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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Global venture projects a classic into present

8/10
Author: suchenwi (suchenwi@o2online.de) from Konstanz, Germany
30 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For quick characterization, I first like to know which country a movie is from. In this case, I was unsure.. stars: the usual anglo set (though I only knew Vanessa Redgrave). Director/producer/production company: Israel. I had bought the film for 1€, and had it shelved for almost a year, until I decided to give it a try last night.

And I was surprised to see it was a very Russian movie. Filmed on location in Moscow, or in Ostankino studios. Lots of Russian names in the credits, apart from the stars. Based on Dostoyevski's 1866 novel (which has been turned to film more than a dozen times), but enacted in 2000's Moscow.

And the outdoor scenes showed quite some of Moscow as I knew it from my trip there in 1988. The indoors scenes showed shabby apartments, as seen e.g. in Nochnoy dozor. In brief: visually I felt much at home in this.

Not having read the original novel, I can't judge how truthful it was rendered. Some of the acted emotions felt indeed 19th century to me, but then there were updates including Nietzsche, Hitler, and Stalin. So, much food for thought..

I agree that some of the acting was melodramatic (call it soap opera if you wish), but the disturbed Raskolnikov as well as the detective/judge Profiry (John Hurt) were interesting to watch over the full 2 hours.

I watched the pic again this morning (after some Wikipedia reading), and must say I liked it better the second time around. It's still an odd film, but now I really like it, and can recommend it to other lovers of film diversity :^)

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

offensively bad

1/10
Author: linoleum91 from United States
27 January 2013

As a fan and recent reader of the book, I was intrigued to see that this film was coming on TV. I literally could not get through 15 minutes of this god-awful movie without turning it off. I made an account on IMDb seconds ago specifically so that I could post a review about what a horrific mistake of a film this is. The plot is scrambled and rushed, bearing no resemblance to the actual novel, which I may add is a masterpiece of Russian literature. The acting is flat and stale, and the character development is virtually nonexistent. The minimal character development that does occur, however, is completely incongruous with anything that happens in the novel. Though the book is not particularly long, Dostoevsky manages to develop his characters fully and consistently, a concept which was obviously lost on the group of miscreants who made this "movie". The entire concept of setting this story in the present day is absolutely ludicrous to begin with, but the execution of that misguided idea is so hamfisted that it's nearly painful to watch. This would have been a disappointing film on its own, but the fact that it has been produced under the name "Crime and Punishment", a story which is in no way relevant to this piece of garbage, is a serious crime in itself.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great book, Good movie

8/10
Author: kanenas96
23 April 2011

So, firstly, I must say that I read the book a week ago and I still have a fresh memory of it. Today I watched this movie, and I would say that you better have to read the book first, so that the movie don't spoil it, in case you read it. And you really should to.

The idea behind the movie is really great, and unfortunately, it fails to pass the full meaning very well. However, you should keep in mind that it is a movie, and the book wasn't made for being one. That happens because of the great emotional presentation and the unique character and thoughts each person has in the book.

So, watching this movie, you lose a part of Dostoevsky's masterpiece. What is more, many details are missing that really give life and making the novel feel real. There are a few differences with the book as well, insignificant however.

"So must I assume this movie is garbage?" Of course not. The actors are great in the majority of cases, and the plot is very solid and good enough conveyed. Nothing great at effects or music (not more than 5 soundtracks, think so). But it's a decent visual representation of the epic novel. Read it and watch the movie as I said, you won't regret it.

PS: Keep in mind that they can be both depressing enough, but Very Good at their class (especially the novel).

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Menahem Golan should be punished for this crime

1/10
Author: eternalreturn-572-704318 from United States
4 January 2013

Appalling.

Within minutes of the film's onset, the ideas of Raskolnikov's published paper are attributed to Nazis and consequently to Nietzsche. Anathema.

Crime and Punishment was published by Dostoyevsky in 1866. Nietzsche wrote Also Sprach Zarathustra *after* 1882. Nietzsche's last written work before dementia took hold was published 1888. Nietzsche died 1900. Nietzsche's sister published Will To Power in 1901. The National Socialist Party (the Nazis) formed in 1920.

Golan's "liberty" with the reality of Nietzschean philosophy only serves to reinforce insidious disinformation. Contrary to the insinuations of Golan's script, Nietzsche was *not* a Nazi; Nietzsche detested both the state and the notion of racial supremacy. Anyone who bothers to read his works knows this. Unfortunately precious few people ever bother to even lift a cover, relying instead on the sewage published by people like Golan, who obviously has also not bothered to even glance at Nietzsche's work.

This _movie_ is an insult to both Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche, never mind its myriad other affronts to the art of film, in general.

Attributing Raskolnikov's behavior to Nietzsche or Nietzschean philosophy is unforgivable. Not only was the writer of Crime and Punishment from a different generation (Dostoyevsky b. 1821; Nietzsche b.1844), there was *nothing* German about the ideology Raskolnikov had published in his paper. "Deutschland über alles," at the time Crime and Punishment was published, was known as an appeal to the various German monarchs to give the creation of a united Germany a higher priority than the independence of their small states, not a call to a race of "super" men.

Did Golan actually *read* the book written by Dostoyevksy? My money says he read 3/4 of the Cliff Notes for Crime and Punishment, and used cultural "knowledge" he found in various chatrooms and forums on dial-up BBS and the internet to inform his screenplay.

This film is like the bad dream of a university sophomore in 1998, who nodded off despite ingesting a full bottle of No-Doz, as he was trying to write the final paper for Russian Lit (went to class, but read none of the books), the day after he learned he got a D- for his final grade in Survey of Existential Philosophers. Also made a D in history, 20th Century Europe Before the Cold War.

If you have read Crime and Punishment and enjoyed it, do *not* watch this if you seek to heighten/enrich that experience. If you are supposed to read Crime and Punishment, but think you can watch this film and get what you need, you are headed for an epic fail.

If you're into msting, however, there may be some value to viewing this.

Aside from numerous fails with time period inconsistencies that only make sense in the context of a bad dream (note: not a nightmare, just some crappy, disconnected dream): wardrobe *sucks* and contributes massively to the overall unbelievability of the world this script created; the makeup is... more-often-than-not very obviously make-up, poorly applied; everyone delivers their lines thoroughly stilted, unconvincing in the extreme. Props and set design are exactly as one might have in a bad dream, especially if, in real life, one has worked stock at a big box store, Walmart, or Best Buy.

What an awful waste of celluloid. I wish Mystery Science Theater 3000 was still making new episodes on TV, and that either Joel and the 'bots or Mike and the 'bots could give this thing the roasting it deserves.

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Don't believe it's bad!!!

10/10
Author: Jacob from Russia
9 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm actually a big Canon group fan since 80's and love director Menahem Golan's works. Some people claim he's a bad movie director, well, even if so, some of his bad movies are several times better than a lot of films made in our days. And with this one he simply outdid himself. At least he managed to play a very significant role in 80's. Not only he directed such great movies as 'Over the Top', 'Enter the ninja', 'Mivtsa Yonatan', but also produced some great action movies including the legendary 'Death Wish' and 'Cobra'.

This movie is truly unique. Firstly the atmosphere. Although it came out in 2002, they had started shooting it in 1993. And that's one part of the special appeal in this movie. Golan masterfully used this post-Soviet era to create a modern day adaptation of this great novel and all the non-Russian actors perfectly fit in with this atmosphere.

In general I will say that the movie is fast-paced, rich in content and very nicely edited.

All the actors simply shined in this movie playing Russians. Frankly, I had never been interested in Crispin Glover's career and only after 'Crime and punishment' decided to check out his other movies. He does an outstanding job showing the mental condition of a criminal both before and after committing a murder. Talking about the murder, the scene of slaughtering the old woman was very realistic, violent and gory. Despite of all that, we still feel sorry for him after that very scene and that's actually the point of the novel - pitying a criminal.

