Bad Timing

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,060
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Movie Info

Psychiatrist Alex (Art Garfunkel) becomes sexually obsessed with Milena (Theresa Russell), a woman whom he meets at a party. The pair become involved in an intense and mutually destructive love affair. The drama unfolds in a series of flashbacks, as Alex tells his story to police Inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) who is investigating Milena's apparent suicide attempt. Alex's obsession grows, but Milena stays slightly out of reach. Originally rated X, but somewhat toned down to accommodate an R rating, Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession is an interesting exploration of the nature of sexual passion and jealousy. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi


Art Garfunkel
as Dr. Alex Linden
Theresa Russell
as Milena Flaherty
Harvey Keitel
as Insp. Netusil
Denholm Elliott
as Stefan Vognic
Sevilia Delofski
as Receptionist
William Hootkins
as Col. Taylor
Eugene Lipinski
as Policeman
George Roubicek
as Policeman #1
Stefan Gryff
as Policeman #2
Gertan Klauber
as Ambulance Man
Ania Marson
as Dr. Schneider
Lex van Delden
as Young Doctor
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Critic Reviews for Bad Timing

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (5)

  • This film has been praised for its honesty, but it would have taken far more honesty (not to mention courage) to deal with the personality disorders of these characters instead of simply burying them in blood, sex, and noise.

    Nov 12, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Since the brief but fairly blunt sex scenes earned the movie an X rating anyway, it seems even more self-defeating to choose a leading man incapable of projecting a forceful sexuality.

    May 10, 2017 | Full Review…
  • the film's real problem is Roeg's willingness to sacrifice the logic of situation and character to facile shock effects.

    Oct 1, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Bad Timing gets assembled from the memories and assumptions of multiple unreliable sources. The flamboyantly cinematic camera moves and angles, shock-cut edits and Scorsese-style soundtrack all contribute to a sense of dislocation.

    Oct 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The script is pretentious, the director has no imagination, and the actors are mediocre. [Full Review in Spanish]

    Aug 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • ...perched right on the edge of tastelessness and yet finally more emotionally powerful than exploitative.

    Nov 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bad Timing

  • May 08, 2013
    Two cold war spies (Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell) enter into an ill-fated and apparently pointless, cat and mouse romance, but we don't realize it's going nowhere until we've sat through it to the end. Russel is sent to the West by Denholm Elliot (an intriguing character actor whose talents are squandered here) to attract Garfunkel, a CIA'd-up psychiatric professor, who simultaneously receives a dossier on Russell. There's lot;s of rough sex, and a near fatal drug overdose, but little actual intrigue, point or purpose. The most the film has to offer is that the story unfolds in such a way, via Garfunkel's flashbacks, that we get some interesting insight into Garfunkel's character by the end, and reality turns out to be something different from what we had assumed. However, the character insight we get is the kind that would be more relevant to relationship drama than a cold war character study -which Bad Timing purports to be. One oasis of satisfaction in the film is Harvey Keitel's performance as an East German Stasi and Czech Secret Policei-collaborating West German inspector. Keitel was born to play sinsister characters who lead twisted double lives, and his part in Bad Timing primes him for future roles such as the detective in Cop Killer (aka Corrupt, 1983 -see littlemissbloodandguts' review -, Bad Timing's worth a watch but if you're looking for cold war romance and intrigue under the came roof, try The Russia House (1990), or The Double Agent (1962).
    Steve S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    Wonderfully directed by Roeg with good performances from Harvey Keitel.and Theresa Russell. I'm not a huge fan of Art Garfunkel.
    Graham J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2011
    I'm going to refer to my friend Steve's review on this one except to add that Theresa Russel looked an awful lot like Amy Irving then, and Tatum O'Neal now. Oh, and Theresa Russell shows snatch in this.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2011
    Bad Timing is not an easy film, but one that rewards effort. Art Garfunkel joins the line (Jagger, Bowie) of singers who produced career best acting performances for this director - the scene of him smoking while staring over a bridge into the abyss of his life is worth buying the dvd alone - and Theresa Russell is simply incendiary. The story is a relatively simple one of how two people who should never have got together become obsessed with each other, but is told in Nicolas Roeg's fluid, labyrinthine style with flashes back and forward and disconcerting edits. The sexual content is extreme for some tastes, but raw and painfully honest in a way which defies simple titillation. Intense work from one of the giants of British and world cinema, now sadly neglected, and one of a string of great films, Performance, Walkabout, Don't Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth which mark Nicolas Roeg out as a great director.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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