William (The Exorcist, The French Connection) Friedkin directed this harrowing portrait of slow-boiling paranoia about a lonely waitress (Ashley Judd) whose world spirals out of control after meeting a charismatic but dama... more »ged drifter (Michael Shannon). Said drifter fills the gulf of loneliness that has swallowed Agnes (Judd) whole as she struggles to stay afloat in a backwater desert town; gradually, Shannon reveals that his stint as a soldier in the Middle East has left him infested with microscopic bugs that he believes are part of a government conspiracy. The force of his conviction (combined with the horrific physical self-abuse he endures) slowly persuade Agnes that she, too, is infested, and the pair undergo a gruesome mental and physical meltdown. Based on the theatrical production by Tracey Letts (who also wrote the screenplay), Bug has a hard time escaping its stage origins (much of the action takes place in one dingy motel room), but Friedkin ramps up the intensity to near uncomfortable levels, and Judd and Shannon (recreating his performances in the New York and London productions) are more than up to the challenge. Their fearless turns are well-matched by Harry Connick, Jr., as Agnes' creepy ex-husband and Brian F. O'Byrne as a medic who may or may not be part of Shannon's shadowy government cabal. Viewers should be forewarned that the violence is intense and often bloody; those that find insects unsettling should avoid at all costs. -- Paul Gaita« less
Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 8/15/2014...
This movie is really different and kind of confusing. I had to google the plot because I was confused about what was really going on. It's slow but kept me watching because I had to see the ending (Which didn't even explain anything)
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jason S. (Jayboy) from PHOENIX, AZ Reviewed on 7/13/2012...
One of Friednik's best. What's not to love?!?! Richly drawn characters, paranoia, and middle America!!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angela R. from SEATTLE, WA Reviewed on 8/23/2010...
First of all this movie was marketed in the wrong way. It is not a "horror" film by any stretch of the imagination and for the studio and the press to latch that tag onto this movie was crime. This is a top notch thriller that will mess with your mind and make you believe one thing while secretly keeping something else from you. That is until the end which is amazing! You find yourself with a feeling of dread and sadness afterwards that you can't shake for a while. For people who say its bad, truly it's not. If anything, it's misunderstood. I don't want to insult anymone by saying "they just didn't get it" but if you went into this movie expecting gore and giant bugs, then its no wonder you were disappointed. This is pyschological thriller at its best.
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sharon C. (Sierrastar) from BLYTHEWOOD, SC Reviewed on 8/1/2010...
I am not one to watch a scarey movie and turned this one off once things started happeneing at the motel which I thought was a little over the top and I didn't need any nightmare that night
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Steven H. (sehamilton) from BIRMINGHAM, AL Reviewed on 7/30/2009...
I was fooled by the movie's marketing campaign. Commercials and trailers tauted it as director Friedkin's "return" to horror (he directed The Exorcist). The only horror connected with this film is how atrocious it is. It ranks as one of the two worst movies in my memory (the other being The Door in the Floor). The acting is hammy and over-the-top. Ashley Judd does nothing less than embarrass herself in this one. Unbelieveably bad. Spare yourself a credit and any regrets; don't order this, don't rent this, don't waste 2 hours of your life if it ever appears on t.v.
5 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Melissa P. (Lissa) Reviewed on 11/11/2008...
Ok this is by far one of the worst movies i've seen. I can't even believe ashley judd would do a movie like this. Don't waste a credit on this!!!
6 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Denise U. (pyrllguru) from NORFOLK, NE Reviewed on 7/8/2008...
This movie is definitely not what you expect. Ashley Judd portrayed her character superbly. A definite must see.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A shattering of the soul
Chris Blackshere | hampered by what's acceptable | 02/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, totally exterminate any preconceived notions of the extreme horror you might be accustomed to. Bug is more of an alarming psychological journey into the human mind, an intense exploration of a broken soul. It's closer to the films Beautiful Mind and Conspiracy Theory than something like Aliens or The Fly. Director William Freidkin opens the crazy door and dares you to step inside.
The acting and character development in this movie is outstanding. Ashley Judd gives the performance of her lifetime as Agnes, an emotionally battered waitress who is hanging on by a thread. She has a trainwreck of a past, from her abusive ex-husband to her missing child.
She meets a mysterious loner named Peter, and he might offer a hand toward gaining some mental stability. Or he might push them both over the edge. We quickly realize it's most likely the latter, as this romance doesn't take long to unravel. Peter is a war veteran, and claims to be the victim of some extreme government experimentations. His military leaders apparently planted "bugs" under his skin. This may or may not be true, but one thing is for sure--his inner demons are about to come crawling out.
Freidkin unleashes a totally original and riveting psychological drama. The symptoms of this story frantically spread and feed off your mind in frightening fashion. A psychotically sick tale that plagues you with themes of loneliness, desperation, and mental instability. Plus it lightly touches on notions of government control and the devastating effects of war. Such a great film, one that might come off as ridiculous to some as it blazes an unfamiliar path. But for open-minded movie watchers ready to be challenged, this is must-see stuff.