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Overall Rating

Awesome: 19.67%
Worth A Look: 9.84%
Average: 1.64%
Pretty Bad: 27.87%
Total Crap40.98%

4 reviews, 37 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Easily one of the most vile experiences I've ever had in a movie theater."
1 stars

Take all the quick-cut, hyper-edited moments of drug abuse found in movies like Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting and focus on just those for 90-some minutes; populate your narrative with a roster of the most physically repugnant and unwatchable misfits imaginable; and pace the thing with no sense of timing, momentum or plain old sense - and you'd still have a movie about 600 times more entertaining than Jonas Akerlund's stunningly wretched feature film debut.

About here is where a curious movie freak would think "Hmmmm. He REALLY hates this one, which makes me very curious to see it." Do yourself a huge favor and ignore this impulse. Not until the day that TVs and VCRs come as standard shower features should you ever witness this witless, aimless and altogether awful piece of garbage.

If the fledgling director set out to helm a film showcasing the most physically repulsive moments imaginable, then I assume he's very proud with the end product. As far as effective storytelling and quality filmmaking are concerned, Spun ranks among the most unwatchably awful films I've ever seen.

Hey, maybe watching Mena Suvari squeeze out a turd is your idea of brilliant cinema and lord knows we can always use another ten-minute sequence of John Leguizamo masturbating into a sock - but in my eyes Akerlund has now set the bar for music-video directors back to before the days of Mark Romanek, Spike Jonze and David Fincher.

This flick has no plot to speak of; only a series of vignettes in which a dozen scumbags with rotten teeth strive to attain various forms of methamphetamines. Ross (Jason Schwartzman) acts as driver for Nikki (Brittany Murphy) and her sweaty boyfriend known as The Cook (Mickey Rourke). Cookie (Suvari) and Spider Mike (Leguizamo) spend their days trying to poop and acheive erections - in that order of importance. Frisbee (Patrick Fugit) is a disgusting zit-covered junkie whose high point comes when he gets shot in the testicles.

If these unsavory slobs don't have you running immediately for a bar of soap, we're also offered Deborah Harry as a sleazy lesbian, Eric Roberts as a painfully ridiculous gay kingpin, Peter Stormare as a dirty cop/junkie, and Chloe Hunter as a blonde speed freak who spends the entire film strapped spread-eagle on a bed.

Know what? I've already devoted way more attention to this wholly wretched flick than it deserves. What infuriates me most is that this despicable piece of shit somehow earned three screenings at the SXSW Film Festival, which means that three aspiring filmmakers had to be left out in the cold so Akerlund could showcase this rotten cancer of a film.

Drug abuse has made for some of the most heart-wrenching and emotionally effective flicks of the past several years. Nice to see that a rock video director can come along, plagiarize the finest parts of those films and then spend another 90 minutes shitting on the celluloid. Not only is Spun one of the ugliest and least entertaining films I've ever seen; it's also one of the most insultingly inept flicks ever to receive a theatrical release.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/12/03 10:12:45
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/12/11 vanessa belize 2 stars
7/06/08 Jason Strickland Wants to be an independent's, um, ok 3 stars
3/20/08 KaneR This movie is messed up, but in a good and entertaining way. 5 stars
10/18/07 Josh "Miles" Davis Parry, you poor joker, it's good if you realize that it's a comedy and not an anti-drug msg 4 stars
10/19/05 Douglas Reese One of 2003's best movies with terrific performances by Mickey Rourke and Brittany Murphy! 5 stars
9/16/05 Z Chloe Hunter=hot, this movie=shit 1 stars
7/29/05 Timor Waldo great film which offers a lot of insight on the nature of meth 5 stars
6/24/05 Stinky Cheeze Yes it is dire.Yes it is disgusting.So's life.It doesn't have to be uplifting.Get over it. 4 stars
5/12/05 stu completly dissapointing. 2 stars
2/09/05 Jeff Anderson WHAT A GREAT CAST! WHAT A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! Leguizamo gives the best performance. TRASH! 1 stars
12/20/04 albert plays better if you're stoned 4 stars
11/11/04 Brandon Crow This movie is the best moive i had seen in a year, i love speed and wathcing this movie 5 stars
10/31/04 MyGreenBed Typical "drugs as art" crap done poorly. Tries desperately to be what it is not, edgy. 1 stars
10/07/04 Sfj This is the first drug specific movie I’ve seen about Meth users. It would be as easy to s 2 stars
8/20/04 Dan Hobbs How much more idiotic can they get? 1 stars
7/23/04 Jurko the Great Realistic!! 5 stars
7/12/04 ViSionS Either you get it or you don't. 4 stars
5/06/04 tatum Perhaps the most annoying film ever made 1 stars
4/28/04 i seen this movie cranked up and loved it :D 8====D 5 stars
4/14/04 David G Superb movie. Lovely eye-candy and a touching story. 5 stars
4/07/04 Verra Jones This film was about all the use of Christy Brown's right foot 2 stars
3/01/04 Dlove I liked this movie, and I think these critics are very closed minded! 4 stars
2/25/04 Justin Hester great movie about todays drug culture 5 stars
1/21/04 Nathan I was pleasently surprised by all of the characters' realism and tragic poignancy 5 stars
1/14/04 Helius A stunning film about the horrors of drug use...yeah, "Requiem for a Dream" rocked. 1 stars
11/27/03 alex stupid comfortable teen drug movie wh great performances 2 stars
10/02/03 emily holland this movie is really true 5 stars
9/11/03 Kooler "oh boo hoo, mena took a shit! I'm frightened and confused!" Christ, go rent Shrek. 5 stars
7/29/03 greensweater you have to shoot crank to fully enjoy this film 1 stars
7/26/03 .Choadushouse. One of the worst pieces of garbage ever. How bout you rip of Requiem F.a. Dream a litl more 1 stars
7/24/03 Get A Sense of Humor Well shot, written and directed. Get a sense of Humor you corroded old widows. 5 stars
7/05/03 Richard Stroker Right on... this film blew.... self-indulgent crap for the MTV generation passed off as art 1 stars
4/08/03 Fonq35 This is the kind stinking shit that prevents really daring filmamkers from being heard. 1 stars
4/04/03 Uncle Salty Wow, another drug movie, except this one is AWFUL! 1 stars
4/01/03 Balthazar This movie is a cheap ripoff of Trainspotting (get an original idea, Akerlund, you loser) 1 stars
3/26/03 Bluto McBlurt I walked out after an hour. Glad I missed the toilet scene. 1 stars
3/12/03 Rob Utterly Captivating. 4 stars
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  14-Mar-2003 (R)
  DVD: 22-Jul-2003



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