Basic Instinct

Critics Consensus

Unevenly echoing the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Basic Instinct contains a star-making performance from Sharon Stone but is ultimately undone by its problematic, overly lurid plot.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 64

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 132,017

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Movie Info

The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal death of a rock star. Investigated by homicide detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), Catherine seduces him into an intense relationship. Meanwhile, the murder case becomes increasingly complicated when more seemingly connected deaths occur and Nick's psychologist and lover, Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), appears to be another suspect.

Cast & Crew

Michael Douglas
Det. Nick Curran, SFPD Homicide
Sharon Stone
Catherine Tramell
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Dr. Beth Garner
Denis Arndt
Lt. Philip Walker SFPD
Chelcie Ross
Capt. Talcott
Dorothy Malone
Hazel Dobkins, Catherine's Friend
Wayne Knight
John Correli
Mario Kassar
Executive Producer
Jerry Goldsmith
Original Music
Jan de Bont
Cinematographer
Terence Marsh
Production Design
Mark Billerman
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for Basic Instinct

Critic Reviews for Basic Instinct

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (30)

  • Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world.

    March 25, 2013 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • [The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.

    March 25, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.

    March 25, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.

    March 25, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    March 25, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    March 25, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Basic Instinct

  • Dec 05, 2013
    For about the first hour the movie coasts on how bonkers it is and Stone's commanding screen presence. After that it just gets boring which makes the offensive plot all the more glaring.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2013
    An erotic thriller full of intrigue, Basic Instinct is a controversial noir film from director Paul Verhoeven. The story follows a police detective that becomes obsessed with a novelist who's suspected of murdering her lover in the same manner as described in her latest book. The casting is pretty strong, and includes Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. However, it's Stone's performance that makes the film, and she does an excellent job creating a captivating and mysterious character that's always one step ahead of everyone. Still, the plot's overly complex and weaves an intricate mystery that's a bit too open ended. The gratuitous sex and violence is overdone, but Basic Instinct has compelling characters a mystery that's irresistible.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2013
    Basic Instinct is a sexual psychological thriller with twists and turns until the ending. It was undeniably intense, and explicit. It adds humor in unlikely places. The film revolves around sex, it's paced brilliantly, and you don't know anything about the two suspects true identity until last second. I'm not going to spoil it but I think the way the concluding scene is finished is smart, it leaves it to the viewer. All around a masterful thriller, that could almost be called a dirty version of Vertigo.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2012
    Basic Instinct turns out to be more of a guilty pleasure than a suspensefull thriller.
    Vincent T Super Reviewer

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