Critics Consensus

Disappointing resolution aside, Bug uses its claustrophobic setting and cinéma vérité camerawork to tense, impressive effect.



Total Count: 132


Audience Score

User Ratings: 356,662
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Movie Info

A lonely waitress with a tragic past, Agnes rooms in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But, when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, an eccentric, nervous drifter, she starts to feel hopeful again--until the first bugs arrive.

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Ashley Judd
as Agnes White
Michael Shannon
as Peter Evans
Neil Bergeron
as Man in Grocery Store
Bob Neill
as Pizza Harris
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News & Interviews for Bug

Critic Reviews for Bug

All Critics (132) | Top Critics (43)

  • It starts off like a horror film, or like a modern-day Tennessee Williams piece and then transmutes into ... something very different indeed.

    Nov 17, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Beat by beat, Bug is gripping: It has that feverish compression of great theater, but director William Friedkin gets inside it, so it's never stagy.

    May 29, 2007
  • This is a movie about the dangers of letting love rob you of your reason and cut you off from the world, and, bugs in the bloodstream or not, who hasn't been there?

    May 25, 2007 | Full Review…

    Dana Stevens

    Top Critic
  • Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon (who reprises his stage persona) never allow us to categorize the main characters as one-dimensional nut jobs but two emotionally fractured souls who retreat into paranoid delusion.

    May 25, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Bug won't get under your skin as much as it will assault you with its ghastly claustrophobic drama and over-the-top performances.

    May 25, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • The cheesy soundtrack and the lacklustre acting undermine [director Friedkin's] efforts at turning an intelligent play into a scary movie.

    May 25, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bug

  • Feb 19, 2017
    A low budget psychological horror film about the folie a deux of a lonely woman and a schizophreniac in a remote hotel. They believe there is a conspiracy to hatch bugs as bioweapon using their bodies, but is this a delusion? The acting was pretty convincing but the plot is way too predictable.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2015
    Bug is an odd film that I want to uprate because it is so different and features some intense acting, but cannot because not enough actually happens. Although it is not a very scary, violent, or graphic film, I would class it as a kind of psychological drama horror. It is reminiscent of both "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "American Hustle" in a weird way. Recommended mainly to those with a keen interest in the psychological.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2015
    The film's ambition seems to pay off towards the end, however the conclusion resolutes as a little rushed. Ashley Judd stars in Bug almost like Charlize Theron appeared in Monster, transformed by the harshness of her story, playing an extremely lonely woman who lets a chance at love destory any state of a sound mind after she meets a disturbed AWOL officer played by Michael Shannon, who also appeared in the stage play the film is adapted from. It's a film about paranoia and "delusional parisitosis" but underneath it is also about heartbreak, motherhood, obsession and abuse and is really quite affective. The lengthy dialogue and single location can end up a bit jarring however...
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2013
    William Friedkin is a sensationalist, and he tends to make the most out of the material that he's dealt. He's also the best when it comes to mustering incredible performances from his actors, which is evinced by Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, who are both in top form. There are parts of "Bug" that are a bit overblown, but that stems from the fact that it's based on a stage play. Overall, it's a disturbing psychological thriller, and its ambiguity is as frustrating as it is enthralling.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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