Box Office - 09/16/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "What works in ANONYMOUS is that Emmerich's first focus is the plot. Fleet and fascinating, he convinces the audience that this centuries-old half-true melodrama demands attention."
Los Angeles Times - 10/28/2011
"There are palace intrigues, beddings and beheadings, and lots of well-staged theater. Rhys Ifans turns out to be the best surprise of all..."
Movieline - 10/27/2011
"[W]ith some clever casting and a few very fine performances at its core."
Director Roland Emmerich takes a break from his long string of big-budget disaster films with ANONYMOUS, a historical drama that suggests Shakespeare was a fraud. Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) is an aristocrat who yearns to write poetry and plays, but due to social and political constraints, he is forced to use a front for his political-minded works because they subtly encourage Queen Elizabeth to alter her plan for succession in a way that is in direct opposition to her most-trusted political advisers. When drunken, illiterate, fame-hungry actor William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) passes off the plays as his own, de Vere finds his man, but eventually he is blackmailed when the morally dubious thespian wants more and more. ANONYMOUS screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
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