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A Dangerous Method

Biography . Thriller . Drama

In 1904 a Russian woman named Sabina Spielrein arrives at Carl Jung's clinic, seeking treatment for hysteria. Jung is eager to test Sigmund Freud's theories on Sabina and, in fact, successfully treats her. Two years later Jung and Sabina meet Freud in person, and Jung takes over the treatment of Otto Gross, whose influence leads Jung to begin an affair with Sabina, contributing to a rift with Freud.

Actors: Mareike Carrière , Mignon Remé , Katharina Palm , Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey , André Hennicke , Sarah Gadon , Vincent Cassel , Michael Fassbender , Keira Knightley , Viggo Mortensen
Directors: David Cronenberg
Release: 2011-11-10
More Info:
  • Liam Lacey

    Mostly, though, A Dangerous Method is a suave chamber piece: a series of glimpses of two 20th-century intellectual titans, in friendship and separation, and the story of a remarkable woman who history had swallowed up, brought into the light again.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    Cronenberg's film is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It's a handsome and stimulating film, noteworthy more for its terrific acting and provocative ideas than for any kind of dark Cronenbergundian genius. Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Precise, lucid and thrillingly disciplined, this story of boundary-testing in the early days of psychoanalysis is brought to vivid life by the outstanding lead performances of Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Intelligent conversation about the interplay of erotic and destructive urges takes place over cups of tea in fine bone china. Yet the movie is a radically modern story about sex.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    In the movie's final shot, Jung's confidence crumbles and he looks supremely troubled, still uncertain of a world he once believed could be explained with textual prowess. Better than any analysis, his expression sums up the dangerous method at the heart of every Cronenberg movie.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Full of ideas about sexuality - some quite provocative, even a century after their first articulation - but it also recognizes and communicates the erotic power of ideas.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    This is the best thing Mortensen's ever done. His slow, paunchy, hairy Freud has a cavalier authority and a capacity for drollery. He's also seductively wise in a way that makes both Fassbender and Knightley, as very good as they are, also seem uncharacteristically callow.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The wonderful thing about Fassbender and Mortensen? Several things, actually. They're effortlessly convincing in period, and they know how to make recessive characters intriguing.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Using a dialogue-heavy approach that's unusual for Cronenberg, his film is skilled at the way it weaves theory with the inner lives of its characters. We are learning, yet never feel we're being taught.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The actors give it their all, especially Knightley, whose jaw- jutting, heavily accented and unfairly criticized portrayal gives the film its fighting spirit.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    A Dangerous Method is a movie believing the most formidable sex organ really is the brain.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    What's surprising here, and pleasantly so, is the restraint shown by Mortensen and Fassbender -- and by Cronenberg.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Represents a big growth spurt in Mr. Cronenberg's career. Its measured pace, along with a style that is sometimes austere (though sometimes anything but) repays close attention with excellent acting and a wealth of absorbing information.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Certainly the most genteel film Cronenberg has ever made, with period costumes worthy of Merchant/Ivory, no gore, and very little physical violence. But A Dangerous Method doesn't feel like a wimp-out or a sell-out at all. It's a fiercely thoughtful film, a movie of ideas that understands how powerful ideas can be.

    Slate Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    If the movie falls just shy of our highest mark, this is because Cronenberg is tamping down on his usually naturalistic performances - everything feels vaguely mad-scientist-ish.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    In short, Cronenberg has made an elegant film, with spanking. There's some mildly kinky sex in A Dangerous Method, but Cronenberg makes it neither exploitive nor so tasteful that it loses its charge.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    It's a period piece about the origins of psychoanalysis and the sexual confusions of its progenitors that is eloquent and handsomely made, if never quite revelatory.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Like psychoanalysis, A Dangerous Method takes its time as it circles an opening to unexplored depths. To reward our patience, Cronenberg gives us some honey-hued eye candy and rich dialogue, but if you're seeking instant gratification, I prescribe "Shame."

