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Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon ... see more see more... , André Hennicke , Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey , Mignon Reme , Mareike Carriere , Franziska Arndt , Wladimir Matuchin , André Dietz , Anna Thalbach , Sarah Marecek , Björn Geske , Markus Haase , Christian Serritiello , Clemens Giebel , Theo Meller , Jost Grix , Severin von Hoensbroech , Torsten Knippertz , Dirk S. Greis , Katharina Palm , Nina Azizi , Julie Chevallier , Cynthia Cosima , Mirko Guckeisen , Julia Mack , Andrea Magro , Aaron Keller , Nadine Salomon , Naike Jaszczyk , Sarah Adams

Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient in A Dangerous Method... read more read more.... Jung's weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). Both men fall under Sabina's spell. -- (C) Sony Pictures Classics

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50% liked it

26,335 ratings


77% liked it

169 critics

DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

Stats: 1,999 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,999)

  • fb223580
    January 30, 2014
    I decided to check this out when the professor mentioned this movie in a lecture for my class on European mysticism and psychoanalysis. Keira Knightley's most impressive performance yet. The relationship between the three is depicted with delicious tension, intellectual sparrin... read moreg and a fated tragicness. I appreciated that the filmmakers leaned towards more academic accuracy than cheap melodrama.

    The only unconvincing part of the story was that Jung's penchant for mysticism didn't seem to colour his interactions or behaviour in the first half of the film, but then abruptly emerged in his conversations with Freud. Despite this minor quibble, I enjoyed this and it helped establish an atmosphere for my class readings.
  • October 8, 2013
    I'm with those who felt indifferent to this. Nothing awful to hate, but nothing to think wow, great movie. One off view was more than enough for me.
    Keira's acting is maybe slightly overdone at the beginning. I do like her, but not so much in this role.
    Overall movie is a littl... read moree dry and dull for my taste the.
  • June 6, 2013
    The acting is above average, but not great. Even if the story is true, it's still uninspiring -- and frankly, I was bored. The costumes, hair and lighting were all high-quality.
  • May 28, 2013
    Slow moving, but a good script, excellent performances and beautiful cinematography. An effectively understated portrayal of two of the most dynamic men of the early 20th century: Sigmund Freud, the undisputed pioneer of the exploration of the unconscious, and Carl Jung, who went... read more a step or two further. The dialogue imagined here between these two extraordinary men was interesting to watch. A good quiet afternoon movie...
  • January 26, 2013
    Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them.

    An Ok Film! I really expected more by this movie, I expected more pathos, but unfortunately it proved scarcely involving and too rational. Nothing to say against the perfect technical execution, and th... read moree good acting, but what is disappointing is the screenplay, which should have been, in my opinion, the most significant element of the picture. Dialogues are flat, too rationally aimed at conveying an encyclopedic definition of psychoanalysis, but incapable of conveying empathy towards any of the three main characters, Jung, Freud and Sabine Spielrein. It's a movie that seems to promise plenty, seems to be always on the verge of revealing something, but never takes off, as if the director wanted to keep a distance from the handled subject, as if afraid of being swept away by the abyss of the human complex mind. Or maybe because the complexity is too great to be thoroughly revealed? Overall, I feel like this film would have been better if it had been longer. If the film had a running time of even two hours, compared to one and a half, more character development could have been inserted, particularly for Freud. In addition, more focus on Jung's relationship with Freud, rather than his relationship with Spielrein, would have been nice to see.

    Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient.
  • January 2, 2013
    Taking place in the decade leading up to WWI, this period piece/historical fiction is as standoffish and mannered as the era it represents. Director David Cronenberg does not fail to show us sexual fetishes, and the "madness" of Jung's patient Sabina Spielrein, but somehow it al... read morel comes off as sterile as a psychoanalysis session (although a beautifully filmed one).

    I was originally taken by the intellectual arguments between Jung and his hero/mentor Sigmund Freud, but by the end of the film it all seemed an overblown bit of psycho babble for me - all self important and really coming down to nothing special at all.

    I blame the script and direction for this, as really the performances, especially that of Vigo Mortenson as Freud, were top notch; even if Kiera Knighly's Spielrein seemed too bi-polar for my tastes and her mad mannerisms didn't seem to fit her illness.

    Taking into consideration that a fair part of the story involves Jung's dream of feeling trapped by his wife and children, this still didn't give Cronenberg license to rinse and repeat - 2 years later another child is born. Followed by a scene marked as "a year later in Vienna", followed by "a year later another.... You get the idea.

    I'm truly vexed over what could have been here - and I really wanted this film to shine; but in spite of the fascinating subject matter concerning these two titans of psychoanalysis I'm left feeling that there was so much more to be had here than the story presented, and more so, the way it was presented.

