The Crucible - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crucible Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
May 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
May 17, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
May 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 17, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
May 17, 2013
What happened in long-ago Salem does still seem to matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
May 17, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 8, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
April 9, 2005
Nothing in the movie is quite up to Scofield's Danforth. But what a mighty performance that is!
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
Day-Lewis, Ryder and Scofield will be odds-on favorites for Oscar nominations, as will the movie itself.
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
There's an awful, piercing truth in the performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Joan Allen and Paul Scofield as members of a community destroyed by guilt, paranoia and betrayal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic

Globe and Mail
April 12, 2002
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
This stirring film lets you feel the heat of Miller's argument and the urgent power of his kick.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
Despite these involving moments, The Crucible finally seems too schematic, more useful as an allegory than as drama, and possibly owing that undoubted popularity to its simplistic qualities as much as its insights into group psychology.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Lloyd Rose
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
None of these performers is bad, but what they're doing is shallow and ultimately uninteresting.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
January 1, 2000
With a head on its shoulders and the rawest emotions in its craw, Arthur Miller's stage hit The Crucible has become a cinematic grabber for grown-ups -- without that castor oil taste.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 1, 2000
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
This version illuminates the story's numerous strengths, resulting in a motion picture of surprising emotional and intellectual impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
Though Hytner remains essentially a stage director, he makes fine use of Massachusetts locations and period interiors; some of the visual details recall Dreyer's Day of Wrath, a film that likely had an influence on Miller's play
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
The first scene in "The Crucible'' strikes the first wrong note.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 13, 1996
Ryder, usually a soft, placid actress, unleashes a bold new anger here.
Full Review | Original Score: A