Crimes of the Future is the newest David Cronenberg movie to hit the cinemas. I can safely say this is a very Cronenberg movie.

The movie is written and directed by Cronenberg and stars Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Scott Speedman, Sortiris Siozos, and Lihi Kornowski. The basic story is:

“Humans adapt to a synthetic environment, with new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice, Saul Tenser, celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.”

Being a Cronenberg movie, there are obviously a lot more themes throughout the movie such as evolution, sex and the way the world is headed. Cronenberg has made some very interesting movies in the past, from The Fly to Videodrome to Scanners.

I do like his movies, but overall they mostly have a theme you can understand. If I’m being honest, I didn’t quite “get” Crimes of the Future. Before writing this review I read through the synopsis on a couple of websites and, again being honest, I’m still not sure I fully understand it.

Crimes Of The Future

Without going into spoiler territory, Saul Tenser (Mortensen) is a performance artist. Because of his evolutionary changes he doesn’t experience pain, but he does grow new organs. Him and his partner Caprice (Saydoux) perform art installations where she will open him up and remove any new organs in front of a live audience.

There is a deeper story about an autopsy, government registration and human evolution as a whole. I was really looking forward to see Crimes of the Future and I gave it my full attention, but I just didn’t get it. There’s a line in the movie:

“Surgery is the new sex”

Being a Cronenberg movie there’s themes of sex and sensuality, but again, it left me wondering what I was missing.


This isn’t to say the movie isn’t good. The direction and acting are spot on, as you would expect, but I found myself getting a little bored with the story as I didn’t know who some of the characters were and what their motivation was.

Even having read up on the movie to prepare for this review I can’t help but feel there’s a lot missing as if it has been left out from the movie. Better explanations would have helped the story out a lot.

I will give it another watch, but I will have to continue to read up and watch some explanation videos to fully appreciate it. Which is annoying to be honest.

I had also heard that when the movie premiered at Cannes some audience members left in the first 10 minutes. There is a scene which might explain why, but honestly I didn’t think it was that bad. If you follow our YouTube channel and have seen Shawn and myself discuss extreme cinema, you would understand why I didn’t think it was that bad.

Crimes of the Future has had rave reviews from intellectuals far more cleverer than me. I just wasn’t into it enough to enjoy it. I am annoyed at this. Overall, a rare miss from Cronenberg for me although my mind might change on another viewing.

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