facing his father's ghost (smartly cast Shepard; trivia note: second time playing Hawke's dad – previously in 'Snow Falling on Cedars') and whether or not to avenge his memory or simply off himself, is set in modern day New York City with the ever moody Hawke (for once cast for just reason, Hamlet is a petulant bore at times) as the tormented young man (this time as a videomaker) who must come to terms with the literal corporate takeover by his uncle Claudius (sleek MacLachlan) and his mother Gertrude (the always watchable Venora) while suffering the slings and arrows of his beloved Ophelia (stunningly affective Stiles), her vengeance seeking brother Laertes (equally compelling Schreiber) and their smirky father Polonius (boldly cast and acquitted nicely by Murray) as slackers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (daffy Zahn and Hawke's bro-in-law Thurman) wait in the wings as the plot unfolds.

With his stunning new vision of the most revered of Shakespeare's plays, director Michael Almereyda has effectively transposed many of the enduring themes of that classic work to our contemporary hi-tech era.

Lifeless and boring...

Maybe, just maybe, then you might have enjoyed it.

Instead of Fortinbras' impressions, we are left with a nondescript newsman whose monotone effectively undercuts any emotion we may have felt towards the proceedings.

Likewise, Almereyda's vision of Hamlet's relationship with his father's ghost is both intense and exiting.