MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 98 this week

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

 -  Drama  -  18 August 1989 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 31,141 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 86 user | 49 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 23 Nov 2010
 
a list of 26 titles
created 30 Apr 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 23 Oct 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Hours (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Talk to Her (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti
Boogie Nights (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a young man's adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Paris, Texas (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out ... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation for his daughter's attractive friend.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Young Esteban want to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by the mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña
Shame (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A just-divorced man must learn to care for his son on his own, and then must fight in court to keep custody of him.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Ron Vawter ...
...
Alexandra Root ...
Earl T. Taylor ...
Landlord
David Foil ...
John's Colleague
Edit

Storyline

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann's a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John's old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sex, Lies...  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$24,741,700 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One scene includes a videotaped confession by one of James Spader's character's past lovers. The director gave the script and a video camera to Jennifer Jason Leigh so she could tape the speech at home with the help of her boyfriend. They never got around to it; once filming began, a crew member was used in the brief role. See more »

Goofs

The view from John's office window is different at the end of the film See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ann: Garbage. All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. I mean, I just can't stop thinking about it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Ann Dollard 1956-1988 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweating Bullets: Sex, Lies and Lullabies (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbage
Written by Mark A. Mangini
Performed by Mark A. Mangini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A MAGNIFICENT, UNDERRATED FILM THAT'S LIKE NOTHING I'VE EVER SEEN!!!
17 July 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

"sex, lies and videotape" is a low-key drama that REALLY showcases Stephen Soderbergh's true talents. The film was made on a modest budget and is mainly dialogue-driven, yet I was deeply fascinated from start to finish. This is another film that sends out a message to all aspiring directors: You don't need a large budget to make a truly great motion picture! Soderbergh hasn't received worldwide fame until recently with the hit "Traffic." As much as I loved "Traffic" I urge everyone--who's curious of Soderbergh's work--go check out this initial effort.

The element that impressed me the most was the succint, yet brutally realistic dialogue. I've never been more impressed with a film's dialogue and actually screamed out, "Now THAT'S how people talk!" The interactions between each character are so intense and down to earth, and gets the audience deeply engaged. James Spader shines in this career-making performance as a documentary filmmaker who gets his rocks off filming women talking about sex. We never know why he developed this unusual interest, but that's what's so great. And the way Spader carries his character is so subtle and powerful. His character is quiet and mysterious, and he expresses this enigmatic role perfectly with every silence, every facial gesture, every tone of voice. That's another element that I loved. Soderbergh expresses to his audience that people don't always mean what they say. And you can tell by every hint of body language. During these character interplays, you get a feel for what the characters are really thinking with their every subtle nuance. And that's what creates most of the film's tension.

And of course, the film has great depth and treats its subject with the greatest of maturity. In one scene, Spader interviews this young woman who talks about her first experience with masturbation. That could've easily been transformed into something gratuitous and heavy-handed. The subjects of sex and infidelity are treated with a sense of reality, and I'm sure many couples who are involved in relationships where one of the mates are cheating will find the whole situation with Andie McDowell and Peter Gallagher haunting. Everything is low-key and some might find the rhythm slow-moving, but that's what I liked about it. It slowly unfolds and takes its time developing the characters and their situations. Many filmmakers would've taken the subject of infidelity and made it into a melodramatic soap. But Soderbergh is very patient. He never once thinks, "Maybe the audience is not interested anymore," and speeds things up. He goes at his own pace, and works with it consistently.

I don't know if others will get the same effect I did out of this movie, but appreciate a film that respects its characters and respects its dialogue. Sure, I also appreciate a film with massive entertainment value, but other times I'd rather watch something with depth and realism. This is one of those films that just has a subtle energy. Looking at "sex, lies and videotape" from the outside, it's hard to explain the power of Soderbergh's masterpiece. All I say is go see for yourself! I hope you'll be just as astounded.

My score: 10 (out of 10)


90 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did Spader had to go to the bathroom twice? Strange scene? unclebob-7
I Love James Spader ShanaJolene05
Why is Ann Thinking about Trash? Barbie_N
Did graham have SPD? Tarna85
Was graham in love with her? Tarna85
star of david around ann's neck DarcCinema
Discuss Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?