Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10

Where To Watch

Buy On

Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    In the world of this film, conventional piety is overturned and we see into the soul of a human monster.
  2. Mr. Allen's most securely serious and funny film to date.
  3. Rolling Stone
    Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    In this risky, riveting film, our most prolific and provocative moviemaker uses his wit to touch a nerve. Crimes and Misdemeansors is so funny it hurts.
  4. Flagrantly flawed but never less than fascinating film that does indeed blend the funny Woody and the serious Woody.
  5. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    It is his best and most courageous work to date. [13 Nov 1989, p. 22]
  6. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    At times the joints in the movie's carpentry are strained, at times the mood swings jarring. [16 Oct 1989, p. 82]
  7. Fine ensemble acting (Alda and Huston are outstanding), evocative composition and design, intelligent writing, and spritely musical score.
  8. 70
    Alda is perfect casting as a successful TV comedy producer, whose pompous attitude and easy romantic victories with women (including Farrow) exasperate Allen.
  9. 70
    Whiny, quirky and urbane.
  10. None of the characters or ideas is allowed to develop beyond its cardboard profile.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. May 13, 2016
    Definitely top-tier Woody Allen. The writing, acting and directing are first-rate, as he finishes off another of his artistic purple patches.Definitely top-tier Woody Allen. The writing, acting and directing are first-rate, as he finishes off another of his artistic purple patches. I'm not an Alan Alda fan in the slightest simply because he's so good at this slimy, know-it-all persona that he once again carries off so effortlessly here. An essential watch for all cinephiles, and worth a purchase and rewatches for Woody Allen enthusiasts. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2014
    I could never really get into this one. There are a lot of philosophical questions being discussed, largely of the ethical nature, but it justI could never really get into this one. There are a lot of philosophical questions being discussed, largely of the ethical nature, but it just felt really pointless to me. Maybe that was the point, I'm not sure, but regardless, it never really grabbed me. At the end of the day, I just saw two pointless stories being told for some unknown reason and totally lacking in interest. One story was somewhat interesting, the one concerning Martin Landau's character. There was plenty of depth there and it really does save this movie as we see him grappling with the decisions he had made. On the other hand, the story concerning Woody Allen's character is annoying and a waste of time. It felt like they did not feel they had enough with the other story and tacked this on for no reason. Really, all we see is a man who is wrapped up in his hatred of this other guy and let's it get to annoying heights. Luckily, there are occasional moments of comedy that help bolster this one up a bit as well or else the rating would be far lower. I really do not understand the praise for this one. Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Another Woody Allen delight, a diptych of two moral conundrums, Laudau, a well-off ophthalmologist who ultimately gets away with the murder of his badgering mistress (Huston), meanwhile a frustrated documentary filmmaker (Allen) flunks to win his love interest (Farrow) over a pretentious showbiz magnate (Alda).

    For Laudau’s story, one can easily sniff out the comparability of Allen’s later London-based MATCH POINT (2005, 7/10), the other women are merely dispensable in favor of wealth, social status and ostensibly stable matrimony. In this film, its main concern is the struggle within, the general moral conscience Vs. the guilt or the sin, and out of left field, it is the latter eventually prevails, with the trappings of a comfortable life, the murder becomes a petty snippet in his memory and time can put everything back into an equilibrium, it is beyond any religion’s absolution. Landau delivers one of his best performances in his lengthy career, an outright leading role (again, shamefully the category fraud push him into supporting group in the Oscar race), a hypocrite sleekly justifies his selfish and heinous behaviors with superfluous paddings, a despicable person so full of life with mocking caricature and a tint of self-reflection, everyone has his or her own unsurmountable hurdle in reality, luckily the preponderance is able to rein the yardstick. Anjelica Huston breaks her lofty stereotype, to overplay an unreasonable mistress who is too desperate to shore up her wanting sense of security, as vexing and halfwitted as she is, her denouement is too much a punishment.

    As for Allen’s romantic entwinement with Farrow and his doomed marriage, it brims with casual wisecracks and addicted cinema-goings, but the scene-stealer is Alda, whose character is blatantly based on the late writer Larry Gelbart, utters bon mots like, comedy is tragedy plus time; or if it bends, it's funny, if it breaks, it isn’t. He is snobbish and lewd to everyone’s eyes, yet he walks off with Allen’s soul mate. Woody Allen is rehashing the same old self, and Mia Farrow refrains herself as an out-of-his-league dame, who speaks highly about her unrealized ambition in order to reject a man trapped in a dead wedlock, yet subservient to the mogul’s courtship, it all boils down to the point of a woman’s self-deceptive blindness towards material needs, with a collateral damage to her unsuccessful suitor. So in both stories, the female characters are less glamorous and adorable here, not to mention Allen’s sister’s icky sex encounter in the bedroom.

    The film is mostly brisk under the accompany of a jazzy score, and its debate on moral structure is a cogent one and could be a reference to all the contemporary marital or relationship mishaps, even the religious mumble-jumble has an epiphany on those non-believers.
    Full Review »