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Shortbus (2006)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 121
Fresh: 80 | Rotten: 41

The sex may be explicit, but Mitchell integrates it into the characters' lives and serves the whole story up with a generous dose of sweetness and wit.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 16

The sex may be explicit, but Mitchell integrates it into the characters' lives and serves the whole story up with a generous dose of sweetness and wit.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 54,751

My Rating

Movie Info

John Cameron Mitchell, who created a cult sensation as writer and director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, blazes a brave new trail with this comedy-drama which combines the stories of a handful of emotionally unsatisfied New Yorkers with some of the most explicit sexual material to ever appear in a mainstream motion picture. Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) is a couples' therapist who has a major relationship problem of her own -- she's never had an orgasm, and her husband Rob (Raphael Barker) doesn't seem

Mar 13, 2007


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All Critics (127) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (41) | DVD (12)

Shortbus is not, above all, 'dirty.' What it is, in fact, is a nice movie, one of the nicest to come down the pike since March of the Penguins.

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One woman's quest for the perfect orgasm may strike sophisticated viewers as the stuff of sexual farce at best, but Sook-Yin Lee's Sofia brings both emotion and eroticism to the proceedings, and for this Mr. Mitchell should be commended.

November 1, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It runs out of energy before the end.

November 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wearing its controversy-courting eagerness to shock on its sleeve, the film aims to challenge taboos, but comes up short.

October 30, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Few arthouse directors have put real sex to such narratively constructive and credibly, humorously human use.

October 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film that's thoughtful and exuberant, achingly sad and wildly funny.

October 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This isn't an exploit into pornographic ideals, but a movie with genuine ideas that are completely freed from political correctness.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source:

Genuinely enlivening

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Director John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig and The Angry Inch") flaunts cinematic tradition with a raucous sex comedy filled with truly shocking sex acts that underscore his vision of New York as a playground of debauchery.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source:

Shortbus flips through varying moods with overall success, fleshing out the characters who show flesh.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

There may be a variety of erotic practices on parade here, but the film leaves viewers with few real insights into either human nature or sexuality.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source:

Incredibly sexy without being titilating, this is a very well crafted flick that deserves a bigger audience than it will inevitably receive.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Fetishists are people, too!

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

The characters' lack of any real substance--it's really only all about attitude--make one gradually lose interest until the next in flagrante delicto moment.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

a project that has brains as well as bravado. It's also very funny, which helps to diffuse much of the nervousness that its graphic sex scenes might inspire in viewers. imaginative, involving and ultimately touching story.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Bajo la piel de una pel%uFFFDcula sexualmente muy expl%uFFFDcita hay un delicado y sensible estudio de personajes, sus relaciones, sus frustraciones, y una irreverente y fresca mirada a la Nueva York pos-11 de setiembre.

February 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

The hallmarks of a true collaboration between the director and his actors are everywhere, and their performances are what raise the film above any of its shortcomings.

January 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeler

If you want to explore the ideas of love and emotional permeability while seeing a narratively complex world of sexual self-exploration to which few are privy, then this is the movie for you. Otherwise, run for your life.

January 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinerina

Sex and the self-centered.

January 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Mitchell worked with his cast to develop the various stories and the improvisatory effort may not have resulted in a Mike Leigh sort of drama but it has yielded wondrous moments. The cast is very good with the best performances coming from Lee as Sofia (w

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Um raro exemplo de produção norte-americana que encara o sexo com maturidade, o filme é um estudo de personagens com sucesso apenas moderado, já que não consegue desenvolver todas as subtramas com o mesmo cuidado ou interesse.

December 30, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Oozes hardly more than body fluids in its telling tale.

December 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Everything comes to a head in a touchy-feely climax (if you catch our drift) where, ironically, it isn't the strong sex but all the singing and handholding that's the real turn-off.

November 30, 2006 Full Review Source: BBC

A gleefully subversive but over-simplistic rude little indie that's starting to gain cult status.

November 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Everybody has a right to pursue what makes them happy, so long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process. That's a sweet notion, but not a particularly deep one. The movie's all skin and heart; very little brain.

November 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comment (1)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Shortbus

Okay, honestly, I feel like the sex scenes were put there just to be titillating. Not effective.
May 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

I nearly turned it off in the first 20 minutes. Shocking, graphic sex. But when the main character (a sex therapist who can't achieve orgasm, played by Sook-Yin Lee) turns up at Shortbus - a sex club named after the little school buses, filled with "the challenged and the gifted," says the host - the content makes sense, and the almost-story begins to take shape as she and the other characters look for that perfect chemistry, however weird that may be. Mainly, I think this is a film about facing your biggest sexual difficulties straight-on, and by the end, it pulled me in, and the content didn't shock me anymore. A tough watch, borderline pornographic in the beginning, but a film with a big heart that I wound up understanding... more or less. There are some story holes. Decent, though.
January 13, 2012

Super Reviewer

Very controversial in content and a real mix of opinions on this film, first of course is does this count as pornography? Well it certainly is explicit and the Actors did have sex in this movie, so is it porn, or art imitating life? Either way if you're not particularly open minded, this won't be a film for you.

It starts from the very first frame as a graphic and shockable open scene, but what I did find, was the further you get through the film, the more you ignore the sexual stuff and start to see this is not quite as one-dimensional as it may appear. You start seeing the non-sexual needs of each person and the individual relationships.
Ill leave the rest for you to judge!
January 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

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