Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 125 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in a small American town, Blue Velvet is a dark, sensuous mystery involving the intertwining lives of four very different individuals. The film's painful realism reminds us that we are not immune to the disturbing events which transpire in Blue Velvet's sleepy community. There is a darker side of life waiting for us all. (De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Inc.) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. 100
    The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. [19 September 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Maddin
    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)
  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. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Hopper creates a flabbergasting portrait of unrepentent, irredeemable evil.
  5. You either think it's dementedly wild at heart or a lost highway to nowhere.
  6. 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]
  7. 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.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 45
  2. Negative: 5 out of 45
  1. Jul 5, 2013
    Intense, strange and horrific. David Lynch's Blue Velvet is effective and provides a great soundtrack, a brilliant performance by Kyle MacLachlan and a terrifying and demonic performance by Dennis Hopper as the antagonist. Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2014
    A true mystery, a thrilling adventure with a disturbing yet surreal David Lynch twist, a stylistic cinematography and convincing performances from Isabella Rossellini and a frightening Hopper. Expand
  3. 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't until "Mulholland Dr." that David Lynch hit such a great height again. Expand
  4. Jan 1, 2011
    Blue Velvet is a tough film to approach. Its surrealism aspects may swiftly guide some away, but the others that stay are truly in for a surprising film. The plot focuses on Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle McLachlan) a young man that ventures down to his hometown of Lumberton after his father suffers a severe stroke. After visiting him in the hospital he ventures his way home, taking a shortcut through an abandoned field. There he finds the remains of a human ear and takes it to the police. After some investigating, Jeffrey finds his way into the grasp of a strange woman named Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) who develops an unusual attraction towards Jeffrey. He then begins to stalk her a little, and the story kicks off from there. Jeffrey comes to a close encounter with the main antagonist of the story, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). He is a violent sociopath that snorts amyl nitrite through a gas mask, which triggers him to experience constant amounts of pleasure and rage and inflict mass amounts of sexual anger towards Dorothy. Frank has kidnapped Dorothy's son and husband in exchange for her to be his sexual servant. Jeffrey discovers this and tries to help her get them back. While this plot sounds strange and complex, it's actually supposed to be. That's what makes this film so brilliant. It's emotionally charged atmosphere and characters pulls you in to experience the surrealism that is inflicted upon these characters. Directed by David Lynch, who is a master himself at surrealism, presents the film in such a strange and bizarre film that it's completely hard to imagine what's going on. The film itself is beautiful because of this as I have truly never seen a movie as original and as creative as this. While Blue Velvet is criticized due to the fact of the sexual aspects of Rossellini and how awful she's treated during the span of the film, it actually shows how broken she is and the amount of pain and suffering she would go through in order to maintain her peace and to make her way back to her son and husband. A lot of people tend to spew hate on the film because they tend to think that it's trying to go for a realistic approach. In any means it is NOT. The acting is great from the 3 main leads and the strongest role definitely goes to Hopper. Frank Booth is indeed a creepy, creepy villain. It's one of the late Dennis Hopper's best performances in a film as he is both haunting and hilarious. All in all Blue Velvet is a tough film to swallow, its contents are both graphic and surreal. Its a brilliant film that makes you think of the inevitable, that makes you think of what is real, and what is the surreal. Expand
  5. Feb 20, 2013
    "Blue Velvet" opens with images from the American Dream: perfect little houses with white picket fences, and impeccably manicured yards. A man collapses while watering his lawn, and the camera, after following him to the ground, burrows into it--parting the blades of grass to reveal a colony of swarming bugs. The message is clear perfection often hides deeply-rooted rot. Dreams can easily turn into nightmares. Corruption is everywhere, even in places that seem immune to it. These themes, and others about the pernicious influence of evil, are explored in some depth throughout "Blue Velvet".

    Returning home to visit his father who is in intensive care at the hospital, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), stumbles upon a human ear he finds in a field. With local police detective Williams showing little interest to investigate, Jeffrey and Sandy (Laura Dern), Detective Williams's daughter, decide to do their own investigation. But what Jeffrey and Sandy's investigation leads them to discover that a dark underworld exists in their hometown. Jeffrey becomes suspicious of nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), who is involved with Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), an unstable violent man. Dennis delivers a genuinely disturbing performance. There is a dark obsessiveness to "Blue Velvet" one that lingers long after the details of the film's mundane drug and kidnapping plot fade away. One is absorbed in the way that David Lynch draws Ivy League college kid Kyle MacLachlan down into a web of voyeurism, rape, sadomasochism and erotic tension. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about "Blue Velvet" is how it literally becomes a journey into darkness how as Kyle MacLachlan becomes drawn into the web.

    A truly eccentric and unsettling observation of the underlining, unspoken aspects behind the facade of any town, USA. "Blue Velvet" isn't a film for everyone. It has such an ominous, erotic nuance that disturbs, which has come to define his critically acclaimed work over the years. People who like straight forward storytelling where the journey from point A to point B is laid out for them won't be fans of "Blue Velvet". Much like Jeffrey, it's up to you to decide whether you fall into the former or the latter group.
  6. Sep 1, 2010
    Man returns home after his father becomes ill. He finds an ear in a field whilst walking home & decides to find out more.
    Dennis Hopper is
    brilliant as the brutal Frank Booth & Kyle MacLachlan & Laura Dern are also good. However, Isabella Rossellini is plain awful & looks like Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Show!
    Lynch weirdness as expected but not as good as some of his other work
    Don't you f**king look at me!!!!
  7. Nov 9, 2012
    I give Blue Velvet a 3 because it does manage to invest its audience from the other side of the screen. But I really didn't like this. It was weird for the sake of being weird. It seemed to be riddled with lazy attempts at symbolism which were far from translated to the viewer (or at least this viewer). And at times it was unsettling for no reason. Not like the kind of unsettling that invigorates your insides and leaves you amazed. But the type of unsettling that just gives you a very unpleasant experience that you simply want to end. I found it to be a film that tried too hard and was even a bit pretentious. Not for moi. Expand

See all 45 User Reviews