New York Times says, "It's hard to imagine another film maker who could delve so deeply into the monstrousness of Mr. Burroughs's vision". Rolling Stone says, "Cronenberg whose screenplay for the film won the 1991 New York Film Critics Award has turned Burroughs's densely fragmented novel into a pungently comic and inventive spellbinder about the act of writing, incorporating Burroughs's life in the mix." Slant Magazine says this: "David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch is a surreal experience that’s heightened further by disguising itself within a veneer of classical stateliness ... a prodigious tonal achievement that blurs reality and the hallucinatory".
Roger Ebert says,
in a recent documentary about his life, Burroughs came across as a man who walks around with something wounded inside, something that hurts so much that his spirit simply shut down.Empire Online concludes, "Provocative, but never as clever as it thinks it is". TimeOut closes with this: "Burroughs purists may be disappointed, but this dark distillation of the novel's themes gets closer to its essence than any 'straight' adaptation could hope to do." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 71%.
That aspect of Burroughs is celebrated at feature length in “Naked Lunch,”