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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: December 25th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Tragedy Of Macbeth - Theatrical Review

Overview -

The story of Macbeth has been remade, reimagined, and re-done so many times, that it's easy to lose count of who did what. Shakespeare did a phenomenal job when he wrote out these characters all those centuries ago that inspired countless movies, books, and characters. The latest version is The Tragedy of Macbeth from Joel Coen of the Coen Bros. (The Big Lebowski, O' Brother Where Art Thou), where Joel is solo on this one in a super rare project. His brother is nowhere to be found here. The result is a surprisingly quick 90-minute thriller of Macbeth's downfall into madness to become King of Scotland. With its all-star cast and truly astonishing camera work from Joel Coen and his cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie), this black and white version of The Tragedy of Macbeth is one for the ages and is perhaps the scariest version of the story thus far. Highly Recommended! 

The Tragedy of Macbeth comes to theaters December 25th, and will be available on AppleTV+ January 14th - Order Tickets on Fandango!


Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
December 25th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


For those unfamiliar or who have forgotten the story of Macbeth, the story centers around a respected nobleman called Lord Macbeth (Denzel Washington), who is convinced by a few witches to become the new King of Scotland. Lord Macbeth is charming, fluid, and is able to deal with anyone or anything, and has the respect of everyone he comes into contact with. His Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand) is always by his side. But once these witches put it in his ear to become king, Lord Macbeth slowly descends into a nightmare of illusions, macabre, and death as those around him see him go crazy in his pursuit of the crown.

Most Coen Bros. films have a dark and twisted tone that is set from the first frame of their films, but the directors always add their unique humor that makes it darkly comical and not as serious. This is the case with The Tragedy of Macbeth as well, particularly in some of Macbeth's wild nightmares and certain characters such as the Porter (Stephen Root), who has a brilliant and funny cameo. By filming it in black and white, it's easy to see how the use of shadows and dark corners start to fill up the screen in this noirish thriller of the Shakespeare tale and goes hand in hand with the downfall of the Lord.

This film will be shown on IMAX screens, and at first thought, that just didn't make sense. A black and white film about Shakespeare in IMAX? Those types of screens are reserved for big action blockbusters and sci-fi epics. But after watching The Tragedy of Macbeth, rest assured, this film belongs on the IMAX screen. Its imagery, set design, and the beautiful picturesque world is haunting and gorgeous all at the same time. The angles, practical set pieces, stunt-work with the witches, and shadowy figures and buildings that display their frightening theme throughout the movie is a character in itself, where it looks like any shot of the film should be framed and hung inside a European museum for all to see. It really is one of the best-looking movies in a long time, which has Joel Coen showing no signs of winding down in his career.


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

Denzel Washington is flawless as always. His transformation from a charming leader to a violent mad-king is ferocious and excellent. The respective co-stars all turn in amazing performances as well. The fight sequences with Denzel prove he still has the physical power and moves of a young, spry stuntman that mixes well with the camerawork that tends to have no virtual cuts or edits, but rather leaves the camera open and tracking on the carnage in front of it. Those fight sequences hit hard, pack a punch and mean something as every hit and sword swing has something meaningful behind it. The terrifying score by Coen Bros. regular Carter Burwell always adds to the suspense and tension of each scene as Lord and Lady Macbeth deal with their nightmarish hell that has come to reality. It's a hell of a version of Macbeth. Shakespeare would be proud of this thrilling and scary version that has a little bit of dark comedy inside its black soul. Highly Recommended! 

The Tragedy of Macbeth comes to theaters December 25th, and will be available on AppleTV+ January 14th - Order Tickets on Fandango!