Sex, Lies, and Videotape

1989, Drama, 1h 41m

50 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

In his feature directorial debut, Steven Soderbergh demonstrates a mastery of his craft well beyond his years, pulling together an outstanding cast and an intelligent script for a nuanced, mature film about neurosis and human sexuality. Read critic reviews

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Sex, Lies, and Videotape Photos

Movie Info

Ann (Andie MacDowell) is trapped in a sexually and emotionally unfulfilled relationship with her husband, John (Peter Gallagher), a successful but unpleasant lawyer who is sleeping with her sister, Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo). The underlying tensions in the couple's marriage rise to the surface when Graham (James Spader), a friend of John's from college who's been drifting for nine years, returns to town and videotapes Cynthia and Ann as they talk about their sexual desires.

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Critic Reviews for Sex, Lies, and Videotape

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Sex, Lies, and Videotape

  • May 31, 2016
    An indie with two main topics: relationships and sex. A very well written, well acted, interesting film.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2016
    I was impressed with James Spader's role. He seems both withdrawn and 'broken' and yet sure of himself enough to convince his female friends to confess their secrets about sex. I enjoyed the film ending as well.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2013
    Steven Soderbergh establishes himself as a mature filmmaker despite his young age in his directorial debut. Everything about this independent film is well done with specific regards to the writing and acting. Though frequent with spells of uninteresting plot, 'sex, lies, and videotape' resolves marvelously. It is an emotionally resonant portrait of the middle class, sex, and marriage.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2012
    An extremely well done sensual drama concerning a lonely, sex-shy housewife (Andie MacDowell) who is unaware that her lawyer husband (Peter Gallagher) is having an affair with her sister (Laura San Giacomo). With the arrival of a mysterious stranger (James Spader) that is thrown into their lives, each of the characters, including the stranger, begin to see everything unravel. Steven Soderbergh has made a living off of being one of the most efficient, hard-working directors in the business, and here he sports a film with a lot of indie qualities, but successfully strays from making this a pretentious exercise in sex education. Instead, he gives a lot of trust to his ensemble cast, and it pays off remarkably well, and this freedom allows James Spader to create a creepy character with a bad problem that he needs to address. There are a few loose-ends it does not tie up, including an abrupt ending, but this is mostly excellent film-making, including remarkable editing.
    Dan S Super Reviewer

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