User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36

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  1. j30
    Nov 9, 2011
    10
    A fantastic film that's not your typical Hollywood movie. This movie gets me pumped on movies again. A really dark comedy and one of my favorite Woody Allen movies.
  2. Aug 27, 2011
    9
    Not only has Allen finally learned that he can make a drama with his own style, and not imitating one of his idols, he can also ask philosophical questions without seeming pretentious. Crimes and Misdemeanors holds his grip on drama, while never losing itself, due to the split narrative between Landau's drama, and Allen's dark comedy.
  3. JMH
    May 7, 2012
    10
    Woody Allen's probing Crimes and Misdemeanors tells two stories that turn on a single question: What do you see when you look in the mirror? One tale is a drama centered on Judah (Martin Landau), a successful ophthalmologist who ends an affair by having his mistress (Anjelica Huston) killed. The other tale is a farce centered on Cliff (Allen), a struggling documentary filmmaker, hisWoody Allen's probing Crimes and Misdemeanors tells two stories that turn on a single question: What do you see when you look in the mirror? One tale is a drama centered on Judah (Martin Landau), a successful ophthalmologist who ends an affair by having his mistress (Anjelica Huston) killed. The other tale is a farce centered on Cliff (Allen), a struggling documentary filmmaker, his brother-in-law Lester (Alan Alda), and Lester's colleague Halley (Mia Farrow). Lester's an acclaimed TV producer. To please his sister (Joanna Gleason), he allows her husband Cliff to film a documentary about him. The stage is set for Judah and Lester to confront unflattering, even damning, portraits of themselves. Judah's self-confrontation is direct. When told the murder plot's a done deal, Judah enters his bathroom, looks at himself, washes his face, and looks at himself again. Can he come to terms with what he's done? Lester's self-confrontation comes via Cliff's documentary, a mocking portrayal wholly at odds with how Lester sees himself. Is this cause for Lester to reflect on the man he is? Guiding us through the two men's journeys are a rabbi (Sam Waterston) and patient of Judah's quickly losing his sight, and a philosopher who's a pet documentary subject of Cliff's. The former appeals to redemption via faith, and the latter to redemption via humanistic reason. Both are hopeful men who see inherent good in human nature. Yet the film's events pointedly ask whether their optimism's well-founded, and ultimately whether the answer even matters. Crimes and Misdemeanors is plainly a morality play - one that might have fallen flat in lesser hands. In Allen's hands, the overlaying morality play is told with a blend of gripping drama and trademark Allen humor, resting on a screenplay so taut and sophisticated that the rest of the film falls into place effortlessly. The result is a brilliant, engrossing film - one of Allen's very best. Expand
Metascore
77

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
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    Fine ensemble acting (Alda and Huston are outstanding), evocative composition and design, intelligent writing, and spritely musical score.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    Alda is perfect casting as a successful TV comedy producer, whose pompous attitude and easy romantic victories with women (including Farrow) exasperate Allen.
  3. None of the characters or ideas is allowed to develop beyond its cardboard profile.