Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 63
    Fatal Attraction is a spellbinding psychological thriller that could have been a great movie if the filmmakers had not thrown character and plausibility to the winds in the last minutes to give us their version of a grown-up "Friday the 13th."
  2. The style is slick, the action is suspenseful, and despite the explicitness of the sex scenes, the message is against extramarital affairs.
  3. While billed as a romance and a thriller, the film strictly qualifies as neither, appealing to our prurience, guilt, hatred, and dread.
  4. Fatal Attraction becomes as seductive as the seduction it depicts. In the always stylish, sometimes careless hands of director Adrian Lyne, the film lures us in with an artful blend of stately pacing and caressing close-ups and brooding silences. [23 Sep 1987 p.C7]
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Well-made fictions like Fatal Attraction prosper because they seem more persuasive than fact.
  6. One of the most effective thrillers in years, Attraction did an excellent job of mixing its suspense with trendy issues of sexual paranoia and monogamy. [27 Dec 1987, p.19]
  7. Mr. Lyne takes a brilliantly manipulative approach to what might have been a humdrum subject and shapes a soap opera of exceptional power.
  8. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    80
    Two absolutely riveting performances and a smart reversal of the usual male-female stalker scenario leave behind a nasty taste and an unforgettable cinema experience.
  9. 90
    This is a spectacularly well-made thriller. It is an odd thing, really -- the movie is sexy and at the same time a warning about the costs of sex.
  10. Mr. Lyne is able to make things look the way they're supposed to look because he trained in the television-commercial world. But he has a hard time getting beneath the gloss. [17 Sep 1987, p.1]
  11. Passion, obsession, mad love, the violent clash of insider and outsider-all these themes, plus the performances, are rich enough to carry us past that wounded climax, if not to carry the movie past the fatal attractions of the big box-office cliche. [18 Sep 1987, p.1]
  12. Reviewed by: Johanna Steinmetz
    75
    Lyne indulges in baroque touches-he is fond of open-grate elevators and water, be it rain or from faucets-but mostly he tells the story in well- tailored vignettes that range from horrifying to humorous. [21 Sep 1987, p.5]
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    75
    This story of an extramarital fling that turns into a nightmare begins as a well-crafted psychological thriller but degenerates into a misogynistic thrill-fest in its closing moments.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Blowen
    25
    Adrian Lyne pulls out more manipulative nonsense than Machiavelli ever thought of. Lyne stops at nothing to provoke artificial sentimental feelings from the audience. Like the movie itself, the audience's reaction is only skin deep. [18 Sep 1987, p.58]
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    The screws are tightened expertly in this suspenseful meller about a flipped-out femme who makes life hell for the married man who scorns her.
  16. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    80
    Fatal Attraction rings the changes on your atavistic emotions. Walking out of the theater, you might have a sudden desire to club a woolly mammoth and hide your family in a dark cave -- away from people like Glenn Close.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    Superbly acted, well directed thriller that had me jumping out of my seat or hiding my eyes. Close and Douglas and Archer are riveting as the lead characters. The film brims with atmosphere and menace. The climax is terrifying and realistic. My favorite film of all time, to be sure. With a lesson for those who cheat: you never know who you might hook up with who has a knife problem. Full Review »
  2. Jul 14, 2014
    10
    Fatal Attraction is a great thriller and great roles from Douglas and Close. The movie is an underrated
    classic and the movie fires on all
    cylinders. Fatal Attraction is one of the best thrillers ever. Full Review »
  3. Jul 14, 2014
    10
    Fatal Attraction is a superb thriller with Douglss and Close. The movie is realistic and terrifiying because
    of the intense suspense
    throughout the movie. This is one of the best thrillers from the 80's. Full Review »