• Release Date: May 25, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. A triumph for Judd and the director.
  2. 88
    Begins as an ominous rumble of unease, and builds to a shriek. The last 20 minutes are searingly intense: A paranoid personality finds its mate, and they race each other into madness.
  3. 88
    Engrossingly manic version of Tracy Letts's great stage play.
  4. The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
  5. Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
  6. 80
    Steppenwolf alumnus Tracy Letts adapted his play into this fearsome horror movie, directed with single-minded claustrophobia by William Friedkin.
  7. 75
    Friedkin's latest rivals his Druid horror flick "The Guardian" for sheer lunacy--Bug remains disconcerting, real, and raw. It poignantly suggests that some lost souls would rather be crazy and doomed than alone.
  8. Ashley Judd as Agnes White, and a relative newcomer, the remarkable Michael Shannon, as Peter Evans. They're both spellbinding.
  9. It's one helluva movie that makes Ashley Judd look ugly and demented, while turning Harry Connick Jr. into the most frightening screen thug since Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast."
  10. 75
    Bug has an uncompromising, anything-goes daring: Friedkin, 71, has nothing to lose at this point, and he has made this low-budget, brazenly over-the-top picture strictly on his own terms.
  11. After nearly three decades of misfires, major and minor, William Friedkin, the creator of "The French Connection," "The Exorcist" and "Sorcerer," is back in true form with Bug. And heaven help us for it.
  12. With his (Friedkin) vigorous camera compositions and a talented cast, he manages to straddle a wickedly fine line between taught portrayal of paranoia and parody of paranoia.
  13. 70
    Genuinely freaky-deaky, not to mention more inventively unsettling than anything Friedkin has mustered in the quarter-century since twisting little Linda Blair into a satanic spewer of pea soup and F-bombs.
  14. The escalating hysteria and grisly set pieces of Bug may strain credulity, but Ms. Judd has never been more believable as a woman condemned to attract the wrong kind of man.
  15. We find ourselves in the fascinating no man's land between horror and comedy -- right where this movie wants us to be.
  16. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    It's unapologetically theatrical.
  17. As near as I can tell, it's the smallest-scale, lowest-budget, most experimental film Friedkin has ever made, as well as the most thoroughly unpleasant and off-putting -- though it builds a grisly, masochistic fascination as it powers along.
  18. 63
    Bug is creepy and hard to dismiss, but it's not a lot of fun and its weaknesses leave a bitter aftertaste.
  19. 63
    Buzzes around in random menace for an hour until its third act, when - zzzzzt! - it flies straight into the zapper.
  20. 60
    It's a tough one to recommend to everyone. Just know now this isn't a horror film as they're making it out to be nor is it a true return to form for Friedkin. Even so, it's worth seeing but perhaps as a DVD rental further down the road.
  21. Creepy and unsettling, to say nothing of gory, but overall it's a little claustrophobic and uneven.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Bug won't get under your skin as much as it will assault you with its ghastly claustrophobic drama and over-the-top performances.
  23. 50
    A ludicrous foray into psychological horror.
  24. A tale of love, desperation and conspiratorial madness, comes off on the big screen as a wacky psychological snow job.
  25. 50
    By the end of Bug, you may find yourself scratching yourself as well -- your head, that is -- wondering what the hell this is all about.
  26. If you have claustrophobia and/or fear insects, the last film you should see is Bug. I'm not sure it's worth a trip even if you don't suffer from those maladies.
  27. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A ranting, claustrophobic drama that trades in shopworn paranoid notions, William Friedkin's overwrought screen version of Tracy Letts' play assaults the viewer with aggressive thesping and over-the-top notions of shocking incident, all to intensely alienating effect.
  28. 40
    Our traumatized soldiers deserve better representation than this irretrievably ridiculous drama, which will do nothing to revive the flagging fortunes of the man whose career lay down and died after "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection."
  29. 30
    A humorless picture, a somber, arty exercise in deep denial of its exploitation roots. The dialogue is stiff and mechanical and the performances are too.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 61
  2. Negative: 26 out of 61
  1. May 9, 2016
    An unsettling and truly hypnotic film on occasion, Bug is far too willing to descend into madness with its characters and prefers graphicAn unsettling and truly hypnotic film on occasion, Bug is far too willing to descend into madness with its characters and prefers graphic violence over subtleties and atmosphere. For a psychological thriller to work, it has to have a truly chilling atmosphere that really messes with your mind. Bug does mess with you a good bit as it reaches the end, but far too often, it feels more comedic than thrilling as you have to laugh at the fact somebody thought this would be scary. That said, Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd are phenomenal here, but the film's hypnotic and wholly claustrophobic setting wears out its welcome eventually and becomes more of a grating experience than a truly horrifying one. While it has its occasional high notes, Bug takes a lot of shots and misses on most of them, though Friedkin knows how to craft good horror and does so here on occasion, just not with regularity. Overall, Bug may nick, but never bites. Full Review »
  2. 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 actuallyBug 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. Full Review »
  3. Dec 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Thanks to great direction, interesting characters and powerhouse performances from Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, “Bug” is just a flat out amazing and an incredibly disturbing film about two people slowly losing their hold on reality. Unlike most movies about the paranoid or conspiracy theorists, this one felt realistic and the psychosis that the characters of Agnes and Peter go through comes off in such a way that I started to wonder if their reality isn’t the true reality of the film. Of course, it’s not but the characters are played so believably that it’s easy to engage yourself with the troubled twosome. This movie is also one of those films that actually gets better for me with each viewing as each time I am able to appreciate the subtext, editing and overall direction from William Friedkin more and more. Full Review »