    I'm also not completely sold in Cronenberg's depiction of Jung as some kind of psychic channelor - able to reach into the great beyond for portents of upcoming events. To me this seemed like an easy way to explore the differences in Freud's practices and the theorums that Jung was to later expouse. Add that the great schism between the two minds held very little drama and the interplay between doctor and patient (who later became a doctor in her own right) lacked any sense of urgency or pathos and you get a film that, while interesting in part, overall suffered from too much navel contemplation.
  • November 23, 2012
    I can't honestly say that I was disappointed by this movie, because going in I didn't know what to expect. I don't think that David Cronenberg actually puts any stock in psychoanalysis, but he believes in sexual perversion, and how psychological and personal each person's deviant... read more little kink can be. I really like the way that sexuality underpins everything about the characters in this movie, just like it would if the world existed exactly the way Freud and Jung describe. No wonder they think it does. I should say that I have a bit of a soft spot for period pieces about repressed horndogs (a huge genre, it turns out), but this movie was neither stupendous nor terrible.
  • August 8, 2012
    At first I was surprised that this was a David Cronenberg film but then a film about sex and analytical psychology is actually very much a Cronenberg trend. This is an interesting piece of history beautifully told, it is an important, interesting and not particularly well known s... read moretory but this will always depend on your person level of interest in the subject. I think it's fair to say there are enough of us interested to warrant its existence and I for one appreciate it. I thought the acting was good, although I did wonder about Keira Knightley's performance, several other actresses who I think would have been more capable spring to mind. The script is fantastic, as are the sets and locations. I really felt like I was watching events as they would have been. Very impressed.
  • July 8, 2012
    I must say, for a film about Freud, Jung, and psychoanalysis directed by David Cronenberg, this is really surprisingly reserved and low key. And, despite feeling a little disappointed by the end result, this is still a decent enough straightforward tale done with class and sophis... read moretication.

    Sometimes I really like getting something unexpected, since I figured this would go all out, but instead I'm left somewhat indifferent. In a way, this film is kinda boring, and I only learned somewhat more than I already knew aout the people and the subject matter, but the production values are top notch, the film looks great, and the performances are okay enough.

    Well, Keira Knightley kinda overdoes it with the hysterical shrieking, but when she's not doing that, she's fine. Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung however are awesome. Viggo wasn't initially who I wanted to see do the part, but he's good. I mean, he's never given a bad performance. Vincent Cassel has a couple of good moments, but I think he was misused or underused.

    Overall, even though this wasn't a total letdown, it really isn't as compelling or exciting as it should have been.

  • July 5, 2012
    Not as captivating as the trailer showed. The beginning seemed a bit forced and I didn't particularly like Knightley's portrayal. The acting wasn't bad but the plot could've been a bit more... oh I don't know. I just expected more complexity or something.

Critic Reviews

David Thomson
June 20, 2013
David Thomson, The New Republic

It makes for an absorbing drama and leaves the mustiness of cigars in the theatre. Full Review

Dave Calhoun
February 7, 2012
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Knightley gives a fair performance but lumbers herself with a distracting accent, and her gurning in the early scenes may be too much for some to bear. Full Review

Tom Long
January 20, 2012
Tom Long, Detroit News

The true story is extraordinary; the film is not, although the actors are all fine. Full Review

Joe Williams
January 20, 2012
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Like psychoanalysis, "A Dangerous Method" takes its time as it circles an opening to unexplored depths. Full Review

Liam Lacey
January 13, 2012
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

A Dangerous Method is a suave chamber piece: a series of glimpses of two 20th-century intellectual titans, in friendship and separation, and the story of a remarkable woman who history had swallowed u... Full Review

Peter Howell
January 12, 2012
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Cronenberg has reached the stage of his career where he doesn't feel it necessary to pander to expectations. Instead he seeks to engage us, and he succeeds. Full Review

James Berardinelli
January 7, 2012
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Knightley's portrayal is feral and unsettling. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
January 6, 2012
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

A Dangerous Method is well cast with Michael Fassbender as a pent-up Jung and Viggo Mortensen as Freud. Keira Knightley​ inhabits the fits and fury of Spielrein. Full Review

Steven Rea
January 5, 2012
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

This is a freaky thing to behold: Knightley's wildly physical rendering of a mentally unbalanced soul. Full Review

Rafer Guzman
January 5, 2012
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

A Dangerous Method barely nudges the freak-o-meter. Full Review

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    • Carl Jung: My love for you was the most important thing in my life. For better or worse, it made me understand who I am.
    • Carl Jung: He should be mine.
    • Sabina Spielrein: Yes.
    • Carl Jung: Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living.
    • Sigmund Freud: Your letter cannot be answered. Your claim that I treat my friends like patients is self evidently untrue. As to which of us is the neurotic, I thought on this we agreed that a little neurosis was nothing whatever to be ashamed of. But a man like you, who behaves quite abnormally and then stands there shouting at the top of his voice how normal he is, does give considerable cause for concern. For a long time now, our relationship has been hanging by a thread, and a thread moreover, mostly consisting of past disappointments. We have nothing to lose by cutting it.
    • Carl Jung: If I may say so, dear Professor, you make the mistake of treating your friends like patients. This enables you to reduce them into the level of children, so that their only choice is to become obsequious non-entities, or bullying enforces of the parting line. While you sit on the mountain top, the infallible father figure, and nobody dares to pluck you by the beard and say, think about your behavior, and then decide which one of us is the neurotic. I speak as a friend.
    • Carl Jung: Listen, I made a stupid mistake.
    • Sabina Spielrein: Is that what it was?
    • Carl Jung: I broke one of the elementary rules of my profession, I'm your doctor! And I believe I did you some good. I can't forgive myself for overstepping the mark. I should have known that if I gave you what you wanted, you wouldn't be able to help wanting me.
    • Carl Jung: There are so many mysteries, so much further to go.
    • Sigmund Freud: Please, we can't be too careful! We can't afford to wonder into these speculative areas. Telepathy! Singing bookcases! Fairies at the bottom of the garden. It won't do! It won't do.
    • Sigmund Freud: Pity, I should never have sent Otto Gross to you. I blame myself.
    • Carl Jung: Well I'm very grateful you did. All those provocative discussions helped crystallize my thinking.

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