Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 90


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,433
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Movie Info

Directed by David Mackenzie, Asylum follows a 1950s family living in a home on the grounds of an asylum after Max (Hugh Bonneville), the patriarch, is assigned to serve as deputy director of a remote psychiatric hospital. Neither his wife, Stella (Natasha Richardson), nor his young son, Charlie (Augustus Jeremiah Lewis), are particularly happy about the arrangements, though Stella finds herself slowly becoming attracted to Edgar Stark (Marton Csokas), a charismatic inmate. Despite the obvious repercussions of an extramarital affair and the sage advice of Dr. Cleave (Ian McKellen), a colleague of her husband, Stella's slow-burning attraction becomes an all out obsession; before long, Stella is barely aware that she is risking her family, her sanity, and even her very life for Edgar. Asylum is based on a novel by Patrick McGrath.

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Natasha Richardson
as Stella Raphael
Hugh Bonneville
as Max Raphael
Gus Lewis
as Charlie Raphael
Ian McKellen
as Dr. Peter Cleave
Joss Ackland
as Jack Straffen
Wanda Ventham
as Bridie Straffen
Sarah Thurstan
as Mrs. Rose
Marton Csokas
as Edgar Stark
Judy Parfitt
as Brenda Raphael
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Critic Reviews for Asylum

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (27)

  • 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?

    Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: 2/5
  • Patrick McGrath's screenplay, based on his novel, has moments big and small, delivered in appropriate dollops of awfulness.

    Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: B-

    Tom Long

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

    Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: 3/4
  • Once characters' actions lose credibility, it's hard to empathize with them, no matter how well the roles are played.

    Sep 15, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 2, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Asylum is all very formal, detached, and, regrettably, sane.

    Aug 29, 2005

    David Edelstein

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Asylum

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