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Shame

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

2011

Rated NC-17 • 1h 41m

Director Steve McQueen

Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie

Genre Drama

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Brandon is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon's insular life spirals out of control.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

It's first and foremost a visual and sonic symphony, and a Dante-esque journey through a New York nightworld where words are mostly useless or worse.
50

The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

Fassbender, who was, frankly, much sexier and more devilish in "X-Men: First Class," is required to spend much of his time staring with blank intensity into the middle distance.
38

Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

Shame articulates a shallow, even mundane, understanding of an uninteresting man's sex addiction-in a vibrant city rendered dull and anonymous.
50

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Another creature of need, if the temperamental opposite of self-contained Brandon, Sissy is equally prepared to push her way into his life or push herself in front of a subway. She's also a performer - and Mulligan's blowsy desperation makes for the movie's best turn.
88

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

It's neither glamorous nor erotic and director Steve McQueen has taken an unflinching and non-judgmental view of sexual addiction in Shame.
100

Variety by Justin Chang

A mesmerizing companion piece to his 2008 debut, "Hunger," this more approachable but equally uncompromising drama likewise fixes its gaze on the uses and abuses of the human body, as Michael Fassbender again strips himself down, in every way an actor can, for McQueen's rigorous but humane interrogation.
80

Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Fassbender and his multifaceted allure helps counteract any thematic or conceptual shakiness, as was the case in McQueen's highly uneven debut, "Hunger." One thing's for sure: McQueen has found his De Niro, and he better keep him close.
50

Observer by Rex Reed

Director McQueen shares no primal truths, offers no resolutions, and the movie seems pointless. It seems almost wicked to spread on all that enticement and titillation, and then throw the sandwich away.
75

Orlando Sentinel by Roger Moore

Rarely has a movie been so sexual without being remotely sexy. Rarely has a guy who might be admired in a sex comedy as a "playa" seemed more pathetic with each fresh conquest.
100

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Driven by a brilliant, ferocious performance by Michael Fassbender, Shame is a real walk on the wild side, a scorching look at a case of sexual addiction that's as all-encompassing as a craving for drugs.

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