Stonehearst Asylum

Reviewed for Radio Times:

An isolated lunatic asylum is the setting for this gloomy, gothic, twist-laden mystery thriller. Set in 1899, it begins with the arrival of Doctor Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess), a medical school graduate who is looking to gain some clinical experience.

Following a quick tour, he is introduced to the resident superintendent, Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley), a man whose methods are extremely unorthodox. Before long, however, Newgate discovers that Lamb and the other employees aren’t actually members of staff — they’re mental patients who have managed to seize control of the institution.

This discovery ensures that Kingsley gets plenty of screen time, which is good news for the film, since the respected British actor elevates every scene he appears in. Unfortunately, though, the tone is uneven and the plot twists aren’t as effective as they need to be, resulting in an underwhelming experience that doesn’t live up to its promise.