User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 3 out of 9
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  1. ChadS.
    Aug 2, 2004
    7
    Having seen Julia Stiles this past movie season; fly to Denmark ("The Prince & Me"), give up law school ("Mona Lisa Smile"), and cry ("The Bourne Supremacy"), it was a blast to see her carriage of preternatural intelligence used for psychological terrorism, instead of the Princeton tigeress' recent tendency to deny the type-A in those widowy black eyes in a pair of reactionary films. Having seen Julia Stiles this past movie season; fly to Denmark ("The Prince & Me"), give up law school ("Mona Lisa Smile"), and cry ("The Bourne Supremacy"), it was a blast to see her carriage of preternatural intelligence used for psychological terrorism, instead of the Princeton tigeress' recent tendency to deny the type-A in those widowy black eyes in a pair of reactionary films. There's a scene in a crowded elevator full of men she shares with Stockard Channing (Julie) that's worth the price of admission. Paula (Stiles) recruits Julie into her game of invention, and the way Channing switches from victim to participant without batting an eyelid, your hopes are raised that "The Business of Strangers" will go somewhere satisfying, because it's goddamn funny, and the two actresses, goddamn brilliant. When "The Business of Strangers" moves into darker territory, we should be relieved, since a film about female bonding could be a drag. But Stiles and Channing have such an invigorating rapport, we're not ready for Paula's "performance nihilism" on a male body, which is an ugly spectacle even before the truth comes out. After the two women are established as interesting, writer/director Patrick Stettner has to prove he's interesting, too. Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Plays largely like a performer's showpiece, with all the showboating and not so surprising character twists that entails, but Stettner comes out the other end with a pleasantly modest and satisfying revelation.
  2. Try to imagine "In the Company of Men" with a feminist twist and you'll have the gist of this fervently acted, ultimately unconvincing drama.
  3. Channing's formidably good -- a career woman in extremis -- but the movie, which was written and directed by Patrick Stettner, otherwise unfortunately resembles a product of the Neil LaBute Finishing School.