Dangerous Liaisons - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dangerous Liaisons Reviews

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½ March 22, 2016
I'm actually not the biggest fan of the story in DANGEROUS LIAISONS, and I think that the other famous adaptation, CRUEL INTENTIONS, actually does a better job bringing out the juvenility by making the principals teenagers. Still, for what the story lacks in likability, DANGEROUS LIAISONS makes up in spades with class. Although the satire is still there, I much preferred the biting wit and dialogue in this version. Glenn Close has rarely been better and gets most of the choice lines/moments, but most of the rest of the cast doesn't slouch either. John Malkovich was one of the issues I had with the film. He has played a lot of devious characters before and since, but I didn't care for the way he underplayed his character's malicious intent. To be honest, his performance could have used a little more "spice." Still, he did a passable job. The only member of the cast I didn't like at all, although he has a small role, was Keanu Reeves as an effete music teacher and paramour of Uma Thurman. His line readings were awful and showed that he really isn't up to the task (at least not at this point in his career) of performances requiring some degree of dramatic heft. Aside from the sexual politics which, although betraying the period it was written in, were still well-played and explicated, my favorite aspects of the film were the production design and score. For a period piece, this ranks very high in terms of quality and attention to detail. I also liked the harpsichord-heavy score which accentuated the stylization and formality of the time (among aristocrats). The score also had moments of darkness in appropriate scenes, particularly towards the end. Ultimately, I find the idea of the story, with bored aristocrats playing sexual games with each other, to be somewhat banal and passe (not to mention, sexist), but the way it is executed in DANGEROUS LIAISONS makes it a great deal more palatable.
½ January 7, 2016
Surprisingly great movie. Great performance on all sides. Slow moving but easily one of my new favorites and something to shut the Jane Austin prudes up.
November 24, 2015
A true exploration of creepy human behavior.
October 31, 2015
a well filmed and acted 1988 movie set in France in the late 1700s a film about lust,passion,and betrayal.
October 26, 2015
Malkovich and Close knock it out of the park
August 6, 2015
This would've been a flawless erotic drama if it weren't for the fact that period films and American accent just don't mix. The lighting, the costumes and the music were all spot on but then the actors open their mouths and I'm immediately put off. Having said that, there were a couple of brilliant performances here, particularly Glenn Close who is as formidable as ever. John Malkovitch, on the other hand is as always, trying to hard that he pushes himself from brilliant to over the top. The existence of Keanu Reeves in this film makes me feel sorry for him.
½ June 10, 2015
This is my mother's favorite film so I was expecting a lot and I was very bored and disappointed and in awe at how awful keanu reeves was. It was as horrible as his acting in Bram stokers dracula. BLEH!
May 29, 2015
Fun movie, but I just don't buy Malkovitch as a seducer. He does the detached, bored aristocrat who judges everyone and is a dick pretty well. But what does Michelle Pheiffer's character see in him? He doesn't play weak, pathetic and penitent very well. He's also not all that seductive. He mostly just smashes his face against her face and grabs her a bunch. I'd get a restraining order, not want to save him with my vagina. But aside from that, I enjoyed the cast and the outfits.
½ May 27, 2015
Wow talk about drama! I kind of knew I'd love this movie-I'm a sucker for period pieces especially ones set in France during 18th century. This movie had an all-star cast well casted, amazing costumes and set designs, smart script, great score, interesting scheme, romance triangles on romance triangles, sexiness- u name it! I must admit at times the script was a little too witty and fast and was hard to keep up with especially when there was so many different French names to remember and the performances were so captivating. Honestly I was like can Malkovich pull off a charming ladies sexy guy, but he did great. Close was scary her performance was so good, her facial expressions could turn a person to stone! Keanu reeves and Thurman played the parts of young naive ingenues well. Pfeiffer did good but I found her character not as convincing and over-dramatic. I kind of knew this movie wasn't going to end well with all the drama and suspense, what a movie!
May 25, 2015
3 strong performances, witty, clever and ultimately tragic game of human cruelty. Despite some odd choices by Stephen Frears regarding casting. Keanu Reeves? -- the movie has more than a few magical moments.
April 15, 2015
A wager of the damned is as entertaining as it is well acted.
March 1, 2015
Well acted with a biting script. But I don't understand the ending. I guess you truly can die from a broken heart.
February 23, 2015
Battle of the sexes is wicked good fun!
February 19, 2015
Featuring a powerhouse cast and Academy Award nominated performances from Glenn Close and Uma Thurman, Dangerous Liaisons sounded like a well-acted feature.

