Count of Monte Cristo

Count of Monte Cristo

4.5 77
Director: Kevin Reynolds

Cast: James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Dagmara Dominczyk


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The classic tale of swashbuckling adventure by the senior Alexandre Dumas comes to the screen in its umpteenth incarnation, this time from Kevin Reynolds, directing his first feature in five years. James Caviezel stars as Edmond Dantes, an honest sailor who plans to marry his beautiful lover Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk). Edmond doesn't know that his best friend… See more details below


The classic tale of swashbuckling adventure by the senior Alexandre Dumas comes to the screen in its umpteenth incarnation, this time from Kevin Reynolds, directing his first feature in five years. James Caviezel stars as Edmond Dantes, an honest sailor who plans to marry his beautiful lover Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk). Edmond doesn't know that his best friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce) secretly desires Mercedes for himself and schemes with fallen aristocrat Villefort (James Frain) to frame Edmond for a crime he didn't commit. Sentenced to life on the remote island prison of D'If, Edmond becomes consumed by plans for revenge. Thirteen years pass and he meets a fellow innocent convict, Abbe Faria (Richard Harris), who becomes Edmond's mentor in swordfighting, finance, and escape, confiding that a vast treasure awaits a discoverer on the island of Monte Cristo. Eventually, Edmond is able to get away using Faria's tunnels and makes his way to Monte Cristo, where he retrieves the fortune and uses it to make himself over as the wealthy "Count of Monte Cristo." With the help of a loyal sidekick (Luis Guzman), Edmond insinuates himself into French royalty and sets about getting revenge on Villefort and Fernand, who is now married to Mercedes. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) also stars Michael Wincott and Albie Woodington.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
One of the best of the many adaptations of Alexander Dumas’ beloved novel, this lavish 2002 version offers swashbuckling adventure of the highest order. An innocent man, Edmond Dantes (Jim Caviezel), is imprisoned for years on a godforsaken island while the friend who betrayed him (Guy Pearce) takes Dantes’ ravishing fiancée (Dagmara Domincyzk) for himself. Dantes eventually escapes, recovers a fortune in buried pirate treasure, transforms himself into the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, and methodically goes about exacting his revenge. This sumptuous production does a splendid job of re-creating the novel's 19th-century French setting: The costumes, locations (the film was shot in Ireland and Malta), and lush cinematography are breathtaking. Caviezel and Domincyzk are equally gorgeous (especially since neither of them appears to age one whit over the course of 16 years); Pearce makes a memorable bad guy; and Richard Harris is excellent as Abbé Faria. Director Kevin Reynolds has a real feel for action, and he manages to infuse the frequent sword fights with tension and drama. Most important, the scenes in which Dantes exacts his long-plotted revenge offer the deep, cathartic satisfaction that has made The Count of Monte Cristo such an enduring classic.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A return to form for superlative action director Kevin Reynolds, who isn't hampered by the two most common drawbacks to his work: dumb scripts and the presence of his one-time friend Kevin Costner in the cast. This time, Reynolds draws creative water from the well of a classic adventure novel and casts excellent actors Guy Pearce and James Caviezel in the leads (as well as terrific supporting players Richard Harris and Luis Guzman in smaller roles). Pearce in particular chews up the scenery with a witheringly fey, callow performance that challenges the best villain turns of Tim Roth. The overall result is a solid, efficiently crafted swashbuckler. The director also remains consistent in tone and theme, a major flaw of his previous big-budget efforts such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Waterworld (1995), two pictures that displayed moments of real grace and inventiveness, but which were seriously hampered by Costner's wooden acting and too many boneheaded attempts to play to the cheap seats with ironic one-liners, foolish plot ideas, and anachronistic humor. Reynolds is going for a pulpy feeling in most of his work and he finally achieves a tangible Classic Comics flavor here, successfully mounting scenes that would have played as unintentionally hilarious in his earlier work -- such as the Count's arrival at his own "coming out" party via hot air balloon -- but here achieve a giddy showiness that urges the audience to join in the fun. That's not to say that the film succeeds on all levels; distracting indeed are some rather modern lines of dialogue and the fact that it takes only a goatee and longer hair for the Count to disguise himself from those who have known him his entire life. Fans of Superman should have little problem with this, however, and that gets to the heart of the film; Alexandre Dumas isn't exactly William Shakespeare, so filmmakers can be forgiven for taking poetic license in adapting the Frenchman's purple prose. Especially when they've done so this well. The Count of Monte Cristo is a fine and worthy B-picture in the best tradition of its genre. One longs to see what Reynolds could do with the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Louis Stevenson or Jack London.
Village Voice
A gorgeously photographed, sumptuously designed adaptation of the Dumas swashbuckler...Jessica Winter
Washington Post
Old-form moviemaking at its best. Stephen Hunter
San Francisco Chronicle
This new movie version of the Alexandre Dumas classic is the stuff of high romance, brought off with considerable wit. Bob Graham

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

5 Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Filmmakers Including Alternate Final Duel; "The Napoleonic World" - Production Design Featurette; "En Garde" - Multi-Angle Sword Fighting Feature; "The Pen" - Retrospective On Author Alexandre Dumas; "Adapting A Classic" - Screenwriting Segment; "The Clash of Steel" - Stunt Choreography Piece; Layer-By-Layer - Interactive Sound Design Feature; Audio Commentary With Director Kevin Reynolds

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Caviezel Edmond Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo
Guy Pearce Fernand
Dagmara Dominczyk Mercedes
Richard Harris Abbe Faria
Luis Guzman Jacopo
James Frain Villefort
Henry Cavill Albert
Albie Woodington Danglars
Michael Wincott Dorleac
Alex Norton Napoleon Bonaparte
Fred Jones Col. Villefort
Helen McCrory Valentina Villefort

Technical Credits
Kevin Reynolds Director
Gary Barber Producer
Roger Birnbaum Producer
Chris Brigham Executive Producer
John Byrne Set Decoration/Design
Chris Chrisafis Co-producer
Connor Devlin Art Director
Andrew Dunn Cinematographer
Derek Evans Co-producer
James Flynn Co-producer
Mark Geraghty Production Designer
Jonathan Glickman Producer
Robert Huberman Art Director,Asst. Director
Priscilla John Casting
Peter Joly Sound/Sound Designer
Morgan O'Sullivan Co-producer
Tom Rand Costumes/Costume Designer
Marcia Ross Casting
Rebekah Rudd Co-producer
Steve Semel Editor
Edward Shearmur Score Composer
Andrew Somper Co-producer
Jay Wolpert Screenwriter
Chris Womack Editor

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