Interior. Leather Bar.
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In order to avoid an X rating, 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was rumored to be cut and destroyed from the 1980 film, "Cruising." Inspired by the mythology of this controversial film, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage. Amid the backdrop of a frenzied film set, actor Val Lauren reluctantly agrees to take the lead in the film. Val is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and "off camera," as unsimulated gay sex happens around him. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""Interior. Leather Bar." is a Rubik's Cube of a movie, an intriguing, layered puzzle that isn't easily solved."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"The vagueness feels like a term paper you have to grade."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"The "reimagining" is the subject of much conversation, but little true engagement."
‑ Chris Barsanti, Film Racket
"This is a curious film, an important film and, in its oblique way, a very funny film."
‑ Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
"...Franco has finally delivered a side project that does at least some justice to his eclectic artistic ambitions."
‑ Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"We see brief, graphic shots of naked actors performing sexual acts. But it's the conversations about what those depictions represent that truly provoke."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Simultaneously an act of creation and deconstruction."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"With Travis Mathews's help, James Franco's persona forms a kind of symmetry: 1980's dubious homophobia against 2013's risible homophilia."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Interior. Leather Bar. isn't as concerned with accurate depictions of historical footage as it is interested in deconstructing Friedkin's ideas and reassembling them in a contemporary context."
‑ Leland Montgomery, Paste Magazine
"A truly one-of-a-kind film from James Franco & Co. seriously, intelligently and movingly addresses sexuality in film"
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"It largely consists of Franco musing about depictions of homosexual activity on film."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Uses the notorious Friedkin movie as a starting point for a discussion about identity, perception, an actor's mask and the fear and power of on-screen sexuality."
‑ Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
"This is the embodiment of the Franco that Franco was poking fun of in This is the End. And there's a reason that schtick was funny - this Franco isn't insightful, he's dull."
‑ Dan Schindel, Movie Mezzanine
"A supremely masturbatory endeavor that prominently features naked men actually masturbating, Interior. Leather Bar. is obsessed with itself and with its co-creator, but its fascination is understandable and even justified."
‑ Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve
""Interior. Leather Bar" is ultimately more an idea for movie than a movie, the rap sessions ramble, and it feels half-baked by the time it gets to its climactic twist, which isn't as clever as it thinks."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz,
More reviews for Interior. Leather Bar. on Rotten Tomatoes