If you have not read Hamlet, I would absolutely not recommend this rendition of the bard's greatest tragedy. The performances are stiff, the plot is incomprehensible and the themes are unidentifiable. Despite its talented cast and rich source material, Hamlet winds up a hot mess, with many unintentional laugh-out-loud moments. The only person who comes out of this looking remotely unscathed is Kyle MacLaghlan as Claudius, but even he is made to look foolish many times in the film. Shakespeare adaptations are hard to get right - especially ones recast in a modern setting - and this is is definitely one of the weaker ones.
Richard Linklater seems to have a knack for taking something that could be a pretentious mess and creating something awesome and thoughtful. He really proves this with "Waking Life", a film that spouts out 100 minutes of philosophy, and yet never seems to take itself too seriously. Not to mention the animation is absolutely breathtaking. A true wonder.