While Shakespeare’s plays are assigned to students as young as junior-high age, Coriolanus is bloody and violent, earning its “R” rating and making the film inappropriate for those younger than 17 (even though most teens will have likely seen far more graphic films than Coriolanus). It’s a worthy addition to the modern Shakespeare movie canon. If it’s not quite in the same league as Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Akira Kurisawa’s Ran (an adaptation of King Lear), it’s a bold step forward for Fiennes as a filmmaker and another successful effort to show Shakespeare’s relevance in a media-saturated culture always ready to lavish attention on the next hot property and rising star.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: “A-s.”
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: A couple scenes of drinking.
  • Sex/Nudity: Kissing; brief scene of Coriolanus laying next to his wife in bed, and she touches his chest.
  • Violence/Crime: Riots, followed by police beatings of rioters; a gunshot to the head; a stabbing; a dead woman and child shown; battle fighting; knife against a throat; a wrist is slit.
  • Religion/Morals: Coriolanus’ wife, mother and son get on their knees to beseech Coriolanus and make a prayer-like gesture toward him; they say “the heavens do open” and “the gods look down.”
     

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.