Basic Instinct (1992)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic 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.

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Movie Info

Michael Douglas stars with red-hot Sharon Stone in this groundbreaking and controversial film that redefined the genre of the sexy thriller.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, nudity, sex)
Genre:
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Artisan Entertainment

Cast

Michael Douglas
as Nick Curran
Sharon Stone
as Catherine Tramell
Jeanne Tripplehorn
as Dr. Beth Garner
Denis Arndt
as Lieutenant Walker
Bruce A. Young
as Andrews
Chelcie Ross
as Captain Talcott
Wayne Knight
as John Correli
Daniel von Bargen
as Lieutenant Nilsen
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Dr. Lamott
Benjamin Mouton
as Harrigan
Jack McGee
as Sheriff
Bill Cable
as Johnny Boz
Stephen Rowe
as Internal Affairs Investigator
Mitch Pileggi
as Internal Affairs Investigator
Mary Pat Gleason
as Juvenile Officer
Freda Foh Shen
as Berkeley Registrar
James Rebhorn
as Dr. McElwaine
David Wells
as Polygraph Examiner
Bradford English
as Campus Policeman
Juanita Jennings
as Receptionist
Craig C. Lewis
as Bartender at Police Bar
Keith Henry McDaniel
as Featured Dancer
Peter Appel
as Detective
Michael Halton
as Bartender at County Western Bar
Keith A. McDaniel
as Featured Dancer
Eric Poppick
as Coroner's Guy
Ron Cacas
as Policeman
Elsie Sniffen
as Roxy's Friend
Ken Liebenson
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Lindy Rasmusson
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Byron Berline
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Eddie Dunbar
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Tod McKibbin
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Julie RitterLinda Bond
as Hand Puppet Model
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Critic Reviews for Basic Instinct

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (17)

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

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

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… | March 25, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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… | March 25, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Basic Instinct

Took me till 2016 to finally see this. Not as shocking or sleazy as expected. Aside from the scene everyone talks about. Actually a bit dull. Sliver was better tacky 90's viewing.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

"Basic Instinct" is the type of interesting film that is both insane and calm at the same time. If you are watching anyone besides Michael Douglas on screen, they seem almost as if nothing has happened. As the opening scene of the film shows a very sexual murder, the remainder is about trying to put together the pieces as to who actually killed this man. It may not be a perfect movie, due to the predictability, but it sure has you guessing. I really enjoyed watching this film and I almost came to love it, until the final shot of the film. The last shot throws the entire film through a loop and makes everything confusing. This is a great film at it's core, but sometimes falls flat. Still, I loved watching it.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

If I'm not mistaken, this is probably the gold standard of erotic thrillers. It's a stylish, lurid romp that owes a fair debt to Hitchcock, but due to just how graphic and sleazy it gets sometimes, the film really has far more in common with the works of Hitch devotee Brian De Palma more than anything. Nick Curran is a troubled cop with a troubled past whose latest murder investigation leads him to Catherine Tramell- a lovely bisexual author of sleazy pulp who is the prime suspect because her lover is the victim, and was killed in a fashion basically verbatim from a scene from one of her novels. Nick makes the questionable decision to begin a torrid affair with Tramell, as he is really unsure if she's truly the suspect, but also because she's just too alluring to ignore, no matter how much danger could be involved. The film really tows the line between exploitative sleaze and actual cinematic merit. It's not always balanced, as the plot often gets cast aside for sex and violence, but the film is certainly nothing if not intensely memorable. The look is great, the score is phenomenal, the performances are quite solid, especially from Stone as Tramell, and, if you watch the director's cut, the film really delivers the goods where the violence and lust are concerned. This sort of thing is generally Z-Grade schlock, but I found the treatment of the material here to be surprisingly solid and entertaining. It's no masterpiece of course, but it's certainly a highlight on the B-List of Verhoeven's filmography.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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