The Scarlet Letter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Scarlet Letter Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 23, 2002
| Original Score: 1/5
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
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
May 26, 2004
A hysterically incompetent camp classic, highly recommended for English department faculty parties.
| Original Score: 0/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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.
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.
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.
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
August 31, 2005
| 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
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
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
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
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews
April 25, 2003
The script by Douglas Day Stewart gives new meaning to the phrase "free adaptation".
Full Review| Original Score: 2/10
Michelle Alexandria
Eclipse Magazine
November 20, 2003
| Original Score: 1/5
M. Faust
ArtVoice
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
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
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.
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
Bob Davis
Senses of Cinema
November 1, 2004
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