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Shame (2011)

NC-17  |   |  Drama  |  13 January 2012 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 132,553 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 362 user | 466 critic | 41 from

In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 54 wins & 78 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Woman on Subway Train
Mari-Ange Ramirez ...
Rachel Farrar ...
Lauren Tyrrell ...
Cocktail Waitress
Skype Son


Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control. Shame examines the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. Written by Momentum Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

13 January 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deseos culpables  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$349,519 (USA) (2 December 2011)


$4,000,304 (USA) (20 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Carey Mulligan stated on The Graham Norton Show that her "dad is not allowed" to see the film. See more »


In the restaurant Brandon orders a bottle of pinot noir. When it comes the bottle is not a typical pinot-shaped bottle. When the wine is poured it's a very dark, inky coloured wine unlike a pinot noir. See more »


Sissy Sullivan: What is this shit you put on your hair? Honestly, it's awful.
Brandon Sullivan: Shampoo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No opening credits. See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.19 (2011) See more »


Prelude & Fugue No. 10 E Minor, BWV 855
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould
Courtesy of Sony Masterworks and the Glenn Gould Estate
Licensed by Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Actions Speak Louder than Words
14 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am truly shocked by the people criticizing this film for lack of substance. I've seen comments about how there is limited dialogue, and therefore no character development, and hardly any story. Did we watch the same film? I'm thinking we must not have.

Shame dives into the life of a man living with an addiction to sex. The first 10 minutes of this movie effectively introduces him, his addiction, his relationship with humanity (sister included), and barely uses any words to do so. You shouldn't need a lot of dialogue when emotions are conveyed with facial expressions, effective cinematography, and great editing. This film is loaded with all of that.

Obviously films are subjective, but I feel those who say they didn't get to "know' the characters at all must always need everything spoon fed to them. I am not a sex addict, but still connected with both Fassbender and Mulligan. I found the development both subtle and extremely realistic. Does everything need to always have that Hollywood ending? Should everything get wrapped up nicely and leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling when you walk out of the theater? I definitely don't think so.

Anybody who does need that probably shouldn't watch any Steve McQueen films. Anyone who can appreciate a raw, subtle, and beautifully made film should go watch Shame.

417 of 517 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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