Spanking the Monkey

Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    A movie about mother-son incest may sound like a daring writing-directing d├ębut, but David O. Russell, the fledgling auteur, stacks the deck like an old sharpie.
  2. Despite a certain originality, the movie isn't really a success, not only because the plot bites off more than it can chew (the film doesn't conclude; it simply stops), but also because, like its hero, it has some trouble distinguishing between petty irritations and cataclysmic traumas.
  3. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Even so, the film's incest theme seems more symbolic than literal in what is, at heart, a comedy about escaping the womb; throwaway gags are wicked enough throughout to keep the taboo plot twist from knocking this hit-and-miss black comedy off the track. [26 Jul 1994 Pg. 08.D]
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    The story is undoubtedly weird, but perhaps more so on paper than on the screen, since Russell and his actors have played it mostly straight in attempting to confer psychological validity on all the untoward developments.

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