Master cinematographer Caleb Deschanel is, not unexpectedly, stronger on visuals than substance in his direction of Crusoe (though the camerawork is officially credited to Tom Pinter). The protagonist, played by Aidan Quinn, is a shipwreck victim, just as novelist Daniel Defoe proscribed over two hundred years ago. But this Robinson Crusoe is a child of the late 19th century; moreover, he is no ordinary sailor but an insensitive slave trader. The "Friday" character is divided up amongst several black natives of the island where Crusoe is stranded. Ultimately, Crusoe profits by their example, rather than the other way around. Director Deschanel busies himself with gorgeous scenery (mostly lensed in the Seychelles) and languid sunsets, permitting screenwriters Christopher Logue and Walson Green to pursue the politically correct message of Crusoe without interference.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide