Critics Consensus

Unsane unleashes Steven Soderbergh's inner B-movie maestro, wading into timeless psychological thriller territory and giving it a high-tech filmmaking spin.



Reviews Counted: 220

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,503


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear--but is it real or is it a product of her delusion?

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Claire Foy
as Sawyer Valentini
Joshua Leonard
as David Strine
Aimee Mullins
as Ashley Brighterhouse
Amy Irving
as Angela Valentini
Jay Pharoah
as Nate Hoffman
Mike Mihm
as Steve
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News & Interviews for Unsane

Critic Reviews for Unsane

All Critics (220) | Top Critics (42)

  • Hopefully in the right hands, this is obviously an example of how technology can be used to make something bold and imaginative.

    Mar 4, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's a clever film. And for all Soderbergh's reservations about Hollywood, it's also confirmation of his mastery of its assorted genres, although he does suffer from an urge to see if he can juggle them all at the same time.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The formal playfulness may occasionally undermine Unsane's narrative tension, but it keeps the movie engaging on a visual level.

    Mar 29, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Above all, he revels, with palpable joy, in his repertory of distorted, disturbing, lurid yet lucid images, making a furious movie that signifies nothing but the irrepressible vitality of the cinema itself. Soderbergh's experiment is a success.

    Mar 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A serious movie about mental disorder and the insurance business would be ten times clammier and more disturbing than "Unsane."

    Mar 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Knowing that some of cinema's greatest performances are in B-movies, Soderbergh turns Unsane into a vehicle for Foy's ferocious presence.

    Mar 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Joe McGovern

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Unsane

Average. Thought it would be better.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Although its "shot with an iPhone" premise may seem gimmicky, Soderbergh is capable of capturing intense moments, helped by Foy's mesmerising and unsettling characterization. A gripping thriller that proves, rather than budget or technicalities, storytelling is the decisive tool in filmmaking.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

Soderbergh is a filmmaker who is always interested in exploring new possibilities and technologies, and here he uses an iPhone 7 Plus camera to make a barely decent genre exercise that has too many clichés but at least manages to be fun when relying on Claire Foy being a tough bitch.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Steven Soderbergh is a restlessly experimental filmmaker who enjoys adopting new technology to tell familiar stories. Unsane was shot entirely on an iPhone (7, if you must know) but I'll never know the reason other than to see if it could be done. Otherwise, Unsane is Soderbergh's woman-in-peril Lifetime movie of the week. Claire Foy (Netflix's The Crown) plays a harried woman on the edge that accidentally commits herself to an in-patient mental hospital. That's the best part of the movie, the first twenty minutes, as she diligently tries to convince everyone she is not crazy and there has been some sort of mistake. From there she begins seeing images of her stalker (Joshua Leonard) from another city. Is she really crazy? Is he really there? Has he followed her and gotten a job at a mental hospital and been waiting his time anticipating she would commit herself to this exact facility? The film answers this question ridiculously early and finds the most boring yet also preposterous route to go with its pedantic thrills. There's a good concept here with the idea of a person trying to navigate the Byzantine, bureaucratic system to prove their sanity from behind bars, but it's so poorly developed as to feel like a promising TV episode stretched thin. There simply are not enough twists and turns to keep an audience consistently engaged. Soderbergh has played in the trashy B-movie realm before with 2013's Side Effects to much better effect. There aren't enough credible characters to grapple onto. Foy is enjoyably incensed and erratic and keeps your attention, though I think she studied at the Kate Winslet School of American Accents. Gorgeous looking movies have been shot on cell phones, like Sean Baker's Tangerine. This movie looks like it was shot on someone's phone while it was dying. the movie looks so ugly on the big screen, flat and over-saturated in lighting, and just unappealing. It's deeply un-cinematic and Soderbergh has the skills to do better. Unsane is un-good. Nate's Grade: C-

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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