The Count of Monte Cristo

( 77 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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

A gorgeously photographed, sumptuously designed adaptation of the Dumas swashbuckler...Jessica Winter
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/4/2003
  • UPC: 786936205862
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

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
Freddie 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For once, a movie better than the book

    The movie adaptation is much better than the book. I usually never like the movie as well as the book, but in this case - big improvement. The movie whittles down all the convoluted second half of the book and makes some agreeable changes in plot. The scenery and music are great and so is the acting. My 9-year old son loves this movie and we have watched it many times as a family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing like the book. But what did you expect?

    I find it hard to beleive that anyone who has read the full version of the Count of Monte Cristo would be surprised this movie left out large portions of the book. The book is far too large to turn into a 2-3 hour movie. The entire background story on Lugi Vampa alone could have been turned into a movie. So to could have been my favorite par of the book; the Valintine and Maxmillion love story. The film did manage to capture the main themes of the novel; revenge, betrayl and Dantes' transformation from a gullible, innocent sailor to a jaded count. Overall it is worth watching. But, if possible, watch the movie before you read the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    The Count of Monte Cristo is known to be a classic, but overall

    The Count of Monte Cristo is known to be a classic, but overall I didn't really enjoy it. I mostly enjoy mystery and action books and this book seemed very slow paced. In some parts you just wanted the scene to end and in others it was pretty hard to comprehend. The story felt like it just dragged on. I feel like if the book was shorter the story would have been more interesting. I also thought that when the story ended there should have been a little more of an ending.
    Although I didn't like the book, I did think that the author created a well thought out story line and plot. I liked how you read about the time when Edmond Dantes had a perfect life and he was about to receive everything he always wanted. Then all of the sudden his friends turned to enemies and his perfect life was stripped away from him piece by piece. I also liked how during the time he was in jail, his anger built up more and more until he created a “map to revenge” in his mind. He escaped and he followed that “map to revenge” until he ruined the people’s lives who put him in the situation he was put in for the last 14 years. In conclusion he realized what he had done, but only regretted how he ruined the lives of the people who were not a part of his enemies’ conspiracy. It was a pretty creative story.
    I don’t think I would recommend this book to people that like the same kind of books as me, or people who don’t enjoy reading a lot, because it is a super long book. I would however recommend it to people who enjoy historical books of any kind. It is actually a pretty good book it is just not for me. Maybe now I should watch the movie.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    This was one of the worst versions of the Count of Monte Cristo

    This was one of the worst versions of the Count of Monte Cristo that I have viewed....Hollywood ruined the storyline and destroyed Dumas' book...bad...bad...bad...JRVA

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    the book was wonderful!

    the book was wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    Highly recommended!!!

    Great movie.....full of suspense, romance, and intrigue.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great version of classic story

    James Caviezel and Guy Pearce move you to feel the betrayal and desire for revenge in this story based on Dumas' novel. It is all too easy to imagine Dantes' deep hurt over the betrayal by his best friend. It's also fascinating to watch his intricate plan for revenge unfold. The sword fights are good too!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Prefect!

    This is a great movie adaptation of the book.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This movie has it all!

    This movie really does have it all! The cast was incredible! the costumes were amazing. I must say that my favorite part was the story. It is awesome! The story at first seems so simple, maybe about two men who are best friends and find a treasure. But oh is there so much more! The script has so many twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat! I think one of my favorite parts is when the priest teaches the count of monte cristo how to read, write, to think for himself, and to finally fight and defend himself. Everything you thought that was going to happen doesn't, or does, but in a different more awesome way. This movie makes you think. It's exciting, funny, and well unforgettable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    excellent movie

    I love this movie. Even my grandaughter who is almost 9 likes to watch this. The acting is very good and so is the story. I highly recommend this movie.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good moral

    Don¿t know if it was because I became religious a short time before this movie came out but it¿s got ALOT of deep meanings in it from what I got. But very well written and done movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    It was okay but not great.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very Deep and some great acting

    I saw this movie before the the passion of the Christ and when I saw this movie I was in wonderment how a great movie like this is underappreciated. The Count of Monte Cristo has everything. Love, Friendship, Revenge and has a good moral to the story. I absolutley loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alright

    This was a good movie-for a movie. It completly butchered the book, left out many of the most important characters, and distorted the plot. The old version of this movie was more accurate. Overall, this movie was alright.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorite movies!!!

    This was a great movie!! I never saw a movie that left you hanging about what was going to happen next until i saw this one. I watched it on ABC family now im buying it. It is wonderful I enjoyed every minute of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    I agree with the other reviews. This is a great film. No, this is not the book, but it makes you want to get it and read it! I am not one to buy movies after I've seen them, but this one is a keeper. Richard Harris does a great job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    God this movie rocks

    This movie is one of the best sword fighting movies next to the princess bride and the homemade ones my dad makes of my sisters fencing competitions its awesome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my all time favorites!!

    This movie is really good. It is a little long, but it is totally worth it. It's exciting, emotional, dramatic, and captivating. Everyone should see this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Usually Prefer the Book. Not this time...

    This is an excellent film. No, the movie does not mirror the book which inspired it. It does not matter in the least; the movie had me on the edge of my seat many times, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BUTCHERED

    Alexandre Dumas is rolling over in his grave. If you have ever read his masterpiece, spare yourself the agony of watching this movie, I doubt you'll have the will-power to finish it, I'm surprised I did. It is an absolute joke that this film bears the same name as the book. Dumas has every right to seek out twice the revenge that Edmond Dantes did.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews