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Basic Instinct Reviews

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John Ferguson
Radio Times

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 Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 3/5

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.

Full Review Source: Film4

March 25, 2013

Sky Movies

The result may be flimsy, but it goes out and grabs you from the start.

Full Review Source: Sky Movies | Original Score: 4/5

March 25, 2013
Jamie Graham
Total Film

Trailer trash Hitchcock spliced with overboiled film noir.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

March 25, 2013
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
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Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1/4

March 25, 2013
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 25, 2013
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 25, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel

March 25, 2013
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun

[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 Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 2/4

March 25, 2013
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 25, 2013
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2/4

March 25, 2013
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

If Basic Instinct achieves nothing else, it will replace Caligula as Bob Guccione's favorite movie.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

March 25, 2013
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

[Stone] is the very best thing about this often disappointing, frantically sexy and, ultimately, unpalatable thriller.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 25, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

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.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

March 25, 2013
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
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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.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

March 25, 2013
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Through all this, there remains that calm center of nasty, brilliant social insight.

Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy | Original Score: 8/10

June 11, 2012
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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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 Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

September 7, 2011
Hollis Griffin
Common Sense Media

Excessive whodunit is definitely not for kids.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2011
James Berardinelli
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2/4

June 10, 2008
Mark Dinning
Empire Magazine

Truly bonkers, and perhaps something of a guilty pleasure.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 2/5

February 8, 2008
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