Inmates at a Rome’s Rebibbia Prison perform Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.









Movie Reviews:
  • 100
    Portland Oregonian - by Grant Butler
    For a movie with such a brisk pace -- it clocks in at just 76 minutes -- Caesar Must Die has surprising depth, particularly when it comes to the strong performances by the actors, many of them Mafiosi serving time for drug trafficking and murder. more

  • 91 - by Jordan Hoffman
    At 76 minutes, Caesar Must Die is more of an art piece than a thick steak of a feature film, but it maintains a fascinating hum from start to finish. more

  • 91
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    The ferocity of the performances is inextricable from the men’s real-life criminality. We are baffled, moved, and repulsed – often at the same time – by the elemental spectacle before us. In this metaprison drama, the prison bars are both illusory and unbreakable. Caesar Must Die chronicles an exalted entrapment. more

  • 90
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    Caesar Must Die shows us in the starkest possible terms the electric power of drama to move and touch not only audiences but the actors who bring so much of themselves to their performances. more

  • 83
    The A.V. Club - by Noel Murray
    In Caesar Must Die, the characters are both actor and audience, looking at themselves through the lens of a centuries-old fictionalization of history. more

  • 80
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    In a scant hour and a quarter it enlarges your notion of what theater and cinema, what art itself, can do — it dissolves every boundary it meets. more

  • 80
    NPR - by Bob Mondello
    The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades. ...

  • 80
    The New Yorker - by Anthony Lane
    The result feels, like Shakespeare's play, at once ancient and dangerously new. more

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Rick Groen
    Not surprisingly, prison must be the perfect incubator of sadness and anger, because every one of the “performances” is astonishingly vivid. At the extremes of the emotional spectrum, at least, these guys are brilliant. more

  • 75
    The Playlist - by Jessica Kiang
    The film is undeniably moving at times, and there are moments of metatextual elegance that feel as though they tremble on the brink of genuine insight. more

  • 75
    Slant Magazine - by Chris Cabin
    Deceptively modest on nearly all accounts, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die employs seemingly minor directorial contrivances to ruminate on a unique quarrel. more

  • 70
    The New York Times - by Manohla Dargis
    There’s an elemental, almost primitive quality to the Tavianis’ condensing that, at its most effective, dovetails with the prison’s severely circumscribed material reality, as if the high walls, barred windows and suffocating rooms were manifestations of the characters’ states of mind. ...

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter - by David Rooney
    This is a looser, grittier film than their work of late, and while it’s more successful in the sequences of bold theatricality than in the faux-cinéma vérité of the surrounding scenes, the mix is nonetheless an interesting one. more

  • 70
    Village Voice - by Nick Pinkerton
    Almost as much as the play itself, the rehearsals are staged; the inmates learning to act, then, are acting like inmates who are learning to act. This leads to some on-the-nose scenes in which they observe the parallels between the text and their own lives. more

  • 60
    Empire - by Patrick Peters
    A hit in Berlin, the Taviani siblings' documentary has plenty of wit and punch, although compared to the best of the medium - "Man On Wire," for instance - it sometimes comes off as guileless and clunky. more

  • 40
    Time Out New York - by Keith Uhlich
    Though the Tavianis’ intent is clear—to comment on the thin line separating part and performer, as well as on the quite literally liberating powers of art—the meanings rarely emerge with any elegance or resonance. Hardly a dish fit for the gods. more

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