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The Double Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

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

  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    Undeniably impressive as a visual-psychological construct, The Double is ultimately a rigid, one-joke movie that feels hard pressed to sustain any sort of momentum over the course of its 92-minute running time.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. Ayoade's new film, adapted from Dostoyevsky's novella "The Double," is at least as startling as "Submarine" in its visual design, eerie environments and unusual premise. But it's lifeless, for the most part, a drama suffocated by its schematic style.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    The heavily stylized film further demonstrates the actor's ability to create self-contained worlds behind the camera.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Village Voice Alan Scherstuhl

    The Double, with its inviting alienation, nails a curious mood that's been too long absent from contemporary film: the anxious admission that the world might be weighted against the plucky individual, and that prickling you feel just before such thoughts make a sweat break out.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 17+

Bleak, bizarre dystopian comedy based on Dostoyevsky story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Double (based on a story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky) is a dark comedy seemingly set in a fairly bleak alternate universe. Language is strong, with several uses of "f--k," notably in a tirade toward the end of the movie. "S--t," "ass," and other words are also used. There are also several images of violence, such as suicide (with pools of blood) and fighting, and knives and guns are shown. One character is shown to be a promiscuous lover, seducing several women, and although no nudity or sex acts are actually shown, sex is heard. Adult characters drink alcohol socially in two scenes. The movie may catch on with some teens the way that Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985) once did, as a kind of cult classic.

  • Families can talk about The Double's violence. Why is suicide so popular in the movie's world? What message does that send to viewers?
  • What is the movie trying to say with its idea of a "double"? Can a single person have two sides of a personality that make him or her seem different?
  • Are either of the movie's sides right or wrong? Which one is more appealing or interesting? Why?
  • What is a "dystopian" world? How does this movie present that idea? What is good and bad about this world? What can be changed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The Double takes place in a dystopian society -- possibly futuristic, perhaps an alternate timeline -- with old-fashioned technology. It presents an opportunity to discuss the similarities to and differences from today's society. Likewise, it allows the option to talk about the idea of a "double," or different sides of one personality represented as two separate people. Otherwise, the movie takes place in a world that seems rather hopeless and in which suicide is a common practice.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Neither Simon nor James is worth emulating. The "good" double is too passive to get anything he wants, whereas the "bad" double gets everything he wants through cheating and conniving. James clearly only thinks of himself.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A man commits suicide by jumping off a roof. A puddle of blood is shown. The main character is shown beaten up, with some bleeding cuts. In a bar, a man punches another man in the face. A pigeon smacks into a window, and its dead body is shown (with a little blood). A character holds a knife to another character's throat, leaving a small, bloody cut. A hospital attendant shows the main character his gun. A cheesy sci-fi TV show features characters wielding space guns of some kind.

  • sex false2

    Sex: One of the main characters is shown to be a promiscuous serial seducer. It's implied that he has had sex with several female characters. One sex act is heard but not seen. No nudity or sexual situations are actually shown.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is used a number of times, most frequently during a tirade in the movie's final stretch. "S--t," "ass," "damn," "piece of trim," and "my God" are also heard.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult characters are seen drinking socially in a bar. A character orders a beer in a diner.