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Gummo

Gummo (1997)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 21,549

My Rating

Movie Info

In this elliptical ensemble piece, which marks the directorial debut of indie bad boy Harmony Korine, the teens of tornado-scarred Xenia, OH, kill cats, tape their boobies, arm-wrestle, bathe, cross-dress, huff glue, avoid perverts, pay to have sex with retarded girls, lift makeshift dumbbells to the strains of Madonna's "Like a Prayer," fight, cuss, shave their eyebrows, undergo cancer treatment, euthanize senior citizens, and pee on passing cars. A hallucinatory barrage of images and scenarios

Mar 20, 2001

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (24) | DVD (9)

Enfant terrible Harmony Korine makes a bizarre, idiosyncratic directing debut with his uncompromising look at youth alientaion in Middle-America, whose downbeat tone and off-putting imagery should appeal to small minority of viewers.

April 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

C'mon, Harmony. Mano a boyo. What are you really trying to prove here?

April 28, 2008 Full Review Source: CNN.com | Comments (2)
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Problematic, troubling, dangerous even, but breathtakingly original, and absolutely true to the times. The cutting edge doesn't get any sharper than this.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In real life, this town was devastated by a tornado 20 years ago. According to Korine's version of things, it never recovered.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No conceivable competition [this year] will match the sourness, cynicism and pretension of Korine's debut feature.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Korine's objective is so narrow and mean, and his viewpoint so colored by smug, adolescent condescension, that Gummo comes off like a mean-spirited prank.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A glue-sniffer's reverie and an aestheticized episode of Beavis & Butthead, explicitly and bracingly set up as an act of cinematic vandalism

February 7, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Gummo aims to be provocatively anti-everything: anti-Christian, anti-feline, non-narrative, unpolished, visually dyslexic, and imaginatively off-putting.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Harsh, funny, repellent and occasionally quite moving.

April 28, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's bleak, brutal and redeemed only by Reynolds's outstanding performance.

April 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Directors have been hailed as visionaries for less.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Korine is the Jerry Springer of this world. He doesn't judge his subjects, he can still identify with them.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Like watching life on the surface of an alien planet

September 16, 2005
LYTRules.com

Less shocking than utterly boring.

March 23, 2004 Full Review | Comments (2)
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Enter Harmony Korine's directorial debut: new trends in discouraging filmmaking.

February 21, 2004
eFilmCritic.com

Its an underground wonder.

September 30, 2003
FilmFestivals.com

Abounds with strange beauty.

August 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Probably the vilest waste of 2 hours of my life.

November 12, 2002 | Comments (3)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

revels in the filth and squalor of the worst variations of human existence, without giving any true insight or understanding about the predicaments of its pathetic character

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Comments (2)
Q Network Film Desk

If not the single worst film of the decade, at least the worst of the year -- and I saw Tarzan and the Lost City.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Korine's trying to offer a radical vision of rotten America, but the whole thing feels warmed over.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Gummo

A disjointed, pointless and depressing exercise in nihilism, with Korine just throwing together random scenes to show the filth of the white trash. But all that he manages to do is make us feel sick at following the loathsome lives of a bunch of repulsive characters.
August 31, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

A largely plotless, impressionistic and depressing tour of the hopeless white trash residents of Xenia, OH. A lot like what would result if someone took home videos of that embarassing welfare-addicted branch of the family no one likes to talk about and mixed them in a blender with experimental shorts from film school; it's sometimes interesting, more frequently incoherent and annoying.
March 5, 2013
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

'Gummo' is a very strange little film. Its documentary realism is rather captivating, the bizarre people we see appear to be completely real.

There's no plot to speak of, its just an insight into underclass America. The filthy circumstances these people live in will make you cringe, as will their moronic forms of socialising, which includes cheered-on chair smashing.

The film is certainly laced with pretension, and there are pointless scenes that just reek of 'art-house'. I can understand why some people wouldn't like it; it's non-linear, quirky narrative is very likely to polarise audiences. However, I found the veritable aberrance of the film undeniably interesting.

While 'Gummo' isn't that good, its candid realism makes its uneventful narrative quite engrossing; it may well be the most peculiar film you ever see.
November 28, 2012
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

With the mix of surrealism and realism, Harmony's vision about the "white trash", boring and strange lifes is unique and for me one of the most importants American movies from the 90's. Gummo is a disturbing portrait, showing to the audience a great acting by Jacob Reynolds. Fresh.
September 17, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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