The 10 best movies based on Shakespeare take his legendary works in new directions.  Each filmmaker had a unique vision about these movies based on Shakespeare.

  1. “Shakespeare in Love”. Although this film swept the Oscars, it is not a story written by Shakespeare. It’s a look into the possible day to day life of Shakespeare. Thankfully, he is spared from being portrayed as a too-serious writer.

  2. “Much Ado About Nothing”.  1993 The engaged Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and Claudio, conspire to get another couple to wed.  Although Benedick and Beatrice (Emma Thompson) are their own worst enemies and conspirators try to convince Claudio that his lover is a wanton woman the movie is undeniably cheerful.

  3. “West Side Story”. This classic musical film, which garnered ten Oscars including Best Picture, is an updated tale based on “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare. Released in 1961, the story is set in New York City and instead of rival families the lovers are on opposite sides of rival gangs.

  4. “Romeo Must Die”. This modern tale of “Romeo and Juliet” stars kung-fu actor Jet Li, who falls in love with a mob boss’s daughter.

  5. “Ran”. This epic film is set in medieval Japan when firearms redefined warfare. Nominated for four Oscars, it is still the tale by Shakespeare of “King Lear”. 

  6. “O". In this take on Shakespeare’s “Othello”, a black basketball player falls in love with a girl at this all-white prep school. In spite of the setting, the movie still keep the spirit of the writing of Shakespeare.

  7. “10 Things I Hate About You”. “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare finds itself in an unlikely place, Padu High School. The late Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles star in this romantic comedy.

  8. “Yellow Sky”. Loosely based on “The Tempest”, this film is probably the oldest on this list of movies based on Shakespeare. This Western stars a young Gregory Peck and Ann Baxter.

  9. “She’s the Man”.Very loosely based on the “Twelfth Night”, the film tells of a teenage girl who pretends to be a boy in order to play on her brother’s soccer team.

  10. “Romeo and Juliet”. Set in Verona Beach with guns instead of knives, this modernized tale features Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. This Baz Luhrman opus was released November 1, 1996.