User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 206 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 206

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  1. Dec 3, 2011
    10
    One of the most thought provoking films regarding a subject not often talked about. Fassbender gives a truly tortured performance worthy of at least an Oscar nomination.
  2. Jan 13, 2012
    10
    From time to time a movie arrives in cinemas that will leave such an impression that no matter what you do, itâ
  3. Dec 4, 2011
    10
    I will not say that this is the best movie I ever seen, but damn, it's pretty close. Amazing acting, directing, am sure that it will be strong contender at the Academy Awards, at least for acting.
  4. Jan 20, 2012
    10
    If Michael Fassbender is not winning an Oscar for his mezmerizing and pitch perfect act in Shame, then everyone's going blind. Ebery psychiatrist should watch this before retirement.
  5. Apr 23, 2012
    10
    extraordinary film, Steve McQueen played with history as it had to be, every angle, every detail perfect. I imprisoned in his beauty from the first scene, nude natural, wild, exciting. Fassbender brother, you ought to be nominated for an Oscar; Mulligan majestic, spectacular entire cast. Installation, spectacular music! amazing photography.
  6. Apr 29, 2012
    9
    Why Shame is so special? Controversy? Michael Fassbender full frontal or explicit sex scene? Anyway, Shame is poignant movie about sex addiction and about how you dealing with it. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan stellar performance also boost the drama. And don't forget the powerful score, I know why Ebert maybe even couldn't be able to see it twice.
  7. Dec 24, 2011
    9
    Probably one of the best films I've seen this year. What can I say that most already know; Fassbender is having a really awesome year and this year shows it. This is actually the first I've heard of Steve McQueen the director and I gotta say he's given me a good first impression. The shots and acting overall (along with Mulligan) were great, but the only gripe I had was that some shotsProbably one of the best films I've seen this year. What can I say that most already know; Fassbender is having a really awesome year and this year shows it. This is actually the first I've heard of Steve McQueen the director and I gotta say he's given me a good first impression. The shots and acting overall (along with Mulligan) were great, but the only gripe I had was that some shots dragged on too long, but still looked great nontheless. Expand
  8. Feb 25, 2012
    9
    A truly powerful film that succeeds with it's dramatic effect because of two outstanding areas. These areas are the acting of Michael Fassbender and the audio visual experience Steve Mcquean creates. If the direction wasnt so good the film would be boring and a drag. If the acting werent so good there would have been the same problem. Overall a powerhouse dramatic effect that is difficultA truly powerful film that succeeds with it's dramatic effect because of two outstanding areas. These areas are the acting of Michael Fassbender and the audio visual experience Steve Mcquean creates. If the direction wasnt so good the film would be boring and a drag. If the acting werent so good there would have been the same problem. Overall a powerhouse dramatic effect that is difficult to watch but you just cant stop watching it. Just like Ebert I don't believe I could see it twice. Expand
  9. Mar 29, 2013
    9
    Shame deals with the unorthodox and the sometimes embarrassing nature of sexual addiction, and Michael Fassbender puts in an emotionally driven and edgy performance as the man in question.
    Brandon (Fassbender) leads a very routine life, waking up, masturbating, watching porn at work and at home, sometimes just staring endlessly at the screen.
    His routine is broken with the arrival of his
    Shame deals with the unorthodox and the sometimes embarrassing nature of sexual addiction, and Michael Fassbender puts in an emotionally driven and edgy performance as the man in question.
    Brandon (Fassbender) leads a very routine life, waking up, masturbating, watching porn at work and at home, sometimes just staring endlessly at the screen.
    His routine is broken with the arrival of his equally as damaged sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) who wades in on Brandon's life unexpectedly which interferes with his mindset, causing an eventual downward spiral. She is very invasive of what he considers his personal space.
    it is clear as the film goes on that Brandon himself perhaps have difficulty talking to women unless he is being intimate with them, he is almost a recluse in his reluctance to speak thoroughly or freely to anyone, choosing instead to spend large amounts of time staring blankly into nothing.
    The film certainly doesn't hold back in its attempt to put across the problems and abusive nature that sex addicts can bring upon themselves, with very explicit content that will surely turn many off, but this is all pivotal to the message being conveyed in these characters, so why should they hold back?
    Michael Fassbender continues to surprise and entertain in this leading role, and this will undoubtedly gain him recognition in more ways than one. He powerfully depicts a damaged yet heartfelt man who simply doesn't seem to know any other way of life. He is tortured in every decision he makes, yet continues to lead this life, simply because it is like a drug.
    Carrie Mulligan also delivers a memorable performance as Sissy, ditching an almost good girl image to delve into the dark world of realism, the chemistry between herself and Fassbender is convincingly sombre as warring siblings, not knowing each other deepest secrets, but aware of each others way of life.
    With its reliance on extended scenes of emotional depth, director Steve McQueen mirrors certain scenes from his earlier film with Fassbender, Hunger, to further explore the characters and make said scenes more involving and appreciative.
    Not everyone will enjoy this film, but Shame certainly leaves a powerful, gritty and rugged impression on the mind, and it is difficult not to look away, mesmerising.
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  10. Dec 14, 2011
    10
    Fassbander and Mulligan are raw and naked and bare - both physically and emotionally - in this movie and it makes for a compelling experience:

