Basic Instinct Reviews

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John Ferguson
Radio Times
March 25, 2013
Joe Eszterhas shamelessly reworks ideas and themes he had earlier exploited in films such as Jagged Edge and Music Box, but the sheer overheated nature of Verhoeven's direction makes this extremely watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Film4
March 25, 2013
Flashy, raunchy and schlocky, Basic Instinct is classic nineties noir for which Verhoeven's overblown direction and Stone's exposure secured a place in movie history.

Sky Movies
March 25, 2013
The result may be flimsy, but it goes out and grabs you from the start.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jamie Graham
Total Film
March 25, 2013
Trailer trash Hitchcock spliced with overboiled film noir.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
March 25, 2013
Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
March 25, 2013
[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
March 25, 2013
Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
March 25, 2013
The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun
March 25, 2013
[Verhoeven] has always had a skill for storytelling, however questionable and tasteless the materials; but here he is hopelessly defeated by Ezsterhas' talky, slow-moving, and derivative script.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2013
Basic Instinct is a reminder of the difference between exhilaration and exhaustion, between tension and hysteria, between eroticism and exhibitionism. The line may be fine, but it is real enough to separate the great thrillers from the also-rans.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 25, 2013
Call me a prude, but it's not sexy watching an erotic thriller in which every time a couple does it, one of them gets it with an ice pick. I don't care how many firmly toned tummies and tushes are bared.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
March 25, 2013
If Basic Instinct achieves nothing else, it will replace Caligula as Bob Guccione's favorite movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
March 25, 2013
[Stone] is the very best thing about this often disappointing, frantically sexy and, ultimately, unpalatable thriller.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
March 25, 2013
There's nothing new about this ploy, or about much else in Basic Instinct, but it's disheartening to see that Hollywood is still afflicted by its age-old anxiety toward strong, confident women.
Top Critic
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
March 25, 2013
A vicious, grindingly manipulative urban mystery that uses a thick atmosphere of S&M kinkiness to distract the audience from the story's thinness and inanity.
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
June 11, 2012
Through all this, there remains that calm center of nasty, brilliant social insight.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Sharon Stone, in her first major-league role, comes on like a postfeminist Grace Kelly. She turns her haughty, slightly blank, cheerleader sexiness into something vampish and ominous -- an all-American beauty mask.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Hollis Griffin
Common Sense Media
January 1, 2011
Excessive whodunit is definitely not for kids.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 10, 2008
The film's problems begin with its story, which is constructed with relentless manipulation in mind. It never plays fair with the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Dinning
Empire Magazine
February 8, 2008
Truly bonkers, and perhaps something of a guilty pleasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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