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What to Stream: Celebrate Shakespeare With Some of the Best Movies Based on His Work

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  • William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare
    English playwright and poet (1564-1616)
  • Baz Luhrmann
    Baz Luhrmann
    Australian writer, director, and producer

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. There have been countless film adaptations of his plays, but we homed in on three great Shakespeare movies to stream this weekend.

Noted for his flamboyant and dazzling visuals, Baz Luhrmann used his unique style to bring to life Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. Starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo and an also-young Claire Danes as Juliet, Luhrmann modernized their story of woe and made it a story of whoa. If you have teens at home, this might be a great way to get them excited about the Bard. Romeo + Juliet is available for rent on iTunes.

Kenneth Branagh is one of the most revered actors to come out of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has made several movies that were first written by our friend Will, but we’re going with his 1996 epic, Hamlet. The film’s cast reads like a who’s who of Hollywood stars, including Richard Attenborough, Julie Christie, Billy Crystal, Judi Dench, Charlton Heston, Derek Jacobi, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams, and Kate Winslet. Hamlet is available for rent on YouTube.

Released just last year, our last recommendation saw praise all around — for its visuals, its acting performances, and how it managed to stay faithful to the source material. Directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, this adaptation of the “Scottish play” took Shakespeare’s work and it made it into an action film. Macbeth is free to stream with an Amazon Prime membership.

The cast of Keanu ranks the cutest kittens found on the Internet:

What do you think? Is there a Shakespeare adaptation you like more? Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram — or leave your comments below.