Basic Instinct

Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 28
  2. Negative: 9 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. Tampa Bay Times
    Reviewed by: Hal Lipper
    Oct 15, 2014
    50
    Basic Instinct has the action and gore of Verhoeven's Total Recall and the cool sheen of his equally bloody RoboCop. Verhoeven can deliver style in spades, but Eszterhas' jumble of confusing plot twists and conventional movie cliches proves fatal. [20 Mar 1992, p.29]
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 15, 2014
    50
    Joe Eszterhas' screenplay doesn't make sense, and he doesn't bother to hide this fact. In the end, Basic Instinct teases and screws us with the same efficiency that the film's femme fatale handles the protagonist.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Hunter
    Oct 15, 2014
    50
    Overpublicized and underbrained,Basic Instinct is a bitter disappointment, worth maybe a 10th of the hype that the media have so obligingly ladled out for its benefit.
  4. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Oct 15, 2014
    50
    Basic Instinct's characters lack psychology and therefore motive. Admittedly they possess pathology, but that's not enough to maintain suspense in a movie with plot holes big enough to drive a tank through.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    This reflects its fundamental flaw of arrogance, a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.
  6. 50
    The film is like a crossword puzzle. It keeps your interest until you solve it. Then it's just a worthless scrap with the spaces filled in.
  7. The worst things about Basic Instinct, though, are the explicit "love" scenes. They're supposed to contribute to a heady equation in which sex, violence and psychology are fused; instead, they're gratuitous, exploitative, and entirely unerotic.
  8. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    50
    Uninvolving. Even the sex is boring. Are these scenes supposed to be wildly erotic? If they are, they don't work. [20 Mar 1992, Daily Notebook, p.D1]
  9. Despite (or maybe because of) his obligatory nods to Hitchcock, this is slick and entertaining enough to work quite effectively as thriller porn, even with two contradictory denouements to its mystery (take your pick--or rather, your ice pick).
  10. Verhoeven's film is fascinating, if stupid and stylish, if shallow. The story has to move along at a fair clip because otherwise we'd notice how nonsensical it all is. And there is very little to connect with emotionally.
  11. 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. And Basic Instinct is not a great thriller.
User Score
4.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 222 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Apr 2, 2014
    3
    not to good for the kids the guy at blockbuster down on 3rd said that it was a good movie and i watched it with my grandson.not to good for the kids the guy at blockbuster down on 3rd said that it was a good movie and i watched it with my grandson.
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    Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2011
    2
    I felt like I was watching a porno, with the same production value and cheap plot. The sex scenes were entirely over the top, and the movieI felt like I was watching a porno, with the same production value and cheap plot. The sex scenes were entirely over the top, and the movie was extremely predictable. Pretty much a waste of 2 hours. Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2013
    5
    Here we have a typical erotic-thriller which works (Besides the plot holes, and the unbelievable actions some characters make), because SharonHere we have a typical erotic-thriller which works (Besides the plot holes, and the unbelievable actions some characters make), because Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas were looking good, and had some screen-chemistry. The script (while nothing special) creates enough tension to keep you watch the whole movie, but the ending is confusing and disappointing. Full Review »