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The Crucible

The Crucible (1996)

tomatometer

68

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 31,175

My Rating

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

PG-13,

Drama

Arthur Miller

Jun 1, 2004

Fox

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Cast

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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (18) | DVD (2)

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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What happened in long-ago Salem does still seem to matter.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club

A McCarthy-era retelling of the Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller's 1953 play is a literary classic, but this adap falls short.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The story's sickening spiral into madness is preserved.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

An intelligent and gripping epic.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The story is unchanged, but its theme relates surprisingly well to today's versions of the bias and scapegoating that Miller rightly deplores.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The physical production of the film is so authentic and compelling, you can't get beyond it, not for a second.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

The movie version reveals the play as what it always was: a melodrama about a married guy who shouldn't have dallied with a vengeful girl.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comments (2)
eFilmCritic.com

It couldn't be more timely or relevant.

November 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Perfectly captures the air of hysteria and paranoia.

September 11, 2005 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Arthur Miller's story of hysteria, persecution and social injustice, is classy and powerful with some marvelous acting.

July 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

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.
December 25, 2012
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.
November 2, 2012
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.
August 7, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

The film of Arthur Miller's classic play. It stars many popular actors, and they all do a great job bringing their characters to life. I really liked this movie.
July 9, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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