The Crucible - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crucible Reviews

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May 24, 2018
Arthur Miller's play the "Crucible" is a wonderful play that deserves to be a classic. The film in 1996 is mostly accurate and there are good performances from most people. Winona Ryder does a fantastic job as the envious Abigail. John Proctor is great as well. The ending was depressing as well, you kind of wish that Proctor went with Abigail in a demented sort of way. Some overtop moments, but historically accurate.
½ April 19, 2018
day-lewis is almost phenomenal - the rest of the movie is not. it simply needs human depth, a better supporting cast and a higher production value. the film is overall ugly.
January 14, 2018
It's very over-dramatic and TV movie-esque, but Day-Lewis tries his best to make it work.
January 14, 2018
A brilliant play brought to life on screen so well. Really enjoyed it, particularly Ryder who was superb as the ringleader. No special effects or fancy filming, just a good story well told.
½ November 26, 2017
One of the few movies I had to watch in my high school English class that I didn't absolutely hate.
October 31, 2017
This sometimes comic tale of witch-hunt that occurred in 1692 is indeed a gruesome spectacle of people taking advantage of religion and taking it to the extremes for personal gains. But at the same time this is not something new, this is just another movie condemning Christianity exploiting its errors in the past. Some people may say that this movie is more like a metaphor for the mass hysteria, but honestly it doesn't look like it. It's too straightforward.
August 16, 2017
Incredibly tense and fantastically performed, this is an infuriating and terrifying story of how a simple lie born out of the fear of punishment from a rigid, fire & brimstone type of religious presence can create an atmosphere of mass hysteria and baseless fear. I imagine 'The Crucible' does a fine job of capturing the general feeling of the Salem Witch Trials, leaving you wondering just how something like that could have ever been allowed to happen.
July 6, 2017
Somethings are actually better on stage ... believe it or not.
½ June 20, 2017
This movie based on the Arthur Miller play of the same name is faithful to its origin. It's a decent film and it's definitely something that should be seen at least once. It's a hit and miss cast. This works in the movie's favor because while Joan Allen's performance was listless and Karron Graves' was overdramatic, Daniel-Day Lewis and Winona Ryder stood out as very emotionally driven actors who spoke their lines with power and conviction. There ended up being a balance of sorts.

It's difficult to fault Karron Graves too much, though, because the script in itself was written to be melodramatic. Arthur Miller is partially to blame for this, having written the play that its based on. The melodrama actually works in some parts. It becomes so glaringly obvious at other points that it could take the viewer out of the experience for at least a little bit.

Through all the points that were difficult to watch, it ended up being a fun film. It's a more emotional film and one that the viewer should pay attention to when watching. It may not be brilliant, but it was a pleasant experience nevertheless.
March 18, 2017
A good, faithful adaptation. Not too bad, not great either, but enjoyable.
January 22, 2017
After reading the book by Arthur Miller the movie did a great job with portraying on what Miller was going for. The film is very intense and attention grabbing as Daniel Day-Lewis did a great job acting as John Proctor as he is faced with many troubles that he has to overcome. He has a hard time doing that when Abigail Williams played by Winona Ryder comes up with lies that could hurt the community and certain people in it.

The film does a great job with going back to that time period and adapting to those things. This is a film that is worth watching as it gives you a true affect on what happened back then.
January 19, 2017
The movie was great. i like seeing how the actors showed the emotion compared to us.
January 18, 2017
As reading the book and watching the movie I can say that the director did a great job at portraying what Arthur Miller wrote. The actor Daniel Day-Lewis did a great job at portraying John Proctor and his frustration with the town. He also did very well with the relationships that the character and the book has he seems to really throw himself into his role fully and I truly enjoyed that.
The Actress Winona Ryder also did a great job in showing Abigail's true colors and intentions. She did a great job in the church scenes. She also did very well in the scenes where she is one on one with Procter. She also changes her attitude very well just like it seems she does in the book. The movie is a must watch if you have read the book but if you haven't I would recommend the book first so you know what is going on.
January 17, 2017
Arthur Miller's Crucible dates back to 1953 and the film was made in 1996. It shows the affects of lying and not giving in to something that might be a little difficult.

Daniel Day-Lewis who stars as John Proctor is a family farmer with an awful past. When his town begins to be torn apart by Miss Abigal Williams he needs to find a way for things to be civil again. Abigail Williams is played by Winona Ryder who shows what mischief Abigail can really cause.
½ January 11, 2017
The Crucible itself was a pretty slow, drawn out play. The movie represented timing well, along with the costumes and setting. The clothes fit right into that era of time, the clothes weren't too over dramatic but it showed the time period. Winona Ryder played Abigail pretty well, her use of body language and voice help show Abigail's book side. Overall I wouldn't watch again because this isn't the type of movie I'm into.
November 26, 2016
Hardly an entertaining or so called 'fun' film but truly an intense & gripping film that captured the hysteria of the Witch Hunt era of Salem in Puritan Boston.

