• Romantic Drama
    Period Film
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88

Boston Globe

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]
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88

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Wilmington
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]
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88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
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.
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80

Empire

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.
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75

TV Guide

[Jude] is bristling, muscular Victorian noir. Of the scant handful of previous Hardy adaptations, none can match its intensity.
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
Jude is knockout Hardy, filled with stormy visual poetry and accompanied by a gorgeous yet simple score.
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75

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
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.
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Together [Christopher Eccleston, Rachel Griffiths and Kate Winslet] stake a difficult story and make it into a haunting film.
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50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
Winterbottom's efficient yet prosaic approach is evident from the first grimy frame. [18 Oct 1996]
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50

USA Today

By Mike Clark
The problem here isn't grimness but a failure to make grimness wrench the heart. [18 Oct 1996]
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68 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.