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In the Cut (2003)


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 147
Fresh: 50
Rotten: 97

Critics Consensus: Ryan is very good playing against type, but Campion's good-looking thriller is far from thrilling.

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 12
Rotten: 27

Critics Consensus: Ryan is very good playing against type, but Campion's good-looking thriller is far from thrilling.


Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 12,629


Movie Info

Following the brutal murder of a young woman in her neighborhood, a self-determined NYU professor dares to test the limits of her own safety by propelling herself into an impossibly risky sexual liaison with a detective. As the affair increasingly pushes the limits of sexuality, she grows wary about the motives of every male with whom she has contact--including the detective.

R (for strong sexuality including explicit dialogue, nudity, graphic crime scenes and language)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Jane Campion , Susanna Moore
In Theaters:
Feb 10, 2004
Box Office:
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for In the Cut

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (97) | DVD (22)

I found the movie reasonably absorbing from moment to moment.

Full Review… | November 6, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

[T]he character that Meg Ryan is playing so well here is so compelling. I think it's a wonderful performance that the movie is worth seeing for that.

Full Review… | November 3, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

More of an intriguing project than a satisfying experience.

Full Review… | October 31, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Belabored and muddled movie, whose dreamy visual style and daring sexual material can't elide glaring inconsistencies in tone, plot and logic.

Full Review… | October 31, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

When In The Cut is good, it is very good.

Full Review… | October 31, 2003
Toronto Star
Top Critic

It's not for everyone, but I couldn't take my eyes away.

Full Review… | October 31, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Weak plot with grisly middle; should've been NC-17.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

A failed thriller, if a thriller it was intended to be. But it is a great success as... a study of female sexual psychology in a world of hypermasculine violence.

Full Review… | August 30, 2009
Antagony & Ecstasy

Should a movie be penalized for failing to be something it never tried or aspired to be? Perhaps the marketing is to blame, or the hype surrounding Meg Ryan's nudity.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

Like a long-lost relic from an earlier period best forgotten.

Full Review… | May 4, 2005
Lessons of Darkness

... a curious mistake rather than a disaster

Full Review… | January 27, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...would've been a whole lot better if it had been about 30 minutes shorter, but as it is, it's a barely passable thriller.

Full Review… | June 27, 2004
Reel Film Reviews

Too self-consciously arty and irregularly paced.

Full Review… | June 20, 2004
Goatdog's Movies

É uma pena constatar que, afinal de contas, Meg Ryan tirou a roupa por um filme que, ironicamente, também se encontra despido. Neste caso, de méritos artísticos.

Full Review… | April 17, 2004
Cinema em Cena

A flaccid thriller as lifeless as the film's many decapitated corpses.

Full Review… | April 15, 2004

Interesting throughout with an intriguing female slant not seen in most steamy psycho-thrillers.

March 1, 2004

The movie builds slowly, slowly, slowly, towards a truly stupid climax

Full Review… | February 28, 2004

The impression left is that one can turn a serial-killer movie into a pretentious art-house film, but why would you want to?

Full Review… | February 13, 2004
Atlantic City Weekly

It's an experiment that's only partially successful. As a character study, In the Cut is sublime; as a murder mystery, however, the film is slightly ridiculous.

Full Review… | January 15, 2004

Jane Campion, best known for the ugly and overrated The Piano, has tried her hand at a mainstream film.

Full Review… | January 1, 2004

A movie that moves between pretentious and incompetent, a sleazy straight-to-video-style sex and violence crapfest which ends up simply laughable when it tries to go arty.

December 14, 2003

A minutely etched study in mood and female psychology.

Full Review… | December 2, 2003
Sight and Sound

Elegantly shot but poorly assembled, Campion's fractured film [has] . . . a lot of vivid blood and guts, but no head and brains to control the flow of passion.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

In the Cut seemed better by its end than it did in its beginning, it seemed creepier the next morning...and its power only increased on a second viewing.

Full Review… | November 29, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

Shifting focus within individual shots, playing background city noises louder than dialogue, and covering everything in a yellow-urine haze, it's a forced approach to dread.

Full Review… | November 22, 2003

"In the Cut" is like a professionally wrapped package with a mound of garbage inside.

Full Review… | November 17, 2003
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Audience Reviews for In the Cut


This film makes even better viewing second time around, an Erotic Thriller that pushes boundaries and risk taking with a woman who takes voyeuristic fantasies to a new and intense level, beyond her comfort zone, this sort of parodies Meg Ryan's acting career too, this being beyond her comfort zone in image and typecast roles.

A serial killer film to keep the audience focused, almost sub-plotted to heighten the intensity heightens.

Great performances all around particularly Mark Ruffalo, enjoyed Jennifer Jason Leigh's character too and Meg Ryan as you've never seen her.

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

Cast: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Bacon, Nick Damici, Sharrieff Pugh

Director: Jane Campion

Summary: Frannie (Meg Ryan) is a New York writing professor entwined in an erotic affair with a police detective (Mark Ruffalo) who's investigating the murder of a young woman in Frannie's neighborhood. But soon Frannie begins to suspect her lover's involvement in the crime.

