Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Critic 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.
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Critic Reviews for Sex, Lies, and Videotape
What amazes is that at just 26, Soderbergh displays the three qualities associated with mature filmmakers: a unique authorial voice, a spooky camera assurance, and the easy control of ensemble acting.
This is a sexy, nuanced, beautifully controlled examination of how a quartet of people are defined by their erotic impulses and inhibitions.
The actors are superb; working from Soderbergh's funny, perceptive, immaculately wrought dialogue, they ensure that the film stimulates both intellectually and emotionally.
A film whose enormous authority and intelligence extend to every detail.
A movie of prodigious power and feeling that is also high-spirited, hilarious and scorchingly erotic.
Audience Reviews for Sex, Lies, and Videotape
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 He seems both withdrawn and 'broken' and yet sure of himself enough to convince his female friends to confess their secrets about sex.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.
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.
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.