Shakespeare In Love 1998

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: A happy conceit smoothly executed, this is one of those entertaining confections that's so pleasing to the eye and ear you'd have to be a genuine Scrooge to struggle against it. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Hilarious, sexy, clever, playful and as initially teasing as it is ultimately satisfying. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: In addition to Fiennes, who does a star-making job here, and the radiant Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love teems with wonderful performances. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: A triumph of talent and style over silliness. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Let the kids toy with their Rugrats and hold their Sandler high. Shakespeare in Love is a movie to please the rest of us. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: With glittering shows of erudition and playfulness, Shakespeare in Love mixes history, fiction, comedy and romance to create a pure joy of a movie! Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Gwyneth Paltrow, in her first great, fully realized starring performance, makes a heroine so breathtaking that she seems utterly plausible as the playwright's guiding light. Read more

Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader: It's easy to suspend disbelief and embrace this historically creative fiction, whose clever relationship to what's known and what's unresolved is part of what makes it so intriguing and so romantic. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Scene after scene engages us as cheerful groundlings, tosses us jokes, toys with our expectations, then sweeps away the boundaries between film and stage, comedy and tragedy so we're open to the power of language and the feelings behind it. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard have written one of the year's smartest scripts, and Mrs. Brown director John Madden gets a chance to show a funny side that's previously been submerged. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Shakespeare In Love delivers the goods, if the goods you're in the market for happen to be a clever romance concerning William Shakespeare that's unlikely to cause anyone to reassess their notions of Shakespeare, romance, or enjoyment. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: If, for the playwright himself, all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players, then this splendrous new movie gives as much of his world as a simple stage or screen can hold. Read more

Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle: It's a literary burlesque, remarkably clever and quick on its feet. It is ardently romantic but is at its best when it is funny. And it's funny. Read more

Paul Tatara, I just wish that the script wasn't so insistent on showing off. Shakespeare, even when he kowtowed to the peasants, knew when to quit. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: This is a movie full of moments, and performances, to savor. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Seems the Bard is badly blocked. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: A feel-great movie! Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: A ripely emotional comedy-fantasia. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: [An] inordinately clever, sprightly romantic comedy. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Shakespeare in Love is not a great film, but it's an excuse to have an evening of pure enjoyment with a little culture painlessly mixed in. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I was carried along by the wit, the energy and a surprising sweetness. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: You can't miss with a movie that speaks the language of love with such hotblooded delight. And in iambic pentameter, too. Read more

Laura Miller, Not even Stoppard is Shakespeare, and the end result resembles one of Neil Simon's middlebrow romps more than it does As You Like It. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: The cast is near perfect. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Sometimes it's the small things that provide the biggest delights. That's certainly the case with Shakespeare in Love, a tongue-in-cheek romance about the greatest romance ever written. Read more

Nick Bradshaw, Time Out: It's Tom Stoppard's witty, intelligent script which proves so satisfying. Read more

Lael Loewenstein, Variety: Accessible, entertaining and fun for modern audiences. Exquisitely acted, tightly directed and impressively assembled, this lively period piece is the kind of arty gem with potentially broad appeal that Miramax certainly knows how to sell. Read more

Amy Taubin, Village Voice: At first, the breakneck pace is entertaining (all these people knocking themselves out for our pleasure), but it soon becomes evident just how inane a film this is. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: It restores to centrality of consciousness one of the great geniuses of our civilization. It makes us care for his greatness, for his passion, for his worth. In no uncertain terms, it tells us Willie Boy is still here. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Shakespeare in Love is really two love stories: one a heady human romance and one a paean to the art of the play, a special Christmas present for anyone who is passionate about showmanship. Read more