The Scarlet Letter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Scarlet Letter Reviews

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Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media
November 16, 2010
Slaughter, sin, and sex in classic-turned-movie misfire.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
August 4, 2009
"Freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne," the credits say cautiously. I'll say.

Empire Magazine
August 4, 2009
For all the talent on display, this is a waste of movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 4, 2009
Rage, love, defiance, confusion, fear -- Moore just sticks out her chin and makes her eyes brim with tears. She's the stolidly immovable object at the film's center, and there's no getting around her.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 4, 2009
Despite the cast taking themselves very seriously indeed, The Scarlet Letter is a great comic turn, complete with cod-accents and other period jiggery-pokery.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
March 26, 2009
A very '90s take on a 1660s tale written in 1850, as a picture of early colonial life it's about as convincing as Pocahontas.
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Not only does the film bear little resemblance to the source novel, but it's cluttered with ridiculous symbolism.
Dan Lybarger
Nitrate Online
May 19, 2005
Oh, Roland Joffé, thy free adaptation of the Hawthorne classic didst produce abudant derisive laughter. Didst thou once direct 'The Killing Fields?'
| Original Score: 0/5
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
August 31, 2004
For anyone who's ever wondered why Hawthorne left out the mute servants, red cockatoos, and rolls in the proverbial hay. As Hawthorne himself would say: "Ignominious!"
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Caryn James
New York Times
August 30, 2004
If you've read the book you won't know the ending. Let's just say that Indians with flaming arrows come to the rescue. They manage to keep a straight face, which is more than anyone in the audience will be able to do.
| Original Score: 1/5
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
May 26, 2004
A hysterically incompetent camp classic, highly recommended for English department faculty parties.
| Original Score: 0/5
Michael Dequina
January 13, 2004
Love the book or hate it, but no novel deserves the shabby treatment that director Roland Joffé and screenwriter Douglas Day Stewart have given the classic novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
May 14, 2003
Corny, heavy-handed, but definitely romantic, The Scarlet Letter is a mindless piece of historical amusement.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
M. Faust
April 28, 2003
[It's] a mess that serves no one, least of all students hoping to get out of having to read the book for class.
Full Review
Dragan Antulov
April 25, 2003
The script by Douglas Day Stewart gives new meaning to the phrase "free adaptation".
Full Review| Original Score: 2/10
Top Critic
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
This is a well-acted, beautiful movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Christine James
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
A sweepingly romantic and formulaically fulfilling tale set in the oppressively patriarchal and staunchly religious mid-17th century.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2001
Though it's unclear what the audience would be for a faithful rendition of the Hawthorne novel, the question of who would ever want to see this one is murkier still.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
Literary purists will be aghast at some of the liberties taken with the original text, but my complaints have more to do with cinematic misjudgments than with those in the book-to-screen translation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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
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