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Asylum (2005)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 88
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 56

This catastrophic adaptation of Patrick McGrath's novel gets sillier and more implausible as it goes along.


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 19

This catastrophic adaptation of Patrick McGrath's novel gets sillier and more implausible as it goes along.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 11,344

My Rating

Movie Info

In the late 1950s, when her husband Max takes up his post as deputy director of a remote psychiatric hospital, Stella Raphael and her young son, Charlie are brought to live on the grounds of the asylum. Stella is soon drawn to charismatic inmate Edgar Stark. Undeterred by the warnings from her husband's colleague, Dr Cleave, Stella is prepared to risk everything to be with Edgar. Their passionate affair escalates as obsession begins to threaten Stella's love, her sanity and her very life.


Documentary, Drama, Special Interest

Patrick Marber

Jan 17, 2006


Paramount Classics - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Asylum

August 27, 2007:
RT talks to Hallam Foe helmer David Mackenzie
The Brit director introduces us to his "teen gothic fairytale."
August 26, 2007:
RT-UK's What to Watch at the Edinburgh Film Festival
Rotten Tomatoes UK heads up north to take in the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Film Festival....


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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (56) | DVD (4)

Asylum had promise. But it's bad enough to make one wonder just who had the loose screws -- the characters, or the people who filmed them?

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Patrick McGrath's screenplay, based on his novel, has moments big and small, delivered in appropriate dollops of awfulness.

September 16, 2005
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a movie you fall for or you don't, and like Stella, I am not ashamed I did.

September 16, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once characters' actions lose credibility, it's hard to empathize with them, no matter how well the roles are played.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film, with its uniformly terrific cast, stern Gothic overtones and steady but measured pacing, is a crisp, old-fashioned delight, eschewing cheap tricks for repeated tiny pricks of unease that work up to a continuous gnawing dread.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Asylum is all very formal, detached, and, regrettably, sane.

August 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

offers a bleak vision of the Fifties, where an outbreak of passion or an artistic impulse would be quickly subjected, like any other madness, to containment.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

A little like Jack the Ripper in outer space.

March 26, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

Despite a superb cast, artful set design and seductive cinematography, Asylum remains a lovingly lensed missed opportunity.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

There is nothing to Stella's character -- or any of these characters, for that matter -- that you can relate to.

September 15, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

So obsessed with rendering Patrick McGrath's exquisitely twisted Gothic novel as a refined affair that it forgets less ambitious pursuits, like sussing out a way to keep us awake.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Based on Pat McCabe's moody novel, Asylum has an over-the-top feverishness that suits its premise.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

...oh, look at all the crazy people.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Marton Csokas ... comes across as a hybrid of Russell Crowe and Clive Owen in full-on brooding mode and has a genuine chemistry with Richardson that goes some way to explaining why she stays with him as a long as she does.

September 10, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

The film wryly wonders whether the lunatics have taken over not just the asylum but the entire world as well.

September 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A troubling psychological drama about illicit passion leading to tragedy.

September 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a lost cause.

September 3, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

The film manages to turn potentially interesting characters into caricatures and potentially heady material into soap-opera melodrama.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A sort of perverse update of an overwrought Barbara Stanwyck-Bette Davis melodrama...

September 2, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The film's great strength is a cast of supporting players who steal scene after scene from their leading lady.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

... one of those terribly restrained psychological dramas that simply drips with prestige -- but too often trips over its own pretensions.

September 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Asylum

I think she got what she deserved!
May 13, 2014
paganchild1979 pc79

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