Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Watch On
  1. David Cronenberg's gelid masterpiece.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    90
    Quietly devastating... Extremely unsettling, at times amusing, cold yet personal, Dead Ringers gradually and deliberately comes to horrify the viewer, rather than shocking outright.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    A masterpiece.
  4. 100
    For those who enjoy cinematic visits to other, darker worlds, this blood's for you. Watching Ringers is not unlike watching a critical operation -- unnerving but also enthralling. [23 Sept 1988]
  5. An astonishing tour de force--especially for Irons, whose sense of nuance is so refined that one can tell in a matter of seconds which twin he is playing in a particular scene.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    An instant classic, an Oscar-worthy showcase for Jeremy Irons, and a tightrope ballet over dicey screen material… A subtle movie - and thus a disturbing one. Like “Vertigo,” “The Night of the Hunter,” “Repulsion” and a few others, it finds beauty in morbidity - then nags you to come back for a second dose. [23 Sept 1988]
  7. 88
    It's almost too rich in ideas for its own good: The sense of concentration and proportion isn't there. But it remains an astonishing, magnetic, devastating piece of work. [23 Sept 1988]
  8. 100
    To think of a film this assured, this unified and this dizzyingly potent, you have to go back to "Blue Velvet." [22 Sept 1988]
  9. What makes the performance(s) even better is that Mr. Irons invests these bizarre, potentially freakish characters with so much intelligence and so much real feeling. [23 Sept 1988, p.C10]
User Score
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Jul 15, 2013
    7
    Cronenberg’s unsettling denuding of an identical twins’ inseparability wreaks controversy in its in-depth protrusion of psychiatric delusionCronenberg’s unsettling denuding of an identical twins’ inseparability wreaks controversy in its in-depth protrusion of psychiatric delusion and drug abuse, Jeremy Irons, plays the Mantle twins, both gynecologists and live together, even perversely share the same woman. Albeit their mirror-image resemblance, Beverly is the shy boffin while Elliot is the gregarious mouthpiece who is astute and dedicative in taking care of his younger brother’s every need, after meeting a sterile actress (Claire) who has a mutant vagina, Beverly irrationally falls for her and slowly he becomes drug-addictive and paranoid (cause and effect), and even Elliot couldn’t rescue him, a finally unhinged Beverly slips into the abyss and tragedy is irrevocable.

    Irons offers a tour-de-force engagement by splitting himself into two disparate roles, initially one wonders how could we tell them separately, and 5 minutes later, one will realize how distinguishable they are, Beverly is a meek soul, his life orbit is dominated and regulated by Elliot, who is sensible enough to admit they are an entity since neither of them could live without each other, nonetheless, the equilibrium has fatefully been violated by the interloper Claire, Bujold is feisty and emanates a of independence and vulnerability which fatally enchants Beverly and triggers his downhill of the separation procedure. The midstream of the film deals with the decomposition of Beverly’s mental stability has damped down by a slightly tedious script, which is wanting some explicable introductions to the mayhem it has caused, but the coda does save the pathos and it is mesmerizing and gives a sucker punch to the gut.

    Cronenberg’s films often leave me some bitter aftertaste, last year’s COSMOPOLIS (2012, 4/10) is beyond my interpretation, but DEAD RINGERS has its integral breakdown of a psychosexual drama, and fanboys will be exulted to indulge in Cronenberg’s signature chimerical shots (sundering the umbilical cord, the surgery ceremony in vermillion with a set of eerie apparatus) and there are magical contrivances to put two Jeremy Irons present in the same frames (deeming its pre-computer era), accolades should be also awarded to the film’s steadfast emotion liberation, which encroaches inches by inches into the subliminal conscious of its protagonists, a compelling piece of work rests higher on the shelf than Cronenberg’s other lesser creations.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2012
    4
    I'm probably in the minority here, but I felt the bleak, intense, and all too gory "Dead Ringers" is too twisted for its own good. CronenbergI'm probably in the minority here, but I felt the bleak, intense, and all too gory "Dead Ringers" is too twisted for its own good. Cronenberg directs with style and it exemplifies his skill as a director, and Irons gives two, distinct and excellent characterizations, but all the gloominess makes it no fun. Full Review »
  3. MrJ
    Oct 25, 2006
    9
    Captivating and depressing in the best way. So sad, you can feel the heartbreak of the brothers, and the sadness is that the heartbreak is Captivating and depressing in the best way. So sad, you can feel the heartbreak of the brothers, and the sadness is that the heartbreak is for each other, and not the girl. Astonishing, beautiful, sad, brilliant. Full Review »