Dead Ringers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 8, 2009
Brilliantly offbeat and twisted. Irons' performance is a must-see.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2008
A woman disturbs the delicate psychic balance between twin gynecologists. Genuinely unnerving psychodrama with a dominating performance by Jeremy Irons.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2011
As come to be expected, this is another strange tale from David Cronenberg. Featuring brilliant performances from Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Irons).
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2011
Dead Ringers is a prime example of fine psychological horror in top form. The film plays out effectively on the human mind as Cronenberg unleashes yet another astounding film. Cronenberg's film focuses on two twin brothers who both are gynecologists. Both of them act alike, except one is more confident than the other. The brother who suffers from confidence issues falls in love with an actress which has an abnormal reproductive system. Dead Ringers is a horrifying piece of cinema, and is brilliantly directed by David Cronenberg. Dead Ringers is a change of pace from his previous work, but he crafts yet another phenomenal film. Dead Ringers is probably Cronenberg's most memorable film since Videodrome. Jeremy Irons plays both brothers and he is absolutely incredible in both parts. Of all the roles that I have seen Jeremy Irons tackle, his roles in Dead Ringers are some of the most brilliant he's ever done in his impressive career. Cronenberg films tend to tackle the horrors of the human body, mind and soul. In Dead Ringers, he touches on all his usual topics, but focuses more on the psychosis condition of his characters, which is a welcome change of pace for a director whos made a career out of the body horror genre. Dead Ringers is brilliantly told, horrifyingly psychotic and superbly acted. This is unlike any other David Cronenberg film that you've seen before.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2011
Pretty tame for a Cronenberg movie, accept for one scene there's none of your usual grotesqueness or disturbing bodily mutations. It's all psychological this time round with Jeremy Irons playing Twin Gynaecologists who take advantage of their appearence to share all life's experiences, including their women, until one twin decides to go it alone. It's all based on a bizarre true story and this movie adaption is reasonably good and interesting too with Jeremy Irons performance the driving force behind it all.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2010
A disturbing if slow-moving story concerning twin gynecologists (Jeremy Irons, playing both roles) whose lives start to spiral out of control simultaneously. This film was tough for me, I wanted to admire it on every level, and I definitely do in some aspects (acting wise - Jeremy Irons is just phenomenal), but in the end I couldn't help but feel let down. It's never as hypnotizing as it potentially could be, and the romantic subplot with Bujold feels somewhat forced into place. Still, redeemable to a degree thanks to Irons' incredible turn, with an unsettling ending that won't go away quickly, but one whose slow-footed pace gets the better of it. If you want to stick to utterly devastating Cronenberg material, go with "The Fly" instead, which eclipses this film in every way except for acting, really.
Super Reviewer
½ October 4, 2006
Exceptional 'horror' film from the Canadian master sporting superb work from Irons in a dual role. It's restraint pays off massively, the 'bound' sex scene, In The Still Of The Night moment and the sight of the gynaecological tools in particular. Frequently makes me feel quite ill. Some suprisingly hilarious dialogue, I defy you not to imitate the Mantle brothers after watching this!
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2010
Pretty Good Movie for 1988, The Mantle Twins are doing the same women, One falls in lover with her, the other heartless. As Film goes the point of the film seems to dwindle further and further into making very little sense. Still worth 3 stars a good watch just don't expect much. 3 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ December 6, 2009
A very bizarre descent into madness. Jeremy Irons did an amazing job at playing two very distinct characters, while also making them similar enough to be twins. David Cronenberg's eerie style worked amazingly well, giving it a proper and suspenseful tone.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2007
Proper review at last!
Jeremy Irons plays both Eliot and Beverly Mantle, two gynecologists who are identical twins. They are a curious, disturbing mixture of scientific and sexual inquisitors, ever since their childhood. Their research and development of gynecological instruments earns them fame and recognition since their college years, and the story begins to unfold once they are an established team. Beverly, the shy, insecure one, is the main practicing doctor and also does most of the research, while Eliot takes care of "public relations", writing acceptance speeches, etc.
Eliot is the charming, assertive twin. He and Beverly have a rather unhealthy relationship, as if they couldn't really see the difference between one another (for as obvious as we find it). When Eliot sleeps with a woman, he will "pass it over" to Beverly so that he can do it too; after all, she won't be able to tell the difference. This is the dynamic in their lives. Eliot is perfectly content with it, although Beverly's uneasiness is obvious from the first moment. Everything changes when a mini-series actress, the tortured Claire Niveau (an aggresively sexual, quintessential Cronenberg woman), turns to the Mantle brother for an examination. Beverly discovers a rare defect in her uterus, which entices a disturbing fascination. The brothers "pass her around" as usual, but Beverly gets more hooked than Eliot is prepared to accept.
Claire acts as a catalyst for the individualization of the twins. Beverly is in love with her, while Eliot isn't, and he doesn't want to share or give her up. He unconsciously becomes aware of the unhealthy co-dependence between he and his brother, and how menacing it can be for his future life, which pushes him into a whirlpool of obssession, paranoia, and drug abuse. Eliot tries uselessly to save him, in an attempt to save himself. But soon, without explanation, it seems as though he experiences his brother's pain as his own.
