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A Dangerous Method (2011)

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A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
André Hennicke ...
Professor Eugen Bleuler (as André M. Hennicke)
Sándor Ferenczi
Mignon Remé ...
Jung's Secretary
Mareike Carrière ...
Food Nurse
Franziska Arndt ...
Bath Nurse
Wladimir Matuchin ...
Medical Policeman
Anna Thalbach ...
Bathtub Patient
Sarah Marecek ...
Orchard Nurse
Bjorn Geske ...
Orderly (as Björn Geske)


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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Un método peligroso  »

Box Office


€15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$167,953 (USA) (18 November 2011)


$5,702,083 (USA) (27 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Cronenberg (an atheist of Jewish heritage) said that he had to teach Viggo Mortensen to "walk like a Jew". See more »


Sabina Spielrein's closing history is incorrect. Her death, along with her 2 daughters, actually occurred in August 1942, not 1941. Their deaths were only 3 among 27,000 in the massacre that occurred in Zmievskaya Balka, Rostov-on-Don, Russia by German forces. See more »


Sabina Spielrein: I somehow imagined you'd have found another admirer by now.
Carl Jung: No. You were the jewel of great price.
See more »


Referenced in Obsession (2013) See more »


Excerpts from Siegfried
by Richard Wagner, original publication by Schott Music GmbH & Co KG, Mainz, Germany, 1876.
Adapted by Howard Shore, published by South Fifth Avenue Publishing, 2010.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Riddled in clichés and boring
19 November 2011 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

I can't remember the last time when I have been so much in disagreement with the general critical response for a movie… Everywhere I look I seem to hear and read high praises for Cronenberg's latest work, and yet I am willing to bet that few of those who claimed to like it so much would be ready to watch it again. As far as I am concerned I am struggling to find something positive to say (well, yes, nice costumes…) and the only reason why my vote isn't any lower is because I am willing to admit that I might have not been in the right mood for it. Even in his most flawed films, Cronenberg has always been an interesting director, or at least able to create not only an almost palpable atmosphere, but also a particularly defined style and vision which set him apart from the usual Hollywood crowd. And yet this one seems a film with no direction whatsoever. Not only each sequence felt random and inconsequential as if not necessarily edited in the right order, without any real feeling of natural progression from the previous one into the next, but also it was all so static and lifeless that sometimes I even wondered whether anyone was actually directing at all. At no point I felt any sympathy for any of the character: in fact, not only I did not like any of them, but I didn't even hate them either. I just didn't care. And this is is a rather strange thing to say, because on paper, a film about the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud (and consequently the birth of psychoanalysis) sounded to me very intriguing indeed. Sadly, pretty earlier on into "A dangerous Method" I realised that this wasn't really the type of film I was hoping to see. I found myself uneasy right from the word "go", that is from the moment I saw Keira Knightley overacting like never before and stretching her chin to new unbelievable levels, as if screaming to the audience "I want that Oscar!!". Well, darling, not this time. Then, after the early screams, it all calmed down a bit and the dialogue started… and that's when it got worse! For a film which should rely on words more than action itself (especially given the static nature of it all), I found the script absolutely puerile. It all felt like it was written by a high school kid, who's just heard a few things about Freud and wants to impress his friend with his newly acquired knowledge. I mean, there are actually lines like "You Freud, have always sex in your mind. Why does everything always has to do with sex?"! Really? Mr Hampton, who are you writing this script for? Surely your target audience doesn't need things spell out so boldly and blatantly. It was like reading a checklist of all the possible clichés one could think about psychoanalysis (and Freud in particular). Who is this film for anyway? At times it felt like it was so ridiculously basic, as if it was written for people who have never even heard of Freud and Jung. Other times it was all so riddled with heavy handed quotes and so "up its own self" that it felt like watching some boring lecture given by an even more bored teacher, sitting on your old desk back in school. From such a renowned scriptwriter (he wrote Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement among the other things) I was expecting a lot more: maybe Mr Hampton should watch a few episodes of HBO's classy "In Treatment" to learn a thing of two about the subtlety of bringing psychoanalysis to the screen. As far as the two leading male actors (Fassbender and Mortensen, who by the way was so good in both Cronenberg "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises"), they were as good as they could possibly be, but in the end they both failed to impress, move, or even raise any sort of emotion beyond boredom. But then again, that's hardly surprising given both the script they were actually given and a clear lack of any direction, which forced them to talk at each other in the most contrived scenes and badly staged, where even the extras in the background seemed fake and moved slowly and gently like… erm…well, extras (particularly noticeable in the scene by the river). Sorry David, not this time for me

111 of 194 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Jung was completely sick and insane. ada_rockchick
Kiera Knightly Ruins the Film endecottp
Keira Knightley is just painful to watch. de-gele
Keira Knightley got robbed by the Oscars Felonious-Punk
Knightley's performance was too Over-the-Top?: My Rebuttal Bob Pr.
Keira's hysteric acting is realistic if you're familiar with hysterics nine_dragons
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