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A Dangerous Method Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

The talking and talking and talking cure. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

History gets sexy. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    76

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Precise, lucid and thrillingly disciplined, this story of boundary-testing in the early days of psychoanalysis is brought to vivid life by the outstanding lead performances of Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    A Dangerous Method has plenty to say about sex, but it lacks much fire for it.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Represents a big growth spurt in Mr. Cronenberg's career. Its measured pace, along with a style that is sometimes austere (though sometimes anything but) repays close attention with excellent acting and a wealth of absorbing information.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Intelligent conversation about the interplay of erotic and destructive urges takes place over cups of tea in fine bone china. Yet the movie is a radically modern story about sex.

    Read Full Review

  • See all A Dangerous Method reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Jung/Freud psychology drama has very strong sexual content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Dangerous Method -- a smart adult drama about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and the early days of psychoanalysis -- deals with frank sexual issues, an extramarital affair, and S&M. Star Keira Knightley appears topless, and there are a couple of pretty graphic sex scenes. Scenes of a patient throwing tantrums and having seizures can be frightening, and there's a little bit of blood. Swearing is infrequent but includes "f--k," and characters often drink and smoke socially, including Freud's ever-present cigar. Given the movie's subject matter and tendency toward talkiness, it's unlikely that teens will be interested -- unless they're drawn to cult director David Cronenberg, who's best known for his horror and gangster films.

  • Families can talk about A Dangerous Method's frank sexual content. What is the purpose of the sex scenes and discussion about sex? Is there an intended message? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding love and sexual relationships.
  • How does the movie portray psychology? What did you learn by watching? Were Jung and Freud's discussions clear to you? Which one did you tend to agree with more?
  • How accurate do you think this movie is? How could you find out more about the history behind it? Why might filmmakers want to change certain details?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie shows how psychology can help people, and it allows characters to thoughtfully discuss different methods and approaches. But it also explores the characters' dark side; they subtly slide from being selfless to selfish.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Carl Jung at first seems like a decent fellow, and he does cure his patient, but he also indulges in adultery and lying and -- other than his own misery -- he doesn't really pay a price for his behavior.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: There are some scary moments when a hysterical patient screams and throws tantrums (her body tenses up to a frightening degree, and her jaw juts out). During a vicious argument, she slices Jung's face with a knife. There's also some violent S&M sex, with spanking and whipping.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Jung has an extramarital affair with his patient; scenes include naked breasts, passionate kissing, an orgasm, and blood (from a broken hymen). The affair begins to involve S&M sex, with spanking and whipping. A supporting character has sex with a cleaning lady; her breasts are shown. A female patient tells stories of sexual deviation (getting turned on when her father beat her). A wife is shown to be pregnant, and there are references to contraception.

  • language false3

    Language: Language is very infrequent but includes one use of "f--k," plus "c--k" and "penis."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters occasionally drink wine, brandy, and scotch in a social way. Jung smokes a pipe, and Freud smokes a cigar. Other characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the era).

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