Lost Highway

Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. 50
    It's a shaggy ghost story, an exercise in style, a film made with a certain breezy contempt for audiences.
  2. The film actually deserves four stars for its imaginative style and astonishing suspense, zero stars for its shameless exploitation of violent shocks and loveless sensuality.
  3. David Lynch's eye-popping imagery is buried under an avalanche of self-indulgence.
  4. A feature-length Twilight Zone episode, filtered -- not entirely successfully -- though the sensibilities of David Lynch and his Wild at Heart collaborator, Barry Gifford.
  5. 50
    Lynch, who penned the screenplay with novelist Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart), seems to be attempting to capture not just a sense of place and time (it never works -- Lost Highway is wholly, irrevocably, out of place and without any linear time or time line to speak of), but also a sense of madness.
  6. Beautifully made but emotionally empty, it exists only for the sensation of its provocative moments.
  7. Lost Highway, an elaborate hallucination that could never be mistaken for the work of anyone else, finds Mr. Lynch echoing the perversity of "Blue Velvet," the earlier film of his that this most closely resembles.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Although uneven and too deliberately obscure in meaning to be entirely satisfying, result remains sufficiently intriguing and startling to bring many of Lynch's old fans back on board for this careening ride.
  9. 50
    Here, Lynch has traded some of his disturbing originality for noir formula and schticky weirdness.
  10. 50
    It's a soulless and dull bit of showmanship, but it sure sounds profound.
  11. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    50
    In Lost Highway, reality has become a dream. But Lynch has forgotten how boring it is listening to someone else's dream.
  12. In Lost Highway, David Lynch dabbles in spooky, chilly implication and a sort of hip incoherence.
  13. 40
    A slow, ponderous, ultimately unsuccessful exercise in cerebral nihilism.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    52? Seriously? This movie is absolutely brilliant. If you're someone who enjoys being fed meaning then it's simply not for you. Those prepared52? Seriously? This movie is absolutely brilliant. If you're someone who enjoys being fed meaning then it's simply not for you. Those prepared to feel their own way and drop the barriers between dream and "reality" will find an intangible joy in unusual and familiar dark places. When I first watched Mulholland Drive I felt cheated, disturbed and confused. I've since learned to give in to the confusion and explore all the gaps between my stupid expectations. I find it rather offensive that Mulholland Drive has such a high rating in comparison to Lost Highway and can only assume that it's due to the nudity and lesbian scenes. I really hope that isn't true. David Lynch uses sex as a vehicle for something far more erotic and devastatingly honest. His movies leave me twisting for truth and dreaming within dreams that turn on themselves and walk their way "back" into life. I will always have a sincere love and respect for the artist that showed me what I want by failing to deliver what I learned to need. Thank you for denying me this and granting me so much more. Full Review »
  2. Andy
    Jul 19, 2009
    2
    Thought this movie was garbage. And trust me Will S., I'm not an idiot - I'm much smarter than you. This movie just panders to an Thought this movie was garbage. And trust me Will S., I'm not an idiot - I'm much smarter than you. This movie just panders to an audience that desperately wants to think of itself as elitist and high-culture. That is why it has amassed such a cult following, and that is why it has a 9.3 user rating on MetaCritic. Full Review »
  3. Jan 19, 2016
    10
    I've been hankering to see this one again. I think it might be better even, overall, than Blue Velvet, though the latter is undeniably moreI've been hankering to see this one again. I think it might be better even, overall, than Blue Velvet, though the latter is undeniably more straightforward. I guess I understand why the "dream" comparisons seem to be frequently invoked when talking about Lynch and "Lost Highway," but if you know anything about Lynch's methods he doesn't particularly lean toward dreams or dream imagery. Rather, as I understand it, he just gets these ideas in his mind and he doesn't censor himself, so the starting material is different because he's never coming from the too typical place of just trying to come up with a movie premise that people might like. And then, when he starts putting his ideas together, he doesn't allow conventions and commercial concerns lead him astray, he stays true to his vision and he is one of the few who can get away with that.

    This film was the first to deal with the idea of a transmigration of identity, something Lynch may or may not have picked up from a 19th Century craze, I don't know. He continued working with this idea in Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, though to me those two were less successful than Lost Highway, which is why I'm writing this. I hope more people can find out about Lost Highway and enjoy it as much as I have.

    So, to appreciate this film I recommend not getting too caught up in understanding it. It's a harsh critique of Hollywood, for one thing. The humor is about as deadpan as you can get. The violence is not pervasive but is at times strong. I don't find it gratuitous at all, though. Many people get their attentions taken with the sense of dread that is certainly there, but I now see more of the humor and style. Lynch is, above all, the most stylish of all contemporary American directors, I think without even a close rival. Also, he may be the sexiest. His sex scenes just sizzle and pop, think about the seduction scene in Blue Velvet or the lovemaking sessions between Cage and Dern in Wild at Heart. This film is no exception, Patricia Arquette smolders and her love connection with the young hero feels real and alive.

    The word "pretentious" some have used here puzzles me. Lynch may be Hollywood's least pretentious director! He's very true to his own vision and doesn't try to intellectualize. I don't get that criticism. Also, too much emphasis on "understanding" it. Look, it's kind of simple: there is a sort of identity migration. It's a mystical concept, no scientific basis for it, so you kind of have to go with it. It deals with evil in a way that may seem needlessly oblique to some but in return for a little patience and open-mindedness you get to see Robert Blake, in white pancake makeup, being Satan incarnate! I think that is worth the price of admission alone.
    Full Review »