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Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Probing the blurry lines between paranoia and nightmarish reality, Bug is an intense, mind-bending psychological thriller in which nothing is quite as it seems. (Lionsgate)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. A triumph for Judd and the director.
  2. The enjoyably icky heart of Bug is still contained within the airless, increasingly ''bug-proofed'' room that becomes Agnes and Peter's whole world.
  3. Ashley Judd as Agnes White, and a relative newcomer, the remarkable Michael Shannon, as Peter Evans. They're both spellbinding.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    It's unapologetically theatrical.
  5. 63
    Buzzes around in random menace for an hour until its third act, when - zzzzzt! - it flies straight into the zapper.
  6. A tale of love, desperation and conspiratorial madness, comes off on the big screen as a wacky psychological snow job.
  7. 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.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 59
  2. Negative: 26 out of 59
  1. Dec 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  2. Nov 6, 2010
    **** great. Utterly mis-marketed. Michael Shannon gives a spellbinding performance that will stand the test of time with some of the great characters of the last 20 years. Expand
  3. Nov 25, 2011
    This film is a huge **** It starts off interesting and ends perfectly and it shows just how far 2 people can go into madness. I think the leads were great and played their roles perfectly. I really liked this film. Expand
  4. Jul 30, 2013
    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. Expand
  5. Jan 16, 2012
    The plot is interesting but its rather confusing as well and will probably require a second watch or even a third to really understand it. The acting is amazing though and the cast is severely underrated imo. Michael Shannon plays his part perfectly. Its well worth the watch imo. Expand
  6. Apr 6, 2012
    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!... Expand

See all 59 User Reviews