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Hamlet: Friday May 12, 2000

HAMLET is a contemporary adaptation of the classic play set in New York City, circa 2000 -- a world of laptops and limousines.
The President of the Denmark Corporation is dead, and already his wife is remarried to the man suspected of the murder. Nobody is more troubled than her son Hamlet (Ethan Hawke). Now, after this hostile takeover, trust is impossible, passion is on the rise and revenge is in the air.2000 Miramax




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Ebert UsaToday Mr Showbiz Herald Average
Points 75 50 68    


Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing
40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"

Michael Almereyda 


William Shakespeare(play),

Michael Almereyda






Ethan Hawke as Hamlet
Kyle MacLachlan as Claudius
Sam Shepard as Ghost
Bill Murray as Polonius

Running Time



Rated R for violence


Miramax Films








 The People's Review of Hamlet

score = 10
My grade twelve English class went to see this movie at the theatre having recently finished studying Shakespeare's Hamlet.  I thought that the new Ethan Hawke version of the movie was terrible.  There were a few interesting parts, such as the use of video technology, but overall it was a disgrace to Shakespeare.  The movie totally lacked passion; it seemed like someone told these actors when they were children that Shakespeare was boring, and they believed it.  The movie doesn't even compare to the original play or to more recent movie adaptations such as Kenneth Branagh's outstanding film.

score = 80 
Well I'm no Shakespeare aficionado but I knows what I likes, and this I likes. I like the very idea of the movie, placing a classic tale into a modern setting. There were a few odd choices the director made, such as Hamlet giving his famous "To be or not to be" speech while wandering through a Blockbuster Video, or why would Hamlet have footage of an oil fire playing on his TV? Casting left a little to be desired. Sam Shepard played the ghost of Hamlet's father and he just looked tired and haggard, especially compared to his brother played by Kyle MacLachlan. The two of them looked 20 years apart. I think MacLachlan was also the weakest actor. He did not come across as much of a villain. There were a couple of parts where I started to feel bad for him. Even with that, I still enjoyed the movie. I never read or saw Hamlet before so the story was a mystery for me and that probably helped me enjoy it. Regardless, I'm happy I spent the money to see it.