Box art for Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet

drama, romance

This film gives Shakespeare's Elizabethan English a contemporary American voice, set in the mythical city of Verona Beach, this story is passionate, visceral, sexy, violent, other-worldly, neither future nor past.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 16
5 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Optically brilliant, violent update of classic.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film features a considerable amount of blood, violence, and explicit references to sex. Prostitution, brief nudity, teen sex, gang-related deaths, car assaults, bloody fistfights, and a gangster pointing a pistol directly at a child's face, makes this film inappropriate for kids under the age of 17. There's a strong emphasis on guns that can easily be seen as glamorization: characters sport decorated pistols and fashionably threatening jewelry (skull rings, dagger belts), not to mention an ad for bullets. Background scenery makes much use of billboards, posters, and license plates designed to mimic soda, liquor, and cigarette ads.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about issues such as conflict-resolution, peer pressure, and their alternatives.
  • What could the Montagues and Capulets have done in order to make peace?
  • Were there alternatives to Romeo and Juliet's choices?
  • Did they trulybelieve suicide was the only way, and if so, what circumstances in thefilm drove them to feel this way?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Romeo + Juliet reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Puts Shakespeare's greatest romance in a choke-hold and takes it slam-dancing.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Fresh: Luhrmann's gleefully cinematic version of the play is so relentlessly inventive and innovative, it takes 20 minutes to get a grasp on how appropriate is his approach to the material.

- Geoff Andrew, Time Out, Thursday, February 9, 2006

Fresh: Danes makes a breathtaking Juliet, merging strength and fragility into one.

- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Saturday, January 1, 2000