The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Review

Can Joel Coen Make a Great Film Without The Help Of His Brother?


The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Review – Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair

The Tragedy of Macbeth was released in select theaters on Christmas Day of 2021 and was released on Apple Tv+ on January 14th. I was very excited to watch this film and it’s truly unfortunate that I missed my chance to see this beautiful looking film in theaters. Besides this, I have watched The Tragedy of Macbeth twice since it came out. This is a Joel Coen film, separated from his brother Ethan Coen. The Coen Brothers have been a filmmaking duo since the early 90s and their last film together, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, came out in 2018. Their most well-known works consist of the dark comedies Fargo and The Big Lebowski and other incredible dramas such as No Country For Old Men and Inside Llewyn Davis. Does this Joel Coen solo film compare to what the Coen Brothers have previously created? I believe so.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is of course another adaptation of the well-known Shakespeare story. I’ve personally never been a fan of Shakespeare, and a lot of film adaptations tend to leave me feeling almost empty, with the exception being My Own Private Idaho of course. Me being an 18-year-old who wasn’t born with the dinosaurs obviously found this story very hard to follow due to its complexity. With this being said, I was still absolutely captivated by many aspects in the film, including the gorgeous and enthralling visuals as well as the powerful actors and characters. This film is undoubtedly convoluted, seeing as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth corrupting and taking over a kingdom is the only thing I could really tell you about it. This is a film I need to re-watch and possibly even read source material on, but we have to keep in mind that I saw this film with no prior knowledge on this extremely well known story, and yet I still found myself captivated throughout the film.

Joel Coen has always been an incredible filmmaker throughout his career, and despite being skeptical of this solo film, I found myself mesmerized by the directing. The way this film flows with it’s camera movement and arrangement of shots feels so refreshing. Nearly every frame of this film is pure magic. ***

Outside the directing I have to talk about the performances. From McDormand to Corey Hawkins, the actors in this film fit into their characters so well. However, it’s no surprise that the real star here is Denzel Washington. He absolutely sinks himself into the performance so well you can’t help but absolutely find yourself enthralled in his character. I absolutely love every minute he’s on screen and his line delivery is great. The chemistry created between him and Lady Macbeth (Mcdormand) was so engaging to watch. There’s also the three sisters or witches in this film and the way they’re portrayed is so interesting. It was so well done and they follow us as the story unfolds and the create such a layer of depth within this already substance filled story.

The setting of this film works perfectly for the story, taking place in Shakespearian times and being a story about a rise and fall of a king. A lot of this film was shot on a sound stage in LA and it works so well. The cinematography and set design is immaculate. The castle, the lighting and the battle grounds are all shot so well and look beautiful. This film is truly pleasing to look at.

Every aspect of this film works together so well, every piece pushes the other piece up and creates such an incredible atmosphere that makes for a film that’s condense in the greatest way possible. What I mean by condense is that everything that’s in this film fits perfectly within it and nothing belongs outside of the it.

Overall, this film was absolutely a treat to watch. There’s so much to enjoy and this is one of the finest pieces of cinema to come out. At this moment it’s my favorite film tied with Red Rocket to come out of 2021. Tragedy Of Macbeth is currently on Apple TV+ and in select theaters. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or Joel Coen’s other works, do yourself a favor and watch this film.

5/5 – Thy Film is Thee Greatness Of That Is Of Perfection Or Something Like That.