Cruel Intentions (1999) Poster

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Clever, witty and very sensual
BernardoLima2 May 2010
In this film wealthy prep school student Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her stepbrother Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe) that he can't deflower the virginal Annette (Reese Witherspoon) before the school year begins. If he fails to accomplish this task, Kathryn gets his Jaguar Roadster; if he succeeds, he gets an evening of pleasure with Kathryn.

I just finished watching Cruel Intentions and what a pleasant surprise this film turned out to be. I guess the best way to describe it is as a sexy and seductive thriller. The film is very clever and bold but above all, extremely engaging and entertaining. Dealing with this kind of subject...making this kind of's definitely not easy. Usually these kind of films come off somewhat "fake" and lame; corny, whatever you want to call it. Thankfully, Cruel Intentions went the other way, probably thanks to the witty and sharp dialogue and a very good direction.

Ryan Phillippe delivered a terrific performance and so did Reese Witherspoon. I was actually a bit disappointed with Sarah Michelle Gellar, her acting was not very convincing at times to say the least but honestly, the story is so engaging that I was able to overlook that flaw. Another aspect that really took me by surprise was the musical score. Cruel Intentions has one of the best soundtracks I have ever seen in films. There's some great well known songs like Skunk Anansie's "secretly" and Placebo's "every me and every you", but there's also some fast paced instrumental tracks throughout the film that really compliment the scenes. Overall, a great watch and so much more then a teen film.

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A fantastic update about the rules of seduction
Kristine14 August 2001
Cruel Intentions was my favorite movie when I was 14, to me it was everything I just wanted to be as a teen, despite how cruel and manipulative Katheryn was, I thought she was the coolest and strongest female character I'd ever seen on film. Now a couple years afterwards I read the book and saw the original Dangerous Liasons with John Malkovich and Glenn Close, I still very much enjoy Cruel Intentions. Like I said, this was just a terrific updated version of the ultimate story of love and betrayal, it was a little Dawson's Creek at times, but from what angle they went at, it was understandable. It had the biggest stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Reese Withersppon, Tara Reid, Joshua Jackson, and Selma Blair. May I say they gave extremely impressive performances, but the best without a doubt goes to Sarah Michelle Gellar, she was just ultimately brilliant as Kathryn Muertiel, the cruelist girl in school who's goal isn't to be the most popular, but to dominate everyone's innocence.

Kathryn and Sebastion are step brother and sister, they have a partnership together to work the school into a total wave of turning the most innocent into the most corrupted. They also have a love for each other, but Kathryn is the only girl Sebastian can't have, it kills him and she teases him constantly over it. Kathryn asks Sebastian if he could help her corrupt the girl that took her boyfriend, Cecil, a naive young girl who is under Kathryn's wing, but isn't aware of her intentions. But the plot thickens when Kathryn finds out that Cecil is in love with her black music teacher which her mother wouldn't like very much. Then Sebastian finds a girl, Annette, who believes that people shouldn't experience the act of love until they are in love. He and Kathryn make a bet while he seduces Cecil, that if he can corrupt Annette, he gets to bed Kathryn. But there's one problem, he might be in over his head when he starts to fall in love with Annette.

Cruel Intentions is a great movie with good, strong performances. For what might have been a typical teen movie, this was just a good idea on where the director made decisions on how to make the story real. It's very romantic, heart breaking, and even has it's dark comedic moments for a little breath of air. I will always recommend this film to anyone, it's a great story. I would also highly recommend to watch Dangerous Liasons along with Cruel Intentions, so you have a little bit of a different variety. You'll find yourself a bit seduced with these movies.

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They're old enough to know better and too young to care!
Old Joe21 February 2002
I have recently been seeing a psychiatrist about a few troubles. In one of his sessions, he bought up about the movie Cruel Intentions, which I absolutely loved. He said he loved the start of the movie where the evil Sebastian says to the Psychologist `You have beautiful legs, I would love to photograph them'. This then sets the tone for one of the best teen films that the world has seen. Based on the movie Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions goes down as one of my top five favourite films of all-time.

