The New York Times- Somewhat Recommended
"...But why should “Macbeth,” the play, be just as uneasy about its authority? Despite the star power of Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, the overthought production that opened on Thursday at the Longacre Theater seems unsure of its welcome, as if a classic that has enjoyed nearly 50 Broadway revivals since 1768 might no longer find an audience willing to meet it halfway."
NY Daily News- Somewhat Recommended
"...But "Macbeth" is so full of cynical aphorisms and sardonic observations, it offers something for virtually every human occasion, or every directorial direction. And even though this new production, the final entry in the current Broadway season, clearly has the aim of stripped-down simplicity, it seems to fly whichever way down 48th St. the Midtown breeze happens to be blowing."
Hollywood Reporter- Not Recommended
"...Sadly, the answer to that question would be no. Instead, we're there to witness the latest attempt by the maddeningly inconsistent director Sam Gold to infuse new life into a classic play. Perhaps we should have taken a hint from the production's marketing, which prominently features the names of the stars and director while Shakespeare's is nowhere to be seen. In retrospect, that seems appropriate, since this is far more Sam Gold's Macbeth than the Bard's."
New York Theater- Recommended
"...Shakespeare didn't write the very beginning and the very end of this generally wan and inscrutable production of "Macbeth," starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga. The aggressively inventive director Sam Gold has added an opening monologue and a closing song, and I think they offer clues to what he is trying to do in his version of the tragedy, now running at Broadway's Longacre Theater through July 10."
Variety- Somewhat Recommended
"...The production boasts an all-star cast - Daniel Craig (Macbeth) and Ruth Negga (Lady Macbeth) plus theater favorites Maria Dizzia (Lady Macduff) and Amber Gray (Banquo), to name just a few - but every single actor is in their own play. No one is on the same page stylistically; scene partners barely connect with each other; there is no trace of any unifying dialect. The only piece of direction they all seemed to be given is to stand center stage, unmoving, for every monologue and deliver it to the balconies, chin and eyes up."
New York Post- Not Recommended
"...How telling it is that the only artistically successful Broadway Shakespeare production of the past decade, "Twelfth Night" starring Mark Rylance, went back to 16th-century basics rather than giving us a poorly thought out Wooster Group knockoff. But, if the fact that Gold still got to helm this after his critically panned "King Lear" in 2019 is any indication, he'll live to die another day."
Entertainment Weekly- Recommended
"...Is there any limit to the forms that Hollywood's love affair with the Scottish play can take? Less than six months after Joel Coen's lush, Denzel-ified screen adaptation, Macbeth makes a play for Broadway with Bond himself, Daniel Craig, in the title role, and Oscar nominee Ruth Negga (Loving) as his fatally duplicitous Lady."
amNY- Somewhat Recommended
"...Gold's production of "Macbeth" is stripped-down and casual (with many actors playing multiple roles and a utilitarian scenic design), often effective (mostly due to the performances), and just as often bewildering. For instance, at the beginning, the witches are depicted cheerfully cooking. At the end, the cast comes together over soup and song. There is also a vaguely seventies design scheme, ad-libbing, and hard drinking. It's too bad Gold can't provide live audio commentary to explain what he is going for."
Time Out New York- Recommended
"...Broadway's 2021-22 comeback season goes out with a shrug in Sam Gold's production of Macbeth, the kind of passive-aggressive theater party that invites two big stars to attend-Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga as the regicidal title couple-and then makes a point of ignoring them. Short, eloquent, violent and packed with sensational business (murder! witches! madness! ghosts! a decapitated head!), Macbeth is usually one of Shakespeare's most exciting plays. Not so here: Deliberately murky, this anemic modern-dress production creeps at a petty pace from scene to scene, to the last syllable of the tragedy's verse and beyond into a wistful folk-song coda."
The Wrap- Not Recommended
"...For his loyal fan base, director Sam Gold's latest revival of a classic play gets it at least half right. For his many detractors, it might register as a bigger failure than his "King Lear" starring Glenda Jackson in 2019. Returning to the scene of that crime, aka Broadway, Gold now directs Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga in "Macbeth," which opened Thursday at the Longacre Theatre."
Deadline- Somewhat Recommended
"...Nor is Lazar truly departing. In one of Gold's riskier directorial flourishes, the dead of Macbeth never really leave. Even aside from the usual ghosts and apparitions, Gold's stage will be populated by the sitting, silent victims of all that bloodletting, a choice that casts an appropriately spooky spell even as it - along with an unnecessary, weirdly upbeat visual coda - ultimately undercuts the wreckage and finality every bloody Macbeth deserves."
