Dead Ringers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Ringers Reviews

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½ December 8, 2016
Original, compelling, and brilliant. The story is full of emotional depth and complex characters. Jeremy Irons is amazing, Cronenberg's direction, and the writing, cinematography, and editing are outstanding. The ending feels rushed and isn't the shocker I was hoping for. It was unexpected but I didn't totally buy it. I'll definitely watch it again.
November 26, 2016
David Cronenberg's film "Dead Ringers" is about bizarrely close twin brothers who become gynecologists together and share everything, including women (though without the women's knowledge that they are ever sleeping with two different men). When they both sleep with a popular actress and she figures them out but prefers the more introvert one...things begin to unravel in their strange shared life. It is a weird and wonderful movie, that left me unsettled for a lot of it's runtime...in a good way. If you like dark weird stories, this is a film for you.
November 24, 2016
I'm a big fan of Cronenberg as filmmaker; I think he's extremely intelligent and his films are distinctively original and thought-provoking, but I must confess "Dead Ringers" baffled me big time. I think it is a well-made film with great central performances by Jeremy Irons, and I think the first half of the film is very compelling. The second half of it, though, really disturbed me and made me feel uncomfortable, and perhaps that's what Cronenberg intended it to be (I will never know.) What Irons's character went through I thought was chilling and disturbing, and that really seeped into my bones, which is a compliment but not necessarily what I want to experience. As of now, "Dead Ringers" is not one of my favorite Cronenberg films, but I feel that with multiple viewings my opinions might change in the future. I admire it greatly, but it's not something I loved watching.
September 7, 2016
22%
Saw this on 2/9/16
This could be Crorenberg's worst as it is one of the most meaningless films I've ever seen. This time Crorenberg dipped his head way up his ass that no one can see what he's up to. Jeremy Irons seems to give a committed performance though.
½ July 12, 2016
Sheer brilliance. Deep down, EVERYONE has a love/hate thing about identical twins. On the one side, they wish they had that kind of communion with someone, that sort of magical intimacy they share, having someone basically the exact same as themselves...yet that same one-of-a-kind companionship is scary as hell.

I haven't seen, from my fellow Canadian, either 'Scanners' (1981) or 'Naked Lunch' (1991), so I can't honestly say whether or not my assertion can be thus extended, but I dare ANYONE to find in horror a finer run than Cronenberg had, in 'Videodrome', 'The Dead Zone', 'The Fly'...and this, 'Dead Ringers'.
½ May 27, 2016
This movie fucked me up...
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2016
Jeremy Irons plays identical twins Elliott and Beverly Mantle in David Cronenberg's 1988 film "Dead Ringers." The Mantle brothers are both renowned gynecologists in Toronto who specialize in female fertility. The film is based off the book "Twins" by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland based on the real life twin physicians who died of barbiturate withdrawal in their New York apartment. The film was even called "Twins" after the novel until Ivan Rietman bought the naming rights for his film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.
Elliott is the older of the two and often refers to Beverly as "little brother." Irons portrays Elliott with a smugness whose so snarky you just want to smack him, but as Beverly, he is shy, not very confident and almost intimidated by Elliott. We learn early in the film how Elliott seduces his clients and once he becomes bored with the women passes them on to Bev, who pretends to be him, sometimes unknowingly to these women. Things become complicated when a movie star named Claire Niveau (Geneviere Bujold) is passed on to Bev and Bev develops feelings for her. Claire doesn't know that he's twins and that he and his brother ultimately share everything. After confronting the two of them together in a restaurant she leaves in anger and this is the first time in the whole film where Elliott actually shows any compassion for his brother as he starts to cry.
Beverly reunites with Clarie and they start a relationship but he becomes troubled when she leaves Toronto to shoot another picture. He becomes absolutely paranoid and delusional and believes his brother is sleeping with her until he calls her hotel room and her gay manager answers to which he describes her as a "mutant woman." He realizes he's been hiding from the wrong person and goes back to his brother and starts abusing drugs and throwing himself into his work. He develops tools to work on these "mutant women" and as a result he and his brother lose their license. Elliott now tries to clean Beverly up but ultimately ends up taking the same drugs his brother is taking in an effort to sync their bloodlines up.
Irons ultimately landed the role after it was turned down by both Robert DeNiro and William Hurt, and to be fair, it's hard to imagine anyone else in these roles. Irons even had two separate trailers and wardrobes for each character and while the audience will be confused as to which brother is which, Irons himself has said that during filming he became aware that the whole point of the story was to be confused as to which twin he was. He decided to use an acting technique that was nearly a century old by the time Irons used it called the Alexander technique, which is an educational process that teaches people how to avoid using unnecessary muscular and mental tension because a person's self awareness may be incorrect. This technique allowed Irons to "look different" when playing the twins by providing much of his weight on either the balls of his feet or his heels depending on the character. Shots of Irons as the twins was filmed using computer-controlled moving-matte photography. At no time in the film does it not look as if there was only one Irons as shadows and lighting flawlessly look realistic in those scenes.
This is a extremely disturbing film that only Cronenberg could have pulled off. The creepy relationship that the twins have is also homoerotic as it's implied Elliott vicariously lives through his brother's sexual exploits imagining he's there. The twins may be two separate people, but they possess one soul. And each one of them can't stand the thought of being alone. Many times through the film, Elliott mentions he wouldn't be where he is today with Beverly's work and Beverly quite possibly wouldn't be where he is without Elliott taking care of him.
