Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14

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Critic Reviews

  1. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    As fascinating as it is freakish. It confirms Mr. Lynch's stature as an innovator, a superb technician, and someone best not encountered in a dak alley. [19 September 1986]
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. [19 September 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
  3. 100
    Blue Velvet is David Lynch in peak form, and represents (to date) his most accomplished motion picture. It is a work of fascinating scope and power that rivals any of the most subversive films to reach the screens during the '80s.
  4. 100
    The last real earthquake to hit cinema was David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" -- I'm sure directors throughout the film world felt the earth move beneath their feet and couldn't sleep the night of their first encounter with it back in 1986. (Review of 20th Anniversary Re-Release)
  5. 90
    What dazzles still about David Lynch's Blue Velvet is its total authority: Not a single false gesture. No shock delivered solely for its own sake.
  6. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    One powerful, mesmerizing thriller, a masterful exercise in controlling an audience's attention. [19 September 1986, Friday, p.A]
    Reviewed by: John Hartl
    An exhilarating piece of popular entertainment.
  8. 80
    Hopper creates a flabbergasting portrait of unrepentent, irredeemable evil.
  9. Austin Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    You either think it's dementedly wild at heart or a lost highway to nowhere.
  10. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Lynch and his film will surely be reviled, but as an experiment in expanding cinema's dramatic and technical vocabulary, Blue Velvet demands respect. [Sept. 22, 1986]
  11. 50
    It's mostly fascinating, though the unconverted may be in for a rough two hours.
  12. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Gerald Nachman
    Dark, menacing and sexual, with satanic overtones, like a Black Sabbath song, with many moments of genuine fright and harsh eroticism. [19 September 1986, Daily Notebook, p.76]
  13. Doesn't progress or deepen, it just gets weirder, and to no good end.
  14. 25
    So strong, so shocking and yet so audacious that people walk out shaking their heads; they don't know quite what to make of it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 51
  2. Negative: 5 out of 51
  1. AJ
    Jul 15, 2006
    It's hard to find the words to describe the experience of watching Blue Velvet. The film is simply a masterpiece.
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    A film that shows, in an American-surrealist context, that life and love are the biggest mysteries of all. It's unfortunate that it wasn'tA film that shows, in an American-surrealist context, that life and love are the biggest mysteries of all. It's unfortunate that it wasn't until "Mulholland Dr." that David Lynch hit such a great height again. Full Review »
  3. DJHobby
    Jul 6, 2008
    Public Service Announcement: David Lynch Sucks I'm watching Blue Velvet right now and I want to know how did this movie garner any Public Service Announcement: David Lynch Sucks I'm watching Blue Velvet right now and I want to know how did this movie garner any accolades. Congress should pass a law declaring that if David Lynch ever tries to make another movie he should be drawn and quartered. I decided to watch this movie after seeing that it was one of the American Film Institutes top 100 movies of all time. AFI even said it was even one of the top 10 mystery films of all times. The big mystery is who supports this crap. I'll give you the play by play of this movie as I watch it. It has the worst sound track of any "serious" movie ever made. Some of the songs are good songs, I love Roy Orbison etc.. But they are all out of place. The acting in this movie is horrible. The dork main character chews up the scenery. And then there is Dennis Hopper. Hopper is the worst actor of all time. He ruins ever movie he has ever made. Think about it. Apocalypse Now was awesome until Hopper shows up. Hoosiers might have been a good movie if he had not been cast. This movie is definitely no exception. It has one of the worst/weirdest scene ever in any movie. Dennis Hopper (have I told you how much I hate this asshole?) starts sniffing something, (oxygen?, glue?, his underwear?) and rapes Isabella Rossellini while he yells for his mommy. Damn, I need a shower. This movie is just full of unnecessary sexual violence. Why does that damn curtain keep flapping? And what is with the 25 times the actors say or drink a Heineken? "Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!" That is a line delivered ham fisted, straight from the movie. This ranks right down there with Muhalland Drive, another David Lynch movie, that is the worst movie ever made. Is that guy dancing with a snake? More underwear sniffing, and then Hopper puts on lipstick? Man this movie is bad? Roy Orbison's estate should sue for slander. To quote an Orbison song played during this movie, "I can't help it if I cry," at how bad this movie is. Oh shit, the man in the yellow coat is a cop! I didn't see that coming. Also, what year did this take place? Most of the cars are from the late 50's, and a few from the 60's. The main dork dresses like it's 1982, but everyone else dresses like it's 1962. The dork sure does heal well. First he's stabbed in the face, (and that appears and reappears trough out) and then he is nearly beaten to death and then the next day he is fully healed. WTF? I didn't see that coming. David Lynch convinced Isabella to get naked and beat up one more time. Wouldn't you just take her to the hospital, not to your girlfriends house? What the hell?!? Now the guy with the yellow coat is standing there, and he's dead, standing? What in the world is Dennis Hopper sniffing? Sorry about the long rant but I can't say enough about how bad this movie is. Don't just take my word for it. From wikipedia: Roger Ebert, noted film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, supports my view, although he praised Isabella Rossellini's performance as being "convincing and courageous". Ebert criticized how she was depicted in the film, even accusing David Lynch of misogyny: "degraded, slapped around, humiliated and undressed in front of the camera. And when you ask an actress to endure those experiences, you should keep your side of the bargain by putting her in an important film" David Lynch you put your disease in me. Full Review »