Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Michael Winterbottom's handsome, uncompromising film. Jude glows with Eccleston's and Winslet's performances and with those in supporting roles.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    A careful, finally powerful film.
  3. 88
    This is a film of tremendous scope and emotional depth that uncovers the soul of a novel and brings it to life on the screen.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Jude is a modernized version of Hardy, but a handsome, fluid and red-blooded one that has no difficulty finding correlatives to the prejudice and hatred of wit and spirit against which Hardy, in his gimlet-eyed way, so passionately attacked. [25 Oct 1996]
  5. Yet the film, no more than the novel, shouldn't be described as depressing. Both of them shine with heightened vision and poetics. [01 Nov 1996]
  6. Reviewed by: Neil Jeffries
    A brave, powerful, far from comfortable and distinctly English affair that bears all the hallmarks of a labour of love rather than an example of intellectual folly.
  7. 75
    Together [Christopher Eccleston, Rachel Griffiths and Kate Winslet] stake a difficult story and make it into a haunting film.
  8. It's worth seeing this stark adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure just for the extraordinary performance of Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley, the stonemason in turn-of-the-century England whose dreams of university scholarship are thwarted. And British telly director Michael Winterbottom sustains a fine atmosphere of dank misery.
  9. Jude is knockout Hardy, filled with stormy visual poetry and accompanied by a gorgeous yet simple score.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    [Jude] is bristling, muscular Victorian noir. Of the scant handful of previous Hardy adaptations, none can match its intensity.
  11. the film is well cast and the script is mostly faithful to the novel. Visually, it's probably the most accurate evocation of Hardy's world ever put on film. [01 Nov 1996]
  12. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Technically, pic is top-drawer, with restless, fluid cutting by Trevor Waite that adds to the unstarchy look, and a copious musical score by Adrian Johnston that gives a separate "sound" to the many locations (a folksy drone for Marygreen, High Baroque music for academic Christminster, and so on).
  13. 67
    Director Winterbottom and screenwriter Hossein Amini could have given the story a bit more resonance, particularly in character development, if they had allowed some of the scenes to go a little longer.
  14. With Christopher Eccleston as Jude and Kate Winslet of ''Sense and Sensibility'' as his great love, Sue Bridehead, and with convincing evocations of 19th-century England from locations in Edinburgh and the north of England, Jude remains a handsome if gravely flawed film.
  15. Winterbottom's efficient yet prosaic approach is evident from the first grimy frame. [18 Oct 1996]
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The problem here isn't grimness but a failure to make grimness wrench the heart. [18 Oct 1996]
  17. Reviewed by: Lloyd Rose
    Director Michael Winterbottom languidly unspools the story; nothing seems to lead to anything.
  18. The basic plot of Thomas Hardy's great novel "Jude the Obscure" comes through accurately enough, but its sublime irony and sardonic wit apparently got lost in the misty English countryside.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 2 out of 3
  1. RaveendraB.
    Jun 25, 2010
    The director doesn't do justice to Thomas Hardy. What was the need for showing all that nude scenes? The novel is unforgettable for its The director doesn't do justice to Thomas Hardy. What was the need for showing all that nude scenes? The novel is unforgettable for its pathos. I pity the director who could not grasp the novel. Full Review »
  2. josec
    Jan 8, 2010
    Not true to the novel, epsecially the proto-feminist lunacy of Winslets character. Ridiculous screenplay, poorly directed and woodenly acted.
  3. TrevorP.
    Jan 3, 2010
    Incredible experience. Great acting, great cinematography, greta score.