The Crucible (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When Arthur Miller's play The Crucible was first staged in 1953, it was widely acclaimed as a metaphor for the recklessness of Joseph McCarthy and his spurious crusade against communism. In its 1996 screen adaptation (scripted by Miller), the tone has been adjusted somewhat and plays as a warning against the dangers of political and religious extremism of all kinds. After a group of young women is accused of witchcraft in the Puritan community of Salem, Mass. in 1692, Abigail Williams (Winona … More

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Arthur Miller
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2004


as John Proctor

as Abigail Williams

as Judge Danforth

as Elizabeth Proctor

as Rev. Samuel Parris

as Rev. John Hale

as Thomas Putnam

as Giles Corey

as Mary Warren

as Ann Putnam

as Rebecca Nurse

as Judge Sewall

as Martha Corey

as Judge Hathorne

as Betty Parris

as Ruth Putnam

as Francis Nurse

as Ezekiel Cheever

as Marshal Herrick

as Goody Osborne

as Goody Good

as Dr. Griggs

as Mercy Lewis

as Joanna Preston

as Deliverance Fuller

as Margaret Kenney

as Hannah Brown

as Deborah Flint

as Rachel Buxton

as Lydia Sheldon

as Esther Wilkens

as Joseph Proctor

as Daniel Proctor

as Mrs. Griggs

as Goody Sibber

as Goody Barrow

as Goody Bellows

as Dorcas Bellows

as Isaiah Goodkind

as Townswoman

as Townswoman

as Townswoman

as Goat Owner

as Joanna Preston

as Putnam's servant
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Critic Reviews for The Crucible

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (23)

Then there's always Mr. Scofield, bringing an almost unbearable, yet entirely believable, lightness of spirit to his loathsome character. It's a bold stroke by a great actor, making zealotry and evil seem positively beneficent.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

I recommend Hytner's movie highly, but a part of me resists a work that makes the audience feel as noble in our moral certainty as the characters it invites us to deplore. Some part of its power seems borrowed from the thing it hates.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Top Critic

Her cheeks flush, her winsome beauty seared with erotic rage, Ryder exposes the real roots of the piece. Forget McCarthyism; The Crucible is a colonial Fatal Attraction.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Too bad, though, that The Crucible fails to probe deeper into the sexual, religious, and political conditions that can give false accusations so much power -- even today.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Arthur Miller's screenplay keeps everything nice and faithful to the period, and the actors have the dirt on their hands to prove it. The movie lacks polish as well, and that's to everyone's benefit.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

I very much admire how Hytner... keeps the pace swift and doesn't fetishize the 17th-century decors and clothes. But I can't help feeling that in more ways than one, The Crucible is a period piece.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Crucible

Just as good in 2012 as 1996. The screenplay by Arthur Miller is wonderful...the dialogue is true (I guess) to the times, at least it sounds archaic while still being witty and the beginning sequence where the girls rush out to "pray" for specific boys to love them is so right on the money I kept wondering how Miller knew this about girls, and then remembered he was married to Marilyn. The power it unleashes is right on the money as well...You can make comparisons of witchhunts to just about any mass hysteria and this movie nails it. Really wonderful performances by Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. I thought the sets were great, too, and I usually don't pay specific attention to them.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

some of the worst overacting I've ever seen in a film and not in the funny and entertaining way. More like the shut the hell up way. The characters are all unlikable and I've read the play and I do enjoy it but this was just done so poorly in my opinion.

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

The Witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts, and an examination of how mighty reason and immovable logic fare against different types of hysteria (they don't). Simply an excellent work, a script with balls, with moving performances by all concerned. Joan Allen though was particularly spellbinding.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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