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    There's an icy chill, a detachment, to A Dangerous Method, too. Of course, there are no talking cockroaches (Naked Lunch), no naked steambath knife fights (Eastern Promises), and that may have something to do with why this all feels so un-Cronenbergian.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Ultimately, however, A Dangerous Method is less about the formative years of psychotherapy and two of its progenitors than it is about a rule-breaking extramarital affair.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Because nothing says 'holiday fun' quite like an intellectual struggle between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung peppered with a few vivid episodes of S-&-M sex, voila A Dangerous Method.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Mortensen has called A Dangerous Method Cronenberg's "Merchant-Ivory picture," but it just as often resembles a Woody Allen movie - literate, sophisticated and deeply concerned with sex and manners. (It's even mordantly funny, as an early scene at the Freud family dinner table attests.)

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Gorgeously photographed by Peter Suschitzky, A Dangerous Method presents a vivid portrait of pre-World War I Europe that's at a considerable remove from the types of madness usually seen in Cronenberg's films.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    As rigorous and stimulating as its thematic inquiries are, A Dangerous Method ultimately rests as much on its performances, and in that regard, it succeeds far more than it fails.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    That wordiness coupled with Cronenberg's classical restraint is part of the splendid Freudian joke at the movie's center.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Mark Jenkins

    The clinical style doesn't play to the director's strengths. A Dangerous Method didn't have to be another "Naked Lunch," but Freud plus Jung plus Cronenburg should have equaled something a little more dissonant and troubling.

    NPR Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    In his third consecutive Cronenberg film (after playing the righteous killers of A History of Violence and Eastern Promises), Mortensen is a happy surprise. Never has this tightly-wound actor seemed so relaxed in a difficult role; he is the charming papa Jung hates to overthrow but knows he must.

    Time Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    It's fascinating to see the exceptionally charismatic Fassbender squeeze himself into the role of the aristocratic, restrained Jung, and it's just as enjoyable to see Mortensen bring an unexpected virility to his sybaritic, cigar-chomping Freud.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    This complex story from the early days of psychoanalysis engrosses and even amuses as it unfolds through a series of conversations, treatment sessions and exchanged letters.

    Variety Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Low point would be Knightley's hysterical opening sequences in which she appears to be trying to trying to contort herself into a Moebius strip. Overacting this gross can only have been enabled by a director. Didn't Cronenberg look at the rushes? Or did he think he was back in "Dead Ringers" territory?

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Spielrein's name is less familiar than the others, but the film suggests she deserves to be more than a footnote in the history of psychoanalysis.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    A Dangerous Method has plenty to say about sex, but it lacks much fire for it.

    USA Today Full Review
  • William Thomas

    Despite a top-notch cast performing well, and bravely in the case of Knightley, this is an austere, somewhat repressed movie. It never really gets under the skin in the way Cronenberg does at his best.

    Empire Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    A Dangerous Method concerns itself primarily with sex, but what's most shocking is how conservative it turns out to be.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

    Michael Fassbender (Fishtank, Inglourious Basterds) is reliably great, severely outclassing costar Knightley's grating performance.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    A Dangerous Method still feels as if it's based on a rather pedestrian narrative --and so, in the final analysis, Cronenberg's film bores.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Instead we get Knightley, who juts her chin, quakes, shakes and bugs her eyes, but nothing about her pain calls out to us, because nothing in it seems real.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Never really delivers on that promise, mainly because its scenes of two brilliant men discussing the nature of the subconscious can't compare with Cronenberg's visual rendering of that subconscious in earlier movies.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    I can't imagine what attracted these two megahunks to such a bore.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Even a supporting turn by Vincent Cassell as Otto Gross, a fellow psychiatrist, cocaine addict and unapologetic adulterer, fails to enliven the movie: A Dangerous Method makes even a cokehead hedonist boring.

    Miami Herald Full Review
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