Crime and Punishment (2002) Poster

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Great book, Good movie
kanenas9623 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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Global venture projects a classic into present
suchenwi30 March 2010
Warning: 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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offensively bad
linoleum9127 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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Canetina28 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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Don't believe it's bad!!!
hakobyanhakob819 September 2010
Warning: 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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Menahem Golan should be punished for this crime
eternalreturn-572-7043184 January 2013

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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great ambition
Vincentiu24 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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Crispin Glover is pathetically bad in this "movie"
pwndecaf30 June 2019
Wow, what a waste of time this movie was. I read the book about 30 years ago and remember it pretty well. This wasn't even close to the perfection of the book. I can only assume that all the other actors were as disappointed as I was because Glover is that bad in this movie. There is no subtlety to this adaptation, and a 2 hour movie probably isn't sufficient, but it might have been bearable without that awful lead actor. Don't bother, but read the book.
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Russia's Redemption
Cineanalyst26 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Although a poor adaptation in several ways of Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment," this film does make one interesting adjustment to the novel, albeit in a clumsily heavy-handed manner. That's more than I can say for some of the other cinematic versions I've reviewed since reading the text. Many of them either update the 19th-century setting to the modern day, as this one does, or treat the narrative as some sort of timeless parable. But the book is very much a product of its time and a reactionary critique to the radicalism, including Russian nihilism, of the author's place and era. Reworking the politics and religion to its own day is what is interesting here. Made in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, it condemns the dictators of yore--and, namely, Stalin--by comparing their acts to the murder committed by Raskolnikov, while also relocating the story from Saint Petersburg (the capital in Dostoevsky's day) to Moscow (the capital of the USSR and today's Russia). Ironically, the picture wasn't released, however, until the rise of a new dictator of Russia in the 21st century, Vladimir Putin, which severely puts a damper on the narrative in the film offering hope for Russia's redemption in the post-Cold-War world.

As a transmutation of Dostoevsky's words to screen, this is otherwise quite bad. The score is a nuisance and seems to exist largely to compensate for perceived pacing problems. Crispin Glover, best known as Marty McFly's dad, initially seems well cast as the unhinged protagonist, and the early combination of his voiceover and straight-out public mutterings of his thoughts is faithful to the character. But, boy, does he feature some odd mannerisms, including deliberate line readings, a creepy smile at the strangest moments, and a tendency to overact. He's not the only one, though; Vanessa Redgrave and Margot Kidder, a.k.a. Lois Lane, are called upon to do likewise for two minor parts that waste their talents. All of which makes John Hurt's calm demeanor, as the police inspector pursuing Glover's Rakolnikov as a murder suspect, stand out all the more. The casting of American and English actors, for the leads at least, is another quizzical decision for what is reported to have been an international production between the two former superpowers of the Cold War, as well as by one of their former Iron-Curtain pawns.

Story particulars are altered, too, which I don't mind for the most part. Raskolnikov certainly does lead the police to suspect him--even more so than he did in the book. Hurt's police inspector, consequently, appears at best competent rather than brilliant at his job given the mountain of bread crumbs left to him by the murderer in this version. Additionally, Hurt narrates the epilogue, but I'm just pleased that there's an epilogue here at all; most film adaptations drop that part of the book, but it's especially important for this version given the connection to the nation's path to regeneration. The one alteration that significantly bothers me, on the other hand, is the reduction of the role of Sonia. Hurt's character assumes much of her original role in Raskolnikov's conversion, while other incidents between her and the protagonist are dropped altogether. This results in her inevitable love for and following of Raskolnikov seeming abrupt and unbelievable--and likewise her role as his confidant and savior.

The capital move is a nice touch, though, allowing for the prominence of the Red Square and its monuments to past dictators within a city in flux, as capitalist franchises such as McDonald's pop up, but a hammer-and-sickle poster continues to hang on the wall of the police station. A similar dichotomy appears with Raskolnikov's admiration of Nietzsche in contrast to the religious iconography hanging in Sonia's home and to the religious speech delivered by the Inspector in contrast to his Nietzsche-inspired essay. Although Dostoevsky's novel precedes Nietzsche's ubermensch, and Russian and Nietzschian nihilism are two different, if related, things, this is another apt updating on the filmmakers' part. It's largely over-the-top, much like everything else here from the acting to the music, especially when Hurt spells it out by specifically bringing up Stalin, but at least there's a raison d'être for this film--not merely yet another adaptation to miss the forest for the trees by attempting to slavishly render a novel's story particulars rather than focus on the superior work of thematic transmutation.

It's also interesting to compare this to the 1970 Soviet version, which predictably, if subtly, downplays the role of the individual and religion of the story, including by eliminating the epilogue, in favor of ultimate submission to a police state. Additionally, it's worth checking out Evgeni Bauer's pre-Soviet silent film, "Child of the Big City" (1914), which rejects Dostoevsky's moralizing in favor of modern materialism.
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Modern setting? A huge mistake
gullywumpus3 February 2018
Setting this story in the modern era was a huge mistake. Frankly, this ruined the film for me, and if it had not been for the remnants of Dostoyevsky's brilliance shining through this mess I would not have bothered watching the film through to the end.
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Whoops, wrong movie
ericstevenson23 January 2018
I wanted to watch the 2002 version of "Crime And Punishment" but to my surprised, there's actually two versions of that movie released the same year! Dang, I ended up seeing the wrong one. Well, I'm going to review this anyway. This was a pretty good movie for me. I went into this completely blind. That is, I have no idea what the plot of the original book is.

I can see why this version isn't that beloved. The acting, especially Crispin Glover's can get really silly at times. Still, this was a nice way to be introduced to this story. I have obviously never read the original book. This one seemed to focus on things that weren't relevant to the story. I'm sure I'll find the right version next time. ***
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good intentions
Kirpianuscus29 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
analogue100116 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.

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