My Thoughts: "Considering the cast I was expecting better, but it was just so not good at all. The acting was there, but the story and all of the other stuff just was crap. Usually I will recommend a movie even when I don't like it, or care for to much, but this isn't even worth that. Just a pointless, boring, and too long of a film."


Super Reviewer


"in the cut" was an erotic novel written by susanna moore before jane campion adapted it into a woman's picture stirred with family drama, romance, trust. gore and sex. i read that damned novel before i watched the picture, which didn't interest me at all for the sake of meg ryan (=chick flick).jane campion tends to quieten and soften the brash tone of sadomasochistic perversion in the book, where susanna moore reveals her thick obsession with fellatio and forcible semi-rape fornications.

basically the scenario is a literature-teacher accidentally witnessing a woman performing fellatio to a man in local bar when she tries to find a restroom. later she discovers the fellatio-girl is murdered by the man, whom she guess might be the police lieutenant who inquests her for the peculiar tatoo on his wrist. somehow the woman professor ends up bedding this macho lieutenant who is excellent at oral sex while suspecting he might be the ferocious killer who disposes of the fellatio girl. the condition worsens as the professor's best-friend/half-sister has her head chopped off in the bathroom sink, and at the same time professor finds the remains of her friend's jewlry in the lieutenant's pocket after a naughty fling of stormy lovemaking. so she flees for rescue and leaves the lieutenant handcuffed, but unwisely she's trapped in the hands of the real killer.

i'm a literatue-major, i cannot help but focus on the book, which is harsher, dirtier and far more nasty then the movie could have ever been, written in a pseudo- stream of consciousness way of first person narration. the book could be a feminist noir for having the woman as the one to collect all the fissures of murders just like the detective in noir, of course, conventional noir is male sap crazing for the femme fatale, and here our woman is drooling over men, her homme fatale with her brazen talks of nymphmaniac desires. the most morbid part is probably that she gets titilated to watch that fellatio sex in the bar and masturbate at night imagining her lieutenant as the head-receiver. she's aware this man could be a pervert, murderer and she gets horny for IT, enjoying his various rough ways of abusive matings as well as the notion of him enslavening her on bed. in the end, even the killer is not the lieutenant but it is very obvious why she gets misled so. (because subconsciously the idea of bedding a killer is quite an appetizer to her, and the mixture of gore and orgasm is quite an turn-on for her)...the passage of her naked revelations of desire is actually quite sickening to read along as if this woman wishes to be FUCKED TO DEATH!! wouldn't the noir men in james m cain's novels, like double indemnity, be also like that? they wish for a taste of the super-cunt then perishes with it as walter cannot resist phyllis, as robert mitchum voluntarily chooses to drive together with jane greer in "out of the past" to rush toward self-ruin. this book surely has one of most jaw-dropping ending for self-ruin. ain't noir always about mascochist's reckless cost on the quest of libido-fulfillments?

but the movie is DIFFERENT despite the basic plots are the same. jane campion tenderizes it with a touch of family romance. champion adds the part of the woman's visualized montages of her father proposing to her mom in ice-skating, and her reminiscence of the family past before her dad left her mom with a broken-heart, and that casts a shadow of doubt over her relationships with men. the movie uses that part to reflect the woman's emotional states: when her half-sis is killed, the montage gets deformed into a nightmare of his dad cutting her mom's legs with ice-skater. when she finally survives over the killer's devilish claws, the montage transmutes into her mom terminates the father with a pistol. when she disintegrates the negative pattern of family drama, she could manage to reform a more positive relationship with the opposite sex. meg ryan is far more ladylike than susanna moore's lascivious protagonist in the book, and she acts more like a sympathetically astayed woman who melts with a man due to human frailty and spritual desolation for the lack of a caring father figure. fellatio is only mentioned for the murderous scene and the movie tends to focus much more upon cunniligus to rid off its misogynistic elements.(it's quite an irony such woman-insulting novel is actually written by a woman) jane campion is quite creative to envision ways to joint the genre of noirish horror with the tint of woman's picture, which is about romance and her disorientated journey for affections, but somehow campion might encounter the dillemma of not pleasing audience in both genres. i admire such gritts and courage, and it is indeed pitiful this movie is so under-rated and neglected, even smart critic like rogert ebert cannot really grasp what campion tries to say.

i must say "in the cut" would probably be much cooler if it was directed by david lynch, who is quite good at rendering misogynistic neo-noir materials.

(ps) due to my usual dislike over meg ryan, i think i'm the only one who is fair enough to give it the rating it deserves without bias. honestly meg ryan and mark ruffalo are much hotter in their nudes than i have ever expected!

if the movie is gonna be made as susanna moore wrote in the novel, jennifer jason leigh is probably a much better choice than meg ryan.

Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

Didn't know that Meg Ryan could be such a nasty girl, and oh boy was she ever nasty in this movie. Each of us posses a nasty side I am sure, But the movie itself is about a serial killer, who is killing young women and butchering them up into small little pieces and removing the head, hummm whets up with that. Anyway movie has a number of twist, I caught ion 1/2 way through who the killer was but I suspected everyone in the movie at one time or another. Its worth a rent or a buy 4 stars Meg you can handcuff me anytime.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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