Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    Though much of Naked Lunch is flip, hip and hilariously funny, it never wanders far from a profoundly melancholic undertone - Cronenberg's unshakable sense of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. [10 Jan 1992]
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    Stretching himself with each new work, David Cronenberg has come up with a fascinating, demanding, mordantly funny picture.
  3. 80
    There's a synergistic overlap here between Cronenberg's own particular brand of weirdness and Burroughs's; they're both twisted in ways that complement each other nicely.
  4. This David Cronenberg masterpiece (1991) breaks every rule in adapting a literary classic - maybe On Naked Lunch would be a more accurate title - but justifies every transgression with its artistry and audacity.
  5. Ultimately, Naked Lunch is more about the act of writing, while the original is concerned with the phenomenon of addiction. Each does what it does well… but differently.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    75
    A treat for Cronenberg fans, though this could hardly be called a gripping, or emotionally involving, story; you're more likely to need a can of bug spray than a hanky.
  7. Paradoxically cerebral and primal, reasonable and anti-rational, life- affirming and nihilistic, Naked Lunch is a sensual and intellectual feast. It will not be a meal to everyone's taste, but in its bizarre class, there is nothing classier. [10 Jan 1992]
  8. For the most part this is a coolly riveting film and even a darkly entertaining one, at least for audiences with steel nerves, a predisposition toward Mr. Burroughs and a willingness to meet Mr. Cronenberg halfway.
  9. 63
    While I admired it in an abstract way, I felt repelled by the material on a visceral level.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    Naked Lunch is so well-acted and so amusingly warped that it's a shoo-in to become a cult movie. [30 Dec 1991]
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    60
    Cronenberg's attempt to meld his style with an established writer didnít exactly pan out.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    60
    The movie is way too colorful - cute, in a repulsive way, with its crawly special effects - and tame compared with its source.
  13. Naked Lunch will undoubtedly bring pleasure, much of it perverse, to [David Cronenberg]'s many fans - and, simultaneously, confound and repulse a huge chunk of filmgoers. [10 Jan 1992]
  14. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    50
    Cronenberg hasn't so much filmed Naked Lunch as tamed it, turned it into entertainment, with oozy rubber bugs, big and little, that look left over from David Lynch's movie of "Dune," or the intergalactic dive from "Star Wars." [10 Jan 1992]
  15. It's a movie for people who really dig Cronenberg's mulchy fixations-and probably for no one else. [27 Dec 1991]
  16. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    40
    It feels studiously surrealistic, an excuse for cinematic buggery; deep in its center there's a lack of conviction.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. JanB.
    Sep 26, 2007
    4
    A surrealistic, frequently boring movie with an incomprehensible plot.