Dead Ringers (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Ringers1988

Dead Ringers (1988)



Critic Consensus: Dead Ringers serves up a double dose of Jeremy Irons in service of a devilishly unsettling concept and commandingly creepy work from director David Cronenberg.

Dead Ringers Photos

Movie Info

Based extremely loosely on a true story, Dead Ringers stars Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Irons. You read right--Irons essays the dual role of identical twin doctors, who frequently sub for each another professionally. The twins also capriciously share one another's lovers, priding themselves on that fact that their subterfurge has never been detected. Enter Genevieve Bujold, playing a popular actress. Courted by both twins, Genevieve selects the shyer of the two. The more aggressive sibling takes offense, setting the stage for the ruination of the brothers' relationship and careers. The split-screen and travelling-matte work in Dead Ringers is well nigh undetectable, but the film's "highlight" is a rather gruesome dream sequence involving severed skin (a favorite device of director David Cronenberg).

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Jeremy Irons
as Beverly Mantle
Geneviève Bujold
as Claire Niveau
Stephen Lack
as Anders Wolleck
Rina Polley
as Soap Opera Character
Damir Andrei
as Birchall
Miriam Newhouse
as Mrs. Bookman
David Hughes
as Superintendent
Richard W. Farrell
as Dean of Medicine
Warren Davis
as Anatomy Class Supervisor
Jonathan Haley
as Beverly (age 9)
Nicholas Haley
as Elliot (age 9)
Marsha Moreau
as Raffaella
Denis Akiyama
as Pharmacist
Susan Markle
as Operating-Room Nurse
Murray Chuchley
as Assisting Surgeon
Jane Luk
as Lecture-Hall Nurse
Tita Trevisan
as Furniture Salesman
David Walden
as Director
Liliane Stillwell
as Wardrobe Person
Denise McLeod
as Art-Gallery Lady
Bob Bainborough
as Mr. Glaser
Hadley Kay
as Delivery Boy
Cynthia Eastman
as Sobbing Woman
Nora Colpman
as Mrs. Randall
Rena Polley
as Soap Opera Character
Madeleine Atkinson
as Soap Opera Character
John Bayliss
as Performance Double
Graham Evans
as Picture Double
David Hilary Hughes
as Superintendent
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News & Interviews for Dead Ringers

Critic Reviews for Dead Ringers

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (7)

Director David Cronenberg handles his usual fondness for gore in muted style.

September 24, 2007 | Full Review…

People like myself who find the character played by [Genevieve] Bujold (in one of her best performances) more interesting than either of the twins are bound to feel rather frustrated by the end.

September 24, 2007 | Full Review…

An intense psychological drama which confronts [Cronenberg's] familiar preoccupations -- fear of physical and mental disintegration, mortality, the power struggle between the sexes -- without the paradoxical protection of visceral disgust.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Cronenberg, who has begun to emerge as a master of body-related horrific fantasy, clearly understands that a small amount of medical mischief can be more unnerving than conventional grisliness.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Really sordid stuff that becomes ridiculous, painful, unbelievable and tedious.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The kind of movie where you ask people how they liked it, and they say, 'Well, it was well made,' and then they wince.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dead Ringers


The film is always compelling and Jeremy Irons does a great job playing two identical characters who are just a tiny bit slightly different, but it becomes hard to care when we see how contrived everything is in a script that wants them to go nuts for some artificial, lame reason.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Brilliantly offbeat and twisted. Irons' performance is a must-see.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


A woman disturbs the delicate psychic balance between twin gynecologists. Genuinely unnerving psychodrama with a dominating performance by Jeremy Irons.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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