Metascore
16

Overwhelming dislike - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 19
  2. Negative: 13 out of 19
  1. The story is so shabbily built that it can make no valid claim to motives other than the filmmakers' mercenary desires to cash in on the public's prurient interests. And even on this bottom-feeder level, Showgirls fails to deliver the goods.
  2. The cynicism of the writer and director smacks of such self-hatred (fully acknowledged in the film's closing shot) that their disgust spills over onto all their characters (and their audience too), and inasmuch as everybody here is one kind of whore or another at virtually every moment, the fine moral distinctions this movie insists on making sometimes seem about as arcane and as loony as medieval theology about angels dancing on the heads of pins.
  3. 50
    If the plot and screenplay are juvenile, the production values are first-rate, and the lead performance by newcomer Elizabeth Berkley has a fierce energy that's always interesting.
  4. 50
    The film's big lap-dance sequence is impressive, however, if only for the sheer athleticism of Elizabeth Berkley's contortion. Later, when she pulls the same stunt in a swimming pool, we recognize the show for what it is--a male fantasy film in which the women are little more than rag dolls. [22 Sept 1995]
  5. In its depiction of the Las Vegas nightclub scene and in its own cinematic strategies, the film is quite instructive about the intersection of sex, money, and entertainment in some areas of popular American culture. [29 Sept 1995]
  6. As Nomi, Elizabeth Berkley has exactly two emotions -- hot and bothered -- but her party-doll blowsiness works for the picture.
  7. Lacking the combustible Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas in leading roles, Showgirls descends into incoherent tedium. Though the filmmakers' incessant talk about vision, artistry and honest self-expression lead one to expect a sexually explicit biopic about the Dalai Lama, what is in fact provided is depressing and disappointing as well as dehumanizing.
  8. 12
    This film is like a shiny, red apple that's rotten to the core -- despite slick direction and a glossy sheen, it reeks of decay. Showgirls isn't a good drama, a good thriller, or even good pornography.
  9. What's completely baffling is that everyone in the film thinks Nomi is one heck of a dancer, even though her one move -- throwing her arms out stiffly -- is straight out of "Dr. Strangelove."
  10. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    0
    That Berkley cannot act is indisputable. But her dancing looks like a seizure.
  11. There's nothing even mildly intriguing, or remotely galvanizing, about Showgirls.
  12. What matters much more than the story or the Spicy Stuff is the dancing, the show-biz dancing. It's electric. Exciting. And there's lots of it. [23 Oct 1995]
  13. The film makers had declared they were bravely exploring new levels of licentiousness, but the biggest risk they've taken here is making a nearly $40 million movie without anyone who can act. The absence of both drama and eroticism turns Showgirls into a bare-butted bore. [22 Sept 1995]
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    0
    Obscene level of incompetence, excessive inanity in the story line, gross negligence of the viewer's intelligence, a prurient interest in the quick buck. [2 Oct 1995]
  15. Reviewed by: Harlan Jacobson
    30
    After an onslaught of prerelease hype promising the erotic experience of a lifetime, Showgirls reveals itself as a 131-minute dose of cinematic saltpeter.
  16. 63
    Who knew such a seamy swim in the misogynistic swill of life could be so entertaining?
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    0
    Impossibly vulgar, tawdry and coarse, this much-touted major studio splash into NC-17 waters is akin to being keelhauled through a cesspool, with sharks swimming alongside.
  18. To take Showgirls that seriously (as either trash-art or appalling pornography) wouldn't be worth the exertion.
  19. 20
    This film is just a coarser, dumber, smuttier remake of the 1983 Eszterhas-penned "Flashdance," throbbing music, working-class Cinderella and all.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 35
  2. Negative: 11 out of 35
  1. Dec 25, 2012
    0
    One of the worst movies. It has decent acting compared to a porn movie. The acting is plain bad. The main character can only express two feelings: anger and lust. The story is really the low end of Hollywood screenplays. It is nothing more than a soft-core porn movie. The girls were looking good. There is no other reason to see this. Full Review »
  2. Feb 1, 2013
    3
    Eh....I don't find this movie so sexy. I'm a dude, and I guess I'm suppose to say this is so erotic and watch it over and over again just to see some seductive garbage. But this was just very disturbing. I'll admit that Elizabeth Berkeley who was also from "Saved by the Bell" is very attractive, but her acting is like she's trying to be sexy. As gorgeous as she is, it didn't help out a lot. She shows her breasts.....too many times. I'll be honest as a man, I always wanted to see her boobs. But after the 3rd time, it got really tiring very fast. My reaction was, (YES, she has nice t*ts, enough!) Also....the plot was so disturbing. I just don't understand what the plot this is trying to show me, its just bizarre. This was really hard for me to sit through, it's not worth the time....okay, maybe just one sit through the movie if you like bizarre erotic films with lots of stripping, Elizabeth Berkeley's t*ts and lap dance, weird sex and mediocre softcore porn. Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2014
    5
    This is one of those so-bad-its-good films. This film was meant to be Elizabeth Berkley's big break after 'Saved by the Bell', but really it killed her career. I would have to say this film has everything; bad acting, nudity, a high budget, sex, violence and a lesson learned. The most expensive exploitation film ever made. Full Review »