In the directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes, Shakespeare's tale of the famous, and infamous, Roman general Coriolanus is moved to a modern, fictionalized setting. Based in a alternate version of modern day Rome, the film begins with the city in turmoil over government oppression and the withholding of food as well as war with neighboring Volsci, a tribe that had, historically, been one of Rome's fiercest enemies.
This outrage quickly transmutes into violence and riots begin erupting, with public dissent growing an becoming more and more vocal.
The locus for this outrage is Caius Martius, whom the public at large blame for all of the cities problems. However, in keeping with is principles and character, Martinus, during a public march, voices his own opinions of the people whom decry him, saying that they are unworthy of the food being withheld from them. This only furthers the outrage againts Martius.
Caius is betrayed by his people and at the prospect of losing everything he has ever loved turns to vengeance. His revenge, however, can only be gained by allying himself with his mortal enemy, the Volsci, specifically, Tullus Aufidius. And so begins a machination of war and bloodshed that will corrupt and destroy more than even Caius Martius Coriolanus could know.