The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter (1995)

Any resemblance between this big-budget, sex, violence, and more sex-filled adaptation and Nathaniel Hawthorne's original melodramatic novel of hypocrisy and repression is almost accidental. Instead, this is a free adaptation of the… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 13, 1995
DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
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Critic Score: 14% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

"Freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne," the credits say cautiously. I'll say.

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Caryn James
New York Times

If you've read the book you won't know the ending. Let's just say that Indians with flaming arrows come to the rescue. They manage to keep a straight face, which is more than anyone in the audience will be able to do.

Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Slaughter, sin, and sex in classic-turned-movie misfire.

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Todd McCarthy

A very '90s take on a 1660s tale written in 1850, as a picture of early colonial life it's about as convincing as Pocahontas.

Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle

This is a well-acted, beautiful movie.

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Empire Magazine

For all the talent on display, this is a waste of movie.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Not only does the film bear little resemblance to the source novel, but it's cluttered with ridiculous symbolism.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Though it's unclear what the audience would be for a faithful rendition of the Hawthorne novel, the question of who would ever want to see this one is murkier still.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

Rage, love, defiance, confusion, fear -- Moore just sticks out her chin and makes her eyes brim with tears. She's the stolidly immovable object at the film's center, and there's no getting around her.

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More reviews for The Scarlet Letter

Flixster Audience Score: 41% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
M'eh. Demi Moore was a poor choice to star in this classic story. She doesn't really have the gravitas to pull it off and she's got zero… More
Candy Rose
Very poor adaptation of the book, they changed the ending!
Christopher Heim
A ridiculously loose adaptation that squanders the depth of its source material in favor of a generic overlong soap opera with laughably ham-fisted symbolism.… More
danny d
overly sappy an dramamtic
Wahida K
When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all.
Steve B.
Dimsdale lives? What a lame-ass, Hollywood cop-out!