The Crucible - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crucible Reviews

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September 28, 2016
Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen are the saving grace of this movie. They are fantastic seasoned actors and they are believable in their roles. The best scene of the movie is between the two of them at the end, the reconciliation of husband and wife. However, the dialogue is so stiffly written and performed by most of the other actors. It definitely feels like a big budget Hollywood movie trying to be taken seriously as a period piece. The dialogue is not entirely accurate to the time period and on top of that, much of the dialogue from the girls, particularly Abigail, is far too modernly sensed. She repeatedly yells and her uncle, the judge and other men, speaking to them in a condescending tone. That type of behavior by a woman, especially a teenage girl would have never been tolerated in the 1600s. Those parts of the script seem dreadfully historically inaccurate and simply remind you you're watching a Hollywood film.
My biggest gripe with the movie however is not the script, but the casting of 90s "it girl" Winona Ryder. She is as irritatingly unbearable here as in all her other films. She ruined Dracula, she ruined Little Women, and there's nothing different about this movie. I can't even fathom why anyone in their right mind would consider her employable, thank God she fell off the map, saving any future films she may have been miscast in. Regarding this particular performance, first of all she puts on a horrible fake British accent, and overacts so melodramatically that she seems like that desperate student trying to impress their high school drama teacher. The idea of her opposite Daniel Day-Lewis is laughable, as she cannot hold her own in a scene with him and makes it seem ridiculously implausible that he would even take an interest in her. Her acting is so forced, stiff, melodramatic and over-the-top yet lacking any real emotion and human depth.
I understand the character is supposed to be obnoxious and hysterical, however the character of Abigail is also supposed to be alluring and mesmerizing, enough to captivate the town, yet Ryder of course is not. The whole time it has you wondering what anyone sees in her. She's so painfully miscast, she's plain and mousy looking even by Puritan standards, she's not charismatic and is downright nails-on-chalkboard annoying. It seems as though the rest of the cast is forcing themselves to believe her in her role. She simply does not deliver as Abigail, the entire time you're wondering why anyone would give this girl a second glance let alone pay her enough mind to take her word on persecuting the townspeople seriously. I would have LOVED to see Kate Winslet or even Nicole Kidman in this role, Both are good actresses (Winslet a great one) with charisma, and both are actually beautiful which would have made Daniel Day-Lewis' interest and affair plausible and believable. Ryder not surprisingly falls flat on her face, and for a woman acting so melodramatically over the top that it would make a Greek tragedy seem monotone, she somehow still manages to fall flat as usual.
It is a shame considering this could have been a much better film with the already weighty performances of Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. Joan Allen shines as Elizabeth Proctor, now that is an actress. So much emotion and so much feeling yet so little expressed verbally, she and Day-Lewis make an incredible pair as husband and wife in a dysfunctional marriage, and their reconciliation at the end is heart-wrenching. One star for Day-Lewis' performance, one star for Allen's performance, and one star for the story by Arthur Miller. Negative two stars for Winona Ryder, she drags down every movie she's in to the point of being merely bearable and I find myself enjoying the movie despite her, not because of her.
½ September 3, 2016
(First viewing - Fall 2003)
½ August 30, 2016
A good rendition of what happened in Salem.
½ August 16, 2016
Daniel Day-Lewis's performance is the spotlight that carries The Crucible.
½ July 11, 2016
Saw this on 17/3/16
A hard hitting movie about a senseless time where only the bible made sense and every single human being was a fucking superstitious cunt. The crucible is well acted and it has got some good pacing. It could have been good with some better direction, but what it has is never bad. This is a true story about the witch hunts.
June 29, 2016
'Your justice would freeze beer.'
June 9, 2016
I find it hard not to like this adaption of Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE, even if it's acting trespasses into dangerously hammy territory.
½ May 11, 2016
Above average acting is wasted on a confused story which takes itself too seriously.
½ May 9, 2016
Angering movie but fascinating as well with solid performances.
May 1, 2016
Gave good perspective on just how religiously dominating the Puritan Lifestyle was and how the witch hunts were driven by fear, jealousy and spite.
½ April 6, 2016
A faithful adaptation of its source material, with a few changes here and there that don't really seem to matter. Everything is well-executed and authentic and liking this one will simply come down to how much you value the source material. As The Crucible is one of my favourite plays, it's no surprise that this one gets two big thumbs up from me.

Daniel Day Lewis' John Proctor is much better than Ted Cruz's (WHY AM I PERSECUTED!?!?) and that is all that I'll say on that. Whilst I just don't seem to be much of Winona Ryder fan, I do think she works very well as Abigail here and Joan Allen's Elizabeth Proctor would easily steal the show were it not so jam-packed with talent everywhere else too.

If you aren't familiar with the play's story then you can expect a real rollercoaster here, and maybe some tears too, and if you are already familiar then you can expect a faithful re-telling of the events.

