Movie review: A Dangerous Method, 6.8 out of 10

                                    6.8 out of 10

‘A Dangerous Method’ has fascinating subject matter and three fantastic performances.  But, it does nothing to hold the viewer’s interest and ultimately comes off boring or, at least, uninteresting.  It’s naturally humorous and gives a fun portrayal of a couple of very unique individuals, but that really isn’t enough to make this more than an average film, one that won’t feel like a waste of time, but also won’t be one of the best films you’ve seen this year.   

Don’t feel bad if ‘A Dangerous Method’ doesn’t get a wide release in theaters.  if you are interested in seeing it at all, a rental will suit you just fine.Any spoilers will be clearly marked so you can avoid reading them if you so choose.


A Dangerous Method is now playing in select cities.  This one may not release in theaters in Baltimore so keep an eye on local listings. 

The Good

Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein are all brilliant.  Fassbender is skyrocketing to stardom with a ton of great roles this year (X-men: First Class, Shame and a Dangerous Method).  Portraying Carl Jung in ‘Method’ just reaffirms how much talent he possesses.  Viggo is terrific as the super eccentric Freud and, personally, I love Viggo in supporting roles.  I think he fits right in and is the kind of actor who can steal the show in a supporting capacity.  ‘Method’ focused more on Jung, so Freud was really more of a supporting character.  Knightley almost guarantees a great performance just by being in a film.  once again, she does not disappoint.

This historical fiction story about the grandfathers of psychoanalysis was a great choice for a film and it tends to be naturally funny.  After all, Freud did make everything about sex, even taking huge leaps and stretches to do so.  and, hey, at least it’s a fairly original idea and Hollywood has been avoiding those like mice avoid open fields at night.

The Bad

Ultimately, a Dangerous Method is just not interesting.  some may actually find it boring.  for me, there was enough to like to enjoy the film.  But I certainly didn’t love it.  the ‘shrink talk’ got old after a while and made me, a non-psychiatrist, feel stupid.  I wanted to follow the thought trails as the characters spat them out at full speed but more often than not found myself completely lost.  if this had happened once or twice it would probably go by without bothering me at all.  But it happened quite a few times and some of these scenes went on for several minutes which just drew out the frustration.  who knows, maybe I was a little tired when I watched it and my brain just couldn’t keep up.

The story also didn’t seem to go anywhere.  the narrative occurred over the course of about 15 years so it jumped ahead several times.  Each time it did I kept expecting some new story element to arrive or the characters to be going down different paths.  Instead, it was the same exact thing, these three characters having intellectual conversations and debates and analyzing everything.  the only real point to jumping forward in time was to see Knightley’s character develop and even that was minimal.

The bottom Line

There is just nothing special about a Dangerous Method.  It’s ok.  It’s just not great.  the film is based on some very interesting people, but the story goes nowhere and many of the deep conversations can leave those of us not in the field lost.  the film is pretty average all around and would make for a fine rental if you are interested in Freud, Jung or the beginnings of psychoanalysis.  if none of that sounds intriguing, just skip this one.  ‘Method’ could have, and should have, been a lot better.  Freud and Jung were the type of men who make perfect film subject matter, but this was not the best effort.

Movie review: A Dangerous Method, 6.8 out of 10

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