Shortbus Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
November 20, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 82/100
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
October 5, 2006
Mitchell has stated that his goal with Shortbus was to make a serious film that incorporates hardcore material. To an extent, he has done that. The problem is it's not a good movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
October 26, 2006
Is this movie just an excuse to film a bunch of people having sex? As far as I'm concerned, yup.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 22, 2006
The graphic sex is certainly inventive and enthusiastic but fails to shed much light on character.
Anton Bitel
July 2, 2007
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
September 28, 2006
Never amounts to more than a case of hardcore triviality.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
May 22, 2006
Playfully and provocatively entertaining for roughly the first half, but loses staying power thereafter when investment in the uncompelling characters' problems is requested.
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
October 20, 2006
There's no real prurience or eroticism, but the movie does have an aura of self-gratification...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Cole Smithey
April 24, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 1, 2006
It runs out of energy before the end.
Erik Childress
October 5, 2006
If Mitchell's attempt was to bring moments like this to the mainstream of nonchalant intimacy, he fails since the sex scenes have the atmosphere of exhibitionism more than an expression of love or feeling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
October 9, 2006
All manners of sexual behavior ultimately detract from a poignant message about the slim and subtle connections between physical and emotional love.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David N. Butterworth
November 16, 2006
Another telling example (The Brown Bunny, Anatomy of Hell, Bellocchio's Devil in the Flesh) that hardcore sex seems better suited to hardcore sex films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 4, 2006
Shortbus is chipper, it's fresh, it emits a distinct musk of controversy. I'll take the longbus.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 4, 2006
It's not art, it's not shocking and worst of all, it's not even particularly new.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 6, 2006
If [Mitchell's] goal was to integrate actual sex into fictional characters' lives in ways that are not distracting, a reality check is in order.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 13, 2006
It would have helped had the characters in Shortbus been a little more interesting than the sexual positions in which they frequently find themselves entangled.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 13, 2006
Suffers from a vague, ad lib-y script and a cast that, while hardly shy, isn't exactly charismatic.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 20, 2006
Indulgent, immature, self-preoccupied and downright silly a good deal of the time, Shortbus manages to make sex look like no fun at all.
Full Review | Original Score: D
October 14, 2006
The premise of this story is pretty fascinating but it seems that it gets diluted, not enhanced by the sheer amount of sex. I would be fakin' it if I recommended this movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Violet Glaze
Orlando Weekly
March 8, 2007
Martha Fischer
September 23, 2006
Philip French
Observer [UK]
December 30, 2006
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
Peter Bradshaw
January 27, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald
November 10, 2006
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