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52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: David Lynch explores old theme: the story of two people (Cage and Dern) who thoroughly love each other, of two people whose love seems so strong that nothing can corrupt it. Yet, the evil forces of murder, corruption and perversion, which lurk beneath the seemingly clean surface of modernDavid Lynch explores old theme: the story of two people (Cage and Dern) who thoroughly love each other, of two people whose love seems so strong that nothing can corrupt it. Yet, the evil forces of murder, corruption and perversion, which lurk beneath the seemingly clean surface of modern day America transform their journey into a ghost train ride and challenge their love to the extremes. (Von Marc Eberle) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. 100
    Starting with the outrageous and building from there, he ignites a slight love-on-the-run novel, creating a bonfire of a movie that confirms his reputation as the most exciting and innovative filmmaker of his generation.
  2. 88
    And yet there is enough of a core of sincerity to turn even the most preposterous moments-such as the film's dream-sequence finale-into something moving and true: You buy the feelings, even as the situations degenerate into the ludicrous and absurd. [17 Aug 1990, Friday, p.C]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    Misfit cameos, apparently random asides and an almost continuous onslaught of unsettling sex and violence mean there’s no mistaking David Lynch’s hand behind the camera -- but there’s enough of a narrative to make this work as a straightforward road movie, too.
  4. The movie's initial intensity is so great, it consumes itself. By the time we reach the final scene, which is clearly supposed to exude glorious rapture between offbeat lovers Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, it has all the warming effect of cold ash.
  5. The best performance, the only one that can really be called acting, is Diane Ladd's as the mother. Ladd gives us a woman full of self-pity and shrewdness, full of sexual experience and guile, who has now reached the age when, if she wants to, she can turn off sexual heat in favor of cold power drive. [24 Sept 1990, p.32]
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    38
    One of the most violent opening scenes in screen history…Yet given such a visually adept exercise, the rest seems transparently off-the-cuff. There are obese trailer-camp porn stars, heavenly visions, a climactic rendition of Love Me Tender and no-point references to The Wizard of Oz - all of which top this two-hour farrago like a soggy tarp. [17 Aug 1990, Life, 4D]
  7. 20
    What "Wild at Heart" feels like is a kind of housecleaning -- a disjointed collection of images and odd snatches of ideas that the director couldn't make room for anyplace else. They have no context, and as a result, no power to thrill or disturb.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Gnarles
    Feb 16, 2006
    9
    A classic, but only if you have the guts to take it.
  2. Dec 22, 2011
    9
    Wild At Heart is as David Lynch describes it, a road romance movie that takes you on a journey along a twisted highway in the modern world.Wild At Heart is as David Lynch describes it, a road romance movie that takes you on a journey along a twisted highway in the modern world.
    If I had to describe wild at heart in three words I would say powerful, wild and romantic.
    It is very different to any other lynch films as it largely makes sense and has a lighter feeling to it as well as a few very disturbing scenes.
    The cast is star studded and excellent. Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe are captivating. Diane Laddâ
    Expand
  3. FredB.
    Dec 9, 2007
    8
    Wacky in spots but I liked it. Of course then I'm partial to road pictures and I like Nic Cage in almost anything.
  4. Sep 23, 2013
    7
    Filled with some crazy characters, this one certainly catches your attention and refuses to let go. Nicolas Cage is at his best playing theFilled with some crazy characters, this one certainly catches your attention and refuses to let go. Nicolas Cage is at his best playing the larger than life Sailor Ripley and Laura Dern does a great job as Lula. I thought Diane Ladd as Marietta was truly excellent and Willem Defoe was also great as the sleazy Bobby Peru. You cannot fail to notice the many references to ‘The Wizard of Oz’; a theme that runs throughout. Unfortunately I found the film ran too long, there’s only so long you can put up with all the craziness. It reaches a point where we lose one of the main threads that have been running through the first two thirds of the film and I found that quite distracting. Still, it’s worth a look for a decent Cage performance and the, almost comic-book, like characterisations from Lynch (well at least for the first two thirds).

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 6.9/10.
    Expand
  5. Mar 3, 2014
    2
    Hilariously bad. The film starts off with an interesting premise but it eventually gets drowned out as David Lynch just tries to do as muchHilariously bad. The film starts off with an interesting premise but it eventually gets drowned out as David Lynch just tries to do as much weird crap as he can. The end result is a grotesque, unpleasingly disturbing film that wishes it was something that it was not. Lynch likes to believe this is a remake of "The Wizard of Oz", but he has to have taken to much acid to believe that. Multiple random references that vary in how much sense they make (on a scale from no sense at all to a little sense if you really think about it) does not make it a remake of "The Wizard of Oz". On top of that, with some exceptions, the acting was just bad. Nicolas Cage was good in this, however, so there is that positive. At the end of the day, "Wild at Heart" is a collection of disturbing images with very little effort done to connect them. I love a good weird movie with a random assortment images, but there has to be some connecting factor but the leap from the much more realistic scenes to the weird as all hell surrealistic scenes is a leap I do not know how to make, nor do I think I want to. I wanted to like this one, but at the end of the day, I simply cannot. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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