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Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 109
  2. Negative: 12 out of 109

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  1. Nov 27, 2011
    Summary: On the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a boring snooze-fest of epic proportions. Drawn from true-life events, "A Dangerous Method" manages to take the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful (phew! at least she's beautiful!) young woman who comes between them, and reduce them to a stilted, dry-as-sawdust, repetitive, uninteresting, and unenlightening entry from a 1950s World Book encyclopaedia. Into the mix comes Otto Gross, a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries. One might hope that this would offer the filmmakers an opportunity to explore any of the myriad fascinating aspects of all of these characters, their relationships, their theories, and the times in which they lived. Sadly, however, the movie descends even further into turgid, pseudo-intellectual, phony claptrap, the only physiological stimulation for audience members being a catastrophically hammy and unrealistic performance by the usually excellent anorexic, Keira Knightley. In this supposed exploration of sensuality, pretentiousness and cluelessness set the scene for the cinematic equivalent of an elementary school production of "The Miracle Worker." Expand
  2. Nov 23, 2011
    Just saw A Dangerous Method and I liked it for the most part. It showcases the early years of psychoanalysis and the rise and fall of Freud and Jung's friendship. Cronenberg's straight-forward direction makes this film unfortunately bland, but adds subtle nuance to the solid story and all the characters. With that said, the film was very reliant on its precise script, and the actor's success at playing complex characters. What Cronenberg really did well, was to draw out strong performances, particularly from Keira Knightly, who was my favorite part of this movie. I cringed at first by her overly-dramatic performance in the beginning, but I liked it, and I like her performance more as she progressed and developed. She deserves some award recognition for this psycho-sexual performance, for sure. The pale direction didn't allow for much great technical attributes, but it did have some precise production designs. Overall; solid, good movie. Expand
  3. Feb 27, 2012
    Probably better named 'A Dangerous Jawline', the film itself I found to be rather hampered by Keira Knightly and her performance which I just could not buy into at all. In the first instance I felt she was trying too hard, and later down the line I found myself wondering what accent she was trying to adopt. During the opening scenes I did feel in actual physical danger from the aforementioned Jaw - had it been in 3D I would have been scared witless. These points aside the film itself I felt actually lacked a little in explaining the psychological theories to any great extent, it just brushed over the theories rather than going into any detail. But that is a personal dissapointment rather than a lacking in the film itself.
    Fassbender was fantastic as usual, as was Mortensen, and Cassel was typically stand out - but I found the film did not hold my attention like I was expecting it to. It is not a terrible film - it looks nice and it has fantastic actors in it - but I found Kiera's performance to be illusion shattering and the story to be just not that interesting. I would have prefered some more in depth explanation of the approaches to analysis by the two very different practitioners for a more educational film, the stories of scientific rivalry or becoming too involved with patients have been done many times before, and better.
    Worth a watch, but I don't suppose I will be watching it again :)
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    With such good prospects : Freud at the beginning of his clash with a conservative society and David Cronenberg who has been on ice for some time one would think that we would get some good food for thought and some good jolts of eeriness. But apart from some old school S&M and some odd sexual remarks of sorts nothing really happens that could interest or shock anybody (well maybe a diehard Jane Austen fan) Expand
  5. Dec 30, 2011
    Movie had some incredibly memorable lines and great dialogue between Jung and Freud, and a downright brilliant 20 minutes with Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross. Unfortunately, Jung just wasn't a particularly interesting main character. The only time he's engaging is when he's debating with Freud or having sex with Keira Knightly. Unfortunately those segments only really last 2/3rds of the movie, the last 3rd that details a minor mental breakdown or has him living with his personality devoid wife feel boring and pointless, I was just waiting for the credits to roll. Expand
  6. Lyn
    Jan 5, 2014
    Like a good volume of biography or history, this is the type of movie that will send interested viewers in search of more information about these intriguing characters. Not the biggest fan of Keira Knightley, but thought she was believably hysterical in this and it's hard to go wrong with Fassbender and Mortensen. Definitely on the dry & talky side and of particular interest to psychology minors. I like talky films and WAS a psych minor, so I was fine with it! Expand
  7. Dec 31, 2012
    Despite the excellent cast performing splendidly and boldly in the case of Knightley, this is a stern, somewhat repressed movie. And even when Vincent Cassell in a supporting role as a cocaine addict and hedonist fellow psychiatrist Otto Gross appears dull, only one thing is left to say about the movie: A Dangerous Method is plainly boring.
  8. Jan 29, 2012
    Be warned: any film that puts Karl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) in the same room is going to be talky and loaded with psycho-babble. Toss in a sexually disturbed woman (Keira Knightley) and you've got kink, anguish and strife. Based on real events, this story looks at the relationship of the three and it's effects on the early days of psychiatry (also known as "the talking cure," this film is the talking curse!) Not enough happens and when it does, the detached direction (Cronenberg) keeps it from being emotionally involving. It's beautiful to look at and the performances are strong, but the slow pacing makes it a painful session. Expand
  9. Dec 15, 2011
    Not the best movie of the year, but the most indiscreetly "sexes" I've seen, I loved the assembly and costume design, outstanding actors. good movie...
