Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 14, 2011
    75
    Bate invites a disparate bunch of SULM true-believers to explain their obsession, and many of them point to the same spirit of voyeurism that makes YouTube videos go viral today: that sense of getting an unfiltered look into how other people live.
  2. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Sep 13, 2011
    75
    Has to rank right up there as one of the oddest films of the year. But odd in a very good way.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Sep 15, 2011
    70
    In making Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, a documentary that tells the story of not just the tapes but their strange and increasingly sad afterlife, Australian filmmaker Matthew Bate faces the challenge not only of visualizing the audio artifacts but also of finding a way to position their makers and explain all that has transpired since the tapes were initially recorded.
  4. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Sep 15, 2011
    70
    A dandy little documentary whether you view the story it captures as a precursor to the flash fame of the Internet age or as one of the last genuine underground phenomena before the Internet made that whole concept obsolete.
  5. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Sep 13, 2011
    70
    Still, the tapes are great. More than just a flophouse Punch and Judy show, the Raymond vs. Peter dustups elevate cruel bickering to a ritual through which we live life's pain.
  6. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 22, 2011
    67
    Despite the film's claim to be an anatomy of a pop culture craze, it's deeply parochial and has an opportunistic feel at its core.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 23, 2011
    63
    Along the way, Shut Up, Little Man boasts nice technical elements. And it is, admittedly, amusing to a degree. Peter and Raymond certainly know how to turn a phrase. But things begin to wear thin about halfway through.
  8. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 13, 2011
    60
    For once, trying to expand into a bigger exploration of the zeitgeist actually proves to be a misstep; the movie works best when it simply shuts up and concentrates more on the anatomy of a prank gone pop phenomenal.
  9. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Sep 13, 2011
    60
    Alternately hilarious and discomfiting, and finally rather poignant.
  10. 60
    Upbeat, bitter, sweet and always gripping, Shut Up! Little Man gives remix culture the ucky origin story it likely won't heed, but could sorely use nonetheless.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 16, 2011
    50
    The film achieves near-poignancy in its final act, when we finally meet one of the two elderly tipplers, plus a friend who occasionally stayed at their apartment and endured their shouting matches.
  12. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    Sep 13, 2011
    50
    Cleverly put together by writer-director Matthew Bate, the film takes a bizarre, cult folktale and turns it into a picture that is more provocative than entertaining.
  13. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 12, 2011
    38
    Shut Up Little Man! fails to legitimize its topic as one of any significance.
  14. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Oct 5, 2011
    30
    But most damningly, Shut Up Little Man! fails to convey what was so hypnotic about the original tapes, and Bate's decision to re-enact the transcripts with actors seems weirdly contrary to the spirit of the thing.

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