However despairingly nihilistic in its essence, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a vigorous and sophisticated multi-genre film in its form, with quite a provocative story to tell. As Woody comes to peace with his irrelevancy on a whole other level, he disturbs some of the ground questions of morality and meaning without any trace of pompousness and almost a spiritual like humility.
Throughout Woody Allen's career he has attempted to mirror the greatness of his idol Ingmar Bergman and he never reached that feat until this film, that probably worked because it wasn't really trying to rip off Bergman. This would make a good double bill with Cassandra's Dream.
re-rating. Previous to the last great Allen movie, "Alice", this film announces the failure of his system, rendered himself to the most boring bourgeois elocution and to irrelevant jokes. Using again Dostoyevsky and Bergman in the technique of the dramatic intrigue, this conductor pole is almost the only relevant factor in this film, exhausting it in its "content" and devitalizing the medium, with few exceptions...
This movie shook me to my very core. C&M has the finest script ever in an Allen film; the two stories told side by side converge to a powerful, and heart-stopping ending. Allen makes a successful case for the idea that there is no justice or karma in the world. He asks very tough questions, and never gives an easy answer. This is Allen at his most philosophical. I think this is one of the greatest movies ever made.