Theatrical Release: May 12, 2000


This latest incarnation of the Bard’s great tragedy is set in modern-day Manhattan. Although screenwriter/director Michael Almereyda has edited the play, the poetic verbiage remains intact. Denmark, the country, is now Denmark, Inc., the multimedia conglomerate, and the prince is now an independent filmmaker who roams Blockbuster’s aisles, moaning “To be or not to be…” After the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to him, demanding vengeance, then disappearing into a Pepsi machine, the melancholy son sets out to destroy his adulterous mother and scheming uncle.

Dove Review

“Hamlet” is a tragic story, complete with love, hate, revenge, indecision, loss, and much violence. Today’s audience may enjoy the up-centuried look, but its star left me cold. Hawke, renowned for his James Dean sullenness, is a fine actor, but here finds it difficult to muster any expression beyond blank and blanker. Due to the violent imagery and theme of revenge, we are unable to recommend it for family viewing. Oft filmed, “Hamlet” has never been done better than in the 1948 British version, written and directed by Laurence Olivier.

Content Description

Language: Oh God 4 – Sex: one sexual situation that cuts away before becoming graphic; an explicit sexual act; painting of a nude woman; some dialogue referring to incest – Smoking: several of the characters smoke – Violence: a character is shot and dies, it is a very bloody scene; lots of blood as others are shot; Hamlet drags a bloodied corpse; Hamlet holds a gun to his head in several suicidal poses; Hamlet fires into a closet, accidentally killing an innocent character; a violent fencing duel; several people are poisoned; a man and woman struggle; fist fight; a suicide, we see the body floating from a distance; talking to a ghost, a plot device to further the story.


Company: Miramax Pictures
Writer: Adapted by Michael Almereyda
Producer: Andrew Fierberg and Amy Hobby
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 110 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright