Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Establishes its mood of playful erotic suspense in the first 10 minutes and sustains its cat-and-mouse game between therapist and patient through variations that are by turns amusing, titillating and mildly scary.
  2. The film does get claustrophobic. It never quite achieves the balance between a two-character study and a larger world, as did "The Man on the Train." The film also could do with a bit more humor, most of which is supplied by the sagacious shrink.
  3. 88
    We find we cannot take anything for face value in this story, that the motives of this woman and her husband are so deeply masked that even at the end of the film we are still uncertain about exactly what to believe, and why.
  4. Such a triumph of simplicity, subtlety and tact--and of the eroticism in words, looks and glances--that the actors ravish us with sheer talent and intelligence.
  5. Leconte justifies his vaunted reputation by lending freshness and feeling to what could have been a gimmicky tragicomedy.
  6. Reviewed by: Leah McLaren
    If you like movies in which fashionably dressed people spend a lot of time smoking and talking cryptically about sex in dark, overfurnished Paris apartments, you should put down your café au lait and run out to see this film right now. If not, you probably just don't like French movies.
  7. This has all the ingredients for a top-notch thriller except one - a thrill.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    All that menace is simply decorative, and it's disappointing that Laconte never properly addresses the intriguing sexual undertones (like voyeurism, exhibitionism and sexual obsession) he uses to darken the film's palette.
  9. This modest French-language film follows the time-honored cinematic tradition of plot as spearheaded by a simple twist of fate.
  10. At age 37, she's (Bonnaire) developed into a consummate film actress and a unique star whose enigmatic persona has never had a more exhilarating showcase.
  11. Reviewed by: Kevin Crust
    Patrice Leconte has long ago mastered a Gallic specialty: the knack of making impeccably polished, graceful films with an unpretentious ease while allowing them to emerge seeming fresh and spontaneous. Leconte's latest film to reach the U.S. reveals him to be at his slyest best.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    It proposes that you can make an extraordinarily satisfying comedy without writing a joke. Subtly played and elegantly directed, this is an Adults Only movie in the best sense of the term.
  13. 80
    The film insightfully probes into the things that are said and the intense feelings that are merely implied, buzzing at a low level just beneath the surface.
  14. This is the kind of sophisticated and pleasurable movie you dream of seeing from France.
  15. Props to translator Nigel Palmer for keeping the subtitles witty instead of blindly literal.
  16. This held me, but I was grateful when it released me.
  17. 50
    To borrow a phrase from Pauline Kael, Intimate Strangers suggests bits of Alfred Hitchcock and bits of Woody Allen. But the wrong bits.
  18. 75
    A film more psychological than passionate, more mental than emotional.
  19. Light and droll, but with an undercurrent of moody suspense.
  20. 63
    No "Girl on the Bridge," but this comic thriller does generate a fair amount of erotic tension and sly commentary on psychoanalysis.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    There's a thin line between the subtle and the dramatically inert, and Intimate Strangers pitches a tent on it.
  22. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    The result is a handsome, intelligent film that feels as restrained as its protagonist -- a comic premise without many laughs, a thriller without many thrills.
  23. Mr. Luchini gives one of the best performances of the year, in one of the best movies of the year.
  24. 70
    Leconte, as always, means to explore the gray areas between sexual espionage and love, and there remains something powerful about the fantasy of being listened to, without judgment.
  25. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Consistently entertaining exploration of how much -- or how little -- is required to overcome obstacles to self-actualization should be welcome wherever auds crave a good story told with nuance and flair.
  26. 70
    It's at once too restrained and too perversely funny to have emanated from the play-it-big-but-play-it-safe sensibilities of Hollywood, U.S.A.
  27. Reviewed by: David Ng
    A bland chamber drama for those who like their French cinema tame, talky, and just a little titillating.

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