Today: April 19, 2024


For those who saw Macbeth director Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown the thought of him adapting The Scottish Play should fill you with dreaded delight. Because that film, which portrayed a harrowing series of true murders, was a visceral, gut-wrenching affair. Take that aesthetic, apply it to the caldron of paranoia, madness, murder and revenge that is Macbeth and you have something both captivating, traumatizing and utterly hypnotic.

Suffice to say this is one Macbeth that Shakespeare would look upon and relish in its sheer chest-pounding anguish. Kurzel takes one of the most famous plays and creates something both modern and traditional. It is a feat that marks him as a director of stunning visual prowess.

For this incarnation of The Bard’s tragedy is seeped in blood, Scotland portrayed as either a baron wasteland or pure hell on earth. Every shot is either bleak with energy sapping cold or tinged with an orange and red hatred so powerful as to create a sense of the apocalyptic unfolding before your eyes.

The visuals that cinematographer Adam Arkapaw creates are enough to engage alone. Utilising symbolism, time-lapse and montage, the kind of which would make the master of this ilk Nicolas Roeg dance for joy, we witness Macbeth’s descent into madness on a level that takes us with him. As the world literally burns around him we feel the heat, touch the blood and fear what is to come. It’s a film brimming with dread, fear and horror. Indeed it is the closet to a horror film Shakespeare has surely come.

The two key roles of any Macbeth, that of the protagonist himself and his Lady, are played with award winning excellence by Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Cotillard’s Lady Macbeth ethereally and seductively whispers sweet venom and poison into her husband’s ears. Cotillard finding levels of delicacy in a role that is too easily painted as a villain but here lent an inkling of sympathy thanks to a smart prologue of her mourning her child’s death and the trauma with which she beholds her husband’s unwinding. Fassbender meanwhile is relishing the role. Imposing, moody and almost god-like he could be straight out of a Guinness commercial, somehow more than human yet flawed and tangible. His crocodile grin and broken spirit deployed at just the right moments to illicit a smile or a tear exactly when you need them.

While it doesn’t always capture the majesty of Shakespeare it elevates The Bard to a previously unseen level. This Macbeth isn’t just dripping in blood and themes it’s drenched from head to screaming toe in them.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

Previous Story

The Walk

Next Story


Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Kind Hearts & Coronets

75 years after its release, StudioCanal’s crisp and bright 4K UHD restoration makes the prefect gift to mark the film’s Anniversary and the lasting legacy of the Ealing Comedy. Kind Hearts &

The Lavender Hill Mob

There are restorations … and then there are restorations … And, when it comes to 4K, StudioCanal are amongst the very best in the business. So, it should be no surprise that

Jack Ryan Complete Series Unboxing

The casting of John Krasinski – The Office’s Jim Halpert – as CIA analyst-turned-hero Jack Ryan certainly came as a surprise to those who were only familiar with Dunder Mifflin’s sarcastic, floppy-haired

Peter Doherty: Stranger in My Own Skin

Infamous Libertines and Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty – uncommonly going by ‘Peter’ in this film’s title – has had a turbulent career and personal life that seldom saw him far from the
Go toTop

Don't Miss


It’s taken 40 years for Sparks to become an overnight

Song To Song

You know the Hollywood system has successfully killed the wattage