    Full review:

    http://luhathoughts.blogspot.com/2011/12/its-shame.html
  11. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    Brilliantly and beautifully filmed. Perfect cinematography for the subject --- capturing its essence. the acting is superb and the directing is seamless and close to perfection.
  12. Jun 6, 2012
    9
    Finally a film could knock down HUGO (2011) and a leading male performance could overcome THE ARTISTâ
  13. Mar 29, 2012
    10
    Strong film really, Shame hit me. The story is can be simple but the direction is amazing, have much interesting ideas, and the development is amazing, the cast is really awesome, Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan wow, awesome cast. I don't have most words to say, Shame is fantastic and strong.
  14. Apr 22, 2012
    9
    Very good story. Many guys have a private dark side that no one knows about and this movie cleverly brings that to the big screen. Its a little hard core for some but it is well directed and Michael Fassbender is excellent in it. Definitely worth the watch.
  15. May 17, 2012
    9
    Shame is brutally honest. It doesn't leave out anything essential yet leaves an unsaid fog around the characters. It's graphically obvious yet highly suggestive. The characters are simple yet complex, and when watching the movie it seems as if Fassbender and Mulligan couldn't have portrayed their dark sibling relationship and shaky family chemistry better. I relate to both, and they keepShame is brutally honest. It doesn't leave out anything essential yet leaves an unsaid fog around the characters. It's graphically obvious yet highly suggestive. The characters are simple yet complex, and when watching the movie it seems as if Fassbender and Mulligan couldn't have portrayed their dark sibling relationship and shaky family chemistry better. I relate to both, and they keep on lingering, even the morning after watching the movie. Somehow, the soundtrack also had a great impact on me. For me, it created an instant sentimentality to the characters of the movie. Expand
  16. May 25, 2012
    10
    The plot, Fassbender and Mulliganâ
  17. Apr 17, 2013
    10
    I like dark movies. But saying that "Shame" is dark doesn't make justice to it. I loved "Shame" because it's poetically dark and not just that. It is poetically dark in the right way, the Baudelaire way. And Sissy is "La fleur du mal" with a scent too strong for Brandon. After all, she is his sister. It can't get simpler than that. And that is just disturbing! Intimate, personal andI like dark movies. But saying that "Shame" is dark doesn't make justice to it. I loved "Shame" because it's poetically dark and not just that. It is poetically dark in the right way, the Baudelaire way. And Sissy is "La fleur du mal" with a scent too strong for Brandon. After all, she is his sister. It can't get simpler than that. And that is just disturbing! Intimate, personal and hopeless decent into the deep darkness of men's weak hearth. Expand
  18. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    Although it is bracing and does a decent job of showcasing the dark side of man, the film, Shame, is not as good as Fassbender is here, which is too say it is not great.
  19. Jul 8, 2013
    9
    I'd like to let it be known that Shame is an obscene movie. It's quite gross, but what else could you expect going into an NC-17 film about sex addiction. That complaint aside, it's a compelling almost-masterpiece and if you have the stomach, watch it. A fantastic performance from Michael Fassbender.
  20. Nov 6, 2013
    9
    A phenomenally dark and interesting look at the dark, desire driven side of man.
    Fassbender performs, but Mulligan shines, and the chemistry between the two is deliciously unsettling throughout.
    A fantastic film, and my personal favourite of McQueen's directive outings.
  21. May 23, 2014
    9
    One of McQueen's best efforts before the amzaing 12 Years A Slave. It's just such an emotional look at the downside of humanity. Michael Fassbender is just so good at living with the character of Brandon and Carrey Mulligan impresses me like always when she graced our screens with "An Education"
  22. May 14, 2014
    9
    A powerful addiction drama that's both emotionally riveting and coldly minimalistic. It's characters are not necessarily likeable but compelling and sympathetic nonetheless.
  23. Aug 6, 2014
    9
    Shame is the mixture of melancholy and human spirit; it gives a strong statement on how human emotions malfunction sometimes which could lead to self destruction.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Feb 15, 2012
    50
    Shame smears the lines between daring and taunting, and art versus indulgence. When it ends there's the urge to take a shower, and not a cold one.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 3, 2012
    63
    It's easy to be interested in the characters' lives -- as tragic as they are -- but it's not nearly as easy to become emotionally invested in them.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jan 20, 2012
    100
    The film is a raw, unsparing look at the downside of humanity.