sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: In his feature directorial debut, Steven Soderbergh demonstrates a mastery of his craft well beyond his years, pulling together an outstanding cast and an intelligent script for a nuanced, mature film about neurosis and human sexuality.


Movie Info

Steven Soderbergh kickstarted the independent film movement of the 1990s with this landmark drama about the tangled relationships among four people and a video camera. John (Peter Gallagher) is an unscrupulous, self-centered yuppie lawyer with a beautiful wife named Ann (Andie MacDowell). Ann feels secure and well provided-for in their relationship, but she has almost no interest in sex; she tells her therapist that she's more concerned about waste disposal. John, however, is still quite … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Steven Soderbergh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

WATCH IT NOW

Cast


as Cynthia Bishop

as Therapist

as Barfly

as Girl on Tape

as John's Colleague

as Graham Dalton

as Ann Millaney

as John Millaney
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Login

Critic Reviews for sex, lies, and videotape

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (10)

What amazes is that at just 26, Soderbergh displays the three qualities associated with mature filmmakers: a unique authorial voice, a spooky camera assurance, and the easy control of ensemble acting.

Full Review… | December 9, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This is a sexy, nuanced, beautifully controlled examination of how a quartet of people are defined by their erotic impulses and inhibitions.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

The actors are superb; working from Soderbergh's funny, perceptive, immaculately wrought dialogue, they ensure that the film stimulates both intellectually and emotionally.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A film whose enormous authority and intelligence extend to every detail.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A movie of prodigious power and feeling that is also high-spirited, hilarious and scorchingly erotic.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Wwriter/director/editor Soderbergh has composed a wry, highly watchable piece that comes across as a great first effort by a film-school graduate.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for sex, lies, and videotape

Steven Soderbergh establishes himself as a mature filmmaker despite his young age in his directorial debut. Everything about this independent film is well done with specific regards to the writing and acting. Though frequent with spells of uninteresting plot, 'sex, lies, and videotape' resolves marvelously. It is an emotionally resonant portrait of the middle class, sex, and marriage.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

An extremely well done sensual drama concerning a lonely, sex-shy housewife (Andie MacDowell) who is unaware that her lawyer husband (Peter Gallagher) is having an affair with her sister (Laura San Giacomo). With the arrival of a mysterious stranger (James Spader) that is thrown into their lives, each of the characters, including the stranger, begin to see everything unravel. Steven Soderbergh has made a living off of being one of the most efficient, hard-working directors in the business, and here he sports a film with a lot of indie qualities, but successfully strays from making this a pretentious exercise in sex education. Instead, he gives a lot of trust to his ensemble cast, and it pays off remarkably well, and this freedom allows James Spader to create a creepy character with a bad problem that he needs to address. There are a few loose-ends it does not tie up, including an abrupt ending, but this is mostly excellent film-making, including remarkable editing.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

A film with real depth in sexual desire and repression, Soderbergh bring his A-game for his debut film. Peter Gallagher, Annie Mcdowell, and James Spader are strong in their roles when prying in others' lives. Great watch!

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

sex, lies, and videotape Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss sex, lies, and videotape on our Movie forum!