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Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 105
Fresh: 97 | Rotten: 8

Hedwig and the Angry Inch may very well be the next Rocky Horror midnight movie. It not only knows how to rock, but Hedwig's story has an emotional poignancy.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 4

Hedwig and the Angry Inch may very well be the next Rocky Horror midnight movie. It not only knows how to rock, but Hedwig's story has an emotional poignancy.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 49,167

My Rating

Movie Info

Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel in Communist East Berlin who dreamed of finding his other half and becoming a big American rock star. When a handsome American GI promises love and liberation, it seems like a dream come true. But there's a catch-in order to marry and emigrate Hansel must "leave a little something behind." Hedwig survives a botched sex change operation that leaves her with an "angry inch" only to be stranded in a Kansas trailer park the very day the Berlin Wall comes down.

Dec 11, 2001


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All Critics (107) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (8) | DVD (23)

Those expecting a rockin' good time are likely to be left cold by this screen translation, which despite some imaginative packaging too often proves a drag in more than the sartorial sense.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the creator/actor/director's energetic efforts, the material never feels comfortable in its new form.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (2)
Time Out
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It is fairly short and fairly enjoyable.

August 31, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
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Flamboyant, irreverent, naughty and oddly, profoundly moving.

August 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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What in any other hands than Mitchell's might have been a sexual sight gag becomes a symbol of personal freedom and expression.

August 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant.

August 3, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a swath of glittery eye shadow splashed across mainstream American movie screens.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

[VIDEO ESSAY] "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is an important cultural touchstone for the LGBT community and a thrilling discovery for everyone.

March 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

A ball of gender confusion, Biblical allegories and Eastern European politics -one of those would be a tricky subtext for a 90-minute rock opera. But the songs marry Jim Steinman's grandeur to the Stooges' sweat and spit, with a deft, tender screenplay.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

Mitchell's performance as Hedwig remains one of the best of modern times -- the character is by turns sexy, scary, outrageous, obnoxious, pitiable and vulnerable -- and it anchors a movie that landed on my list of the 10 best films of the 2000s.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

One of the most delightful surprises of 2001, and it has lost none of its charm or its surprising power in the intervening years.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Anyone who has ever felt discarded, disenfranchised, or just plain dissed will find in Hedwig a lot to hook into.

September 17, 2007 Full Review Source:

Definitely recommended for those looking for something different.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Mitchell's successful screen version of his acclaimed play, which feature one of the most original hero(ine), benefits immeasurably from the skills of his producer Christine Vachon and production designer Therese DePrez.

December 4, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

And they said the movie musical was dead.

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

What more do you want?

January 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

Brilliantly acted, moving, darkly funny, and featuring some terrific songs, this has everything you could possibly want from a transsexual, post-punk, neo glam rock opera.

October 30, 2002 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

For all her flamboyance, Hedwig is a poignant and lovable character in Mr. Mitchell's portrayal, and a heck of a lot more interesting than most of the movie heroines we've met this summer.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Es imposible no reconocer sus méritos, y la estética lograda vale cualquier recomendación.

September 15, 2002

A wonderfully twisted comedy doubling with insightful, moving drama and a collection of original musical numbers to die for.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

A colorful, high-energy rock show ... But it also has a poignant side.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

It was so visceral and inherently theatrical off Broadway that at first I thought it was a terrible mistake to commit it to film. But, in one of those rare unforseeable happy endings...

June 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

Moulin Rouge professed to be about love, but Hedwig actually has something to say about it.

April 23, 2002 Full Review Source:

multitudes seem to be going wild over Hedwig from Sundance to Berlin. Maybe this is the decade of the botched singing sex change. If so, it's nothing to complain about.

April 14, 2002 Full Review Source: PopcornQ

Audience Reviews for Hedwig and the Angry Inch

After a botched sex change operation, glam/punk singer Hedwig tours seafood buffets across the USA on the tail of an ex-lover arena rock megastar who stole her hit songs. Fantastic music, hilarious one-liners and a lovable outsider protagonist make this the best gender bending punk musical cult comedy of all time. Homophobes beware, all others rejoice.
March 16, 2012
Greg S

Super Reviewer

I have put off seeing this film for years because on paper...there is NOTHING that is appealing to me (aside from the fact that Andrea Martin has a role in it). Well I am here to tell you that I was more then pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed it.

Don't let the off putting images of John Cameron Mitchell painted up as Hedwig influence your opinion like it did mine. The character is actually quite endearing once you get to know him/her and on ocassion (usually as Hansel) kind of pretty in a non-traditional sort of way.

While some of the Hansel/Hedwig flash-back stories are clever and creative and there are some real flashes of briliant writing in a few of his/her monologues...the main storyline is sort of vague and poorly thought out. Which is disapointing because with a better narrative storyline this could have been a pretty amazing piece of work.

I won't lie to you, the real stars of this show are the songs. Music and lyrics are really impressive and the animated "montages" are delightful. And coming from a person who LOVES music but (mostly) dislikes "musicals"...that is high praise.

It really is worth a watch. From a creative standpoint if nothing else.
January 10, 2012
Robert C

Super Reviewer

A drag queen rock star escapes from East Berlin and pursues his ex-boyfriend who stole his songs.
I found this film both bizarre and heartfelt. The subject matter lends itself to extremes in both filmmaking and performance, and writer/director/star John Cameron Mitchell commits so fully to these extremes that the film is often so hypnotic that one gets lost in the ride. By the same token, he doesn't deviate from a very human story about the search for love in the face of rejection and alienation.
I did think, however, that some of the songs detracted from, rather than added to, the film's central story, with the main love song being the exception.
Overall, if you have a choice of transvestite rock and roll films, and you're choosing between Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Breakfast on Pluto, choose Hedwig.
November 30, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Most overrated binary-biased queer film since....well it's still at the top. And good thing Mitchell moved on to work like Shortbus. It's a mirror image of how Neil Jordan did the (second) most (to Boys Don't Cry) binary-affirming ignorant view of trans people with Crying Game, and then struck brilliance years later with "Breakfast on Pluto". I guess you have to make mistakes in understanding your themes as well as implementing your film techniques (at least cinematography in this can't be slagged). Hedwig gave Mitchell a career, but should it have done? Based on story and acting, absolutely not. Based on his eye - maybe okay for the mainstream festivals, but not a trophy film that is touted to be.
July 20, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Hansel's Mom: To be free one must give up a little part of oneself.
    – Submitted by Yahir G (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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