He wasn't exactly adored by his people, but "Coriolanus" is wowing critics in its opening week in theaters.
Ralph Fiennes shakes up Shakespeare's play, directing for the first time and starring in the title role as a Roman war hero who becomes a reluctant political leader. Fiennes moved the action from 5th century B.C. to the present day, with the actors remaining faithful to Shakespeare's words.
AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle gave the movie three stars out of four, saying: "The pace of the camera and the storytelling improves considerably in the second half, or the play's fourth and fifth acts. The whole production finds its balance and Fiennes' performance grows fuller, finally bursting forth in a late rush of sympathy at the end."
Also earning strong reviews - as well as Oscar buzz for its star - is "Shame." Michael Fassbender plays a good-looking New York City bachelor whose stylish exterior masks the fact that he's a sex addict with an increasing urge to engage in dangerous behavior to satisfy his needs.
AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire wrote: "Fassbender reunites with Steve McQueen, the British artist-turned-filmmaker who directed him in his breakthrough role, 2008's 'Hunger,' in which he starred as Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands. The two seem to push each other to their extremes in a collaboration that's as challenging as it is creatively liberating." She gave the film three stars out of four.
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
- "Coriolanus": Metacritic, 78; Movie Review Intelligence, 73.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 92. Average: 81.3.
- "Shame": Metacritic, 71; Movie Review Intelligence, 68.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 81. Average: 73.6.
- "Sleeping Beauty": Metacritic, 60; Movie Review Intelligence, 55; Rotten Tomatoes, 48. Average: 54.3.
- "Answers to Nothing": Metacritic, 29; Movie Review Intelligence, 40.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 11. Average: 26.8.