• PG-13, 2 hr. 3 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Nicholas Hytner
    In Theaters:
    Dec 13, 1996 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 1, 2004
  • Fox


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The Crucible Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Wall Street Journal

May 17, 2013
David Ansen
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.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

May 17, 2013
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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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 Source: TIME Magazine

May 17, 2013
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
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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 Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 17, 2013
Stephen Thompson
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club

May 17, 2013
Andrew Lowry
Total Film

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

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

May 17, 2013

TV Guide's Movie Guide

The story's sickening spiral into madness is preserved.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 17, 2013


An intelligent and gripping epic.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 17, 2013
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 17, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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What happened in long-ago Salem does still seem to matter.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

May 17, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

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

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

May 17, 2013
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun

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

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 17, 2013
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
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Handsome and well-acted, the film's ultimate success depends on the heat between Ryder and Day-Lewis, and it simply isn't there. The attraction is fatal alright, but it certainly doesn't seem mutual.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 17, 2013
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neither the establishing dramatic linchpin nor the final conversion of conscience is terribly convincing, leaving this pared-down rendition of the original work diminished in power and meaning as well.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 8, 2008
Rob Gonsalves

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.

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 2/5

July 30, 2007
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It couldn't be more timely or relevant.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

November 30, 2006
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hytner holds the action together with solid, unflashy, well-paced direction, ensuring that this is no mere period piece but a compelling, pertinent account of human fear, frailty and cold ambition.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Michael Dequina

Perfectly captures the air of hysteria and paranoia.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 4/4

September 11, 2005
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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Nothing in the movie is quite up to Scofield's Danforth. But what a mighty performance that is!

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

April 9, 2005
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

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

Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) | Original Score: 3/4

July 1, 2004
Page 1 of 3
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