Bug Reviews

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David Fear
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Joshua Land
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 13, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 29, 2007
Beat by beat, Bug is gripping: It has that feverish compression of great theater, but director William Friedkin gets inside it, so it's never stagy.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 25, 2007
A film of excruciating intensity, a psychodrama that infects the imagination.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 25, 2007
This is a movie about the dangers of letting love rob you of your reason and cut you off from the world, and, bugs in the bloodstream or not, who hasn't been there?
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 25, 2007
Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon (who reprises his stage persona) never allow us to categorize the main characters as one-dimensional nut jobs but two emotionally fractured souls who retreat into paranoid delusion.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 25, 2007
Bug won't get under your skin as much as it will assault you with its ghastly claustrophobic drama and over-the-top performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
May 25, 2007
The cheesy soundtrack and the lacklustre acting undermine [director Friedkin's] efforts at turning an intelligent play into a scary movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
May 25, 2007
Bug may not be a big deal, but it is a sublime and remarkably disturbing small deal that pays and demands close attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 25, 2007
Bug goes exactly where it needs to go -- to a place most filmmakers don't dare go -- and gets there brilliantly.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 25, 2007
After nearly three decades of misfires, major and minor, William Friedkin, the creator of The French Connection, The Exorcist and Sorcerer, is back in true form with Bug.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
May 25, 2007
Bug is a twisted, visceral film with an uncompromising sense of nihilism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 25, 2007
Bug buzzes around in random menace for an hour until its third act, when -- zzzzzt! -- it flies straight into the zapper.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
May 25, 2007
Bug, a tale of love, desperation and conspiratorial madness, comes off on the big screen as a wacky psychological snow job.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 25, 2007
There's nothing about Bug you'd call pleasant, but this dark, intense picture is the best and most vibrant movie Friedkin has directed in decades.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 25, 2007
Bug's relentless unpleasantness, which [director] Friedkin bogs us down in instead of crystallizing it into what might have been a stylish head trip, can get to be a chore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
May 25, 2007
In all ways, Bug is a head-scratcher.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kamal Al-Solaylee
Globe and Mail
May 25, 2007
It's one helluva movie that makes Ashley Judd look ugly and demented, while turning Harry Connick Jr. into the most frightening screen thug since Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Detroit News
May 25, 2007
Probably a very good play, but it doesn't make the transition to the big screen.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 25, 2007
It is certain to have an impact on anyone who experiences it, even if it's not the movie they expected. It does not just get under your skin; it bores its way into your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 25, 2007
By the end, the actors look as if they've been beaten to a near pulp, and the audience may share some of that feeling.
| Original Score: C
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
May 25, 2007
You leave feeling alive, if severely disturbed, rather than deadened by the unthinking horrors of the latest slasher films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 25, 2007
William Friedkin's latest film, Bug, begins as an ominous rumble of unease, and builds to a shriek.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 25, 2007
Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts adapted his play into this fearsome horror movie, directed with single-minded claustrophobia by William Friedkin (The Exorcist).
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
May 25, 2007
It's an oddball romantic drama that descends into comic horror and delivers Ashley Judd at full neurotic tilt (a new angle for her).
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
May 25, 2007
Although Bug is inconsistent and grows too violent by the end, there's one thing it's not: the same old stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
May 25, 2007
With Bug, William Friedkin continues to be more fascinated by the evil inside our heads than the boogeyman outside.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 24, 2007
Supposed to be a serious psychological thriller, an unsettling little number designed to creep us out and make us think. But it's really just junk.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 24, 2007
I doubt the film will strike much of a chord with anybody, though, except perhaps with deranged entomologists and the people who love them. Friedkin does an excellent job of keeping the action inside that ultra-dingy motel room cinematic, but to what end?
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Nathan Shafer
AV Club
May 24, 2007
As in The Exorcist, Friedkin establishes a tone of hard-edged, almost documentary-style realism before ratcheting up the horror to nearly unbearable levels.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
May 24, 2007
A nerve-rending, extremely unpleasant experience but also a compelling one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
May 24, 2007
A fascinating exercise in paranoia and terror that sticks to the brain like intellectual flypaper: Even viewers who decide they don't like it will find the film as hard to shake off as the insects that plague our two principal characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Hap Erstein
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 24, 2007
The film has a few horrific jolts and plenty of violence, but at its core it is simply a mind-twisting head trip.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 24, 2007
Plays like lousy dinner theater doing its darnedest to give American paranoia a bad name.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 24, 2007
Whatever unexpected ability [Judd] shows in the early scenes of this paranoid thriller go utterly to waste as the film spirals ridiculously out of control by the end.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
May 24, 2007
There is a conviction here that (a) transcends any attempt to categorize the film generically and (b) challenges the lax, we're-just-kidding-around spirit of most American movies (see, or rather don't see Grindhouse, for example).
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 23, 2007
After a well-constructed first act, the story becomes a little tiresome and repetitive and the characters, who are will defined to begin with, stray ever closer to the edge of overwrought one-dimensionality.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 23, 2007
Bug, written by Tracy Letts, was originally an intimate, unsettling play in which the confines of the stage could reflect the emotional and psychological claustrophobia of the subject matter.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 22, 2007
Bug, directed by William Friedkin from Tracy Letts's play, has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
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Rob Nelson
Village Voice
May 22, 2007
Bug is genuinely freaky-deaky, not to mention more inventively unsettling than anything [director] Friedkin has mustered in the quarter-century since twisting little Linda Blair into a satanic spewer of pea soup and F-bombs.
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
May 20, 2006
It is smartly and convincingly fleshed out, at least enough to fit inside and burst the seams of generic dimension.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
May 20, 2006
William Friedkin's overwrought screen version of Tracy Letts' play assaults the viewer with aggressive thesping and over-the-top notions of shocking incident, all to intensely alienating effect.