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Parents' Guide to

A Dangerous Method

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Jung/Freud psychology drama has very strong sexual content.

Movie R 2011 99 minutes
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Director David Cronenberg delivers the most disappointing movie of his career to date. Which is surprising, as A DANGEROUS METHOD seemed right up his alley: He has often explored issues surrounding the human body, and in his later, more mature films, the theme of identity. Whereas he usually plumbs uncomfortable and powerful depths of human boundaries, here he mostly just skims the surface. A Dangerous Method does have some powerful moments, but ultimately it seems more in the business of avoiding than exploring.

The main problem is that the screenplay comes from Christopher Hampton's theatrical play, which in turn came from a non-fiction book by John Kerr. It takes place over the course of decades, and scenes skip over great chunks of time; nothing ever gets the chance to sink in. However, the excellent performances count for a great deal, and the conversations are exceedingly intelligent, offering up provocative arguments on sex, the ego, and the concept of destiny.

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