The film looks the part and should surely satisfy fans of the source material and the cast involved. If play adaptations aren't your thing though then you may want to give this one as a miss as it's certainly one of them, and doesn't try to hide it.
½ March 14, 2016
The Crucible is directed by Nicholas Hytner, and it stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, and Joan Allen in a drama film that was inspired by the Salem witchcraft trials, and was about Parris finding out about witchcraft from her niece Abigail, they succeed in getting it out, but Abigail starts naming out names that were falsely accused of witchcraft, and one of them being John Proctor's wife. In my high school in English class, we were reading The Crucible, which was a great book, and I was excited to see the film after reading the story, especially when the film is written by the same playwright. After watching it, I was a bit surprised at how lukewarm the reviews got from critics and users as I think was better than I expected of it, even if it's not a masterpiece. The writing by Arthur Miller is very similar to the book which I'm glad to see that, while also adding things in there, or just change it while I was either fine with it, or actually thought it was better than the book. Daniel Day-Lewis absolutely sells the role and was terrific as John Proctor. Winona Ryder is great at convincing people that she's been "bewitched", and Joan Allen is great also at what she does as a minor character. The story is really good as a movie adaptation of the stage play, and I cared about what was going on, and what's going to happen to the characters. The problem that I had is that in the film, it doesn't necessarily go into enough detail with the affair than it did in the play. As is, The Crucible is a really great film that is a bit underrated in my opinion.
January 29, 2016
The Crucible follows the story of the Salem witch trials that occurred in the the late 1600's and caused many casualties due to paranoid thoughts and potential danger. Through many accusations, many people are questioned and it's all sort of a mystery of who is a witch and who deserves to live. Arthur Miller's novel is a story I've read that is above average but the screen version is below average however. What I will give this film is that the book to screen adaptation was done really well when it comes to details and character qualities. Daniel Day Lewis, Joan Allen, and Karron Graves gave above average performances and were fun to watch as they developed on screen. While these actors matching their characters was done well, some characters were seriously over acted. Winona Ryder and Paul Scofield are well respected actors that have given great performances in movies like Heathers and Quiz Show but in The Crucible they seriously over acted and it became really obnoxious actually. Understandably, Winona Ryder had to play a really obnoxious character but it became borderline intolerable. The dialogue wasn't awful, it was actually pretty well written, but man it felt like I was watching Shakespeare in a non complimentary way. The sentences felt overcomplicated and stretched way too long. The film also felt really unnecessarily long too. There were probably 1-3 scenes that if you had taken them out of the film it would not have even mattered. The film would still play out the same and maybe even better? However this movie does have its perks. The story, despite it being elongated and a bit dull sometimes, has some interesting moments and captures the time period and costume really well and set the right tone for 1692. There isn't really chemistry between any character until the very end when John has a moment with Elizabeth that's very powerful and there are some emotional moments that suit situations well and most times work. But then again in every other scene there's someone crying and breaking down on their knees which doesn't feel powerful at all. There's a lot you can say about The Crucible. You can analyze it's themes and characters to death but there's just too many issues for it to be considered a movie to go out of your way to watch. It was intolerable at times but can be emotionally powerful in others. C-
January 22, 2016
Great movie! Based on the time of Salem Witch hunts, This is a terrific movie about the power and corruption a bitches tongue can wield.
½ January 19, 2016
Fantastic performances from Daniel-Day Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Joan allen aside, and a pretty cool setting, the movie over-dramatizes certain scenes to the point where they become silly, and it doesn't trust it's audience enough so it chooses to show where the original play just told (Perfect example is the tacked on ending that feels just wrong). A film that constantly borders on being good, but never quite reaches the mark.
December 19, 2015
A brilliant representation of the Salem witch trials and shows how cleverly, dangerous we can be to one another. With suburb acting and a brutally touching plot, The crucible is a faithful adaption that really works.
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2015
Be it an allegory of the American anti-communist witch hunt of the 1950s or a gripping story about the horrors of religious fanaticism, collective hysteria and paranoia, this is a riveting, stomach-turning drama with intense performances by an excellent ensemble cast.
November 24, 2015
a strong adaptation of my favorite dramatic play. this period piece dates itself to the wrong '90s with it's soft, weepy score
November 8, 2015
¿Alguien que me preste ésta?
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2015
The Crucible is probably better than my rating. The acting, directing, and production are all very nice and it feels like I ought to be rating the film higher. But for me, personally, the melodramatic style fell just a bit flat. I think had I seen this in the theater at the time when it had come out then I would rate it higher. But it has a very "90s movie" feel that does not translate so well to present time. Still, I have to say it is a good movie and if you are a fan of any of the actors or are interested in the subject, then by all means, give it a view.
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