As for John Hurt, before watching the movie I had read another review here saying his acting was bad, which I really don't understand why. I personally find he was terrific and delivered many memorable lines.

There's a scene where Vanessa Redgrave lies down on the floor beside his son's bed, then stretches out her hand saying 'Good-bye' to Rodion's friend. That particular scene is very Russian. It may seem ridiculous to some people (and I'm sure it has), but it's actually another subtle sequence. It seems the actors did understand what it feels like being Russian at the moment. They really did a very nice casting on this movie because as I said all the actors perfectly fit in. There was a young actress very much like Jodie Foster - Sophie Ward playing Rodion's sister. Not to forget Richard Lynch who despite of playing a negative role, still managed to induce sympathy, because even if in the first half of the movie they turn out to be sworn enemies with Rodion, later in the court sequence he seems to have compassion upon Rodion.

All in all, this was one of those movies that when you watch it, you don't think about who's the director, or who the actors are. The plot is so thrilling that you just want to see what's going to happen next, since Menahem Golan manages to give every event a natural outcome.

There was the cute Israeli actress Avital Dicker (a girl of marvelous beauty) playing a hooker with whom Rodion later falls in love.

Also I would like to point out the great score by Robert O. Ragland.

Overall, this movie is much more than just worth seeing. Hopefully they will release a proper DVD release of this someday with some interviews and director's commentary.

One of Menahem Golan's best movies.

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good intentions

Author: Kirpianuscus from Romania
29 April 2017

one of films who deserves, for the good intentions, all the applause. Crispin Glover has the right to his Raskolnikov and the presence of Vanessa Redgrave, John Hurt, John Neville is a good thing. and, maybe, the only sin is the desire of innovation, ignoring everything , of the director. sure, the ambition to transform the story of Rodion Raskolnikov in an universal explanation for the Russian history is not a real bad idea. but, in this case, it is not reasonable. "Crime and Punishment" is a solid novel. it has all the tools for a great/decent adaptation in its structure and words and characters. it is not a play who becomes , in the mind of director, something more than original. so, it could be better. if the ambition to impress was low.

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Very odd film

4/10
Author: Ronnie
16 July 2016

I came across this on Netflix UK, and thought why not.

Well I have to say it's one of the worst films I have ever seen. It's more like a play than a film.

Almost everything about the film is bad, but its setting and weirdness do give it something, so worth a watch if you want to experience something different.

The plot is OK, but the characters seem a bit dim, constantly explaining the obvious and doing everything as you would expect.

Again, its a very odd film and worth a watch just for that aspect.

Enjoy!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

great ambition

Author: Armand from Romania
24 April 2013

each adaptation is occasion for present personal style. the dose is essential. in this case, basic sin are innovations. Nietzsche and Stalin, Russia after 1991 and crumbs of Hitler/Ceaușescu speech, a story without borders or soul, great actors in not inspired roles. only virtue - the measure of fragility for novel. Dostoyevski is not rubber toy. and the ambition of director/scriptwriter to do a personal version is a big error. because his Crime and Punishment is almost fake. the confession of Raskolnikov - a profound injury against novel. the relations between characters - chain of mistakes. only excuse - the good intentions. but to use a really good cast for a poor drawing is expression only for a great blind ambition. desire to say a classic story in yours manner, with yours mark, with selfish attitude is a mistake out of words.

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43 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

unbelievable

1/10
Author: (boris.lukic@zg.t-com.hr) from Croatia
28 January 2007

I watched about 20 minutes of the movie and was so stunned that i had to turn my computer on, and hoping to find out this is some kind of parody, or at least to see this was this director's first and last movie. Now finding out that he made more than 100 movies I really don't understand how this came to be such a bad movie.

I didn't expect that a movie could be as good as that great novel, but this is just the opposite. It's like watching a episode of soap-opera, there is no real characterization, lines are so straight forward and dumb, and such a great cast of actors looks like a local amateur group. As i'am writing this, great John Hurt is on the screen playing inspector, and it still looks awful.

Definitely one the worst movies I've ever seen.

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