(2011)

Critic Reviews

72

Metascore

Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Shame has a lolling pace and stunning visual clarity. Structurally, it's close to perfect - its precision echoed in the Glenn Gould piano recordings of Bach keyboard works that Brandon listens to obsessively.
100
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.
100
This is a great act of filmmaking and acting. I don't believe I would be able to see it twice.
90
It is Mulligan and most especially Fassbender that give the film its power. The desperation, hostility and despair he conveys through the act of sex make Shame a film that is difficult to watch but even harder to turn away from.
85
Mulligan is terrific here, and restrained in a way that suggests an actorly generosity unusual for someone so young: Her scenes with Fassbender don't so much say "Look at me" as "Look at him."
80
These characters are stripped bare in every sense, reflecting an extreme degree of inner confusion, vulnerability and fear. Betrayed and broken as children, they now have to define and rebuild themselves as adults...Sissy turns a nightclub rendition of "New York, New York" into a heartbreaking plea.
75
Michael Fassbender delivers a bold and brilliantly immersive performance as a sex addict in Shame. He is so raw and riveting you won't be able to take your eyes off him.
75
Fassbender's portrayal is truly haunting, and when he sobs, dramatically unraveling, it's clear he's imprisoned by his physical urges.
75
McQueen finds the exquisite tension between the brother wanting to disconnect and the sister longing for connection. To paraphrase a line of Sissy's, it's a good movie that comes from a bad place.
70
Much of the film is banal or pretentious, or both - vacuous vignettes about emptiness. Occasionally, though, those vignettes burst into life and burn with consuming fire.
60
It was frantic sex that earned Shame an NC-17 rating, but this arty drama is mostly slow and methodical. And thoroughly unsexy.
50
The biggest surprise in Shame is how distanced, passionless, and merely skin-deep the director's attention is - how little he cares about the subject of his own movie.

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