You might assume that an NC-17 movie about sex addiction starring the striking Michael Fass­bender and featuring rampant nudity and graphic depictions of various sex acts would have a certain erotic allure. You would be wrong. Shame is a painfully sad tale of a man lost in a world of one-night stands, anonymous hookups, visits from prostitutes, pornography chat rooms and public bathroom stalls where frantic masturbation is as common as going outside to catch a smoke.

The addict in question, Brandon (Fass­bender), is a successful businessman living in a sleek, soulless Man­hattan apartment. His only mission in life seems to be discovering his next orgasm. To that end, he eyes girls on the subway, hangs out in bars both seedy and chic and looks to score quickly so he can move on to the next sexual event. The majority of the first act examines how Brandon juggles his dangerous addiction with a full-time job.