Crimes of the Heart (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Crimes of the Heart (1986)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this story, three sisters from a rather dysfunctional family in the South are gathered together for a birthday. One can't seem to stay in a relationship for long, one was just released on bond for shooting her senator husband, and the other is an aspiring actress.
PG-13 (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG)

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Diane Keaton
as Lenny Magrath
Jessica Lange
as Meg Magrath
Sissy Spacek
as Babe Magrath
Tess Harper
as Chick Boyle
Sam Shepard
as Doc Porter
David Carpenter
as Barnette Lloyd
Hurd Hatfield
as Old Grandaddy
Beeson Carroll
as Zackery Botrelle
Jean Willard
as Lucille Botrelle
Tom Mason
as Uncle Watson
Greg Travis
as Willie Jay
Annie McKnight
as Annie May Jenkins
Connie Adams
as Zackery's Concubine
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Critic Reviews for Crimes of the Heart

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7)

It is excruciating: a combination of Beth Henley's insistently eccentric screenplay, Bruce Beresford's frenzied direction and the sight of three singular talents on an acting roller coaster with no one riding the brakes.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Beresford fails to generate sufficient chemistry to bind the performances. Occasional bursts of delicious tragic humour nevertheless make this a not unlikeable 'feminist' mood piece.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

[It] has the dubious distinction of calling attention to just about everything the play isn't, and was never meant to be.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

As Spacek, Lange and Keaton clamor for attention, "Crimes of the Heart" becomes less a movie than a three-ring circus, and ringmaster Beresford does little to direct your gaze.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

The Oscar-winning actresses make fine confederates -- their gracious collaboration propelling this happy adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

There are moments when the movie doesn't seem to know where it's going, but for once that's a good thing because the uncertainty almost always ends with some kind of a delightful, weird surprise.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Crimes of the Heart


Yeeeaaah I can be taken into a good women buddy buddy film but it is so easy for these things to get overly sentimental and drippy. I think that is the true crime of the heart of this picture.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


★★1/2 (out of four) The three actresses do their very best with some rather bland and disappointing material, which is too bad since it an adaptation of a pulitzer prize winning play and the film's screenplay is written by Beth Henley, who also wrote the play. Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, and Jessica Lange play three sisters who gather for a birthday celebration of the oldest, Lenny (Keaton) at her home in the deep South. Each of them are battling their own issues, which come to a head during the get together. The material just isn't engaging enough. The three actresses are great, but end up being upstaged by Tess Harper. [IMG][/IMG]

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

I was really expecting alot more from this because I love the 3 stars,but it just wasn't quire there. There are some very funny parts and I enjoyed their interaction,but there needed to be more story.

ashley hayes-beaty
ashley hayes-beaty

Super Reviewer

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