Tarnation (2004)

Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. A psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture,… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 6, 2004
DVD Release Date: May 17, 2005
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Using music and home video footage to great effect, Jonathan Caouette has made a very personal and moving film.

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

Nearly impossible to watch, thoroughly unpleasant yet strangely arresting.

Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail

An astonishing multimedia diary ... all accompanied by a scrolled family history that is as harrowing to read as a ransom note.

Sean Nelson
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Tarnation is one of the most powerfully emotional movies I've ever seen.

Full review…
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic

A soul-baring scrapbook of a film, its audacity surpassed only by its tragedy.

Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News

The movie climbs inside your head and rattles your consciousness.

Luke Goodsell
Empire Magazine Australasia

Witness his hilarious high school musical rendition of David Lynch's Blue Velvet: much like the documentary itself, it's a heartbreaking, beautiful monstrosity.

Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star

Although aggressively unconventional, it's never pretentious.

Full review…
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

In making beautiful peace with a difficult past, Caouette has delivered a promising vision of a future.

Emanuel Levy

An original, personal, emotionally touching documentary, which represents a new type of indie, based on innovating filmmaking.

Full review…
More reviews for Tarnation

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Robert C
A little too self-indulgent at times to be considered a "documentary", but all in all a very creative and moving look at life. Once you let go and… More
Andreas Babs
If someone were to tell you to go make a movie using iMovie, anyone would say no problem. If they told you to make a full length feature using iMovie, most… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"Tarnation" is a documenary made by and about Jonathan Caouette. Its starting point is his mother's lithium overdose in… More
Daniel Parsons
An extremely unique, deeply personal and very affecting documentary, <i>Tarnation</i> was made for under $300 and is comprised of home movies,… More
John Ballantine
Bits of unbearable information brought to us by Jonathan Caouette, a man who truly has had a horrific lot in life. It results in a deranged drug user who… More
Ed Fucking Harris
A really unique documentary about one man, his psychologically damaged mother and their dysfunctional family. The film is made up of old home movies, pop… More