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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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?"
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Once characters' actions lose credibility, it's hard to empathize with them, no matter how well the roles are played."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"offers a bleak vision of the Fifties, where an outbreak of passion or an artistic impulse would be quickly subjected, like any other madness, to containment."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"There is nothing to Stella's character -- or any of these characters, for that matter -- that you can relate to."
‑ Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"...oh, look at all the crazy people."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Patrick McGrath's screenplay, based on his novel, has moments big and small, delivered in appropriate dollops of awfulness."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"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."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"A little like Jack the Ripper in outer space."
‑ Prairie Miller, Long Island Press
"So obsessed with rendering Patrick McGrath's exquisitely twisted Gothic novel as a refined affair that it forgets less ambitious pursuits, like sussing out a way to keep us awake."
‑ Ian Grey, Orlando Weekly
"Marton Csokas ... comes across as a hybrid of Russell Crowe and Clive Owen in full-on brooding mode and has a genuine chemistry with Richardson that goes some way to explaining why she stays with him as a long as she does."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"It's a movie you fall for or you don't, and like Stella, I am not ashamed I did."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Asylum is all very formal, detached, and, regrettably, sane."
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"Despite a superb cast, artful set design and seductive cinematography, Asylum remains a lovingly lensed missed opportunity."
‑ Rex Roberts, Film Journal International
"Based on Pat McCabe's moody novel, Asylum has an over-the-top feverishness that suits its premise."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"The film wryly wonders whether the lunatics have taken over not just the asylum but the entire world as well."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for Asylum on Rotten Tomatoes