Recasting Shakespeare in modern terms is a tricky but necessary conceit. To keep these immortal works associated in people’s minds only with Elizabethan England is to miss how universally powerful many of them still are. Screenwriter John Logan achieves something close to greatness with this version of Coriolanus
, and first-time director Ralph Fiennes assembles a stellar cast while following through on the best elements of the script.
Fiennes also stars as the title character, a Roman general initially named Caius Martius, who lives only to fight and has no other ambitions or goals. As the movie opens, he’s putting down civil unrest and expressing his d...