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Nine 1/2 Weeks
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Reviews & Ratings for
9½ Weeks More at IMDbPro »Nine 1/2 Weeks (original title)

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119 out of 128 people found the following review useful:

Curious but entertaining

Author: thegypsyspirate from USA
9 December 2001

I find it interesting that people can get so many different feelings and experiences from one movie, but then; this is exactly the type of movie that would cause such disparity. The question really is, are you watching the movie for entertainment, or to critique it? There are wondrous scenes of erotic intimacy here (unfortunately not as fully developed as they could be) - and glimpses into just what two people "in lust" will allow themselves to be led into... The sensuousness of the relationship is the key - not the believability of the surroundings or the rest of the 'plot'. Is it believable? It certainly is conceivable... Liz (Kim Basinger) studying slides at work, so distracted by her thoughts of intimacy with a man she hardly knows that she can't keep her hands off herself... John so taken with her that he will spend exorbitantly for a gift - to give a woman he doesn't know - but feels that he must meet. The passion and need for these two lonely people that lets them open doors to their inner selves and allow another in BEFORE thinking of the consequences (there are ALWAYS consequences, in film and life; for opening "those" doors). Is it believable that they would win the fight with the street thugs? No. Is it believable that the adrenaline rush, the release of the flight impulse and fear, the closeness found in 'defeating a common enemy'; could possibly lead to the intensity of sexual closeness and climax in a semi-secluded spot (under falling water at that)? Yes. Are the other scenes believable? It's entertainment, not a psychology class... They are conceivable, certainly. Ever been really mad at your partner, and that anger leads to words then breaking dishes then apologies then hugging then closeness then sex? How about anger leading directly to sex? It can happen, and it does. It is not so much a rape as it is a purging of desire. The scene with Liz blindfolded, and the whore coming in to the room - you share the tenseness Liz feels. Will she be stimulated? Of course. Will she let John know it turns her on? He already knows it does. He wants HER to know that he knows it will.

This movie is a glimpse of what manipulators people are. The efforts made to manipulate another person into 'making them want what you want'. So much so, that it becomes their desire, not yours. So much so that the desire is to see if you can manipulate the other becomes more consuming than the original goal. Seeing if she WILL crawl across the floor becomes more important than seeing her actually doing so. And her feeling the depth of her self in what she will do - and finding she is doing it because SHE wants to, not because he wants it. Liz takes her pleasure from John, too. What appears to be a "rape in progress" as John pushes Liz back on the table, ends with her crying because she was excited enough by it to climax. That is perhaps the 'real' rape; her discovery that even if she is initially violated, in her mind she realizes it arouses her enough to let it continue; and as it continues she finds herself clutching at her 'attacker'; and attaining orgasm. The rape as much of her mind as it is her body. It is her discovery of what she learns of herself. When she finally leaves the relationship, he finds he can't live without her. Who manipulated who?

This movie, dated as it is, is still fresh because it is enough like life to be real. No, we may not be that rich or that attractive or that selfish or that spoiled. But we also may wish at times that we were...

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88 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

* * *1/2 out of 4.

Author: Brandon L. Sites (brandonsites1981@yahoo.com) from USA
4 September 2002

Two successful, but lonely yuppies embark on a sexual odessey for 9 and a 1/2 weeks. All people seem to talk about when it comes to this movie is about the sex scenes and the nudity in the film. This film is not about sex and nudity in my opinion. It is about control and power. I found this film to be intelligent and stylishly done and yes very erotic. Rourke and Basinger make a steamy couple and the ending and the events that unfolded in the film lingered with me long afterwards and left me thinking for a while. This is one film that actually seems to have gotten better with time.

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100 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

Simply put, Amazing.

10/10
Author: Dimp027 from United States
28 May 2005

Probably one of the most misunderstood movies ever made, Nine and 1/2 Weeks to me is, in one word, amazing.

Some call it soft-core porn while others call it meaningless. I call it a movie that shows the viewer what other movies do not show. The other side of relationships. The darker side, the side of people that most movies don't go to because they believe the average person would be turned off due to the fact that it is not the average love story.

Yes, parts of the movie to some might seem slow, but if you let yourself get involved in the character, then you might just understand what this amazing movie is all about.

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59 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Delicious!

Author: hawk-58 from California
12 September 2004

Don't know why I didn't see this movie until recently, as I am a big Adrian Lyne fan. Maybe because Mickey Rourke has become so repulsive in recent years. However, I found this to be a thoroughly entertaining film, with fascinating performances and all the 80's accoutrements - music, fashion, set decoration, etc. I don't know how anyone could call it boring, but we all see different things when we watch a movie.

