Critic Reviews

69

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Soderbergh is able to execute his games without pigeonholing his characters. He has made that rare thing, a modern-day noir with feeling.
88
Boston Globe
Soderbergh's sleekly malignant Underneath is a nasty little winner. [28 April 1995, p.81]
88
Chicago Tribune
Soderbergh pretty much failed in trying to evoke a noir-like nightmare world in the 1919 Prague of "Kafka," his 1991 terror film. But here, he dazzlingly hews out a noir landscape in more unlikely territory: modern-day Austin, Texas. [28 April 1995]
75
The strengths of The Underneath -- its atmosphere and character-centered basis -- are also its weaknesses.
70
Variety
On its most successful level, the film represents a slashing dramatic essay on the dismaying human tendency not to accept full responsibility for one's actions.
63
By the end of the film the 1949 film noir sources are plainly in view, but earlier, Soderbergh seems more interested in personality quirks than double-crosses, and those are the more interesting scenes.
60
The New York Times
The Underneath is too chaotic to work as a thriller. The suspense kicks in too late and blends uneasily with the rest of the film. But the movie has other sorts of appeal. At heart, it is not a lurid, noir story but a study of characters caught in an emotional disaster.
60
The Underneath doesn't add up. Made with polish and assurance, capably acted and intricately constructed, its overall impact is less than these parts would indicate. It is good but, against all logic, it is not good enough.
50
Skillful as many of its elements are, however, The Underneath doesn't have the taut storytelling and intriguing characters to make this film noir make-over truly compelling.
50
Miami Herald
From a purely cinematic standpoint, The Underneath is Soderbergh's most daring work yet, full of elliptical flashbacks and fast-forwards; ominous camera angles and cinematic tricks. But Soderbergh's movies (sex, lies and videotape, Kafka, King of the Hill) have always been cunningly smart, and The Underneath is not. [28 April 1995, p.5G]

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