Versatile drector David Cronenberg returns to his body horror roots after two decades with Crimes of the Future alongside longtime collaborator Viggo Mortensen. Crimes of the Future is certainly a gross movie filled with discomfort and bizarre sexual analogies. However, outside the shock value the film lacks an interesting core to keep one’s mind from drifting away.

It’s a future where pain tolerance and infection rates are null and void, allowing protagonist Saul (Viggo Mortensen) to make surgery a public performance as his assistant and lover (Lea Seydoux) removes the vestigial organs his body produces.

Kirsten Stewart’s antsy, horny character states that “surgery is the new sex,” and you’ll get plenty of parallels as we watch person after person get all squirmy while being cut open. The problem with the film is that there isn’t anything beyond the shock value, there’s no substance here.

The commentary about body experimentation as a form of sensuality feels trite and more an opening for weird moments, like when Saul gets a zipper installed across his pelvis.

The movie begins, literally, with a child being suffocated by his mother, so that sets the tone for Cronenberg’s edgy experimental film. Crimes of the Future is essentially a one trick pony with zero accessibility to a wider audience, leaving one to wonder what the distributor saw in this misfire of a project.

Letter Grade: F

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a proud member of the Television Academy, the Hollywood Critics Association (HCA), and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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