Shame

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 256

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User Reviews

  1. BKM
    Jun 10, 2012
    5
    Despite a go-for-broke performance by Michael Fassbender, Shame never really digs deeply enough into the the guilt and self-loathing that the central character has obviously intertwined with sex as a result of his Irish upbringing. The resulting movie is neither emotionally raw or sexually explicit enough (despite the dreaded NC-17 rating) to leave much of an impression.
  2. Jan 26, 2012
    5
    To be honest, I do not get enough sex any more to qualify as an expert on sexual addiction. I found the film to be rather boring and quite predictable. I knew some one was going to end up dead or close to it. I also found the route that the film took to be more of the cheap thrill mixed in with something out of the old film "Wolfen". Why did he change into an animal when having sex, whyTo be honest, I do not get enough sex any more to qualify as an expert on sexual addiction. I found the film to be rather boring and quite predictable. I knew some one was going to end up dead or close to it. I also found the route that the film took to be more of the cheap thrill mixed in with something out of the old film "Wolfen". Why did he change into an animal when having sex, why was he masturbating all of the time, when did he sleep, how did he manage to get to work, why was the gay scene so much sleazier? The whole NC-17 rating is a joke. The film got that because I saw a penis? A boring film that lost my attention early on. Expand
  3. Jun 23, 2012
    5
    The sex and nudity are the best parts of this movie. Not sure about the whole gay episode of the movie. I thought he was going to have sex with his sister, but I guess not.
  4. Dec 18, 2011
    4
    Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) has an addiction. He does not struggle against it, seek therapy to cure it, or deny its existence; he learns to cope with it and attempts to shape his life around it to create routine and give it space. Brandon is addicted to sex but appears to be a bit more OCD about it than the regular sex addict looking to score at the club on a weekend. He has aBrandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) has an addiction. He does not struggle against it, seek therapy to cure it, or deny its existence; he learns to cope with it and attempts to shape his life around it to create routine and give it space. Brandon is addicted to sex but appears to be a bit more OCD about it than the regular sex addict looking to score at the club on a weekend. He has a handle on his issue enough to know specifically what he wants. This specificity is most likely his limiting factor when it comes to real life relationships and intimacy, but Brandonâ Expand
  5. Dec 4, 2011
    4
    Shame summarizes its own fundamental problem in Carey Mulligan's line, "We're not bad, we just come from a bad place." The bad place that Sissy and Brandon come from is where others have moved on to more au courant dysfunctions, while Brandon got left behind with a circa-1995 sex addiction and Sissy got left behind with the depression fostered by having a brother with a circa-1995 sexShame summarizes its own fundamental problem in Carey Mulligan's line, "We're not bad, we just come from a bad place." The bad place that Sissy and Brandon come from is where others have moved on to more au courant dysfunctions, while Brandon got left behind with a circa-1995 sex addiction and Sissy got left behind with the depression fostered by having a brother with a circa-1995 sex addiction. It's remotely possible that the movie might have made something interesting of this notion of being left behind - the unsexy out-of-dateness of Brandon's sex addiction - but Shame evinces a nearly absolute lack of self-awareness of the difficulties it brings upon itself by attempting to engage a topic that no longer has much cultural currency. There's a glimmer of promise when Brandon, on a date with his co-worker Marianne, asks her to feel a bump on the back of his head and explains, playfully, that he's a Neanderthal (and then goes on to describe the childhood mishap that actually produced the bump). It's worth noting that the exchange of dialogue in this scene is practically the only passage in the movie that doesn't feel oppressively contrived. A viewer who hasn't yet given up might suppose that Shame is finally pushing through to a recognition of Brandon as belonging to the wrong era: he has the misfortune to be the Neanderthal who survived the extinction of the culture's interest in sex addiction. All he's survived, though, in the constricted view that the movie is willing to allow itself, is a vaguely dysfunctional childhood in New Jersey. Curiously, the movie alludes ambiguously to a different (the same?) childhood in Ireland. The Irish childhood is another glimmer of promise; it suggests a whole other larger context, in which Brandon's struggles with himself derive from and are justified by a formative guilt-laden Irish Catholic upbringing (in Ireland, so much more guilt-laden than New Jersey can ever be). In this context, Brandon fits plausibly into the movie's frame because his origin is from outside the movie's setting. As a New Yorker with a sex addiction, he's an anachronism, but as an Irish immigrant, he's an outsider grappling with a plausible burden. But to make the Irish-immigrant narrative plausible, the movie would need to allow itself room to explore the larger context, and this is exactly what the movie rigorously declines to do. Expand
  6. Dec 15, 2011
    6
    Clinical in its core, Shame is an aestheticized rendering of a case-study of the sex addiction of a generic corporate-type (played by the ungeneric Fassbender). But all of its supposed ugly reality of a not-much-talked-about affliction is a bit misplaced by the directorâ
  7. Aug 24, 2014
    4
    I have never been into artistic movies, and this was definitely one of them.

