Cruel Intentions - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cruel Intentions Reviews

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January 18, 2017
Despite some cliches and a little weak script, Cruel Intentions is a movie with a lot of tension and with a perfectily chosen cast which end could please ones but not anothers. It was good but it could be very better than it was.
December 14, 2016
So amazing. Love this movie. Great casting. Great chemistry.
December 9, 2016
Why critics give it bad reviews is beyond me. It's why you have to be your own critic.
July 13, 2016
Performances from Phillippe, Gellar and Witherspoon make for a great exotic thriller.
½ July 1, 2016
They don't make teen movies like they used to.
June 6, 2016
this movie easily takes romeo & juliet but makes juliet a bad a**
May 31, 2016
Very slick in tone and featuring several future stars in early roles, this self-aware teen comedy about privileged Manhattanites playing games of seduction is very arch, offers a few insights and laughs, but doesn't quite cohere into anything very great at all.
½ May 25, 2016
What a great goddamn movie. I don't know why I never saw this until now. I guess I just had it in my head that it had a completely different vibe than it does. Easily one of my favorites of the 90s, holy shit.
½ May 21, 2016
Sarah M Gellar was sexy in this movie
May 15, 2016
For sure this is my fave teen cult classic film. It has such amazing characters, highlight for Sarah Michelle Gellar's evil bitch Kathryn, and still today it is very quotable.
½ April 30, 2016
The resolution is not as interesting as the rest of the film, but I must say everything leading up to that point is pretty damn entertaining despite some trite dialogue. It has such an attractive cast (Sarah Michelle Geller and Selma Blair made me want to jizz all over my pants), and the game these characters play is thrilling and god damn sexy. Cruel Intentions is pretty good fun.
½ April 22, 2016
The definition of a guilty pleasure movie, especially around the time it came out. So bad, but so good, especially if you like the topic.
½ April 2, 2016
Overrated cliches with some great casting and music. It's the storyline that needs work.
½ March 28, 2016
A titillating and fantastic indulgence in a world of overindulgence.
March 24, 2016
An average movie with decent acting and a good plot.
March 23, 2016
10/10 best of both worlds, la pinche mamada, PINCHE PELICULA BUENA
½ March 20, 2016
I quite enjoyed this. I never expected that Geller could pull of such a role but she did it really well. Not a bad story; one for the dads.
March 9, 2016
A most unsatisfying and unsatisfactory film : another one that seemed uncertain as to what it wanted to be ; Reese Witherspoon : a sex symbol? I don't think so ; and a strange decision to have someone so obviously gay playing the lead man (Rhys someone or other who I've never heard of).
The moral of the tale is : it is always a mistake for people in their late 20s or early 30s to still be at High School ...
½ March 8, 2016
Other than Sarah Michelle Gellar being a total hottie bitch babe in this movie... nothing whatsoever special here.
½ March 2, 2016
"Cruel Intentions" is a marvelously devious teen film. Why, then, must it undermine what it has going for it during its last act, where malevolence turns into predictable, gooey trite, and where snappy sardonicism becomes sluggish and frustratingly moralizing? This is a movie that rides high on the fumes of manipulation, sex, and luring self-regard, and yet it closes itself off with an ending better suited for a teenage comedy. Villains, more or less, are the central characters of "Cruel Intentions," and I'd be lying if I said a part of me didn't want to see them be victims of petty revenge. But must it be done so artificially, so tactfully?
I can't let the failure of its finale get the best of me, because most of the film works. A modernized rendition of classic French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" (1782), it takes the sinful escapades of its source and successfully makes its erotic hoodwinks undeniably entertaining. We've seen its story many times before, brought to the screen five or so times with similar air. Unfamiliar with the most widely celebrated adaptation, the 1988 version, I'm perhaps the best sort of viewer for "Cruel Intentions," aware of the expectations of the plot but not so familiar with them that it inhibits my enjoyment.
The adult, aristocratic characters of novel are traded in the film for an attractive teenage (played by twenty-somethings) ensemble well-suited for this kind of material (with the exception of Selma Blair, who takes coy to levels better fit for a child actress trying to make the transition into adult roles). It stars Ryan Phillippe as Sebastian Valmont, a poor little rich boy whose good looks and sly flirtations have made him an infamous womanizer. He savors his ability to seduce nearly any woman he wants, consequence slim because of his high familial status and because of the way he looks like an Abercrombie model on his day off.
But his sexual conquests are only distractions from the girl he really wants. She is Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar), his provocative stepsister. Their respective parents have married only recently, and an animal attraction has existed ever since. But Kathryn is a twisted scoundrel of a woman, and, like Sebastian, uses the opposite sex like a dog chews up rawhide. But unlike Sebastian, Kathryn doesn't even seem to enjoy sex - she wallows in the process of temptation, but isn't so much enamored when the point of her being irresistible comes to a close. So while she likes Sebastian, and while Sebastian clearly likes her, she holds him off. Until a nefarious scheme pops up in his mind.
He is planning to seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), a girl-next-door of a blond who has achieved mini-fame from Seventeen magazine for an article in which she expressed her desire to remain a virgin until marriage. Since she's the daughter of Sebastian and Kathryn's new school headmaster, she'll be arriving shortly, Sebastian determined to put an end to her virtue almost as soon as she sets foot in the city. Kathryn, intrigued, makes a deal with her stepbrother. If he fails to entice Annette into a one-night-stand, she gets his enviable sports car. If he succeeds, he can have her all to himself for a night. Sebastian, wanting Kathryn more than anyone, takes the offer. Little does her know, however, that Annette is not the kind of girl you just seduce and destroy; she's the kind of girl you love and cherish, feelings he thought were only found in optimistic tall tales.
"Cruel Intentions" is a classic instance of a film that begins with premier promise but invariably descends into bittersweet melodrama that doesn't suit it. For its first forty-five minutes, it is a terrific piece of teen soap opera, scenes written with pertinacious smash, the acting certifiably overblown in a good way. The evil of Sebastian and Kathryn is devilishly pleasurable to watch, their selfishness disconcertingly cerebral to watch. We, despite our best judgments, like watching them plot to destroy the lives of others. Compulsively fascinating villains are a difficult thing to write, and writer/director Roger Kumble brings the sinuous zest of his source to life with modern freshness. To transform Choderlos de Laclos's words into a teen movie is no easy feat, but Kumble does the impossible and makes a film depicting adolescent sex and malice with believability. For the most part.
"Cruel Intentions" is a lot of fun until it isn't anymore, until its theatrics begin to lose their acidity in trade of unwanted sentimentalism. I despise the subplot involving Kathryn's ruining of Cecile (Blair), a virgin who stole a potential love interest, not necessarily because it isn't well-written but because Blair's performance so thoroughly destroys the careful camp Kumble so deliciously writes. Also despicable are the film's depiction of gay characters (one is seen throwing his Judy Garland CDs in the trash after a breakup, another a stereotype of misguided, stereotype enforcing femininity), and its usage of a black man as a token temptation rather than an actual person.
But one can't expect a film of "Cruel Intentions's" tawdriness to be completely agreeable in its every move, and I suppose it is to be predicted that an elite piece of Hollywood popcorn might have a problem with authenticity. But there's also a lot to revel in in the film, from Gellar's fantastic performance (and her chemistry with Phillippe) to Kumble's savagely smart treatment of it all. If its final act weren't such an uneven mess, I might call it a guilty pleasure. But guilty pleasures should bring no pain, and the conclusion to this film does. It comes close to being adequate soap opera, but not quite.
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