Dead Ringers is one of the saddest, darkest films I've seen. It's just how everything happens. It isn't forced. It doesn't rely on supernatural elements or killers, but the terrifying distortions of the characters' minds and bodies: something much more internal, inaccessible, harder to understand or fix. Watching it is like watching a car crash or staring into a dark pit. It has the stamp of David Cronenberg all over it, from the use of strong, bright primary colors to the Howard Shore score, the disgusting body abnormalities and makeup, the eerie credibility of the blood, and, most importantly, the thorough characterization. The Mantle twins and Claire are strange people, caught up in their pyschosexual and drug conflicts, but never become caricatures. Their pain is tangible and believable.
Dead Ringers' success or failure rested aboslutely on the shoulders of the actor playing the twins, and Jeremy Irons is as good as it gets. He takes on these complex, emotionally draining, tortured roles with transparence and exhausting intensity. I personally felt so exhausted watching Beverly spiral further and further downwards in self-destruction. Still, his performance is subtle enough not to to differentiate the twins obviously: he understood their similarities (which are the basis of their unhealthy relationship) and didn't compromise them for the sake of making the film easier to follow. He interacted perfectly with "himself", there is never a single defect in his stare or gestures. Also, it is possible to tell the twin aparts successfully after some observation,and this only further proves his expertise.
Anxious and uncomfortable pretty much define this film: Beverly and Eliot's anxiety of separation, which ultimately brings on their demise, the anxiety that begins to de-humanize them, or rather to alter them in such a way that they lose any notion of civility or tact. As a woman I was horrified not only by their instruments to work on "mutant women", but by the brutality with which they treated their patients after their crisis.
Dead Ringers is one of the most fascinating films that I can rank as my favorites. It's unapologetically bizarre but still vaguely plausible. Cronenberg proves that defects in such notions as sexuality and identity can be a thousand times more terrifying than a house full of ghosts. He takes on fear of the intangible in a stylish manner, supported by the brilliance of Jeremy Iron's work.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2009
Irons gives two excellent performances as identical twins in Cronenberg's excellent tale of identity and brotherly love. Irons and Irons use their looks to share women, make their job easier and so forth. It's a wonderful setup until a woman arrives that one of them has strong feelings for. Cronenberg puts his twisted mind on hold for the majority of the film. In visuals at least, the themes are all still dark and unsettling. Closer towards the end they appear and are all the more memorable and disturbing due to their late arrival. Irons deserves so much credit for clearly defining each character without making them polar opposites.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2007
Twins Elliot and Beverly Mantle are two sides of the same coin, one over confident and suave, and the other shy and sensitive. they are both brilliant in the field they chose, gynecology. But they can't function properly if a third party gets in their way.
One of Cronenberg's best films. A succesful attempt to transcend his carnal phase for a more psychological one.
A morbid yet moving drama in which Jeremy Irons shines in an outstanding double role.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2007
Maybe it was just my mood, but I couldn't get into this movie. Cronenberg's usual strengths, his kinetics and judicious screenwriting, are nowhere to be seen here. This film is completely bloated. And of course the movie is stuffed full of gnarly, disconcerting imagery, a collection of nightmarish lines and hooks, but the premise feels cheaply tailor-made for this sort of exercise. I feel like this movie was not a stretch for him in any auteurial or compositional sense.

Easily his most disappointing effort, especially considering the hype.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2009
I know this isn't exactly what David Cronenberg was going for, but there are few movies that come to mind that are anywhere near as creepy as this one. *shudder* The twins' relationships with each other and with Genevieve Bujold are so unsettling, as are thier approach to thier profession. In fact, absolutely nothing in this movie is in any way healthy. While the relationship between Beverly and Elliot is eery and unwholesome, I found it very interesting that their personalities are very distinct from each others' yet they're inextricably bound to each other. Even when they fight, even when they resist each other, they're so psychically linked and co-dependant that they need each other to survive. The Chang and Eng Bunker parable perfectly exemplifies the brothers.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2008
A pretty creepy movie. Jeremy Irons stars in two roles - as identical gynaecologists. They have a complex relationship - one more confident than the other, and they often interchange for each other, in fact sharing women. In the relationship they have with Geneieve Bujold, she rejects them which starts the twins into a spiral of mental illness.
Super Reviewer
February 2, 2008
Cronenberg pushes the limits of sanity via Irons, a disturbing visual poem
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2007
Jeremy Irons as twin demented gynecologists...creepy
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2007
jeromy irons is a twin in this and there identical and you cant tell them apart and they both go into medcine
they always share there girls so shes having sex with two people anyway one of the twin gets hooked on drugs and goes crazy and kills his twin and thats it i didnt really understand it either so its crap
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2006
Brilliant gynecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle are identical twins who share everything-even women-when the younger and more sensitive of the two forms an emotional bond with one of their patients that threatens their inter-dependent relationship. David Cronenberg's dark psycho-sexual chiller is lacking his usual gory effects and is a much more subtle and understated affair. The doctors' psychological decay and descent into drug abuse and madness is handled with great sensitivity, never demonising or judgemental, and the seamless direction and visual effects mean that you would never guess that the twins were played by the same actor if you didn't already know. Jeremy Irons turns in not one but two remarkable performances as the troubled twins, subtly giving each individuality through reactions and body language; I personally think it was a crime that Irons did not win the Oscar for best actor, and arguably deserved the best supporting actor Oscar as well. The story builds quite slowly, but pays dividends at it's incredibly powerful and moving climax; surely Cronenberg's best work.
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