  10. j30
    Apr 23, 2012
    Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley all bring their A-game, but the direction and script are underwhelming. The movie has a lot to say without really knowing how to deliver. After waiting four years from the time the excellent Eastern Promises came out this is pretty bland stuff. David Cronenberg is one of the best directors out there, hopefully Cosmoplis turns out better than this. Expand
  11. Mar 15, 2013
    It's always difficult to review a movie based on psychology because sometimes what's difficult to understand is too easily categorized as illogical or bad execution.I heard so much criticism towards the last movie by Cronenberg.I completely disagree with those bad reactions."A dangerous method"is a brilliant ,absorbing and thought provoking movie that boasts excellent performances by the three leading actors.The direction is great and Cronenberg once again shows his uncommon ability to tell a story in a very original way although the dialogs are sometimes hard to follow,probably due to its subject.But there are really breathtaking moments such as the scenes of the Spielrein therapy.This leads me to Knightley performance.It was a brave,shocking and terrific performance that it was criticized without a reason.I didn't catch all that hatred.She has always been so good("Pride e prejudice","Atonement" and "Never let me go")but here she left her comfort zone to bare herself and gives one of the most exiting performances of the year.Oscar worthy material.Fassbender was equally great in the role of Jung and it's a pleasure to watch this splendid rising A-list actor.Mortensen was good but I fear not as good as Fassbender and Knightley.Cassell is always Cassell.He's a good actor but he plays always the role of the daring man.I think that "A dangerous method" is one of the best movies of the year.It succeeds to transcend from his particular story to focus on the hidden instincts associated with the human nature.My vote is 8/10 Expand
  12. Jan 14, 2012
    I enjoyed the casts' portrayal. Viggo was great as Dr. Freud. Kiera's accent was a bit irritating but you can look past it after a few minutes. The actor that played Carl Jung was good, you could pity him for the conflicts he gets himself into.

    The sets and locations were beautiful. It's set in 1907 and it looks great. I wish hospitals looked like that!

    I am unsure what exactly was
    the story of the movie. Was it a love story, or some father/son see things differently. Expand
  13. Apr 22, 2012
    A little boring with all the talk but then there's some brief nudity and sexual "unusualness" as there should be when Freud is mentioned. Nicely chronicles the relationship and impact all 3 characters had on each other and how it ultimately shaped their lives and what it carried to the future of psychoanalysis. Strong performance by Ms Knighltley and proper subdued performance by Mr Fassbinder. Mr Cassel's role is wasted and Mr Mortensen's portrayal of Freud makes him seem weak and dis-spirited (save for one scene). The jumps forward did not give me enough insight on how "The Talking Cure" so quickly and overtly helped her. And one thing about accents-I know it was not in English so stop having the characters try to "sound" foreign. Either do it it its native tongue with subtitles or let them speak English, even the Kings English is better then floating in and out of different accents. Overall it probably made a better stage play but still worth seeing. (B-). Expand
  14. Dec 3, 2011
    just terrible, terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,just terrible, terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible,terrible.
  15. Dec 5, 2011
    A nice introduction for everybody to the early years of psychoanalysis, Freud and Jung, and a "calm" presentation of the ideas the two follow ! The movie is about contrasts ... teacher & student, marriage & adultery, conservative & progressive and so on !
  16. Dec 7, 2011
    This is an interesting film for Cronenberg in that it never gets as weird or intense as most folks would expect from him. Rather, what we're given is essentially a very mannered comedy that, at first blush, looks like a Merchant Ivory drama... though the humor is SO dry that most folks in the theater I was in simply mistook it for drama anyway. If you're intimately familiar with Cronenberg's work, though, you realize that underlying a lot of his films, even his most serious pieces, there is a hyper-intelligent, active sense of humor at play. Here it takes center stage, though he operates with such nuance and wit that a good portion of the audience will inevitably miss the joke entirely. It's also worth mentioning that each of the lead cast members are fantastic, in particular Keira Knightley. I wouldn't recommend this film to just anyone, but as a fan of Cronenberg's entire career, I greatly enjoyed the film. Expand
  17. Dec 17, 2011
    A real Cronenberg dud. Lifeles and talky, the film makes Jung and Freud dull and flat and adds nothing to our knowledge of both. At first we are detached and soon we don't really care. Follow your impulse and leave -- it only gets worse and you certainly have better things to do than sit through this. Knightley's perfomance as Jung's patient and assistant is an exhibitionist act without a shred of authenticity. It will make you cringe and wish somebody take her out of the film. Nothing in that film rings true - we would be better off if it had never been mad Collapse
  18. Dec 30, 2011
    A Dangerous Method is overall a great and interesting film, but Viggo Mortensen's acting in it is outstanding! This film is worth seeing just to see his perfect acting.
