Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand hit top form in Joel Coen’s austere reimagining of Shakespeare’s Scottish bloodbath

What’s the point of another Macbeth movie? It wasn’t that long ago we had Justin Kurzel’s big realist version, with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Well, there’s always a point if the film is as compelling and visually brilliant as this. Director Joel Coen, working for once without brother Ethan, has delivered a stark monochrome nightmare, refrigerated to an icy coldness.

With Shakespeare’s text cut right back, it’s a version that brings us back to the language by framing the drama in theatrical, stylised ways: an agoraphobic ordeal in which bodies and faces loom up with tin-tack sharpness out of the creamy-white fog.

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