• R, 2 hr.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Stephen Frears
  • In Theaters:    Jan 1, 1988 Wide
  • On DVD:    May 1, 2001
  • Warner Home Video

Dangerous Liaisons Reviews

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Anthony L
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2013
Dangerous Liaisons oozes sex and excess, the depths of human wickedness, lush, seduction, all the good bits basically. It is directed beautifully by Stephen Frears who doesn't stick to a cliched look at this particular period in France but gives the story an element of believability at the same time as bringing a brilliant bit of theatre to life. No one else really does this as well as Frears, I can see anyone else getting away with a film like The Queen for example, his technique of bringing theatre to the screen is great as it is unique. The performances are among the collective cast's best, if I read the script yesterday and the film had never been made I certainly wouldn't think Glenn Close and John Malkovich but that is why I'm not a casting director, I don't think I've enjoyed either actor as much as I did in this film.
MeetMeinMontauk MeetMeinMontauk
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2009
I love France in this time.... pretty dresses. I found it very intriguing and seductive. Proves once more Glenn Close is astonishing and that Keanu Reeves actually has had a good role in his life. WOW.
MissMorganLeee MissMorganLeee
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2008
good plot

JOHN MALKOVICH is a strange actor... he kept the same face the entire time!!! he never showed emotion evan when he died!
Drew S
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2007
This is basically Elizabeth, if Elizabeth were an old slutty manipulatress. I know it's a good movie and technically impressive and all that shit that bodice-rippers always are, but these films always deal with the exact same themes. "lol the hidden strength of a woman" "lol the heart plays by no rules" "lol even the most dignified man is still a beast" Come on, now. Mix things up a little bit.

The highlight of the film remains John Malkovich, a chilling sociopath who's out to ruin as many lives as possible just for personal challenge. His performance is a study in how to properly exude inexpressiveness - the perverse, confused smiles, and the declarations of love that are totally hollow even when he doesn't mean them to be. It is almost terrifying. Glenn Close is also capable, though the character is no new take on the Imperial Dragon Lady. Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer fade away, the latter especially surprisingly considering she picked up a Supporting Actress nod. And Keanu Reeves...*sigh* That performance in The Gift is looking more and more like a fluke every day.

Anyway, Dangerous Liaisons isn't bad. It's just nothing special. Another example of the Oscars drinking the Period Piece Koolaid. There's a bit of humor, and a bit of nastiness and a bit of violence and a whole lot of lust, and it makes the movie watchable but nothing even remotely near art or auteurial. If you're not totally sick of these films yet, I guess this is a good place to go.
garyX garyX
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2007
Manipulative aristocrats John Malkovich and Glenn Close engage in sexual conquest and gender warfare beneath the outward formality and respectability of 18th century France. Valmont was the part that propelled Malkovich into the big leagues and is the part he was born to play. He treads the line perfectly between caddishness and charm as he seduces and beds every woman he encounters for the thrill of the chase, and shows great skill and subtlety in making such a despicable and morally weak character sympathetic toward the end of the film. All the best scenes are of course concerned with the verbal sparring between Valmont and the bitter and calculating Marquise played with equal skill by Close, but Michelle Pfeiffer's sensitive performance and porcelain beauty also paint a believable picture of a woman who would melt the heart of even such a cold-hearted Casanova. The direction is a little flat belying its roots as a stage play and the cinematography a little drab by today's standards, but the witty and perceptive script and excellent performances by the three leads make it well worth a look even for those not enamoured by period drama.
thmtsang thmtsang
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2008
This movie is based on a novel, set in 18th century France. Two similar characters - Merteuil (Glenn Close) and Valmont (John Malkovich) scheme and manipulate to get their own revenge and desires with disastrous consequences. The movie has fab costumes. Great plot and cast. It's very theatrical.
Alice S
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2008
Seeing "Cruel Intentions" first kinda took the bloom off the rose for this film. Not that I love the prior or anything, I just knew what was going to happen and while Close and Malkovich are awesome, I'm just not die-hard fans of theirs.
mwilliams078 mwilliams078
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2008
This is a lovely period piece with power houses; Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, and John Malkovich. The story of wealthy individuals in 18th Century Europe with a bet. Can a man bed and make a woman fall in love with him...even though he has no intentions...it is pure evil the length they go to. This is very well acted along with great filming location of the grand palaces of the time and costumes...great job!
Jennifer X
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2007
it's SO wickedly amaazing. i was like rolling with desire for john malkovich, and i generally think he's a creepy man. michelle pfeiffer is beauutiful. unfortunately i think i would have enjoyed this movie more had i not seen the vastly inferior cruel intentions first.
Michael G
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2006
Not bad, not great. Just kind of there.
Jeffrey M
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2012
A solid period piece that also works as an absorbing character study, thanks to an excellent performance from the enigmatic John Malkovich. It does suffer from an overly slow pace, but is generally outweighed by the strong script and well designed scenery. The dynamic between Malkovich and Glenn Close also left something to be desired, but there's enough there to care about both characters. Overall, it has a bit of a slow middle act, but once it builds momentum, it pays off well for the melodramatic ending.

3.5/5 Stars
Rostron2 Rostron2
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2010
I'm reviewing this now years after seeing it for the first time. It curious how I thought this was an awesome film at the time, but on repeated viewings, I've liked it less and less. Not for the story or the plot, it's a nasty game of sexual manipulation that could be as true today as it was in the Louis period. However, now the actors really bother me, all except Glenn Close, and strangely Keanu Reeves. I still think Frears did a great job with this bunch, but it doesn't fascinate me as it once did. I've seen crackling stage productions now that put it to shame.
John B
Super Reviewer
February 2, 2008
There has been a lot of crap made to replicate this story in other films but the original is still by far the best. The seduction of Michelle Pfeiffer by John Malkovich is something to watch. Keanu alert here. Thankfully he barely makes an appearance.
Alec B
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2010
It becomes less believable as the film progresses, but I'm always up for a good tale of depravity and revenge.
Marcus W
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2007
It meanders along in it's own sweet time, but the script and acting are fantastic.
Sunil J
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2009
A
Erin C
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2009
Very good acting. The story wasn't the greatest, but it was still interesting.
Robert F
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2008
Dangerous Liaisons dragged on for quite a while - they always seemed to be doing the same things and the stakes were never raised or anything. I liked Glenn Close - her reactions to people when they weren't looking were priceless. It wouldn't be my favourite character she's played, though. The costumes were really great most of the time. But 18th Century French aristocratic life can be so boring, and as such, there wasn't anything captivating about this film other than what I've mentioned. Oh, and by the way - Cruel Intentions was basically this entire movie, but set in modern times, right? I never knew that until watching this.
iLeo iLeo
Super Reviewer
December 8, 2007
Interesting film!
John2223 John2223
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2007
The cruel ways two malevolent protagonists manipulate their targets and deceive others around them. Wicked and well-appointed.
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