Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Critics Consensus

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94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 23,699
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Movie Info

Judah (Martin Landau) is a philandering eye doctor who wants to preserve his marriage, and his dangerous brother Jack (Jerry Orbach) comes up with what appears to be the only viable solution. Certain that his mistress (Anjelica Huston) is about to tell his wife (Claire Bloom) about his affair, Judah agrees to Jack's murderous plan. Twinned with Judah's tale is that of Cliff Stern (Woody Allen), a documentary filmmaker whose problems, which involve love and art, are tame but funny.

Cast & Crew

Martin Landau
Judah Rosenthal
Woody Allen
Cliff Stern
Mia Farrow
Halley Reed
Anjelica Huston
Dolores Paley
Jerry Orbach
Jack Rosenthal
Claire Bloom
Miriam Rosenthal
Charles H. Joffe
Executive Producer
Thomas A. Reilly
Associate Producer
Jack Rollins
Executive Producer
Sven Nykvist
Cinematographer
Susan E. Morse
Film Editor
Santo Loquasto
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Crimes and Misdemeanors

Critic Reviews for Crimes and Misdemeanors

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (3)

  • Woody Alton's films alternate between the comic, in which he himself stars, and the serious and even solemn, which he does not Crimes and Misdemeanors successfully combines both styles.

    June 23, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It is both a civilised comedy with iron in its soul and a serious examination of our inner fears that also manages to be very funny.

    March 20, 2018 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • The overall 'philosophical' thrust -- that good guys finish last and that crime does pay -- is designed to make the audience feel very wise, but none of the characters or ideas is allowed to develop beyond its cardboard profile.

    February 12, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The structural and stylistic conceit is that when Landau is onscreen, the film is dead serious, even solemn, while Allen's own appearance onscreen signals hilarious satire and priceless one-liners.

    February 12, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Dramatically, the film seldom fulfils its promise, and its pessimistic 'moral' -- that good and evil do not always meet with their just deserts -- looks contrived and hollow. Intriguing and patchily effective, nevertheless.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie's secret strength -- its structure, really -- comes from the truth of the dozens and dozens of particular details through which it arrives at its own very hesitant, not especially comforting, very moving generality.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5

Audience Reviews for Crimes and Misdemeanors

  • Feb 05, 2014
    This is the other Woody Allen great that I've been looking for, after watching Midnight in Paris and Annie Hall a few years ago, the rest of the Woody Allen works I've seen have ranged from near awful to very good. But none have been great, like Crimes and Misdemeanors. The Woody Allen scenes were consistently hilarious, crammed with witty one liners, and priceless moments. My favorite is when Woody Allen shows the final product for the documentary he's been making for and about his smug brother in law, in which he clips in a roaring Mussolini. Which is another unique aspect this film accomplished, in it's modern recreations of black and white movies, showing clips of the scene getting recreated moments after-usually at a theater. The more dramatic Martin Landua plot didn't put me in a solemn mood, that Woody Allen was trying to create. This is the one aspect of this film that didn't get accomplished in my viewing experience. The dilemmas were gripping, and the spiritual flashbacks were intriguing, but I lacked empathy in these scenes. I even felt more towards Woody Allen in his envy towards his brother-in-law, and his desire for Halley (Mia Farrow). Both stories cover a different stage of an affair, with much different results, and begs the question of which one got it better. The film editing is stellar, done by Susan E Morose, and Woody Allen directs another awesome comedy
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2012
    Perhaps this is a good movie - after all 90% of reviewers like it. I'm in the 10%. Is the world that full of MD's who get away with murder, comedians who are not funny, filmmakers who cannot make films, marriages that are farces? I guess I would prefer my movies to offer me hope instead of realism.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 27, 2012
    "Sleeper" was and has been my favorite Allen film, always light, breezy and fun, but I haven't seen them all and now this dark rumination forces me to alter my original opinion. The acceptance here of dark forces roaming the void is unavoidable and comedy becomes ... disposable, or at best only momentary in a sea of sadness. Must see for Allen fans.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2012
    One of Woody Allenâ(TM)s most highly regarded films, Crimes and Misdemeanors is a smart, thought provoking, and well acted drama, very similar to his later Match Point. Like Match Point, moral ambiguity is a key theme, with the film refusing to revert to easy answers and Hollywood clichà (C)s. Overall though, itâ(TM)s not as impactful as Match Point, due in part to its juggling multiple storylines, and not quite matching the unrelenting tension. Still, its effective mood and cynical sensibilities make it a must-see for Allen fans.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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