Dangerous Liaisons is surely not my kind of film. The general basis of the film seems to be that it is a costume drama, and that is one of my significantly lesser preferred genres in the world of cinema. I am always open to new films, but the genre that Dangerous Liaisons rests on is not one which grasps me. As a result of that, the film did not end up being much better than I could have hoped. I admired many qualities about the film such as its language and its style, but the story itself did not grasp me all that much.
For the screenplay to be adapted from an 18th century French novel and yet still maintain the intelligent drama, characters and humour of the source material in a 20th century English adaptation is thoroughly impressive and it gives the film a strong basis. The characters in the film present a lot of potential to the cast who really manage to take it in a direction which capitalises on their talents, but the story itself just did not do the job for me.
In sticking to its theatrical roots, the scale of Dangerous Liaisons is very small in scale. In a strange contrast to this, there are a lot of characters to keep up with in the story who are all key in relevance. They cross with the political nature of the film to tell a complicated story of manipulation and sex, but this is brought down by the fact that the film fails to truly establish its setting with enough depth. It is easy to forget the setting of the tale due to the fact that the language is fluently written English dialect, even if the characters still maintain their original French names. I often forgot about this and just tried to enjoy the story, but I found it to be a dull and melodramatic one which did not grasp me or even get me caught up in the seductive nature of the story. Perhaps what I was feeling was a sense of Hollywood whitewashing in the fact that Dangerous Liaisons attempted to tell a French story with an English language cast and production team. I felt as if this removed the passion of the story, particularly considering the seductive nature of the French language which failed to generate the same feeling in the English language. Perhaps fans of the source material can admire this adaptation for staying true to the source material and remaining a stylish costume drama, but as I have never read into the material and am not the biggest fan of the genre it just fails to do the job for me.
Though the narrative in Dangerous Liaisons failed to grasp me, I will admit that I enjoyed the directorial work of Stephen Frears. Clearly a man with a passion for imagery, Stephen Frears takes the story of Dangerous Liaisons and brings it to colourful life. The costumes in the film are beautifully detailed and the production design follows closely while it is all revealed against the backdrop of beautiful scenery. But on a more narrative driven level, the cast really stand out.
Glenn Close leads Dangerous Liaisons very well. Capturing a strong level of sophistication and a subtle sense of passion, Glenn Close takes on a leading role in Dangerous Liaisons and works her own charm really well into the part. She never steps out of character in a physical sense and plays with her emotions nicely, but best of all her line delivery is very smooth without neglecting the key emotional relevance of everything within it. Glenn Close does not get melodramatic in her role, she remains restrained but clearly talented and so her efforts are impossible to ignore in Dangerous Liaisons.
It is John Malkovich that truly dominates however. Though not without his handsome and likable charms, John Malkovich captivates viewers in Dangerous Liaisons by being so cleverly manipulative both with the character and generally in the character. His line delivery is full of strong tenacity over the character and even over the audience as he grasps the attention of viewers whenever he is on screen. Lost deep in the character, John Malkovich shares a powerful chemistry with every other actor in Dangerous Liaisons and delivers yet another powerful performance which matches the theatrical nature of the tale.
Michelle Pfeiffer is also on par. Despite being much younger than her fellow cast members, she stands out as one of the best actors to have on board due to her ability to portray a sense of youthful innocence through her natural sense of beauty. Her spirit and passion for the part is admirable and she plays it in a similarly restrained manner to Glenn Close yet managing to capture a stonger sense of drama in the character. Michelle Pfeiffer is a perfect casting decision for Dangerous Liaisons with a passionate spirit that burns through the film from start to finish.
Uma Thurman delivers a strikingly memorable performance. From 6 years before her Academy Award nominated breakthrough performance in Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman delivers a thoroughly powerful performance in Dangerous Liaisons. Caught up in the themes of innocence and sexuality of the film, Uma Thurman plays a character indifferent to the world that her character becomes exposed to as the narrative unfolds. She keeps up with the material very well and expresses a fearless dedication to her role which would prove to be one of her greatest assets in the years to come. Uma Thurman delivers in Dangerous Liaisons and her appearance is one of her most memorable in her long career.

So Dangerous Liaisons has a screenplay with strong dialogue, a powerful cast and a sense of style. Unfortunately, its inability to transcend the limitations of a basic costume drama make the fact that it is a whitewashed Hollywood adaptation of a French story of seduction clearly a problem.
January 30, 2015
it was okay very different movie
January 27, 2015
Great adaptation from the novel, with an unbielievable cast of young stars, that eventually turned out to have a great future in cinema, and already well known actors. The screenwriters could go even further but they cut some part of the original book, but the result is excellent anyway.
½ January 18, 2015
A truly exceptional performance from Glen Close who takes the role of a deliciously malicious leading lady redeems the somewhat minor failings of Dangerous Liaisons, as this is a darkly humorous subversion of 18th century British sexual and religious politics.
January 13, 2015
Sex, politics, seduction at its best in the form of a very entertaining costume movie with amazing performances.
January 10, 2015
One of my all-time favorite movies. The costumes, set design and the acting were all very near perfection.
December 19, 2014
Dangerous liaisons was extremely fascinating historical drama. It was seductive and evil at the same time thanks to smart direction by Stephen Fears. Glenn Close and Michelle Pffeiffer were excellent in their roles. John Malkovich had that evil smile in entire movie, it was quite creepy, he seems like a very interesting actor with no emotion at all.
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