Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. A film that takes you by surprise, refusing to relinquish its grim, fascinating hold. Better yet, it has crept up on us without much advance promotional fanfare. The less known about its twists, the better.
  2. David Mackenzie, who directed the remarkable Scottish drama "Young Adam" (2003), delivers another masterful, disturbing tale of illicit passion, erotic obsession, and sudden death set in the 1950s.
  3. 80
    It's one of the year's signature film experiences.
  4. Patrick McGrath's novel provides a solid and suspenseful story, even if it loses much of its bite in Mackenzie's hands.
  5. 75
    The film, with its uniformly terrific cast, stern Gothic overtones and steady but measured pacing, is a crisp, old-fashioned delight, eschewing cheap tricks for repeated tiny pricks of unease that work up to a continuous gnawing dread.
  6. 67
    The delectably atmospheric Asylum remains gothic to its morally maggoty core.
  7. Asylum is as dark as Dracula's mood on a moonless night, and people suffering from depression should think twice before opening the coffin. This thing would put off Mary Poppins.
  8. Natasha Richardson glides through the film version of Patrick McGrath's novel Asylum in various states of fear, desire and undress, a swan among Yorkshire frumps.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A classy unintentional hoot.

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