Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A cruel wager is made between the beautiful but deviousMarquise de Merteuil (Close) and her former lover, the Vicomte de Valmont (Malkovich). The Marquise challenges Valmont to seduce the virginal Cecile de Volanges (Thurman) before the girl can be wed. As a counter-challenge Valmont bets the Marquise that he will be able to bed the married Madame de Tourvel (Pfeiffer). Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. In "Fatal Attraction" [Close] was a woman out of control. Here she's in control of her emotions, too much in control. When Merteuil finally lets loose and gives way to complete animal despair, Close is horrifying. [13 Jan 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
  2. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    100
    A delectably naughty experience. This sort of wit and immediacy is extraordinarily rare in a period film.
  3. Nothing Miss Close has done on the screen before approaches the richness and comic delicacy of her work as the Marquise. [21 Dec 1988, p.C22]
  4. The film seems a bit studied, but the creepy plot still holds a certain fascination.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    The distanced result, screen-adapted by playwright Christopher Hampton, never quite overwhelms you. [21 Dec 1988, Life, p.1D]
  6. No matter how many times the script instructs us that Valmont is "conspicuously charming," Malkovich is not charming, conspicuously or otherwise.
  7. A second-rate adaptation of the second-rate Choderlos de Laclos novel: two hours of pretty people sitting in pretty rooms and talking about sex. [23 Dec 1988, A& L, p.19]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. RachelS.
    May 12, 2006
    10
    Simply the truest reflection of the battle of the sexes that there has ever been.
  2. Nov 25, 2012
    6
    First of all, no offence, but calling John Malkovich

See all 6 User Reviews