TheaterMania- Somewhat Recommended
"...Like those earlier ventures, Gold's Macbeth is both austere and overdesigned, teeming with half-executed conceits and uneven performances. Actors are left to sink or swim, with those who bring their own strong perspective to the stage faring better than those who don't. The director cannot be bothered to make them inhabit the same world."
TheaterScene.net- Somewhat Recommended
"...This 2022 Macbeth appears to be entirely a director's project, but Sam Gold has done his actors no service with the busy activity he has added to the play. Fine actors like Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga who have demonstrated their top-flight acting chops on stage elsewhere have not been aided by the bizarre direction. Ironically, Shakespeare's name is nowhere to be seen in the ads for the production. If this was to rope in the fans of Craig's James Bond, this production gives them no help in following the play, a story of ambition and revenge, which should have been the point of the updating. Even if you are well-versed in the play, you will find yourself adrift much of the time."
NY Theatre Guide- Recommended
"...One does wonder why Macbeth looks like he's been at a fashion shoot when he's supposedly just back from a battle. And as directed, his big speeches turn repetitious. In the end, this Macbeth is a star-enhanced hodgepodge. It's filled with some sound, some fury, and many question marks."
Stage Buddy- Somewhat Recommended
"...Directed by Sam Gold, the play moves quickly but is not without flaws. Most directors find it necessary to make Shakepearean shows unique, to put their own stamp on them. This show, too, has its gimmicks- two performers are constantly 'pumping ' smoke from smoke guns on stage. The smoke makes for smooth transitions from scene to scene and also is an effective device when Banquo's ghost appears. Sometimes the gimmicks throw off the mood. In the midst of some soul-searching and agonizing, Macbeth opens a Lite beer."
Theater Pizzazz- Not Recommended
"...When you consider what might have been-a Macbeth with awe-inspiring sets and transportive costumes, the full complement of Broadway tricks that make ordinary productions extraordinary-particularly with top notch talent like Craig and Negga leading the way, you can only think of the missed opportunity. Especially when you reflect on someone who's never seen a Shakespeare play-or certainly not one produced on a professional stage-and how they might have been inspired or enthralled by a production that took them into an entirely different realm of appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare's majesty and mastery of language and storytelling. Some new-to-Shakespeare theatergoers might conclude that perhaps this type of theater just isn't for them."
StageZine- Not Recommended
"...Director Sam Gold contemporized, bastardized and overblew the 2019 revival of Shakespeare's King Lear with Glenda Jackson. He is now minimalizing beyond recognition this epic debacle, Macbeth, so there should be a law that director Sam Gold must never be allowed to come near another Shakespeare play for fear of criminally destroying yet another classic."
The Observer- Somewhat Recommended
"...I have more questions than answers for this engaging if unfocused production, but I will venture this interpretation: Sam Gold’s Macbeth is about a group of downtown hipsters (some of them famous film stars!) who…put on a production of Macbeth. A deeper dramaturgical or academic reading’s above my pay grade. (Anyway, what do critics mean when we talk about a coherent production of Shakespeare? As if these 400-year-old texts are consistent with modern dramaturgical models, especially if played uncut or obsolete language goes un-tweaked. We really mean a coherent butchering of Shakespeare.)"
Broadway News- Somewhat Recommended
"...Gold's production strips "Macbeth" of context, but does not functionally wrestle with the timeless stuff that's left. There's not much revealed here about the folly of avarice, or why it makes people crazy. The most human thing onstage is gobs of spilled blood, gushing from a slit throat and poured into the witches' stew, or staining the skin and robes of the killers and the damned. It's a grizzly and unearned grasp for thrills from a production without a cohesive life force of its own."
Theatrely- Somewhat Recommended
"...Not only does this street-clothes production do away with any sense of regality, save for a luxurious robe Craig wears in the second act (costumes by Suttirat Larlarb), but Gold’s vision is to make Macbeth as “approachable” as possible. A pre-show speech by the hilarious Michael Patrick Thornton informs us of Shakespeare’s time writing this as a plague raged through England and people turned toward the supernatural. It’s close to the audience interactions famously espoused by traditional Globe productions — which a note in the Playbill unwisely evokes — but this attempt to appeal to the everyman becomes tiresome. Immediately after Duncan (Paul Lazar) is killed, he walks downstage, cracks open a cold one and asks, “You ever choke on beer?”"
New York Stage Review- Somewhat Recommended
"...Inevitably there's crossover; Richard II and III, for instance, are history plays that come off as tragedies. But there's never been any doubt about Macbeth, a cautionary tale of a man brought down by his own bloody ambition-if not Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, then certainly in his top three alongside Hamlet and King Lear. Until now: The much-anticipated Sam Gold-directed Broadway production of Macbeth, which just opened at the Longacre Theatre, appears to be a comedy."