Kinsey

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 85
  2. Negative: 19 out of 85

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 13, 2011
    7
    This movie seeks to explain the roots of American 20th century prudence towards sexuality, also showing how this kind of (non-)education lead to the emotional and physical suffering of many. Kinsey includes topics such as feminism, homosexuality, and problems of scientific research. Kinsey seeks to liberate sexuality, but also shows that social constraints regarding sex (ranging fromThis movie seeks to explain the roots of American 20th century prudence towards sexuality, also showing how this kind of (non-)education lead to the emotional and physical suffering of many. Kinsey includes topics such as feminism, homosexuality, and problems of scientific research. Kinsey seeks to liberate sexuality, but also shows that social constraints regarding sex (ranging from adultery to zoophilia) do have the purpose of preventing that someone gets hurt. Eventually the film compares marriage to a happy tree. The tree is not free due to being rooted, but having roots is a nice thing in itself for we humans strive to overcome nihilism with love. Expand
  2. AbbyL
    Jul 3, 2007
    9
    Very complex and interesting view.
  3. TonyS.
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    Moving, complex, educational, and fully satisfying. Neeson and Linney head up as good a cast as you can get. Compelling both as a tribute to the modern scientific spirit and as a critique of pre-modern moralistic rigidity.
  4. FrankO.
    Jan 25, 2006
    9
    Better than I expected, like the use of color and blk/white...great sequence learning their interview process...Neeson and Linney were very good. Peter Sarsgaard is underrated actor; plot kept moving, Bill Condon did great job just as he did with Gods and Monsters - another good flick you should see.
  5. Tony
    Oct 11, 2005
    7
    Structurally sound and extremely well acted, Kinsey is a reminder of both how things change and how they remain essentially the same.
  6. vdawg
    Aug 9, 2005
    9
    Convincing indeed.
  7. Mathew
    Jul 11, 2005
    9
    A wonderful nuanced biopic of an important, colorful, and controversial figure in mid-century America (what a naive time that was!). Neeson, Linney and the supporting cast are superb. As with most biopics, small scenes are often meant to cover substantial territory. For the most part this film succeeds better than most in highlighting many facets of a long event-filled life. It's A wonderful nuanced biopic of an important, colorful, and controversial figure in mid-century America (what a naive time that was!). Neeson, Linney and the supporting cast are superb. As with most biopics, small scenes are often meant to cover substantial territory. For the most part this film succeeds better than most in highlighting many facets of a long event-filled life. It's only failing might be that it seriously underplays the significantly less than scientific nature of some of the 'sex research' his institute team undertakes and the tendency to overstate the exceptions to the 'norm'. The thornier question that this film fails to pursue, really is not about how sexually unaware America was fifty/sixty years ago, but how one man's unique perspective and eccentricities can shape supposedly 'objective' research Expand
  8. J.RyanG.
    Jun 17, 2005
    7
    A mostly fine film, it fails only near the end, when it has become too full of information and the audience has become aware that it should be taking notes. If it needed more of anything, it would be John Lithgow's heartbreaking performance.
  9. ThomasA.
    Jun 6, 2005
    10
    After 6 viewings, I'm still discovering wonderful nuances.
  10. JohnC.
    Jun 5, 2005
    10
    Stay through the credits. Funny, fascinating, infuriating.
  11. ArmandoS.
    Jun 5, 2005
    10
    One of my favorite movies of the year. Liam Neeson is excellent. The movie shows an innovator who was ahead of his time and eventualy brought down because of it. The director shows Kinsey's flaws- his obsessive work habits and his ultimate inability to understrand the full implications of his research. He tried to separate sex from love and commitment-to study it in a scientific One of my favorite movies of the year. Liam Neeson is excellent. The movie shows an innovator who was ahead of his time and eventualy brought down because of it. The director shows Kinsey's flaws- his obsessive work habits and his ultimate inability to understrand the full implications of his research. He tried to separate sex from love and commitment-to study it in a scientific manner without the emotional baggage. His work was useful in helping to dispel a lot of the ignorance that people had regarding sexual unions-even if some if his methodology was flawed. You have to remember, no one before him had tried to study sex in such a thorough manner-so he had to strart from scratch and devise his own methods. Expand
  12. Johan
    Jun 4, 2005
    10
    Excellent movie. Especially Laura Lindey is remarkable as Kinsey's spouse. Captivating as well as entertaining.
  13. janak
    May 30, 2005
    10
    I found this movie just great. It is very exciting and adventurous although there is no guns, violence, car crashes, police sirens etc: it is an adventure of the soul. great.