I thought the much-vaunted "sex" scenes were pretty tame, actually, but really, really fun to watch! Kim Basinger never looked more beautiful, and Rourke looked great, too. I disagree that there was no character development. I think there were depths to both characters that didn't come out until the end of the movie, which I found very poignant. Yes, I think it was more about power than sex, and when the moment of truth came for the balance of power to shift - as the Rourke character had planned for it to do - he had scared off his true love. Sad, and a true sequel could have been fun.

I give it 8/10 and plan to add it to my video collection ASAP.

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35 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

An ignored and Marginalized Film

8/10
Author: Narain Jashanmal (njashanmal@nyc.rr.com) from New York City
1 April 2000

Except perhaps in Paris where, until recently, it played in a cinema just off the Champs Elysee. This film has been condemned from just about every possible, so I will not try and defend it blow by blow. There is much to appreciate here, particularly when the film is looked at in the context of it being the '80's "Last Tango In Paris" - perhaps even self consciously so. The opening shot of "Nine 1/2 Weeks" echoes the famous opening of "Last Tango In Paris" and there are many parallels, but never to the point of it becoming overt.

If one accepts that form is to mirror content and apply that here it becomes clear that efforts were made to do so. The visual 'look' of both films not only mirror their content (for 'Tango': a muted color pallette, yet somehow lush, there is a layer over everything) but also their era. Both films deal with similar subject matter, in the context of the time in which they were made.

"Nine 1/2 Weeks" IS the '80's in much the way that "Last Tango..." is the '70's - the obsessions of an era are embodied in the struggle of two human bodies. Motions, touches are imbued with something beyond what is happening in the here and now. Very much in question here is the internal landscape of the characters involved - something one, as a filmmaker, would rather expose in a visual way as opposed to having characters pontificate about it (though Brando TALKS in "Last Tango..." it is very often what he doesn't say, the silence between two lines of dialogue, that SAY more) - in "Nine 1/2 Weeks" there are many visual cues/pointers as to the characters' states of mind, i.e. their apartments, the manner in which they are decorated stark, all straight lines (John) vs. cluttered and dusty (Liz). Elements like that make a film work.

The only moments of relief that Liz experiences in the film are when she is away from the city, away from John, amidst nature with the painter - in fact, one almost never sees John outside, just like Paul in "Last Tango..." - all these little cues about character should raise the questions in the viewer's mind - what sort of person would?...

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33 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Look Past the Porn

Author: Algebroad from San Francisco, California
18 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** This movie is known for its sex scenes, but it is much more than that. This movie is also known for the man exploiting the woman, but it is much more than that.

The sex scenes are just a manifestation of what John (Mickey Rourke) believes to be the "right" way to have sex. When Elizabeth (Kim Bassinger) comes along for the ride, she is doing just that. She is coming along for a ride. Her life is so boring that her meeting with john is just the excitement she needs to get out of her quite boring and predictable rut. Sure, John's idea of having sex can be seen as exploitation, but Elizabeth, until the end, is pretty gung ho about the whole thing. But, as Elizabeth is in it for "the ride", John, who is pretty used to "the ride" already, is in it to know Elizabeth. Not Elizabeth's background or where she's from, but ELIZABETH HERSELF.

This is a well-made film because of its subtlety. The viewer isn't quite sure what to think of John until the very end (if they pay close attention). The best scene that sums up John's and Elizabeth's relationship is the scene where they are standing in the rain, John is under an umbrella and Elizabeth is wearing a hat. She's playful and being herself, whereas John is serious and watching her. She's riding, while John is trying to get to know HER. The very last scene of the movie when Elizabeth leaves and closes the door behind her, and John hopes with all his heart that she will come back is telling. The person who is hurt by the end of the relationship is the one who was in it for love--John.

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42 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Kim Basinger makes this worth seeing

7/10
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States
20 March 2004

What one realizes while watching this is how limited and ultimately unsatisfactory is a relationship based purely on sex.

I imagine that the familiar dominance/submissive psychology at the heart of this visually stunning movie--and it really is beautifully shot--comes from the novel by Elizabeth MacNeil. I say that, not having read the novel, because the seduction of Manhattan art dealer Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) by the smooth and supremely confident financier John (Mickey Rourke) is so very well done with the expensive presents, the well-timed flower deliveries, little endearments, etc., that it amounts to a woman's fantasy. The partial debasement of Elizabeth and her eventual triumph over her darker instincts and her realization that there is a difference between love and submission is also something that one might expect to find in a woman's point-of-view novel.

