• Released
  • October 12, 1990
  • Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
    Psychological Thriller
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Seeps with atmosphere, unfolds at a deceptively relaxed pace, steadily accumulates noirish grit, then dizzily plunges into a Lynch-like plumbing of the dark passions and nasty secrets at the heart of Main Street, USA.
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Washington Post

By Desson Thomson
A crazy, intentionally ludicrous movie that's a lot of film-noir fun.
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Chicago Tribune

By Dave Kehr
Pretty silly. The Hot Spot certainly is, and it's occasionally quite entertaining for it, though the picture never really achieves a dimension beyond that of a Playboy Party Joke. [26 Oct 1990, Friday, p.I]
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Only movie lovers who have marinated their imaginations in the great B movies from RKO and Republic will recognize The Hot Spot as a superior work in an old tradition - as a manipulation of story elements as mannered and deliberate, in its way, as variations on a theme for the piano.
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USA Today

By Mike Clark
An overlong guilty pleasure. [12 Oct 1990, Life, 4D]
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TV Guide

By Maitland McDonagh
Part of the problem is its length; at two hours and ten minutes it meanders rather than building up a head of steam and barreling straight through logic and plausibility on the way to Hell.
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Los Angeles Times

By Peter Rainer
The pulpiness is less homage than rip-off. There are no tricks up this film's frayed sleeve… Fatalism plus a lot of heavy breathing, and a flash of skin--it's a winning formula, all right. These movies are like Harlequin Romances for slumming highbrows [12 Oct 1990]
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Entertainment Weekly

It's also supposed to be atmospheric, noirish, and touched with nihilism. But the director, Hollywood bad boy Dennis Hopper, lays it all on so thick that the film verges on self-parody.
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By Kim Newman
Director Dennis Hopper continues the fumbling manner of "Colors" and the forthcoming-but-disowned "Catchfire," drawing out what ought to be a 72 minute B-picture into two hours and ten minutes of sweaty silliness with three pretty stars who can't quite bring themselves to be camp enough for the material.
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San Francisco Chronicle

A case of ho-hum humping leading to boring betrayal. The ingredients are predictable and the snail's pace is punishing. [26 Oct 1990, Daily Datebook, p.E3]
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56 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.