Critic Reviews

86

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Los Angeles Times
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]
100
A movie of prodigious power and feeling that is also high-spirited, hilarious and scorchingly erotic.
100
San Francisco Chronicle
The kind of picture to whip out the clichés for: Surprisingly original. Delightful. Brilliant. Funny as all heck. When 1989 is through, sex, lies, and videotape may well be remembered as the best film of the year. [11 Aug 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
100
Startling is the fact that a film so light on action and heavy on chat can be so achingly funny without having being crafted by a young Woody Allen.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
It has more intelligence than heart, and is more clever than enlightening. But it is never boring, and there are moments when it reminds us of how sexy the movies used to be, back in the days when speech was an erogenous zone.
88
USA Today
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]
75
Entertainment Weekly
Compulsively watchable.
75
Chicago Tribune
Sex, lies, and videotape discovers a distinctive, laconic rhythm right from the start, thanks to Soderbergh's taste for holding his shots just a bit longer than conventional, slick editing technique would allow. [11 Aug 1989, Friday, p.A]
70
Beautifully edited by Soderbergh, the film is evenly paced, its subtleties accreting slowly, and by the end it gathers powerful emotional momentum.
50
Christian Science Monitor
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]

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