Pretty Persuasion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pretty Persuasion Reviews

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July 5, 2017
A sociopathic little darling

The curious thing about this movie set in a private Beverly Hills high school is that it is a satire on human sexual practices. Yes, a satire on sex. Usually we have sexploitation, sex titillation, etc., but making humans look ridiculous and a bit comical having sex...? That's a bit unusual. (Well, come to think of it, maybe not.)

Anyway, there is also plenty of sexploitation here and the usual hypocrisy about sex is woven in along with a surprising amount of honesty about what people do when they think no one's watching-or better yet WHEN someone is watching.

The script is clever with plenty of over the top raunchy dialog that I can't quote here. (You can go to the lengthy quotes page on IMDb and see for yourself.) But what I really liked about this movie was Evan Rachel Wood who played 15-year-old Kimberly Joyce, the sociopathic little darling. (Wood was 17 at the time.) She was so cute and so, so in love with the part. She delighted herself and me too.


Part of the comedic and bemusing effect throughout is achieved by contrasting one thing with another. For example Kimberly befriends innocent hijab-wearing Muslim girl Randa (Adi Schnall). Why? Because, Kimberly says, "when I'm standing next to you I'll look more attractive by comparison. Isn't that great?" Randa replies straight-faced, "Very nice."

Another example is when the teacher who is accused of sexual harassment by his students (and found innocent, by the way) gives a birthday present to his wife. It is a skirt very similar to the ones worn by his students. He has her put it on and he more or less drools, suggesting that maybe he isn't so innocent.

Finally I must note in passing that James Woods who plays Kimberly's father looked pathetic on the couch in his underwear as he receives titillation from his cell phone. That scene shows me that James Woods is a pure actor who cares not how embarrassed he's going to be when, yes, he actually sees the movie.

--Dennis Littrell, author of the movie review book, "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote"
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2016
I beg to differ!!! So this film has a pretty low tomatometer and I don't understand. The film is very dark in terms of the absence of likeable characters... and yet it is VERY funny and very well written. Think Election crossed with Mean Girls and you have some idea of the tone. I enjoyed it. A lot.
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2016
Wood was amazing in this; however, the movie itself was not good.
June 4, 2015
Has potential and it was decent, but it jumped around too much. I expected more from this cast.
February 21, 2015
Tries to be Mean Girls meets Heathers but falls way short of the mark.
½ April 27, 2014
Pretty interesting a few twist and turns and it doesn't end the way you think it will. Main reason to watch is for the smoking hot Evan Rachel Wood who looks the best I've seen her in this. Really well written movie that's worth checking out
½ April 23, 2014
It has its moments where the film is really funny and even touching but it still doesn't come together. The also cast does a great job.
November 30, 2013
This was a very dark comedy.
November 3, 2013
the title of the movie and the DVD cover looked so cool. but the story...hmmmmm... at least, i learned honesty and friendships are important.
July 3, 2013
I've heard mixed reviews, but it sounds interesting enough.
½ March 30, 2013
Hey, look! It's 'Election', but for smug idiots! And way more self-satisfied! This movie is a 14-year-old who uses the adjective 'Machiavellian' twice a week but has never actually read the the book. I would beg the writer to never, ever do it again, but I looked at his IMDB page, and it looks like a pretty safe bet that he already got that request loud and clear.
½ March 22, 2013

Fits nicely on the shelf, next to HEATHERS.
½ March 16, 2013
It was a movie about a very manipulative girl that would do anything for fame, with many twists and turns. Carried on by an excellent performance by Evan Rachel Wood. Pretty persuasion is evil, twisted and very smart.
February 6, 2013
Weird, weird, weird movie. Evan Rachel Wood was quite good in this, but is very similar to a lot of her roles of late, notably Running with scissors. There were some stand out comedic moments here but these infrequent occurrences were overshadowed by a deeply disturbing plot and outcome. The use of sex in this movie made me feel uncomfortable while watching it, it just felt wrong to call this entertainment. I guess it started with a sub par script and just kept going from there.
January 31, 2013
One of my favorite films, Evan did a fantastic job.
January 21, 2013
Pretty Persuasion is an intrigue that will leave you breathless with shock. It is devious, manipulative, and well thought out.

Each character has enough depth to be solidly constructed and give us meaningful dialogs. Sometimes, as we follow the main girl, it feels like a monologue, a dry one, but all of it points to a genius after what she wants.

The tone is just, some elements are a bit caricatural, but never over the top, just enough to resonate with the audience, and make a point. The whole setup is simple, like the editing, the camera shots, and the story, but it all to underline the razor precision of the mind behind it all. It makes the dramatic reveal even stronger.

Do not underestimate this film, it packs a moral punch.
January 11, 2013
Although it explores a number of rising modern issues, Pretty Persuasion drowns itself in its own satire.
January 6, 2013
well written, with wonderful perfomances by entire cast.
December 7, 2012
Could watch this sometime if i can find.
December 2, 2012
Hard to grasp the ending
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