Shortbus (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shortbus (2006)



Critic Consensus: The sex may be explicit, but Mitchell integrates it into the characters' lives and serves the whole story up with a generous dose of sweetness and wit.

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Movie Info

John Cameron Mitchell's SHORTBUS explores the lives of several emotionally challenged characters as they navigate the comic and tragic intersections between love and sex in and around a modern-day underground salon. A sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, a dominatrix who is unable to connect, a gay couple who are deciding whether to open up their relationship, and the people who weave in and out of their lives, all converge on a weekly gathering called Shortbus: a mad nexus of art, music, politics, and polysexual carnality. Set in a post-9/11, Bush-exhausted New York City, SHORTBUS tells its story with sexual frankness, suggesting new ways to reconcile questions of the mind, pleasures of the flesh, and imperatives of the heart.

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PJ DeBoy
as Jamie
Daniela Sea
as Little Prince
Alan Mandell
as Tobias, the Mayor
Adam Hardman
as Jesse, the John
Ray Rivas
as Shabbos Goy
as Bitch
Reg Vermue
as The Albino
Eric Gilliland
as Eric Gilliland
Jonathan Caouette
as Blondie-Grabber
Justin Bond
as Himself
Yolonda Ross
as Faustus
The World Famous *BoB*
as The World Famous *Bob*
Dirty Martini
as Dirty Martini
Bradford Scobie
as Dr. Donut
Murray Hill
as Murray Hill
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News & Interviews for Shortbus

Critic Reviews for Shortbus

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (50)

Shortbus is not, above all, 'dirty.' What it is, in fact, is a nice movie, one of the nicest to come down the pike since March of the Penguins.

March 4, 2008
Top Critic

Everything comes to a head in a touchy-feely climax (if you catch our drift) where, ironically, it isn't the strong sex but all the singing and handholding that's the real turn-off.

November 30, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

A gleefully subversive but over-simplistic rude little indie that's starting to gain cult status.

November 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/5

One woman's quest for the perfect orgasm may strike sophisticated viewers as the stuff of sexual farce at best, but Sook-Yin Lee's Sofia brings both emotion and eroticism to the proceedings, and for this Mr. Mitchell should be commended.

November 1, 2006

It runs out of energy before the end.

November 1, 2006

Shortbus doesn't quite delve as deeply as it ought into its characters' emotions: It has more breadth than depth, perhaps due to its improvisational methods.

October 30, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shortbus

If this firm didn't have considerable artistic and intellectual merit, it would be porn. But it does have merit and it has a LOT more to say than prurience or lust. In fact, such sentiments would be missing the point entirely. It's a brave and brash film about sexuality and relationships that makes one wonder -- why hasn't a film like this been made before?

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Okay, honestly, I feel like the sex scenes were put there just to be titillating. Not effective.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


I nearly turned it off in the first 20 minutes. Shocking, graphic sex. But when the main character (a sex therapist who can't achieve orgasm, played by Sook-Yin Lee) turns up at Shortbus - a sex club named after the little school buses, filled with "the challenged and the gifted," says the host - the content makes sense, and the almost-story begins to take shape as she and the other characters look for that perfect chemistry, however weird that may be. Mainly, I think this is a film about facing your biggest sexual difficulties straight-on, and by the end, it pulled me in, and the content didn't shock me anymore. A tough watch, borderline pornographic in the beginning, but a film with a big heart that I wound up understanding... more or less. There are some story holes. Decent, though.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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