  14. BrutusO.
    May 18, 2005
    8
    Pretty good. Liam Neeson's best role for a while, and a surprisingly interesting story given that we are talking about a statistician and his interviewing technique. A good supporting cast, and a few chuckles on the way. One forgets that fifty years ago apparently no-one knew (or admitted to know) anything about sexuality in society at large. If there had been no Kinsey, there would Pretty good. Liam Neeson's best role for a while, and a surprisingly interesting story given that we are talking about a statistician and his interviewing technique. A good supporting cast, and a few chuckles on the way. One forgets that fifty years ago apparently no-one knew (or admitted to know) anything about sexuality in society at large. If there had been no Kinsey, there would have been no Cleo, no Cosmopolitan, no Sex and The City, no gay pride etc. This film reminds us that society has actually got a little less screwed up - if somewhat more sexually explicit. A subject worth documenting. Expand
  15. EricS
    Feb 16, 2005
    10
    Liam Neeson gives the best performance of the year in one of the most mature biopics ever.
  16. MarkB.
    Feb 15, 2005
    10
    Religious and social conservatives may, with some justification, argue about the long- and short-term effects of pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, and they can even question the scientific validity of some of his research methods and results, but they can't deny what a tremendously smart, witty, entertaining and moving film Bill Condon has made about him. As he earlier Religious and social conservatives may, with some justification, argue about the long- and short-term effects of pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, and they can even question the scientific validity of some of his research methods and results, but they can't deny what a tremendously smart, witty, entertaining and moving film Bill Condon has made about him. As he earlier demonstrated in his brilliant account of the last days of Frankenstein director James Whale, Gods and Monsters, Condon's love and admiration for his subjects and their accomplishments doesn't at all blind him to their very notable human failings, and he's copletely honest about the inevitable strain that Kinsey's curiousity about all aspects of sex, including infidelity, had on he and his team's marriages and interpersonal relationships. It's an even more impressive accomplishment that Kinsey emerges as such a sweet, engaging love story in spite of the fact that he and his wife cheat on each other with both sexes--if their marriage can endure the trials they put it through, it can withstand anything! It helps immeasurably that Liam Neeson perfectly essays Kinsey's social awkwardness and wonkishness in a role that's tailor-made for Neeson's blocky, oversized physical stature (as opposed to Schindler's List, which in part worked around this), and that Laura Linney, here as in p.s., Love, Actually and The Life of David Gale, proves once again that there's no actress currently working who's as good as she is in making plainness so sexy. (One of the movie's many privileged moments is his extremely...uh...utilitarian first gift to her.) Beyond these and other wonderful performances from John Lithgow, Peter Saarsgaard, Chris O'Donnell, Timothy Hutton, Oliver Platt, Veronica Cartwright, Julianne Nicholson and Lynn Redgrave, part of what makes Kinsey such a pleasure to watch is Condon's scrupulous but playful attention to period detail and his light tweaking of genre conventions: about half the time he seems to be deliberately replicating some of those earnest 1930s film biographies such as The Story of Louis Pasteur and The Life of Emile Zola and half the time he appears to be gently parodying them. (Love that 'talking USA map'!) Speaking of film biographies, 2004 has definitely been a very full year for them, with everyone from Ray Charles, Bobby Darin and Cole Porter to Howard Hughes, James M. Barrie, Che Guevara and Jesus Christ getting the treatment; most of those films ranged from good to near-great, and it's in no way intended to denigrate the various excellences of their filmmakers to observe that in a very crowded field, for my money Bill Condon made the best of a very estimable bunch! Expand
  17. RogerR.
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    Easily my best film of 2004. Incredibly well-acted and not dependent on schmaltz to fuel its plot. It will find its audience despite ludicrous snubs by Oscar.
  18. RP
    Jan 27, 2005
    10
    One of my top 10 of 2004. Surprised Neeson wasn't even nominated for Oscar. Important commentary of social mores 50 years ago.
  19. JosephK.
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    A wonderful work of art that is also politically important.
  20. BillD.
    Jan 19, 2005
    9
    Best movie I've seen from 2004. Recreates the era with empathy. Extremely well made, great acting and great heart.
  21. LanieJ
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, John Lithgow, even Chris O'Donnell give wonderful, charged performances. The timidity, normality and loneliness of such an intimate topic speak volumes. A perfectly done movie.
  22. MikeW.
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Best movie I have ever seen. Liam Neeson is now my favorite actor.
  23. DavidL.
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    This is a superb film from a filmmaker/writer that only seems to get better. Great perfomances by Neeson and Linney, worthy of Oscar consideration. With "Gods and Monsters" and "Kinsey" Condon shows that he, like no other director, brings early 20th century existence vibrantly to life. Wow!
  24. DanH.
    Jan 11, 2005
    8
    A fantastic character study, further enriched by the most fascinating subject matter - human sexuality. Neeson and Linney are tremendous, and John Lithgow character is simply dispicable!
  25. [Anonymous]
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    One of the best films of the year. honest, entertaining, funny, and doesn't compromise the truth to paint a prettier picture.
