Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. The comedy is frantic and tasteless in the usual Waters mode, but it takes telling potshots at the Hollywood establishment, which isn't nearly so open about the tackiness of its products.
  2. It's an audacious little comedy with bursts of hilarity and a certain giddy energy.
  3. 38
    Even with Cecil B. Demented, which fails on just about every level, you've got to hand it to him (Waters): The idea for the film is kind of inspired.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    60
    Has a giddy silliness that's thoroughly endearing.
  5. If this movie does anything to rally crowds against cinema's mass distribution of mediocrity then it has served a noble purse.
  6. It's Waters' way of saying: It's only a movie.
  7. Has a few viciously funny moments.
  8. A fast, furious and funny fusillade of a movie.
  9. 70
    This is a sweet-spirited movie about a nice bunch of kids having good clean fun.
  10. 70
    Neither Waters' funniest film nor, by a long chalk, his most radical. But it is, as promised, a passing of the torch and an article of suitably perverse faith in the next generation of nutso cinéastes.
  11. 60
    Has the grace to send the audience out with a piece of Waters-written rap.
  12. Consistently amusing and smart in its choice of targets, but it lacks the manic edge of some of Waters' earlier movies.
  13. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    50
    Hamstrung by a script that is too often smug, obvious and self-important.
  14. 20
    An insufferable, self-important, sloppily made bore.
  15. 8
    Appears to have been written and directed by a grade-school dropout snorting airplane glue.
  16. The shenanigans have been pared into 84 minutes of transgressive, potty-minded farce, that is often Waters at his most cheerful and most thematically focused.
  17. 75
    For movie fans who despair of the state of American cinema, the in-jokes are hilarious.
  18. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    It's the cinematic equivalent of one of those prop guns where you pull the trigger and a little flag comes out of the barrel, waving gaily.
  19. Weighed down by the presence of Griffith. She plays her satiric part without much gusto or conviction - as if she were afraid we might believe she really is Honey.
  20. Not so much a movie as a self-contained world for like-minded people who wear their outsider status on their sleeves.
  21. Disappointing and surprisingly crude.
  22. 50
    Where once Waters was brilliantly polluted, now he comes off diluted.
  23. Maybe Waters set out to prove Karl Marx's observation that all great events happen twice, first as tragedy and the second time as farce.
  24. 25
    Shrill and sloppy film.
  25. 75
    For good and ill, there is only one John Waters.
  26. 80
    DeMented is Waters the way we like him--spiked with laughs and served with a twist.
  27. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Cecil B. proves how a dose of smart bad taste can be jolly good fun.
  28. Reviewed by: David Ehrenstein
    70
    Waters offers a worldview that's uniquely his own.
  29. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    70
    A small, scruffy, but agreeably energized comedy.
  30. Funnier than "Pecker" but a far cry from the best of Waters's Divine movies.
  31. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    50
    Diverting but uneven.
  32. 80
    Not to be missed, one of the year's best, a whole lotta laughs, and 4-stars all rolled into one.

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