Cremaster 2 (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cremaster 2 (1999)

Cremaster 2 (1999)

Cremaster 2



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Cremaster 2 Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Anticipation of this fourth and penultimate installment (numbered 2) of the fabled and fabulous Cremaster series might help us imagine what waiting for the premiere of the next opera in the Ring Cycle was like...Visiting ever stranger territory, this new operatic film follows Gary Gilmore in his pursuit of Houdini in the afterlife.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Matthew Barney
In Theaters:
Glacier Field - Official Site


Norman Mailer
as Harry Houdini
Matthew Barney
as Gary Gilmore
as Baby Fay La Foe
Lauren Pine
as Bessie Gilmore
Scot Ewalt
as Frank Gilmore
Patty Griffin
as Nicole Baker
Michael Thompson
as Max Jensen
Dave Lombardo
as Johnny Cash (with dr...
Bruce Steele
as Johnny Cash (with be...
Steve Tucker
as Johnny Cash
Cat Kubic
as Two-Step Dancer
Sam Jalhej
as Two-Step Dancer
Jacqueline Molasses
as French Bulldog
Michael Thompson
as Max Jensen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Cremaster 2

Critic Reviews for Cremaster 2

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8)

Darkly powerful.

Full Review… | June 4, 2003
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Barney defiantly makes expensive avant-garde movies that proudly flaunt both their extravagance and their obscurity, and while they're salient forays into notions of history and narrative to be sure, they're also sallies of the genius Artist writ large.

Full Review… | April 12, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A tantalizing melange of dreamlike riffs on the desolation of the American west, the empty poses of male ritual, and the blood lust of macho fetishism.

Full Review… | April 12, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It is Gilmore's story and his family history, evoked symbolically, that give Cremaster 2 a solidity and emotional depth that are missing in the earlier, more playful installments.

Full Review… | April 12, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The narcotized self-satisfaction of [Cremaster 1] is, however, preferable to the narrative Cremaster 2 (1999), which, twice as long.

Full Review… | April 12, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 2, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cremaster 2

Do you consider David Lynch to be terribly pedestrian and excessively beholden to the linear narrative? This could be right up your alley.

Michael H.
Michael Harbour

Boring, artsy-esque clap-trap overwrought symbolism and commentary that takes itself too seriously and takes far too much time. Its' symbolism is mildly grotesque and certainly compelling, but the slow tempo was excruciating. As in the first Cremaster, much of the intended meaning was probably unclear or ambiguous. Again, this would be a compliment if it seemed possible to interpret it. Instead, it merely felt like an exercise in self-stimulation.


Pretty images, but terrible pacing. The odd sex was out of place. The columbian exposition stuff spent too much time wandering and not enough on ritual. Redeeming qualities: bee drummers, death rodeo, fake-medium imagery (which I wish was played up more, honestly).

Jim McCann

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