Henry V ★★★★½

Henry V may be one of Shakespeare's most accessible and crowd-pleasing plays, but to adapt it in such a thrilling way is still a tremendous achievement. The gritty aesthetic supports Branagh's willingness to explore the play's ambiguity about Henry: a man as suited to blood-curdling threats as to inspiring speeches.

Supported by a terrific cast of British household names, Branagh capturs the magic of the play's standout speeches and even makes something of the more mundane Eastcheap scenes. Energetic and rousing but not simplistic, his Henry V might be the perfect cinematic introduction to Shakespeare.