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
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.
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: 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: 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: Language is very infrequent but includes one use of "f--k," plus "c--k" and "penis."
Consumerism: Not an issue
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).
Fan Reviews provided by
A Dangerous Fiction by One-in-Many-in-One
Ranks up there with "Holy Smoke" as one of the most unwatchable films,says my grown son. The dialog was bad, the scene selection was bad, the editing was as bad as we've seen in a studio-produced film. David Cronenberg should be embarrassed.
Viggo did well with Sigmund, Michael did fine with the fictitious character called Carl Jung, and Keira did well with the conflated character that was Sabina, but these were inflated characters and not close to the historical people. An why would a story about three of the most intellectual, creative minds of the early 20th century focus on the kinky stuff? Sell tickets?
My wife is a Ph.D from a Jungian Graduate Institute. This was painful for her to watch.
A Dangerous Method by subabe
For all of the film's Merchant Ivory production values and imaginative cinematography, the end result was as deeply felt and emotionally wrenching as watching paint dry or sitting still for 109 minutes while Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen read the phonebook. That alone was almost worth the price of a ticket. Keira Knightly's performance was riveting in her early mad scenes, but her later characterization, like her accent, rambled all over the map. The film's main character is not these historical figures, but rather the philosophical debate they waged over the theoretical basis underpinning the inception of psychoanalysis. "A Dangerous Method" dramatizes that inquiry in a cinematic experience akin to viewing Victorian era drawing room conversations on Masterpiece Theater, though this film is a lot easier on the eyes. If you enjoy inconclusive cinematic storytelling, this might be your cup of tea. If you're looking for engagement and resolution, you won't find it here.
A Dangerous Method by shermnpat
I'm a mental health professional and went to see this with another MH pro and my husband. The movie improved much as it worked itself toward the middle and end. Certainly an unrealistic portrait of mental health issues and treatment, but I have a jaded eye. The biggest improvement would have been to spare us all from Keira Knightley!!!!!! Thought her face was going to explode. It would have gone a long way to have an actress who could convey psychiatric illness via a different (and more realistic) method. Someone like Elizabeth Olsen perhaps. Overall, I'd say it's a go for us psych junkies. Plus, who wouldn't want to look at Michael Fassbender!
Very disappointing by arthouse_snobbery
I was waiting for this film to come out for some time but once I went to see it, I couldn't wait for it to be over. It was one of those films where you walk in and after the first 10 minutes of over-dramatization, you knew it was gonna be painful and awkward especially with such a plot. Keira Knightley's performance was incredibly overdone and amateur and the portrayal of Freud was incredibly inaccurate. The script and accuracy of freudian/jungian theories were the only accurate and okay aspects of the film. Overall, it was very long, drawn out, emotionless, bland, boring, and just a waste of time and film. I expected a lot more coming from Cronenberg.
BORING movie by SineWave
Although the theme is supposed to be "sex," and Keira has tried her best in the role, this movie is merely one BORING conversation after another. The sex scenes are barely PG rated. There is not enough action to keep the viewer engrossed. The director is so busy being an intellectual that he creates a movie that only academicians could potentially be interested in, and even many of them would walk away unsatisfied. Not for kids, teens, or frankly, anyone who enjoys movies; this should have remained a book, or a stage play for those too highbrow to admit they'd rather attend musicals. There was potential for better entertainment, but it was not achieved.
A Dangerous Method by Rafaels_Creative
I don't get all the negative fan reviews. This film was very well acted and impeccably directed by David Cronenberg. I was not at all bored by the film or the dialog, I found it intriguing and thought-provoking. One of the reviewers said Carl Jung was a fictional character. I suppose that says something about the reviewer. If you're all about action films, regurgitated rom-coms and 'caviar for the masses' comedies then this is not your kind of movie.
Yawn.......yawn......zzzzzzzz by ianswan37
I was hoping very much to find this an engaging film. I studio Jung and Freud and was hoping for some sort of compelling story. Instead, I was delivered a three course snoozer. Kiera overacts, though likely the Cronenbergs fault. And as much as at least half of us don't mind seeing Knightly get spanked, it doesn't exactly make for a movie.
Awful Awful Bore by indjeff
Terribly boring, good sleep. I don't even understand why this movie was made. It doesn't make a good documentary and there was absolutely no plot. Terrible script, terrible actors. Bad movie all around.
Dull dull dull by ktarapata
A movie about sex, desire and spanking that is boring and unemotional. The actors just sit there. They actually made Kiera Knightly unattractive. What a waste of time.
A DANGEROUS METHOD by MTCREY
ACTING WAS GOOD ALTHOUGH I THINK THE FEMALE LEAD OVERDID IT A LITTLE. ON A WHOLE, IT WAS VERY SLOOOOOOW AND BORING. WE BOTH FELL ASLEEP AND I NEVER DO THAT