The Scarlet Letter Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
The movie has removed the character's sense of guilt, and therefore the story's drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Picture yourself trudging out of the theater with a letter "D" (for "disappointment") firmly pinned to your chest.
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
The picture's period furnishings include Hester's 17th-century hot tub.
Cynthia Fuchs
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000
Roland Joffe's deeply ridiculous movie is caught between rocks and hard places, from its "what were they thinking?" concept ("freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne") to its muddled execution.
Madeleine Williams
Cinematter
January 1, 2000
Pitiful loose interpretation of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel of adultery and its implications.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Hollis Chacona
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
This catastrophic conglomeration of Puritanical repression and modern sensibilities squanders terrific acting talent and sumptuous production values, not to mention a darn good story.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
The result is merely a big-budget, opulently costumed soap opera that is way too long (two hours, 15 minutes) and way too slow.
Top Critic
Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
January 1, 2000
Students beware: This is no sub for Cliffs Notes. The script takes more liberties with the text than Elizabeth Berkley did with that pole in Showgirls.
| Original Score: 2/4
Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
With Demi Moore and Gary Oldman as those 17th century adulterers Hester Prynne and the Rev. Dimmesdale, the movie has its silly moments, but more impressively, it is turgid, the second most prevalent trait of Joffe's films, and long, the third.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
August 31, 2005
| Original Score: 0/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
July 7, 2005
| Original Score: 1/5
Michelle Alexandria
Eclipse Magazine
November 20, 2003
| Original Score: 1/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 23, 2002
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic

Entertainment Weekly
October 13, 1995
Full Review | Original Score: C
Bob Davis
Senses of Cinema
November 1, 2004
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