May 6, 2016
It's Jeremy Irons vs. Jeremy Irons and the winner is....Jeremy Irons! The actor is mesmerizing playing identical twin gynaecologists who get involved with Genevieve Bujold, a nutty actress, and sink into drug addiction and despair. With David Cronenberg at the helm, Irons is encouraged to go over the top and he does, but the gruesomeness is actual kept to a relative minimum (relative to other Cronenberg vehicles of the time -- this came chronologically between The Fly and Naked Lunch). Yet, for much of the first half of the film, slow and stately as it may be, I felt on the edge of my seat, awaiting a shock moment of gore - or at least a weird prosthesis - that never quite arrived (OK, actually there was one in a brief dream sequence!). As madness descends on the sensitive of the two twins (the other is more virile), things do get messier...and also somehow more boring and drawn out. In the end, though strange, this film falls into the lesser half of Cronenberg's output, saved only by the virtuosic performance(s) of Irons.
April 27, 2016
Bizarre and unnerving, in a good way
January 23, 2016
Long before Tom Hardy and Armie Hammer were gracing the silver screen with their duel performances as conflicting brothers, Jeremy Irons was setting the bench mark for 2 characters played by one actor, it seems almost common place now, but during the 80's this was a close to untapped market and if it was touched upon, it wasn't executed with quite the same finesse. Dead Ringers see's David Cronenberg haunting our dreams once again with a story of brotherly love. Beverley and Elliot Mantle dont just happen to be identical twins, they also happen to share the exact same profession as Gynecologists. When a famous actor with a bizarre condition in her uterus comes to consult with Beverly, the brothers soon find themselves intertwined in a love triangle of exceedingly bizarre proportions. The fantasy cannot last forever and soon more than just their careers are at stake. Jeremy Irons completely lights up the screen as both brothers, providing a dizzying, yet distinct performance as both. Each brother has their own qualities and indeed outlook on life, however its his ability to touch on the similarities and the differences, that makes this such a convincing and intriguing performance to watch. This isnt just a vehicle for Mr Irons however, as with any Cronenberg movie, theme and indeed horror are always stuffed tightly within his tales, and although he does maneuver away from a blatant effect based horror, much like say Rabid or indeed Video Drome, he utilizes the horror from his leading star and their ability to use their bodies themselves as weapons. Dead Ringers can at times be a comedy and its full of awkward, fun and indeed heart warming moments that will have any viewers eyeballs lighting up, however when Cronenberg takes it to the next level, its haunting and indeed pitch black outlook can at times be quite hard to take. Dead Ringers is petrifying on a psychological level, it taps into some primal fears, it isnt afraid to go where it needs to and its bold outlook should be praised. Dead Ringers does have very little wrong with it, yes the visual execution, although in no way bad, has since been done a lot more inventively. Also the films transitions through time can sometimes indeed be jarring, but these are all minor gripes, that in the big picture can be easily overlooked for just how riveting this film is. Dead Ringers will be a popular cult favorite and rightly so, however fans of cinema should really enjoy this brilliantly under rated masterpiece.
½ January 2, 2016
One of the few Cronenberg films that are more melancholic, saddening than disturbing. Jeremy Irons is brilliant here.
December 16, 2015
I tried to like "Dead Ringers" but I just thought it was extremely boring. I do recommend "Spider" and definitely "The Dead Zone" which are also films directed by David Cronenberg.
½ July 22, 2015
Not what it is cracked up to be. Very much a psychological horror with one or two scenes to make you raise an eyebrow but that's it. It's slow and dull, symptomatic of Jeremy Irons films.
July 8, 2015
Diabolical self-destructive twin game with the disturbing Cronenberg touch.Remarkable Jeremy Irons
½ July 7, 2015
DEAD RINGERS is one of the most intense and riveting psychological dramas ever made. It is the story of identical twin gynecologists who share everything, even women. When an aging temperamental actress comes between them, their descent into depression, drug abuse, and insanity ultimately has deadly consequences. DEAD RINGERS is simultaneously engrossing and painful to watch. The score by Howard Shore is beautiful and haunting, and Jeremy Irons' performance as the twins has to be seen to be believed. This is one of David Cronenberg's finest film.
June 17, 2015
Extremely strange. Disturbing. Jeremy Irons knocks it out of the park.
½ May 8, 2015
Very close to being a flawless work of cinematic art.
April 28, 2015
The first film of the second phase of Cronenberg's career, where the techniques he used and themes he explored in his early horror films are applied to decidedly non-horror subject matter. This film is a confusing film in that it certainly feels like a horror film, but quite obviously isn't one in any conventional sense. Cronenberg examines themes of sexuality and the descent into abjection that have always been foremost in his work in the context of a character study of twin brothers who seemingly cannot form a whole person on their own. Jeremy Irons is simply incredible in the dual performance as Beverly and Elliot Mantle. You always know precisely which brother you are looking at in every scene, even if they have no dialogue. In fact, I tend to forget I'm even watching a single actor.
April 27, 2015
Extremely disturbing story. Irons plays it flawlessly.
April 25, 2015
If you haven't seen it yet and like the creepy ones, watch it.
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