The Best (& Worst) Romeo & Juliet Movies

Readers, Shakespeare totally rules. Of course, we all know that, but it is really interesting to think about the universal impact his collective works have had on storytelling. From archetypal figures who immediately describe personalities better than any adjectives — Falstaff, Viola, Hamlet — to the dozens of quotes that are now a part of the English language. And naturally, as soon as movies started being made, Shakespeare started being adapted...and hasn't stopped. In terms of lasting impact, Shakespeare is kind of a badass.
Yet, none of his works capture the imagination — especially of younger audiences — better than the Shakespeare 101 tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The intensity of the lust, the consuming nature of first love, the poetic language, the seemingly nonsensical circumstances; nothing so depicts the pleasurable pain of young desire better. Which is why Hollywood will never leave it alone: It still has so much potential, even though, its adaptations haven't always been hits.
Next month, Hailee Steinfeld joins the ranks of Claire Danes, Aaliyah, and Emily Blunt as the next lady to tackle the role of Juliet, with Douglas Booth playing her man. While we haven't seen that flick yet, here are seven other Juliets (and her corresponding Romeos) that we have watched — some rather regrettably. Let's remember which ones would smell as sweet by any other name...and which one stunk.

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