Critic Reviews

  • 100
    Elvis Mitchell The New York Times
    As fascinating as it is freakish. It confirms Mr. Lynch's stature as an innovator, a superb technician, and someone best not encountered in a dak alley. [19 September 1986]
  • 100
    Sheila Benson Los Angeles Times
    The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. [19 September 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
  • 88
    Gene Siskel Chicago Tribune
    One powerful, mesmerizing thriller, a masterful exercise in controlling an audience's attention. [19 September 1986, Friday, p.A]
  • 80
    John Hartl
    An exhilarating piece of popular entertainment.
  • 80
    Hopper creates a flabbergasting portrait of unrepentent, irredeemable evil.
  • 67
    Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle
    You either think it's dementedly wild at heart or a lost highway to nowhere.
  • 50
    Chicago Reader
    It's mostly fascinating, though the unconverted may be in for a rough two hours.
  • 50
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Dark, menacing and sexual, with satanic overtones, like a Black Sabbath song, with many moments of genuine fright and harsh eroticism. [19 September 1986, Daily Notebook, p.76]
  • 30
    Washington Post
    Doesn't progress or deepen, it just gets weirder, and to no good end.
  • 25
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
    So strong, so shocking and yet so audacious that people walk out shaking their heads; they don't know quite what to make of it.