    My incentive to watch this to begin with was a free ticket to the movies, nothing else of interest was on, and I kind of liked Michael Fassbender in "X-Men: First Class". Well, for anyone who likes Fassbender, this had plenty of him - in every sense of the word (lots of naked body parts). In short,
    I have never been into artistic movies, and this was definitely one of them.

    My incentive to watch this to begin with was a free ticket to the movies, nothing else of interest was on, and I kind of liked Michael Fassbender in "X-Men: First Class".

    Well, for anyone who likes Fassbender, this had plenty of him - in every sense of the word (lots of naked body parts).

    In short, Brandon (Fassbender) is addicted to sex, and his life-style is somewhat disrupted by a visit from his clingy sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan).

    I wasn't exactly certain of the past between the two, and what exactly was their problem with each other. It seems Sissy really needed her brother more than he knew, though.

    The story took too long to move forward, and in the end it didn't manage to quite explain to me who the people in it were. It felt aimless and a bit lost in all the emotions that felt quite real, but which did not seem to have a purpose since I didn't see beyond them to understand why they were there in the first place.

    Not a movie for me, definitely.
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  8. Jan 16, 2012
    4
    I admit it, the sluggish pace may have distracted me, but I didn't get the back story of the brother-sister. The main reason to see it is the frontal nudity of a soon-to-be major star, and the daring sex. But it is strangely clinical and unsexy, and sad, which I DO get is the point. Sigh.
  9. Jan 30, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Never really delivers and over long for it's content; this is act 1 of the film this could have been. The mood and atmosphere are great , and there are some powerful cinematic moments, but this lacks plot and/or enough depth to it's back story (dysfunctional family / siblings) to really engage with. We just get an emotionally dysfunctional bloke who cant quite get it together; all moody and existential. In the end I did n't really care that much for him or what happened to him and, here's the spoiler, he ends up out in the rain, all sad and crying. boo hoo. Expand
  10. Jun 14, 2012
    6
    Michael Fassbender is the reason this film had its moments of subtle brillance. I was in awe of the way he is able to construct the feeling of a scene only by the expression on his face as he tries to make a life of normalcy while fighting his private demons. My main complaint with this film though was the inability to bring the characters out more, I felt disconnected from the cast ofMichael Fassbender is the reason this film had its moments of subtle brillance. I was in awe of the way he is able to construct the feeling of a scene only by the expression on his face as he tries to make a life of normalcy while fighting his private demons. My main complaint with this film though was the inability to bring the characters out more, I felt disconnected from the cast of this film, which made it hard to feel anything at the end of the film because you dont feel sorry nor happy for anyone. Just a general numbness. I would give this film a 6.4 out of 10, a compelling insight to a man struggling to deal with his own personality. Expand
  11. Jul 16, 2015
    5
    ************************************************************************
    film takes itself too seriously progressively towards the end
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  12. Sep 3, 2013
    5
    SHAME feels like a film from the late '90s in that it pretentiously engages in pseudo self-exploration against the backdrop of high corporate optimism.

    The film and its characters are so sterilized and one-dimensional their interactions have the emotional depth of computerized stock trades. I think this is at the heart of why this film didn't work for me. I just didn't care about
    SHAME feels like a film from the late '90s in that it pretentiously engages in pseudo self-exploration against the backdrop of high corporate optimism.

    The film and its characters are so sterilized and one-dimensional their interactions have the emotional depth of computerized stock trades. I think this is at the heart of why this film didn't work for me. I just didn't care about boring people who happened to have an addiction. What had they lost? Seemingly nothing. What were they to gain by defeating or confronting their addictions? Also seemingly nothing. If these characters were birds and their cage doors opened, my guess is they wouldn't bother to leave.
    Expand
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.