Eastern Promises (2007)

In Eastern Promises, director David Cronenberg delves into the crime saga and “people who live in a state of perpetual transgression.” That this is his interest level is hardly surprising, as the 2007 film works not so much as a plot or a story but more as a scientific investigation of yet another sealed-off world.

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A History of Violence (2005)

As with all of David Cronenberg’s pictures, nothing is as it seems in A History of Violence. The 2005 outing is based on a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, with a screenplay by Josh Olson. The usual suspects are present, including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, editor Ronald Sanders, production designer Carol Spier, composer […]

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Spider (2002)

Themes of self-delusion float to the fore again with David Cronenberg’s Spider, a 2002 film based on Patrick McGrath’s novel of the same name. As with most of the director’s movies, much of this outing defies explanation. It is also intensely sad, like watching someone fade away.

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eXistenZ (1999)

David Cronenberg continues his unconventional prescience with eXistenZ, a curious but spirited vision of science fiction couched in the world of video games. The 1999 movie is based on a screenplay by the director and features many of the usual collaborators, including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky and composer Howard Shore.

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Crash (1996)

Based on J. G. Ballard’s 1973 novel of the same name, David Cronenberg’s Crash is a complicated and polarizing thriller. The 1996 picture is bizarre and remote, with a chilling effect that nevertheless draws attention to the director’s eternal sadness.

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M. Butterfly (1993)

David Cronenberg turns to interpretation once more with M. Butterfly, an adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s play of the same name. The 1993 picture appears at first blush to stand out among the director’s work, but Cronenberg builds on familiar themes and evokes an eternal, excruciating sadness.

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Naked Lunch (1991)

David Cronenberg’s interpretation of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch is the kind of transgressive and absurd thing it has to be. The 1991 film is kind of an adaptation of the 1959 book of the same name, with a screenplay by Cronenberg and Bill Strait. This is wild-ass, severed stuff. It’s weird, gloriously so.

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Dead Ringers (1988)

It says a lot that a film as tortured as Dead Ringers is considered “restrained” by David Cronenberg’s standards, but that’s exactly what this 1988 picture is. Based on the novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland and partially based on the real-life story of Stewart and Cyril Marcus, this psychological thriller is chilling […]

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The Fly (1986)

A grotesque and graphic science fiction dynamo, David Cronenberg’s The Fly is the culmination of his thematic curiosities to date. The 1986 motion picture is based on George Langelaan’s 1957 short story of the same name and features a screenplay by Cronenberg and Charles Edward Pogue. The makeup effects by Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis […]

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The Dead Zone (1983)

David Cronenberg tackles Stephen King with The Dead Zone, a conventional 1983 thriller that is not without deeper meaning. The screenplay Jeffrey Boam turns the 1979 novel of the same name into an episodic yarn and Michael Kamen’s pronounced but isolated score encapsulates the frosty environs.

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Videodrome (1983)

David Cronenberg’s Videodrome is a wild and astonishing culmination of the auteur’s journey so far. It’s also a refreshing and prescient slice of science fiction and film noir that serves as a reminder of just how warped things can be in the right Canadian mindset.

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Scanners (1981)

David Cronenberg’s Scanners is one of his straightest pictures in that it’s relatively a straightforward science fiction thriller. It features car chases and an exploding head and a climactic showdown. The 1981 movie is wired as a mainstream hit, lacking the confrontational grotesqueries of other Cronenberg outings.

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The Brood (1979)

David Cronenberg’s The Brood is complex and grotesque. It is not a stretch to see it as a twisted companion piece to Kramer vs. Kramer, another 1979 film about divorce. Both outings feature a family turned asunder. Both feature bloody custody battles. But one, depending on perspective, is more realistic.

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Fast Company (1979)

After crafting two horror outings obsessed with parasites and diseases and orifices, David Cronenberg’s Fast Company veers in a whole different direction – kind of. This 1979 picture is a quirk in the system in a lot of ways, but in a lot of other ways it makes a certain kind of sense.

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Rabid (1977)

If David Cronenberg’s Shivers infected an apartment complex full of rich yuppies who probably deserved it, Rabid goes a step further and passes the disease to larger Montreal. This 1977 picture contends with many of the same concerns found in Shivers, with science, sex and slaughter at the core. And it is still deeply satirical, […]

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Shivers (1975)

David Cronenberg’s Shivers is a gloriously bizarre and haunting horror picture, one that really gets under the skin. Part fever dream and part snarky satire, this 1975 Canadian movie earned the attention of the government because of its federal arts funding. The hubbub over the subject matter blew over quickly, but there were some ripples […]

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