Stonehearst Asylum - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Stonehearst Asylum Reviews

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February 27, 2019
Someone surely should have rejected the script, or at the very least reworked it so that its predictable twists and turns were removed and replaced with something original. If you can't guess the plot within five minutes, there's no hope for you. The film treads water for almost its entire running time and wastes some good actors.
November 2, 2018
The asylums' problems faced with the Gothic approach of EAP don't convince enough. Or at least no more today.
(Mauro Lanari)
½ October 13, 2018
A very suspenseful and interesting movie. Loaded with above average actors, the performances were great. The plot is full of tension and intrigue. Has a nice ending.
September 24, 2018
Stonehearst Asylum: 6 out of 10: An all-star cast (Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine etc) take on a Poe tale about an asylum for the mentally deranged which may not be as it seems. Into this Asylum comes a new doctor (Jim Sturgess) starting his practice who quickly shakes the apple cart as he finds himself obsessing about a woman (Beckinsale) even though she is a patient there.

The Good: The acting is solid all the way around. Neither Caine nor Kingsley sleepwalk their way to a paycheck. An activity both (particularly Kingsley) have been guilty of on occasion. (The prosecutor would like to put into states evidence Jaws 4 and BloodRayne). David Thewlis, however, takes his character to the next level. He outshines his peers in a wonderfully nuanced and menacing performance.

The production values are also top notch, with delightful Victorian costumes and furnishings. The whole film has a wonderful polished period-perfect look.

The Bad: I have a hard time figuring out if Jim Sturgess as the main protagonist is miscast or if his character is simply miswritten. The movie holds some cards so close to the vest that, while certain characterizations make sense in hindsight, it doesn't negate the fact that on the surface Sturgess' doctor simply seems off. Since he is our main protagonist who is in almost every scene and who is the stand-in for the audience it can make for a frustrating viewing experience.

The Ugly: The movie keeps up the facade that the new doctor mustn't find out the secret. Even though the new doctor figures it out well before the first act is done. I mean it is as obvious as Ric Ocasek dressed as a woman. Mr. Magoo wouldn't be fooled for long. It creates a weird tension where the New Doctor must not reveal he figured it out even as the evidence piles up in front of him. It is a great idea in a way but the tension never seems to build as it should. It instead comes across as silly.

In Conclusion: Well there are no ghosts in the movie and for this I am thankful. I feared ghosts based on the story synopsis and poster art. There is also a great ending (almost a stinger) that almost saves the movie. Unfortunately, the film that precedes the ending simply never seems to be able to create tension, horror, pathos or romance that keeps one invested in the proceedings. The romance between Sturgess' new doctor and Beckinsale's mental patient seems creepy, wrong and something out of middle school. The horror is basically non-existent. Despite Thewlis performance, the tension seems to drain out of every scene. So much talent and yet it simply never gels. An okay film that with the talent involved, simply should have been better.
August 7, 2018
In 1899, an Oxford University professor demonstrates a case of female hysteria, Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), before his class. Though she protests that she is sane, the professor points out that all mental patients claim to be sane, much as all criminals claim to be innocent. The professor advises his students to believe nothing they hear and only half of what they see. Later, a young man arrives at Stonehearst Asylum, where he desires to take up residency. A group of armed men led by Mickey Finn (David Thewlis) allow him entry. Finn escorts him to the office of the superintendent, Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley), where the young doctor introduces himself as Dr. Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) from Oxford. Although Lamb was not expecting him, he welcomes the help of an Oxford-educated doctor. Newgate is surprised by Lamb's unorthodox methods. Lamb says that he does not believe in drugging or incarcerating his patients, and he encourages their delusions when he feels it will bring them greater happiness. Newgate becomes infatuated with Graves, now a resident at Stonehearst, when introduced to her. Though she brushes aside his attempts at flirtation, she is struck by his humility and respectful demeanor. A fancy feast follows, during which the staff and patients mingle. Newgate and Finn argue, and, as a truce, Finn proposes a toast. Before Negate can drink it, Graves causes him to spill his drink. As she helps him to clean up, Graves quietly insists that he flee the asylum, but Newgate refuses to leave without her. Exploring the asylum, Newgate discovers the former staff locked in the boiler room, who explain that Lamb and Finn drugged their drinks and led a revolt.
Dr. Salt (Michael Caine) and Mrs. Pike warn Newgate that Lamb is a dangerous madman - a surgeon who murdered his patients during wartime...

Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "Stonehearst Asylum offers over-the-top fun for genre aficionados; for others, however, it's likely to prove a dull disappointment." Common criticism for the film centered upon what the reviewers felt was the film's failure to live up to its full potential, considering its atmosphere and all-A-list cast. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "On the surface, Anderson seems to have all the necessary pieces for a surreal psycho pop. But the fear factor eludes him, leaving "Stonehearst Asylum" more insipid than insane." Film Journal International and The A.V. Club both praised the film for its themes; the reviewer for Film Journal International wrote, "While the film lacks the macabre humor of the original story, it does an excellent job of conveying the creeping horror of Victorian medicine."

"Stonehearst Asylum" has an ok period piece storyline loosely based on the short story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" by Edgar Allan Poe. There´s twists which I like and we get a solid cast with Kate Beckinsale (always nice to see the lovely Kate Beckinsale), Ben Kingsley, David Thewlis and Michael Caine. Director Brad Anderson manages to create a macabre gothic vibe with a scary insight into Victorian medicine and everything that came with it. There´s entertainment value in "Stonehearst Asylum", but I am not fully convinced with the ending.
June 30, 2018
Loved this movie! Great actors were a bonus!
June 29, 2018
All's well that ends well.
March 26, 2018
The premise, acting, and plot are all there, though the scenes the film dedicates time to messes with the pacing. The climax is also ineffectual, leaving the twist at the end as more of a "meh" afterthought rather than surprising.
October 30, 2017
Don't listen to the negative reviews! This is a truly a great victorian-era classic gothic horror - and I don't even care much for any of those genres, but Stonehearst Asylum won me over. Great location, SUPERB performance from an impressive cast with gravitas, and very engaging and absorbing cinematography. Maybe not quite a classic, but not far off, and it certainly deserves much better reviews. I can only surmise that it didn't meet those critics' preconceived expectations (something that can easily ruin any otherwise decent movie). But go in, as I did, without expecting anything in particular and may very will be surprised at how such a well crafted movie has slipped under the radar and isn't being talked about much more.
July 24, 2017
Based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, this pseudo horror movie has a few moments of gore but not much else going for it other than the lovely and talented Kate Beckinsale (which in my estimation is enough to get me to see a movie). The story holds your interest however the reveals (there's two of them) are not at all surprising. Decent performances by a star studded cast. Worth a look.
½ July 14, 2017
Between 2.5 and 3. Actors are good ones, and also some of the ethical dilemmas. However, plot does not fly so high as other aspects of the movie.
½ April 20, 2017
When young doctor Edward Newgate arrives at Stonehearst Asylum in search of an apprenticeship, he is warmly welcomed by superintendent Dr. Lamb and a mesmerizing woman by the name of Eliza Graves. Newgate is intrigued by Lamb's modern
methods of treating the insane until a series of unusual events leads him to make a horrifying discovery, exposing Lamb's utopia and pushing Newgate to the limits of his conscience.
March 31, 2017
Way above the standard horror flick. This is a well crafted movie with a stellar cast, a marvelous script, beautifully directed and edited. I don't know why this hasn't received more acclaim. It deserves it.
½ March 2, 2017
Good old school horror akin to the old hammer films, which is about as much horror as I can take compared to the modern quiet quiet bang of the so called horror films of the modern era
January 31, 2017
a medical graduate starts work at a cruel and disturbing mental asylum.
½ January 20, 2017
Ben Kingsley clearly walked off the set of Shutter Island and straight on to this one. Beckinsale wooden as always.
January 6, 2017
With Asylum in the title you'd expect something deranged, absurd & shocking. However this film got lost somewhere between a gothic romance & suspenseful insane thriller. It does a seriously good job of keeping you torn between mental patient "Dr. Lamb" with his carefree methods vs. imprisoned-real-doctor Dr. Salt & his barbaric early Victorian practices. Also the twist at the end was surprising enough to merit a positive review however I can totally understand why many are saying it's an "insipid disappointment".
November 20, 2016
A very good movie, full of suspense and unexpected turns... :) Many Bulgarian actors are playing in it and the final scene is shot in Bulgaria...:)
November 2, 2016
Good movie. Good cast, interesting.
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