Banished from the city he once served, a former war hero (Ralph Fiennes) joins forces with an old enemy (Gerard Butler) to bring about the downfall of Rome.
" When Caius Martius heads into battle against the invading Volscians, we get 20-odd minutes of brutal street-fighting with RPGs and crackling automatic weapons. The film was shot in Serbia; dial a few decades back and it could have been set there. "
" Ralph Fiennes turns one of Shakespeare's least-loved plays into a slashing, muscular but uneven modern drama in his film-directing debut. "
" Slathered in blood, covered with scars and glowering with a predator's gaze, Ralph Fiennes makes a fierce and impressive Caius Martius Coriolanus. "
" The film has fifth-act problems, as did the play, but Fiennes' bleak overview should leave receptive viewers feeling daunted and haunted. "
" Even in what is viewed as a minor work, the inevitable currents of ambition and violence, cruelty and competition, rivalry and rage run strong and truthfully. "
" Fiennes leads a cast that, at least in the major roles, is uniformly powerful. "
" The other actors do their best to help Fiennes define this curious anti-hero. Incapable of playing the role of peacetime compromiser, his Coriolanus comes across as a warrior who simply can't function without a war. "
" The questions Coriolanus poses are so timeless and urgent they could be pullquotes from today's op-ed page. "
" It's a film of vigorous performances and provocative modern resonances, though it sometimes struggles to grapple with a grim, politically ambiguous, 400-year-old play. "
" You buy the concept, from start to finish, because it feels strong and purposeful and in sync with Shakespeare's own vision of a malleable, fickle populace and a leader raised by the ultimate stage mother. "
" "Coriolanus" is a triumph. "
" As a portrait of modern warfare, politics and propaganda, "Coriolanus" is intriguing, even if the gritty action sequences don't quite measure up to the realism of "The Hurt Locker." "
" It's all very unnerving, modern and yet veins-in-the-teeth visceral. "
" Riches of character are revealed, with copious visual invention. "
" The play's inherent difficulties notwithstanding, Coriolanus, the movie, is a perfectly sound achievement. "
" I admired the movie even though I found it neither fish nor fowl. "
" Visually and dramatically it works well-it's Shakespeare by way of Black Hawk Down-but as an allegory of modern-day geopolitics it doesn't really go anywhere. "
" What remains, in distilled form, is the poetry of violence and contempt-the source of the play's unfailing reputation for political threat and mischief. "
" In his first film as a director, Fiennes proves that he knows Fiennes the actor inside out, with a self-knowledge that's rare, even admirable. "
" Purists may holler that Fiennes and screenwriter John Logan have cut the Bard's second-longest play into two tense hours onscreen, but the power of the piece is undeniable. "
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