It's extraordinary the paranoia of witches & how quickly it traveled throughout the township. The key story focuses on Winona Ryder's character who desires Daniel Day Lewis & with her cunning creates a hysteria that young town woman follow.

Based on a 1950's play that was a terrific social comment of the Macarthy Era. A great warning of false religion & hysteria & how destructive it can truly be.
½ November 17, 2016
Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible" during one of the darkest times in American history. Premiering on Broadway in the winter of 1953, its release coincided with the height of the Second Red Scare, in which fear of the potential dominance of Communism was spreading throughout the country. Worries of "enemies" being among the population following the dog days of WWII, whether they be your neighbor or your favorite movie star, were widespread, feverish, and mostly the fault of both the overzealous Joseph McCarthy and the House of Representatives's delusional Un-American Activities Committee. As the majority of instances of mass hysteria, the ruining of the lives of others have proven to be an ugly result of unfounded delirium.
When he wrote "The Crucible," Miller was experiencing major betrayal. After watching helplessly as some of his closest industry friends were blacklisted from working and thus faced effectively shattered professional lives, one of his closest friends, revered director Elia Kazan ("East of Eden," "Wild River"), testified before HUAC and revealed a handful of names of those who had been members of the Communist party years earlier. Disgusted by Kazan's willingness to put the lives of his colleagues on the line just to save the prosperity of his career, Miller immediately went to Salem, MA to research the infamous witch trails of 1692, which he, ingeniously, felt fittingly paralleled the Communist fearing goings-on back in America.
The resulting "The Crucible" was perhaps too ahead of its time for audiences of 1953 to fully grasp Miller's dramatic brilliance (despite winning the Tony Award for Best Play that year, reviews were combative and audience reactions were divided), but in the years since its initial run has it proven both to be a seminal Broadway piece and also an untouchable Miller work. Miller himself would be briefly thrown into jail following his "misleading" HUAC in 1956 - he refused to rat out his friends a la Kazan - and would be affected by his battles with the committee for the rest of his life. Lasting, though, is "The Crucible's" condemnatory social commentary; its attack on the bandwagon jumping habits of our culture is uniformly elastic, always managing to reflect a new facet of senseless fear existing within American life.
The 1996 film adaptation, directed by Nicholas Hytner and written by Miller some forty years after its original conception, is a handsome production that mostly hits all the right notes, the acting by its ensemble profoundly stirring and the writing as visceral and fresh as it was during its 1950s heyday. Aside from an introduction that unwisely throws away the ambiguity able to make the material all the more impactful - the witchery so unfoundedly feared by the majority of the film's characters is, surprisingly, bluntly portrayed - it's a movie that's easy to lose yourself in. Its passions and its tragedies are too convincing for us to do anything besides turn into an active, reactionary viewer.
Iconically, "The Crucible" follows the dire predicament that befalls Salem local John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis), a farmer who finds his life leaping down into the throes of ruin after his wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen), is accused of witchcraft by his former, vengeful lover, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder).
What follows, of course, is unthinkable catastrophe. Since Abigail is beautiful, scheming, and a little bit demented, young locals don't dare question her claims - she'd as easily stab the back of a peer as she would the Proctors. And since the corrupt authority figures ruling over Massachusetts are the sort that are easily seduced by the control that comes along with their power, no one does anything to stop the frenzy that washes over Salem - in all are twenty executed. No one, though, will be easily able to predict the outcome that destroys the Proctors.
"The Crucible" remains the timeless courtroom drama that it is because it both serves as a melodramatic sign of the times and also an extended allegory for McCarthyism and, as the decades have shown, other instances of hysterical witch hunts, from the peak of the AIDS scare in the 1980s to the racism and xenophobia to have plagued the post-9/11 world. It also happens to be a damned good drama, consuming even when it's not additionally serving as a takedown of recurring cultural buffoonery.
Day-Lewis is predictable strong, a sensitive soul so desperate to save the woman he loves that he hardly realizes that his ardor will likely get him nowhere - even worse is the seeing of him affected by his realization that all the calamities might not have happened if his Proctor had avoided giving into temptation. Ryder is even better as a masochistic young woman reveling in her influence, and Paul Scofield, as the rigid judge, is terrifying in his inability to be compassionate. But it's Allen, bare-faced and always appearing to be on the verge of tears, that renders the heart the most cogently.
Its error in opening judgment perhaps prevents much of "The Crucible's" persuasiveness - ambiguity was key in the strengthening of its tragedy, and the film's lacking of that supplemental component causes one to wonder how much sturdier of an adaptation it would be if Miller retained necessary room for speculation. But its performances are too stunning to see "The Crucible" as anything other than a masterwork in casting and in expressiveness. Its timeliness comes and goes. But its effectuality doesn't.
½ November 16, 2016
Atmospheric and captivating. Powerful acting from Daniel Day-Lewis. (First viewing - Fall 2003)
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 August 30, 2016
A good rendition of what happened in Salem.
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