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Romance . Drama . Comedy

Shortbus revolves around a sexually diverse ensemble of emotionally challenged characters trying desperately to connect in New York City. The characters converge in a weekly Brooklyn artistic/sexual salon loosely inspired by various underground NYC gatherings that took place in the early 2000's. The film includes a variety of explicit scenes containing non-simulated sexual intercourse with visible penetration and male ejaculation.

Actors: Shanti Carson , Bitch , Ray Rivas , Peter Stickles , Raphael Barker , Lindsay Beamish , Jay Brannan , PJ DeBoy , Paul Dawson , Sook-Yin Lee
Directors: John Cameron Mitchell
Country: USA
Release: 2006-10-20
More Info:
  • Keith Phipps

    Developed by Mitchell and the actors, the characters don't always seem consistent from moment to moment, but a sharp sense of humor and comfortable performances by a committed and--it must be said--remarkably limber cast help smooth over the rough edges.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    Shortbus is nothing if not over-the-top, replete with consummated sex acts, both gay and straight.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    The boldest provocation of Mitchell’s sweet, tender and gently funny film may be its exuberant celebration of community and togetherness at a cultural moment rife with fatalism and disconnect.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    A darkly comic trifle that follows in the footsteps of such films as Catherine Breillat's "Romance" (2000), "The Brown Bunny" (2003) and Michael Winterbottom's "9 Songs" (2004) by incorporating hard-core sex into a nonpornographic narrative.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    Mitchell's energy and occasional ingenuity make Shortbus an engaging viewing experience, provided you can stomach it.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Mitchell's adventurous, big- hearted, pansexual mosaic of New Yorkers looking for love and orgasms (not necessarily in that order), is a rare example of a nonporn film that doesn't exploit graphic sex as a gimmick.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    If there is such a thing as hard-core with a soft heart, this is it.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    In Shortbus, the impish writer-director John Cameron Mitchell does the unthinkable: He puts the joy back in movie sex.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    It's refreshing to see a non-mainstream movie that wears its heart and lust on its sleeve, and has anything but violence on its mind.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Shortbus is, first and foremost, an experiment -- an accessible, audience-friendly movie about love and sex in which the screen doesn't fade to black once the actors start taking off their clothes.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jim Ridley

    There's something refreshingly frisky and celebratory about Shortbus that offsets its flaws. It's a triple-X midnight movie with a heart of squarest gold.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    An ode to the joy and sweet release of sex, the film manages to be a sincere, modest political venture that finds humor where you might least expect it, notably in a ménage à trois featuring a cheeky rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The sex is the most unremarkable thing about it. What surprised me most about this gentle-spirited sprawl of a movie, set in post-9/11 New York City, is what I can only call the friendly, Midwestern quality of the filmmaking. Full Review
  • Marrit Ingman

    The quest for sexual happiness is a radical notion in these repressive times, as well as a legitimate basis for storytelling, but Shortbus doesn't quite delve as deeply as it ought into its characters' emotions.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Some viewers will call the whole business pornography, though it doesn't really qualify. The sex is blunt and enthusiastic, but arousing it ain't. In fact, when Shortbus arrives on DVD, viewers may be fast-forwarding through the sex to get to the acting.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Unquestionably the most sexually graphic American narrative feature ever made outside the realm of the porn industry, John Cameron Mitchell's ambitious attempt to merge his characters' active sexual lives with more conventional emotional content is playfully and provocatively entertaining for roughly the first half, but loses staying power thereafter when investment in the uncompelling characters' problems is requested.

    Variety Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    Though it flirts with the hard-core, there is something strangely flaccid about Shortbus, a ragged, uneven quality that, however purposeful, makes it feel less than fully formed.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Ansen

    Shortbus tends to work better in its first, comic half, than in its second, more serious stretch, where the characters' trials and tribulations flirt with soap opera. The actors, formidable with their clothes off, aren't always as expressive fully dressed.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Shortbus is chipper, it's fresh, it emits a distinct musk of controversy. I'll take the longbus.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    The film lacks the depth and discipline of Mitchell's first film venture, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which makes Shortbus a real disappointment.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Although Shortbus doesn't work as porn (and I don't believe it's intended to), it also doesn't work as a serious drama. The storyline is juvenile and the characters remain poorly developed and incomplete.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Kate Taylor

    For all the carnality on offer here, Mitchell and his cast seem ambivalent about sex.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Shortbus suffers from a vague, ad lib-y script and a cast that, while hardly shy, isn't exactly charismatic.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    It runs out of energy before the end.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    While the film has visual verve, its faux-Fellini finale only underscores how remote, repetitive, uninvolving and contrived the whole enterprise is.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    The premise -- a roundelay of New Yorkers looking for connection, or to escape it -- feels tired, and Mitchell's portrayal of sex as the ultimate vehicle for transcendence, self-knowledge and healing, while conveyed with authentic sweetness, seems shockingly naive.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ruthe Stein

    Mitchell may be another Russ Meyer -- a dubious honor -- but he's no Tony Kushner.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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