  19. Jan 7, 2012
    a dangerous method, by david cronenberg, is a good movie.though its tempo is a little slow(this is not an unexpected thing for a movie like this), it is thought-provoking. it will make you think again and again about the difficult psychological subjects that the movie is dealing with. also i loved mortensen's acting but i was not so fond of keira's, as it seems to me she was exaggerating a little. but, generally, the money you'll pay for the ticket will be well-spent.nice effort! Expand
  20. May 4, 2014
    While being thrilled to Cronenberg’s upcoming MAPS TO THE STARS, which will debut in Cannes this year in the main competition, it is an apposite time to visit his other work which escaped my watch list although COSMOPOLIS (2012, 4/10) is a fiasco which quite disheartens my faith, luckily, A DANGEROUS METHOD is surprisingly robust in depicting a historical love affair between one of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, Doctor Carl Yung (Fassbender) and his Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Knightley), at the dawn of 20th Century, at the same time, the film also probes into Yung’s correspondence with Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), how their assumed mentor-and-next-in-line rapport disintegrates in the wake of their diversified convictions in the professional field.

    read rest of review on my blog, google cinema omnivore.
  21. Jan 14, 2012
    by Georgia Xanthopoulou
    Based on a stage play which was based, in its turn, on a book by John Kerr, A Dangerous Method is about the relationship a young Carl Jung develops with a troubled patient as well as the beginning and break-up of his friendship with Sigmund Freud. Most importantly, the film concerns itself with the events that probably caused the breakdown he
    suffered during World War I and the battle within himself as his values as a responsible physician clashed with his carnal desires. The film starts off quite rough. For those who may be frightened by the beginning of the film, I assure you it gets better. Keira Knightley doesnâ Expand
  22. Jan 16, 2012
    Vapid. Inert. Lifeless. And other synonyms for this beautiful period piece. It is nicely filmed and doubtless faithful to its sources. But it is so austere that there is little to which to relate. The male leads are strong, particularly Freud, but the female lead's opening scenes are over-acted. Gorgeous buildings.
  23. Feb 14, 2012
    I liked it for the most part but just wasn't impressed by the overall movie, this really wasn't a good character study of a well known historic figure or a human being in general. Cronenberg played very safe and the movie felt too much of a Holding Back case to me and to me this is one of the weaker Cronenberg movies. A big fan of Fassbender, he was nice in the movie but the best thing about it was Mortenson who stole the show while Keira Knightely was too childish and amateur in the movie. Good art direction and stuff but not a very good movie still a nice watch. Expand
  24. Dec 22, 2013
    A lifeless dull film, aside from Knightley's overacted and frankly bad performance, that doesn't thrill, doesn't touch, and it's not even a real love story. The movie is just a total bore.
  25. Dec 26, 2013
    Even though it was clearly boring at times, it didn't seem to bother me all that much. It was kind of interesting. You don't feel connected to any of the characters though.
  26. Apr 2, 2012
    The unfortunate Keira Knightly with her utterly fake accent and no comprehension of the character's behavior and motivation is dragging down the movie. What could have been a solid drama with layers upon layer of conflict (established authority vs. talented protegee, man torn between his wife and his mistress, psychoanalysis vs. established medical practice...) becomes soapy and hard to swallow melodrama. Unfortunately not even one of the mentioned conflict is brought to any conclusion.
    On the other hand, visually the movie is beautiful to watch. Detailed and with sharp contrasts I have absolutely enjoyed it. And certainly Viggo Mortensen and Vinsent Cassel are playing out their characters to the maximum of the available screen time. Finally, Michael Fassbender managed to give Jung the insecurity that I always felt the human Jung avoided showing.
  27. Aug 7, 2014
    This one could have been far better and, as it sits, is undeniably below average. Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender are great here and have solid chemistry with one another and, at the end of the day, are two of the lone positives I can truly find here, aside from an interesting and engaging story. I like Keira Knightley and her physical performance is solid, but her accent sounds off and fake to me, which turns me off from her performance entirely. The story, while interesting, feels rushed and hurried. Many things were essentially skimmed through and relationships amongst characters left missing crucial elements to really make you give a damn. I did not really find this one boring and the dialogue was solid, but as I said, the script could have been far, far better. The costume design is nice and everything really fits the time period well, but clothes do not save a film from being a disappointer for me. On pretty much every front, A Dangerous Method is a skin deep look at two men and a woman who explored the mind and all of its capabilities. These people deserved a better film and sadly, David Cronenberg's film does not provide that. Expand
  28. Aug 30, 2012
    I had so high expecations in this film from the trailer, which all got destroyed with seeing the movie. Fassbender, Mortensen and Knigthley play ineffectual and the Golden Globe nomination for Mortensen shows again how bad these awards are. Knightley plays her role over the top and ends out being noncredible. The story is only halfway there and mixes these two psychoanalysts and these unfitting sado-maso-story, which is probably only there to make the film more interesting. This is the case in the trailer but not in the movie, which actually is one of the most boring movies in the 21st century by now. Silly dialogues, leap in times from 1 year after only one minute of speaking and so on. It's not that worse but definitely not worth to watch. It doesn't thrill, it doesn't touch, it's not even a real love story. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: William Thomas
    Feb 6, 2012
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 27, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 25, 2012
    A Dangerous Method is a movie believing the most formidable sex organ really is the brain.