why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do     Contact    Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Starring Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, and Liam Cunningham
Directed by Michael Winterbottom

Film students and Prozac-takers of the world may now unite and rave as one for the brilliantly produced and acted Jude, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel "Jude the Obscure." The rest of us can avoid paying the ticket price merely by putting a plastic bag over our heads for a couple of minutes.

Jude is bleak, mentally and physically oppressive, depressing -- add any other synonym you can think of. I tend to remember my time in the theater as the equivalent of being punched in the stomach while being whacked in the head by a ball-peen hammer.

Jude is the story of a poor English stone mason (Christopher Eccleston) who greatly admires the only learned man in his village, the schoolmaster Phillotson (Liam Cunningham). He decides to better himself through learning. But hormones get in the way, and Jude finds himself married to the daughter of a pig farmer (a step down, as his mother warned him), learning to slaughter piglets the old fashioned way -- with great clumsiness. Which is only the first of two stomach-turning scenes in the piece.

Abandoned by his wife, Jude sets himself back on course towards a life of learning. But he will be rebuffed by the upper class University, find his perfect mate in Sue Bridehead (Kate Winslet), a cousin he can never marry (because divorce just isn't allowed in 19th century England). We're not even close to the halfway point. Love wins out and everything gets worse when the kids come. And the first wife returns. And . . . no, I'll leave that for those of you out there who wish to suffer through other people's misery.

Let me be very plain and honest about this. The production values are terrific. 19th century England is clearly manifested on the screen. The performances by all are convincing. But for Cranky, the woman who accompanied me, and a big-name critic we spoke with after the performance, Jude was an incredibly unpleasant two hours in a movie theater.

Things start out bad. Then they get worse. Then they get worse still. And then the nasty emotionally wrenching stuff is dumped on you like hot oil out of the parapets of a medieval castle.

Cranky's position has always been that movies should entertain or give you something to think (or talk) about afterwards. Jude may invigorate film students and ex-film student critics (please note that everything I have ever written has been called "review" not critique) but not me, and certainly not the small audience I saw it with. Jude as a whole is so overwhelmingly oppressive and depressing -- the one beacon of optimism is crushed immediately, that I can't recommend it.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Jude, he would have paid . . .


No complaints about the acting or design. I won't give the coveted "zero" to a film which has anything in it to compliment. Thus it is. Thus shall it ever be.

Click to buy films starring Kate Winslet
Click to buy films starring Christopher Eccleston
Click to buy films by Michael Winterbottom

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.