For all its abstruse content and excruciating length, the film has both the ambition and a sufficient amount of breathtaking cinematography to make even the boldest claims it makes for itself seem valid.
In addition to the shocking scenes of sex and defecation I found myself reflecting on the way River of Fundament would slide from a typical “scene” into abstract musicality. It’s a neat trick, one repeated frequently and, quite frankly, one worth further examination. That is, if you can make it across the disgusting river to get there.
The New York Times
River of Fundament is often a commanding, engaging and certainly challenging experience. Nevertheless, by the end of the piece I felt deliberately alienated, and to a nearly infuriating degree.
The Hollywood Reporter
Overlong, willfully obscure and scatologically extreme, the film will elicit a variety of negative responses despite offering some individual elements that, on their own, would surely impress any of Barney's admirers. The work simultaneously is more fully realized and less creatively inspired than the Cremaster cycle.