A Dirty Shame


Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. A Dirty Shame is certainly dirty, and maybe it's even a shame. But this is the John Waters we've come to know and cherish, and that alone is cause to celebrate.
  2. This raucously gritty and high-spirited film could scarcely be bluer in terms of the language, but from Waters it comes as a gust of fresh air.
  3. Returns to the wicked mix of transgression and positivity epitomized by "Pecker" and "Hairspray."
  4. John Waters may not be a great filmmaker, but he's usually onto something, and A Dirty Shame is onto something big.
  5. 78
    A genuine cri de couer in the director’s long-running battle against the forces of censorship and a banal societal (and cinematic) status quo. And for those reasons along it deserves to be seen.
  6. 75
    A Dirty Shame is Waters unleashed, and wicked, kinky fun for anyone except the twits who rated it NC-17.
  7. 75
    Fabulously perverted comedy.
  8. It may not be art, but A Dirty Shame is shameless fun.
  9. 75
    A big, lascivious punch line about America's peculiar, embarrassed, hypocritical relationship with sex.
  10. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Shame is a welcome reminder that sex is sometimes too ridiculous to take so seriously.
  11. John Waters has returned to trashy form with what is unquestionably his most outrageous film since those heady "Pink Flamingos" days.
  12. 70
    With big Hollywood movies getting glossier and more mechanical, and indie movies increasingly mistaking drabness for seriousness, we need Waters' sub-B-movie aesthetic more now than ever.
  13. 67
    You can only kick against it so long before you succumb to its sheer energy and verve. Waters and company simply have too much fun for some of it not to reach out and touch you through the movie screen. If you can stand the pace, you'll likely leave happy.
  14. Raunchily entertaining farce.
  15. 63
    Tends to run low on steam well before the end, though Waters gamely tries to pump things up with filthy novelty tunes and clips from old stag films.
  16. All trash, all all the time, a run-on burlesque of lust.
  17. Despite its exuberant perversities, Waters’s take on erotomania is almost quaint.
  18. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Frequently hilarious but ultimately is a protracted one-joke affair that strays into undisciplined chaos.
  19. 60
    Waters's far-from-phallocratic sexual democracy is not so much hilarious as goofy and more rousing than arousing.
  20. 60
    Embracing ugliness, lousy production values, and borderline hysteria as virtues, A Dirty Shame is one for the cultists, a proud retreat back into the sandbox of sexual juvenilia, a potty-mouthed manifesto from an elder statesman of shock.
  21. 60
    I love what his films stand for -- inclusivity, tolerance, liberation and fun -- but I’ve always felt about his movies as I do about Monty Python: Half an hour is a riot; an hour and half starts to be a chore.
  22. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Never mean-spirited, A Dirty Shame has some big laughs, but it's a one-joke movie that shows its strain well before the finish line.
  23. A Dirty Shame isn't dirty fun. It's the perv "Footloose."
  24. The humor is more childish than raunchy, but it's interesting to see that becoming a big-time Broadway impresario hasn't led Waters to sell out his affection for gross-out gags.
  25. Waters's rude, lewd and occasionally nude extended skit takes a simple idea and beats it limp.
  26. I object to A Dirty Shame not because it is offensive - to do so would be another way of congratulating Mr. Waters for his bogus daring - but because it is boring. Beyond offering a catalog of interesting practices and lampooning their dedicated practitioners, the movie has very little to say about sex.
  27. It can hardly help but outrage at least some of the people some of the time.
  28. John Waters is back with this awfully bawdy, never sexy, rarely funny, actually boring, one-note sex comedy.
  29. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    Easily the most surprising comedy of his career. The surprise: it's not funny.
  30. The very best thing about A Dirty Shame, a giddy sex farce from John Waters, is the credits.
  31. 25
    Monotonous, repetitive and sometimes wildly wrong in what it hopes is funny.
  32. Squanders its comic capital on redundant bits about her perplexed family and secret society of fellow sex addicts.
  33. 25
    Tracey Ullman is a bright spot in an otherwise sordid, murky production.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Oct 27, 2013
    A Dirty Shame is all porn. John Waters PORN. A Dirty Shame is downright a big piece of golden trash from Pink Flamingoes director John Waters.A Dirty Shame is all porn. John Waters PORN. A Dirty Shame is downright a big piece of golden trash from Pink Flamingoes director John Waters. Why u ask? Because no one can handle the explicit sexuality in the NC-17 version, it's what John Waters does. From the dick jokes or spreading salsa over breasts- it's NC-17. When I finished this film I thought- WTF? It's really about sex addicts in a neighbourhood. But why is it so funny? Because even the dirtiness in this movie, makes it real Waters entertainment. It's so bad its good. Full Review »