  26. MarcK.
    Jan 5, 2005
    7
    I liked this picture more than I thought I would, as most of the people I know who saw this film didn't care for it very much. I'll agree that this is Neeson's best performance...by far, IMHO. However, I fail to see all the acclaim given to Linney, or anyone else, who were fine in their roles, but nothing special. Along with "Footloose", is Lithgow now being typecast as the I liked this picture more than I thought I would, as most of the people I know who saw this film didn't care for it very much. I'll agree that this is Neeson's best performance...by far, IMHO. However, I fail to see all the acclaim given to Linney, or anyone else, who were fine in their roles, but nothing special. Along with "Footloose", is Lithgow now being typecast as the "inflexible, pious Dad"? The sexual talk in the film was startlingly frank and explicit, which I could see being a turnoff to many. Were Kinsey's associates really having those kinds of discussions in the 50's? I wonder. Expand
  27. DermN.
    Dec 23, 2004
    8
    Like the title character, the film may leave viewers feeling dispassionate. Yet the man had a passion for his science and his marriage, which is at the heart of the story. As with many biopics, Kinsey suffers from a lack of a satisfying, definitive climax. Still, the film is engaging and the acting is first-rate.
  28. JeffreyL.
    Dec 23, 2004
    10
    Was pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey a degenerate who led America into a spiral of moral decay? Or a courageous trailblazer whose work liberated millions from the tyranny of ignorance, superstition, and religious intolerance? No big surprise perhaps that writer-director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) opts more for the latter, but this extraordinary biopic also deserves kudos for Was pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey a degenerate who led America into a spiral of moral decay? Or a courageous trailblazer whose work liberated millions from the tyranny of ignorance, superstition, and religious intolerance? No big surprise perhaps that writer-director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) opts more for the latter, but this extraordinary biopic also deserves kudos for portraying Kinsey's flaws as well as his virtues, and for showing the genuine heartache that can come when the human, emotional element of sexuality is ignored. In the title role, Liam Neeson does his finest work to date (arguably even better than Schindler's List), while the ever-amazing Laura Linney is astonishing as his beloved wife, long-suffering but not above some extramarital sexual exploration of her own. A beautifully constructed piece of filmmaking, with indelible supporting work from the likes of Peter Sarsgaard, John Lithgow, Oliver Platt, and (in an unforgettable cameo) Lynn Redgrave. One of the year's best. Expand
  29. EdK.
    Dec 9, 2004
    10
    Wonderful performances. a wonderful adult film.
  30. MikeG
    Dec 4, 2004
    8
    This is a very good movie, and I was interested in the story the whole way through. It's not deserving of the Oscar hype it's already getting (with the possible exception of Lithgow's scene stealing performance as Kinsey's father), but it manages to take what could have been a vulgar or crass movie and makes it a well done historical treatment.
  31. ppo
    Nov 27, 2004
    10
    I have seen this movie twice. It is one great movie, very touching at the end. It is about a man and a passion that came to him from left field. I think Condon has done an outstanding job, and the cast is flawless. Neeson, Linney, O'Donnell, and mainly, Sarsgaard are all top-notch. THe Redgrave cameo might be too short for an oscar nod, but it sure is breathtaking in its simplicity I have seen this movie twice. It is one great movie, very touching at the end. It is about a man and a passion that came to him from left field. I think Condon has done an outstanding job, and the cast is flawless. Neeson, Linney, O'Donnell, and mainly, Sarsgaard are all top-notch. THe Redgrave cameo might be too short for an oscar nod, but it sure is breathtaking in its simplicity and its effect. Congrats to all. Expand
  32. AnonymousMC
    Nov 27, 2004
    10
    Great performances (Neeson, Linney, and the continually underrated Sarsgaard) in a literate, intelligent, and adult film. A nice change of pace.
  33. losangeles
    Nov 18, 2004
    10
    This movie gave you a hard-on. Don't lie, I saw you! Come on, admit it America.
  34. BuzzC.
    Nov 15, 2004
    10
    Don't let your fear of biopics keep you from seeing this film. The performances of Neeson and Linney are mindblowing. As an editor for reality television, I am constantly looking for the tricks filmmakers use to manipulate an audience emotionally. For this reason, I very rarely get emotional watching a film. I bawled like a baby for the last 10 minutes, and was moved a number of Don't let your fear of biopics keep you from seeing this film. The performances of Neeson and Linney are mindblowing. As an editor for reality television, I am constantly looking for the tricks filmmakers use to manipulate an audience emotionally. For this reason, I very rarely get emotional watching a film. I bawled like a baby for the last 10 minutes, and was moved a number of times over. But by the same token, I laughed out loud a number of times as well, as human sexuality - scientifically speaking - is really quite funny. This film tells the fantastic story of an incredibly complicated man and does so passionately without being at all preachy. If you've ever felt like an oddball - sexually or otherwise - you will walk out of the theater with a new perspective on the world. And its kinda fun to wonder what the octogenarian that sat next to you gets off on. Expand
  35. PatG.
    Nov 13, 2004
    8
    This movie is very interesting. (But be prepared for some graphic sexual stuff and language.) The performances are excellent and thought-provoking, as is the script. I do recommend it.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Apart from some unexaggerated notations about American puritanism in the 1940s and '50s, this is more a work of exploration than a thesis, and Condon mainly avoids sensationalism.
  2. One of the year's most satisfying films.
  3. It's a new Neeson as Dr. Alfred Kinsey, all spiky-haired and harried, and he's enormously appealing in the role.