• Release Date: May 25, 2007
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    70
    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.
  3. A triumph for Judd and the director.
  4. 88
    Engrossingly manic version of Tracy Letts's great stage play.
  5. Ashley Judd as Agnes White, and a relative newcomer, the remarkable Michael Shannon, as Peter Evans. They're both spellbinding.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Kamal AL-Solaylee
    75
    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."
  9. 63
    Buzzes around in random menace for an hour until its third act, when - zzzzzt! - it flies straight into the zapper.
  10. 63
    Bug is creepy and hard to dismiss, but it's not a lot of fun and its weaknesses leave a bitter aftertaste.
  11. A tale of love, desperation and conspiratorial madness, comes off on the big screen as a wacky psychological snow job.
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    A ludicrous foray into psychological horror.
  13. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    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.
  14. 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.
  15. The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
  16. 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.
  17. Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
  18. 80
    Steppenwolf alumnus Tracy Letts adapted his play into this fearsome horror movie, directed with single-minded claustrophobia by William Friedkin.
  19. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    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.
  20. 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.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    It's unapologetically theatrical.
  22. We find ourselves in the fascinating no man's land between horror and comedy -- right where this movie wants us to be.
  23. Creepy and unsettling, to say nothing of gory, but overall it's a little claustrophobic and uneven.
  24. 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."
  25. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Bug won't get under your skin as much as it will assault you with its ghastly claustrophobic drama and over-the-top performances.
User Score
4.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 59
  2. Negative: 26 out of 59
  1. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    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 »
  2. Jul 30, 2013
    7
    Bug is a perfect example of an excellent stage play being properly transferred onto the silver screen. They cleverly kept Shannon from the hit play at Red Orchid, and Judd does an outstanding job in her demented role. The camera work is clean, and the set dressing it disturbingly breathtaking. It is not a horror, but a psychological thriller. It is thought provoking, nerve-wracking, and sad. Tracy Letts is a master at his craft, and if you are wanting a completely messed up flick, look no further. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2012
    5
    This is a very strange film. A friend recommended it to me, so I went for it. In the beginning I was excited, I thought it had potential, for it seemed an original idea; but after the first 30 minutes, it started becoming slow, and so repetitive that I started predicting what will happen...or I better say: I thought that nothing more interesting will happen- and I was right. Still, I had hope. Nevertheless, the movies started losing its appeal and became disturbingly monotonous, almost soporific. Sadly, It ended up being just a below average movie with great performances. It was so tedious that there was a point in which I only wanted the movie to finish, so I could take it out and play another one! Someone may say that this is a good movie for those interested in human psyche! Yeah, it may...but well I am a sociologist and anthropologist, doing my PhD in cognitive-aesthetic Anthropology, so I am definitely into human psyche, and even though this movie explores some aspects of it, yet, it ends up being a cliche. As a scientist, I don't think is truly psychological film, but a psycho-mess; but, The producers want you to believe that this is a clever, original, resourceful, incredible psychological thriller, when it is not! (Evidently, this is not horror,). There were also many lose things; I am sure it wasn't purposedly for in this case, ambiguity doesn't add anything to the movie, but the opposite. Some possible questions, however, were subtlely answered: after the credits, we heard the phone ringing and the camera leads us to the room, where is stops and shows us some toys; thus, we can infer that what they are trying to tell us is that the one calling was the kid, Lloyd, who by that time would be 16yo. As a whole, lots of talking, but a static, tiresome plot . The ending : Predictable! An Interesting idea for a movie that ended up going nowhere. Somehow, I feel cheated!... Full Review »