sex, lies, and videotape Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Written in eight days on a trip to Los Angeles by first-time feature director Stephen Soderbergh, and shot in five weeks on a meager $1.2 million budget, the film tells the story of Graham (James Spader), who visits old friend John (Peter Gallager), and engages John's wife (Andie McDowell),Written in eight days on a trip to Los Angeles by first-time feature director Stephen Soderbergh, and shot in five weeks on a meager $1.2 million budget, the film tells the story of Graham (James Spader), who visits old friend John (Peter Gallager), and engages John's wife (Andie McDowell), and her sister (Laura San Giacomo) in his unique method of overcoming his unusual sexual dysfunction. Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Caryn James
    100
    Astonishing... One of the freshest American films of the decade. [4 Aug 1989]
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    100
    Electrifying… As writer, director and editor, [Soderbergh’s] control is mesmerizing. It's also more than a little creepy; as though Soderbergh were drawing us, a step at a time, into a warm pool where intimate secrets flowed back and forth as simply as currents of water. [4 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
  3. 100
    A movie of prodigious power and feeling that is also high-spirited, hilarious and scorchingly erotic.
  4. 90
    What "The Big Chill" was to baby boomers, the inspirational sex, lies, and videotape is to the mall crowd. It's designer soul-searching, a looking glass for a generation.
  5. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    Twenty years ago, you could view early works of big-splash directors and often tell where they were coming from - or going. Yet Soderbergh and his debut project are mysteries. What can possibly come next? You won't be able to drag me out of line opening night. [4 Aug 1989, Life, p.1D]
  6. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    50
    The first half is full of verbal and visual surprises, but the later scenes are talky and dull, as if filmmaker Steven Soderbergh had lost interest in his subject and his characters. Which would be understandable, since the story often seems more calculated than heartfelt. [4 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. MarkR.
    Aug 24, 2009
    10
    One of the best films I've ever seen. almost twenty years old and has lost none of its erotic and intellectual impact.
  2. NachoC.
    Jul 20, 2009
    10
    Wow. Soderbergh stop making big budget films, come back to writing solid screenplays and drawing the best out of actors. SLV was a fantastic Wow. Soderbergh stop making big budget films, come back to writing solid screenplays and drawing the best out of actors. SLV was a fantastic film, highly recommended. Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    9
    It doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table, but provides an interesting look at sex and relationships and all the kinks in betweenIt doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table, but provides an interesting look at sex and relationships and all the kinks in between the two. You have to give director Steven Soderbergh credit for making a movie that focuses completely on sex without having any actual sex scenes (or even nudity). It's also nice to see a film that deals with the subject matter so maturely without having to get Woody Allen involved. Expand
  4. RobertR
    Jul 22, 2007
    8
    Sex, Lies, and Videotape is an imposingly inherent annotation on infidelity. Its four separate protagonists share affinities in their Sex, Lies, and Videotape is an imposingly inherent annotation on infidelity. Its four separate protagonists share affinities in their exposure to sex, one being their reluctance to completely discuss sex as a sober topic. Though it appears that Graham is the most sophomoric of the characters, his ability to comprehend sex as a momentous and frustrating force in life is a profound revelation that permits the transcendence of his character, which deepens the dimensions of Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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