• Studio: Tartan
  • Release Date: Jul 22, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 29
  2. Negative: 9 out of 29
  1. 70
    While 9 Songs is sexually explicit in the basic sense, its DIRECTNESS is what's most fascinating, and ultimately most moving, about it.
  2. 9 Songs, for all its failed ambitions and its tinge of sexism, is lovely to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    A touching, often poetic, sometimes achingly real snapshot of a brief encounter related almost entirely through the bedroom.
  4. Ingenious with his use of music and hypnotic pacing, Winterbottom keeps us in his world as usual. But this time that world feels ever more gratuitous, meandering and puzzling, with sex that's less and less authentic even though it's real.
  5. Michael Winterbottom nakedly goes where no "respectable" director has gone before - to sex and beyond! His provocative 9 Songs is the first movie by a director of Winterbottom's standing to depict real, uncensored sex between its lead actors.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    The film accurately reminds you, if you need reminding, what it's like to have your mind hijacked by somebody's body.
  7. It's the emotional equivalent of a big shrug.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Members of what used to be referred to euphemistically as the "raincoat crowd," will probably enjoy Winterbottom's experiment more than most.
  9. This movie is, essentially, porn, and whether it's a turn-on is likely to be subjective to each viewer. Those who find traditional porn too artificial should be pleased.
  10. 50
    As an idea, the film is fascinating, but as an experience it grows tedious; the concerts lack closeups, the sex lacks context, and Antarctica could use a few penguins.
  11. It's always hard to predict what Winterbottom will try next, but this experiment isn't worth repeating, the lively concert scenes notwithstanding. Be forewarned that the sexual scenes aren't simulated.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a smart, provocative idea for a movie. I wish 9 Songs was that movie.
  13. With no previous acting experience, she's (Stilley) a natural between the sheets but a rank amateur between the vowels.
  14. It works best as a spank-it movie you don’t have to feel guilty about and that you can dance to. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
  15. Nobody will go to see Michael Winterbottom's sexually explicit, novelty-act drama - a naughty peep show for sobersides, disguised as a nature documentary - to hear the songs; everyone will go to see the shagging, which occupies the majority of the screen time.
  16. Michael Winterbottom's erotic drama isn't so much a story of a love affair as an anatomy of a sexual relationship.
  17. Winterbottom never provides the empathic connective tissue we expect. Love it or not, 9 Songs amounts to a common human rite fastidiously caught in amber, giving off no heat or joy but crystallized for the future.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Neither lurid nor especially compelling. This is the triumph, and the limitation, of 9 Songs: it makes explicit movie sex ordinary--as ordinary as the sexual activities of most of the folks watching it.
  19. For a movie that consists almost entirely of real sex and real rock 'n' roll, 9 Songs feels remarkably conventional.
  20. Reviewed by: Bob Westal
    As 9 Songs played out for sixty-nine (count ‘em!) minutes, I started to find myself wishing they would just end the interminable, deliberately underlit, sex scenes and get back to those really hot pics of Antarctica.
  21. An examination of a sexual relationship that's about as viscerally explicit as hardcore can get...But as satisfying viewing experiences go, the film comes up mighty short in terms of story, interesting characters and technical prowess.
  22. 30
    Between the performances in the bedroom and on stage, 9 Songs gives off plenty of heat, but the whole project seems half-thought-out and hastily arranged, hampered by butt-ugly DV photography that turn skin tones grimy and make the Brixton scenes look as high-grain as a bowl of Mueslix.
  23. Yet for all its ballyhooed candor about sexual matters, it's a surprisingly baffling and opaque film, too artistic to be standard pornography and too zealously focused on being graphic to the exclusion of all else to succeed as drama.
  24. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    9 Songs could have been "Last Rock Show in London." Unfortunately, it's stupefyingly dull, even with good music and at the short but resonant length of 69 minutes.
  25. Never did sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll seem more shopworn and routine.
  26. 30
    9 Songs inadvertently proves just how limited experimentation for its own sake can be.
  27. 30
    There is a fine film to be made about the retreat from worldly obligation into erotic rite, and Brando and Bertolucci made it in 1972. But what “Last Tango in Paris” proved was that our skin-grazing view of a body makes us more, not less, enthusiastic to grasp the shape of the soul that it enshrines.
  28. Reviewed by: Neva Chonin
    This disappointing new film from director Michael Winterbottom ("24 Hour Party People") suffers from a similar malaise: It's poetic and pretty, strives for profundity without attaining it, and finally ends up saying nothing.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 4 out of 11
  1. Time
    Jul 10, 2007
    If you like porn you'll love this. This is full on sex. Even Skinamax has their limits.
  2. LauraU.
    Jun 22, 2006
    The film is surprisingly bleak - it reflects so well the emptiness of a relationship where the partners are so intimately acquainted with The film is surprisingly bleak - it reflects so well the emptiness of a relationship where the partners are so intimately acquainted with each other's bodies but are not interested in getting to know each other as people. We are given a touching depiction of a barren relationship, and it is only a pity that so many critics failed to see that. If Winterbottom had decided to give us a picture of a rounded relationship, the film probably could not have examined the sexual aspects so deeply without being so long it was really tedious. And one has to ask whether Stilley would have been able to carry it off, whereas she was obviously capable of having sex with enthusiasm. I just wish I could still do it so well - or that I still looked as good! Full Review »
  3. KenB.
    Jan 8, 2006
    The plot was uninspiring but the sex, although casual, was an example for all to imitate - gentle and loving. But what pleased me was that The plot was uninspiring but the sex, although casual, was an example for all to imitate - gentle and loving. But what pleased me was that the female actor was depicted as explicitly as the male. Too many films, such as Catherine Breillat's "Anatomy of Hell" treat the female lead with a defference not given to the male. For example - the notice upfront in "Anatomy of Hell" that the female lead's body was not exposed in the film - the female body exposed was that of a stand-in. Yet the male leads genitals were not only explicity shown but were shown erect. Full Review »