During the late Middle Ages in Verona, two wealthy families, the Montagues and Capulets, have been feuding for centuries. One day at the market place, the feuding families start a brawl which infuriates the Prince and he threatens that if the peace of Verona is disturbed again, he shall take their lives. Meanwhile, Romeo, a young Montague, reveals that he is in love with Lord Capulet's niece, Rosaline. Romeo's cousin, Benvolio persuades him to forget Rosaline but Romeo rebuffs him.
Later that night, there is a party held by Lord Capulet. Romeo sneaks in with Benvolio and Mercutio hoping to meet Rosaline. Instead, Romeo sees Juliet who is Lord Capulet's daughter and falls in love with her. Juliet feels the same and they share a dance. They go together to a quiet place and share a passionate kiss. Juliet's Nurse interrupts and when Romeo talks to the Nurse, he discovers that Juliet is a Capulet.
After the party ends, Romeo sneaks into Juliet's garden secretly where he witnesses Juliet expressing her love for Romeo. He climbs the balcony and they quickly decide to get married the next day. Romeo seeks help from Friar Laurence to wed them and the Friar agrees thinking that their love may end the violent war between Capulets and Montagues. They perform the ceremony and afterwards Juliet returns home. Romeo catches up with Mercutio and Benvolio but they meet Tybalt and his men on the way. This starts another violent brawl during which Tybalt stabs Mercutio. Romeo is enraged and runs after Tybalt seeking revenge. They fight and Romeo slays Tybalt. As the result of this loss, the Prince banishes Romeo from Verona.
Meanwhile both families are filled with grief over their losses, especially Juliet. The Friar sends Romeo to Juliet so he can spend one last night with her. Romeo goes to Juliet and they consummate their marriage. Romeo leaves in haste the next morning. But Juliet is shocked when her father brings news of planning to wed Juliet with Count Paris. Juliet is resistant but her father threatens to disown her if she does not wed Paris. Juliet goes to Friar Laurence for help, threatening to take her life if the Friar does not have a solution. The Friar in return, gives her a potion that will put her in a deathlike sleep temporarily while he will inform Romeo about this and they shall run away together. Juliet is overjoyed and drinks the potion that night. Her parents are devastated and instead of her marriage, her funeral is planned. During the funeral, Benvolio sees Juliet and thinks she is dead and immediately runs off to tell Romeo.
Friar's letter however, does not reach Romeo and Benvolio tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo is shocked and devastated and plans to take his life. He buys poison and goes to Juliet. Paris tries to stop him, but is killed in a sword fight. Romeo kisses Juliet one last time, then he drinks the potion unaware that Juliet has awakened. Juliet is overjoyed to see him and they kiss but Romeo suddenly collapses and she finds out that he took poison and Romeo dies in her arms. The Friar arrives but he is too late. He hears some guards coming and goes to hold them off. While Juliet is filled with grief, she finds and stabs herself with Romeo's dagger. The Friar arrives and finds them both dead.
Their funeral is held together and the Capulets and Montagues finally reconcile, ending their feud.Douglas Booth as Romeo MontagueHailee Steinfeld as Juliet CapuletDamian Lewis as Lord CapuletKodi Smit-McPhee as Benvolio MontagueEd Westwick as TybaltPaul Giamatti as Friar LawrenceLesley Manville as NurseChristian Cooke as MercutioStellan Skarsgård as Prince Escalus of VeronaNatascha McElhone as Lady CapuletTom Wisdom as Count ParisLeon Vitali as ApothecaryLaura Morante as Lady MontagueNathalie Rapti Gomez as Rosaline CapuletTomas Arana as Lord MontagueSimona Caparrini as a female guestAnton Alexander as Abraham (House of Montague)
Ed Westwick was the first actor to read the script. In April 2011, Hailee Steinfeld was said to be in talks for the lead role as Juliet in this adaptation. Owing to Steinfeld's young age, there was some concern she would be asked to appear nude in the film. Director Carlo Carlei explained "there was a lovemaking scene that included nudity for the married Romeo and Juliet. This script was written with a 20-year-old actress in mind. As soon as Hailee Steinfeld was cast, all nudity and lovemaking have been excised from the script. It will be romantic and age-appropriate for a 14-year-old." Julian Fellowes added, "We did feel it would be nice to have romantic, married love, and that purity was an important part of the film. They don't make love until they have been married." The role of Romeo was found in June 2011 when Douglas Booth was cast, beating out 300 other actors who were interested in the part. Paul Wesley had been offered the role of Count Paris, but it was announced in February 2012 that Tom Wisdom would play him.
Principal photography started on 3 February 2012 in Italy. The film was shot at the grotto Sacro Speco in Subiaco; Mantua; Caprarola, Lazio; Cinecittà, Rome; and in Verona. The first pictures of the set were posted on Italian newspaper Gazzetta di Mantova on 14 February 2012. Steinfeld finished filming her scenes on 7 March 2012.
Relativity Media was paid for by the producers to release the movie in North America on 11 October 2013, while the film was released through D Films in Canada on the same date. The premiere was held in Hollywood on 24 September 2013 at the ArcLight Hollywood. It was released in Australia on 13 February 2014.
Romeo & Juliet was released on DVD on February 4, 2014 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
The film holds a 22% approval rating and an average score of 4.5/10 on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes based on 82 reviews; the consensus reads: "Shakespeare's classic romance gets a so-so adaptation that's short on passion and energy." The film has a 41 out of 100 rating on Metacritic based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed reviews".L'Amor Dona Ch'Io Te Porto Anonymous, late 15th Century - Performed by Ensemble La RossignolTourdion (Pierre Attaignant) - Performed by Ensemble La RossignolSkin - Written and Performed by Zola Jesus