The film kicks off In Verona, Italy, where an ancient feud between the Montague and the Capulet families breaks out in a full-fledged street brawl, which was broken up by Prince Escalus who exclaims that if there should be any more fights, death would result. On the same night, Romeo Montague, along with other Montagues, secretly attend a Capulet Masquerade Ball. The objective of the evening is for Romeo to overcome his love for Rosaline, but when the fair Montague meets Juliet Capulet at the feast, the two teenagers immediately become in love with one another.
Later, in one of Shakespeare's most famous scenes of all time, Romeo approaches Juliet private garden and hears Juliet in her balcony above speak of her feelings for young Romeo. He startles Juliet, telling her he has the same feelings and they make plans for their secret wedding. They plan to have Romeo's mentor and idol, Friar Laurence, and Juliet's nurse help with the arrangement. The Friar does not believe in making this marriage so soon, but hoping to end the feud between the families, he agrees to perform the ceremony.
Unfortunately, another battle in the street breaks out between one of Romeo's best friend's Mercutio and Juliet's cousin, Tybalt. Tybalt wanted to fight Romeo originally because of the intrusion on the Masquerade Ball, but after an insult on Romeo (coming from Tybatl), Mercutio counteracts, and they duel. Since Tybalt is now considered family to Romeo, he tries to stop the fight, and create peace attempting to heed the Prince's warning. But when Romeo steps in, Tybalt slays Mercutio under Romeo's arm.
After Mercutio's death, Romeo quickly retaliates to avenge the loss of his best friend. He slaughters Tybalt, and is given consequences from the Prince. After Benvolio, another one of Romeo's best friends, steps in and explains to the Prince everything that has happened. The Prince, gives in because Mercutio is the Prince's cousin, and banishes Romeo from Verona, instead of death.
Unaware that Juliet has already married Romeo secretly, Lord Capulet, Juliet's father, arranges for Juliet to marry the wealthy Count Paris. Juliet wants to avoid marrying Paris, so she drinks a potion given to her by Friar Laurence. This potion does not kill her, but just makes her look dead temporarily for a little under 2 days. This plan then will send Juliet to her tomb, where the Capulet's will leave her. Then, Friar Laurence will send another Friar, Friar John, to alert Romeo of his lover's "death," but the Friar is caught up in an area that has the plague, so he has to stay quarantined. Then, Friar Laurence will plan to meet Juliet at her tomb and help her escape.
In despair, Romeo goes to Juliet's tomb, and sees her lying there in her tomb. Bereft of his lovers's death, he kills himself by drinking a posion that he bought in Mantua. Awakening shortly thereafter, Juliet finds Romeo next to her deathbed, and failing to try every other way to get the potion out of Romeo, she finds Romeo's dagger, and stabs herself, resulting in her death as well.
After the police arive along with the Prince, the two families and the Friar attend the funeral together for Romeo and Juliet and they agree to end their ongoing feud.