However when we get to the actual sexuality and how it is acted out, it is unclear who dreamed up the scenes, MacNeil or director Adrian Lyne or the scriptwriters. I say this because the scenes were so predictable and so ordinary, and when not ordinary and predictable, were bordering on the just plain dumb. Making love in the rain, at the top of a tall building (inside the clock tower), blindfolding the woman, making her crawl, feeding her strawberries, etc., bring nothing new to eroticism. And the scene requiring some imagination--baiting the gay bashers--was not realistically done. Why directors insist on allowing a man holding onto the hand of woman to outrun the men chasing them never ceases to amaze me. And then to have Elizabeth and John stop in the middle of the street to allow the bashers they have outrun to catch up was just plain stupid, not to mention the phony fight that followed.

Not only were the sexual scenes predictable but clearly Lyne was in harness (and I am glad of that) since he stops well short of what might happen if this sort of theme were fully played out.

Putting all that aside what makes this movie worth seeing is Kim Basinger. She is absolutely stunning, and it is clear that Lyne and his camera adored her. More than that Basinger does a fine job of acting in a demanding role.

I was impressed. Before seeing this film I thought she was a rather ordinary actress, but her ability to combine grown-up New York chic with little-girl vulnerability and to make absolutely clear the psychological dilemma her character's heart faced really held the movie together.

Lyne's insistence on whispered dialogue difficult to hear was consistent with the theme of the movie but not kind to these ears. But that was okay because much of the dialogue was secondary to the visual exploration of the woman's sexuality. The peek-a-boo and off center and shadowed shots of Basinger's face and her silhouette, and the studied smile from Rourke combined with the stark black and whites of their clothes and the furnishings served to highlight and emphasis the flesh tones of Basinger's skin while lending an appropriate artistic and fashionable atmosphere to the movie, which after all has an art dealer at its center. The many scenes that were began and suggested, and then cut away from, allowed a richer texture of experience for the viewer than would have been possible had the scenes been played out. And that was doubly good because again it is the visuals that make this movie worth seeing, not the originality of the story and its development.

To those viewers who thought that this was some sort of high class pornography, I can only say you missed the point entirely, and indeed, you may be projecting your own sorry mentality. For those others who were not, shall we say, sufficiently stimulated, I can point you to a graphic novel with a similar theme (written by a man) entitled The Story of O which will NOT be coming to a theater near you anytime soon.

See this for Kim Basinger whose sensitive and robust beauty dominated the screen.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Arty, redolent of the 1980s

Author: penseur from Wellington
13 June 2004

Although generally rubbished by critics because of the two lead actors, among other things, this was an interesting film in that it attempted to be artistic, something of a rarity for Hollywood. Much of what is presented was designed to look sexy, even if it was unlikely to be if you tried it yourself. And to give it its due, those responsible for art direction and cinematography did a pretty good job and it stands repeated viewings to pick up on nuances missed first time around. It is tantalizing but not especially erotic; a lot more is suggested than actually happens. Anyone who can remember working in an office in the 80s will relate to the telex machines, phones with bell-rings, and no desktop computer for the manger, and no mobile phones. The 80s apartment decor and fashions will also jog memories.

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Slow, Tedious, But Interesting Sexual Drama

Author: Ride-3 from Stockton, California
17 August 2000

"9 1/2 Weeks", while containing a few sequences of sex and nudity, is nowhere near as shocking as it might once have been considered. Kim Basinger plays Liz, an art gallery employee who meets Wall Street trader John, played by Mickey Rourke. While their romance is at first sweet and romantic, things begin to quickly change. John initiate a series of kinky sexual trysts involving food, a hooker, and an enticing striptease performed by Liz. But the time comes for Liz to question the nature of the relationship and ask herself, Is this really healthy? The movie is very, very slow, and in parts, very boring. If your watching this for the much hyped sex and nudity, don't bother, besides the occasional glimpse of Basinger's breasts and butt, there isn't much here to see. See it, just don't expect too much.

"9 1/2 Weeks" is Unrated for strong sensuality and nudity, and for some adult language.

NOTE: "9 1/2 Weeks" is available R-Rated or Unrated, which is one minute longer than the R version. But the Unrated version is no more graphic than a regular R-Rated movie.

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

underrated for sure

7/10
Author: Tuki-Clothespin from Rohnert Park, CA
23 September 2005

I agree with the writer who mentioned that this film is too often underrated because it deals with a very dark side of sexuality that many people deny in society and in themselves. The relationship portrayed in the film is an adult one, and as such it is not a Little Mary Sunshine portrayal. It is a mature look at sex, not love, and it never pretends to be a romance. The characters find each other and they enjoy each other in a way that many people cannot accept, and therein lies the reality, the truth of this film, as well as the reason that it is consistently overlooked. For an established actress like Kim Basinger to accept this role and play it as naturally as she did speaks to her talent as well at to her willingness to explore alternate "romantic" ideas on film. Mickey Rouke has always been a maverick force in film. Look at him in "Diner" and you will see what I mean by that. He is much more talented than people give him credit for, and younger filmophiles should discover this early work and try to perceive him as an actor, not a joke.

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