The Crucible
The Crucible (1996)

When Arthur Miller's play The Crucible was first staged in 1953, it was widely acclaimed as a metaphor for the recklessness of Joseph McCarthy and his spurious crusade against communism. In its 1996 screen adaptation (scripted by… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 13, 1996
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
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Critic Score: 67% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

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.

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Misha Berson
Seattle Times

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.

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Barbara Shulgasser
Common Sense Media

Plodding film based on play has mature themes, sex, violence

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David Ansen

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.

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Stephen Thompson
AV Club

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.

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Andrew Lowry
Total Film

A McCarthy-era retelling of the Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller's 1953 play is a literary classic, but this adap falls short.

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

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.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

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.

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TV Guide

The story's sickening spiral into madness is preserved.

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More reviews for The Crucible

Flixster Audience Score: 66% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
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… More
Kevin M. Williams
The Witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts, and an examination of how mighty reason and immovable logic fare against different types of hysteria (they… More
Bathsheba Monk
Just as good in 2012 as 1996. The screenplay by Arthur Miller is wonderful...the dialogue is true (I guess) to the times, at least it sounds archaic while… More
Aj V
The film of Arthur Miller's classic play. It stars many popular actors, and they all do a great job bringing their characters to life. I really liked… More
Michael Edwards
some of the worst overacting I've ever seen in a film and not in the funny and entertaining way. More like the shut the hell up way. The characters are all… More
Mike S
Absorbing and well-acted period piece, about the famous Salem witch trials in 17th century America. An honest and intriguing reflection of the hysteria that… More