Denzel Washington has all kinds of films under his belt over his illustrious, award-winning, and nearly unmatched career. He’s proven adept at taking nearly any role, bringing his signature charisma and style to the film, and embodying nearly everything it means to be an actor. As he gets later in his career, there are no signs of slowing down. In fact, his most recent film is currently setting a critical record of sorts. The Tragedy of Macbeth is sitting at a cool 100% on Rotten Tomatoes through 37 reviews. Could we be looking at another Academy Award for one of the all-time greats?
The Tragedy of Macbeth hasn’t been released in theaters yet, that is going to come later in the year. But it did screen at the New York Film Festival last week. That’s where this first set of reviews came from and they offered universal praise for Denzel Washington and the rest of the cast and crew. Some are calling it a triumph, one of the best films of the year and the Shakespearean adaptation could be headed for a big turn come awards season.
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Denzel Washington plays the titular lead, a man struggling with a prophecy handed down by a trio of witches who convince him to take the throne in Scotland. It sets into motion a tragic series of events, turning Denzel’s character ultimately into the antagonist when it is all said and done. The story is hundreds of years old, but critics have agreed this new version offers a new look at the classic, with stunning and dark imagery and fantastic performances across the board.
The great Joel Coen adapted and directed The Tragedy of Macbeth, the first movie he helmed without his brother Ethan. In addition to Denzel Washington, the cast includes Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, Corey Hawkins as the protagonist MacDuff, along with Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling, and Moses Ingram.
The Tragedy of Macbeth got its limited screening last week, but the wide release is set for a Christmas Day opening on December 25th of this year. It will be interesting to see if the flick can hang on to its 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Few widely-released movies have been able to pull it off, especially considering the sheer number of reviews that come in these days. Notable films that have done it in “recent” years include Toy Story and Toy Story 2. 2018s Leave No Trace did it as well. Plus 2020 horror film Host scored perfectly with close to 100 reviews.
Look, Denzel Washington and company won’t be the first to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but by this metric, they could tie for the lead. And it will surely have many more reviews than most sitting in that category. Time will tell if it is able to hold on. And, for what it is worth, the score is sitting at 88 on Metacritic. Considering the latter aggregator is a much tougher nut to crack, this score is also sitting in a very lofty zone. Currently, only eight movies total have a perfect score over there.