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8 Best Romeo & Juliet Movie Adaptations Ever Made, Ranked

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Everything is being rebooted these days, from superhero movies to fantasy franchises! Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare has been the subject of several adaptations over the years. It is probably the most famous and respected love drama in dramatic history. The story of a boy and girl from rival households, who fall in love and are tragically torn apart by their family’s rules, has become the blueprint for many romances published over the years.


Indeed, Shakespeare’s famous story of star-crossed lovers has been told in theatre, television and film for many years. While some filmmakers chose to stay close to Shakespeare’s original plot, others have adapted the play’s core idea to fit contemporary culture. Here are a few of the best interpretations of the bard’s epic work, ranked.

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8 Romeo and Juliet: More Than Words (2019)

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The Royal Ballet
Footwork movies

Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words, a ballet adaptation of Shakespeare’s well-known play, written and directed by Michael Nunn, stars Francesca Hayward as Juliet and William Bracewell as Romeo. Romeo and Juliet should be sworn rivals as they come from the rival Capulet and Montague families, but instead they fall deeply in love and secretly marry. This begins a chain of events that ends in disaster. This is the same story presented in a way that has never been done before, in a language that everyone can understand.

7 Romeo and Juliet (1986)

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Romeo and Juliet embrace in the 1968 film
Paramount Pictures

Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, is considered one of the original adaptations. The film presents the old story while staying true to the original. Shakespeare’s timeless tale of childhood love is revealed as a vicious blood war divides the great clans of the Montagues and the Capulets in the ancient city of Verona. A brief but thrilling interaction with the sensitive dark-haired Juliet Capulet (Olivia Hussey) opens the door to fiery desires and hard intimate sorrows, and the insolence of youth gives the beautiful young Romeo Montague (Leonard Whiting) the courage to go unannounced to the captivating masquerade. to come from the Capulets. ball.

Currently, Romeo and Juliet is embroiled in its own tragedy. According to Variety, the lead actors, who were still in their teens when the film debuted, sued the studio over a nude bedroom scene they said was shot without their consent or knowledge.

Related: The Best Modern Shakespeare Adaptations

6 Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet 2013
Relativity media

In Romeo & Juliet, directed by Carlo Carlei, the Montagues and the Capulets coexist in this modernized theater adaptation under the Prince’s watchful gaze. But the animosity between the families threatens everyone, especially the children. Despite the prince’s ban on such battles, the young men of both houses are hot-blooded and ready to give battle at the slightest provocation. No family rivalry can stop young Romeo (Douglas Booth), a Montague, from falling in love with Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld), the virgin Capulet daughter, when he first sees her. Both happiness and sadness for everyone flow from this risky romance. The screenplay for the film was written by award-winning author Julian Fellowes, best known for his masterpiece Abbey in the center.

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5 Die in a Gunfight (2021)

die in a firefight
Lionsgate Movies

The Rathcarts and the Gibbons in the movie Die in a firefight are the modern-day Montagues and Capulets, two feuding families who each own their own media conglomerate in New York City. Despite their parents’ attempts to keep them separated, their teenage children Ben and Mary (Diego Boneta and Alexandra Daddario) choose to ignore the conflict and fall for each other. In this fast-paced, action-packed love story, hitmen, corporate corruption, love, passion and feelings of revenge all come to a climax during the marriage.

4 Rosaline (2022)

Kaitlyn Dever in Rosaline
Hulu

Rosalinebased on the book by Rebecca Serle When you were minereverses the traditional Romeo and Juliet conspiracy on its head. With a comedic twist, the story is presented from the point of view of Romeo’s most recent ex-girlfriend, Rosaline, Juliet’s niece, played by Kaitlyn Dever. Sharp but idealistic Rosaline devises plans to thwart the familiar romance and win back her boyfriend after she is devastated when Romeo (Kyle Allen) left her after meeting Juliet (Isabela Merced). “Rosaline is the whole world of Romeo until he meets Juliet,” film director Karen Maine told People magazine, “and well, we all know what happens when those two cross paths.”

Related: Best Movies Based on Classic Literature

3 Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Shakespeare in love
Miramax

Shakespeare’s struggle to create his next play is depicted in Shakespeare in love. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Viola, serves as the inspiration for writing Romeo and Juliet, his tragicomedy. The movie features an all-star cast; Shakespeare is played by Joseph Fiennes, Viola is played by Gwyneth Paltrow and Queen Elizabeth is played by Judi Dench, in a short but Oscar-winning role. Shakespeare in love had 13 Academy Award nominations and took home seven, including Best Picture and Best Actress.

2 Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)

Gnomeo and Julia Picture #1

In this animated tale, director Kelly Asbury adapts the familiar Romeo and Juliet come up with something the whole family can enjoy. Garden gnomes are used in Shakespeare’s retelling Gnomeo & Juliet. The rival blue and red gnomes are separated by a garden fence. When garden gnomes Gnomeo (James McAvoy), on the blue side of the fence, and Juliet (Emily Blunt), on the red side of the fence, become embroiled in a neighborly dispute, they face just as many challenges as their fictional namesakes. . Despite everything, they continue to fall in love with each other. Can their love survive the hilarity of a pink plastic flamingo war and lawnmower races?

1 Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Romeo and Juliet 1996
20th Century Fox

Romeo + JulietBaz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, is one of the best known. The classical Shakespearean language is combined with a postmodern background in this complex project. Romeo and Juliet’s families are competitive gangs that use firearms instead of swords to battle each other. Fashion plays an important role in the film in separating the two gangs. With their leather gaiters and gun holsters, the Capulets look grittier than the Montagues, who dress more casually with their flowing shirts and styled hair. The all star ensemble of Romeo + Juliet – starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as Romeo and Juliet, respectively, and the famed John Leguizamo as Tybalt – delivers an outstanding performance.