Critic Reviews

41

Metascore

Based on 28 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Rolling Stone
The film is for horny pups of all ages who relish the memory of reading stroke books under the covers with a flashlight. Verhoeven has spent $49 million to reproduce that dirty little thrill on the big screen.
67
Entertainment Weekly
Beneath its heavy-breathing fripperies, though, Basic Instinct is mechanical and routine, a muddle of Hitchcockian red herrings and standard cop-thriller ballistics.
63
USA Today
The film never makes total sense, but at its best (the first half-hour), it comes closer to solidly junky titillation than the hapless Final Analysis. [20 Mar 1992, Life, p.1D]
50
This reflects its fundamental flaw of arrogance, a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.
50
The film is like a crossword puzzle. It keeps your interest until you solve it. Then it's just a worthless scrap with the spaces filled in.
50
The worst things about Basic Instinct, though, are the explicit "love" scenes. They're supposed to contribute to a heady equation in which sex, violence and psychology are fused; instead, they're gratuitous, exploitative, and entirely unerotic.
40
A reminder of the difference between exhilaration and exhaustion, between tension and hysteria, between eroticism and exhibitionism. The line may be fine, but it is real enough to separate the great thrillers from the also-rans. And Basic Instinct is not a great thriller.
38
Christian Science Monitor
Verhoeven's lurid thriller has moments of welcome self-parody, but most of the action manages to be sensationalistic, homophobic, and tedious at the same time. [20 Mar 1992, Arts, p.12]
25
Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world.
20
The New Republic
It's just one more dunk in the slime pit of exploitation. [13 Apr 1992, p.26]

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