A sex-obsessed rich boy Sebastian sets out to win his greatest "conquest" - a girl who has proclaimed in a Teen magazine that she will wait until marriage to lose her virginity. The teen is egged on by his sister, Catherine, an evil scheming girl in her own right. The two have a wager on whether Sebastian can achieve his conquest. If he wins, he gets a night of bliss with his stepsister, if she wins, she keeps his most prided possession, his Jaguar convertible!

Well this is a brilliant backstabbing, bitchy, love and hate war movie. I cannot remember a movie like it in my time. The theme of the movie was priceless. Having two rich hobnob kids toying with various people's emotions in their neighborhood was just great. In fact it is not at all silly to think that this does not happen in real life, because if you don't believe that then you are very naïve.

There are many people who need to be praised for this classic movie. Director Roger Kumble did a great job in bringing this movie to our screens. He added so many little `steamy' pieces to this movie that it was never going to fail. Then you have the producer Neal H. Moritz who also allowed this film to shine. He gave this film all the right production touches, which I can only praise.

Then you have the wonderful cast that was assembled for Cruel Intentions. The main star for this film would have to be the gorgeous Sarah Michelle Gellar. She was outstanding as the horrible Catherine. Her character while at times was extremely hard to like, she was almost too hard to not want to like. I mean she was every guy's fantasy. Sexually liberated (and not afraid to admit it), then all she wanted to do is screw up all her enemies at the same time. Then you have the patronising and ‘stud man' Sebastian, played by Hollywood hunk Ryan Philippe. His performance in this film was also first class. I thought his character was a lot more likable then Catherine's, but you could sometimes want to strangle him for the way he screws with people, just like his stepsister does, and then still seemingly gets more women dying to be with him.

Other cast members just help to make this film an extraordinary viewing experience. Reese Witherspoon is fantastic as the pure and innocent, Annette. She helps to balance the sour bitchy side of the cast, with her friendly almost sickening goody goody side. I am looking forward to seeing Witherspoon in the comedy, Legally Blonde, directed by new Australian director Robert Luketic. Selma Blair was also very good in her role as the dumb and very naïve Cecil. The kissing scene that she has with Gellar was one of the highlights of the film, with the kiss being voted the best onscreen kiss a few years ago.

Then this film has another great side to it, that of the soundtrack. It has so many great songs on it. Placebos tune `Every me, Every you' helps start this movie off, then you get songs such as Colorblind by Counting Crows and the classy, Bitter Sweet Symphony, by the Verve. This would have to be one of the world's most popular soundtracks from where I view it.

In conclusion, Cruel Intentions is a film I can say I love and that I can learn from. People in real life do use people and do hurt them. I know this because I was involved in such a scenario not so long ago. Nothing was ever happy until it was a fight and scrag. I will go as far to admit that I was confronted with a real life Catherine, a person who was such a goody goody on the outside, but the real person on the inside is a person that loves to cause trouble and will go out of her way to do it. Anyone who is like that is a real low-life in my view. Get swept up in the nasty love triangle, ‘Cruel Intentions'!

Rating: 5 Stars or 10/10
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la-3628 December 2004
This movie gives a sexy, sensual twist to the stereotypical "teen flick." It communicates a new idea of sexuality amongst present-day teenagers, rather than the "bang her and leave her" mentality that is most commonly portrayed. I think the cast was very well chosen, and the dynamics of the cast were amazing. There weren't too many "no names" or "B list" actors, but on the other hand there weren't too many "A listers," which would have thrown the focus off the plot. The music used in the movie was perfect because it accentuated the tone of the movie.

I give "Cruel intentions" a "10" because it is a saucy love story without all the corniness of normal movies.
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C(R)OOL Intentions
David, Film Freak3 March 2001
This film (based on the 1988 hit 'Dangerous Liasons' starring Glenn Close, Michelle Pfieffer and John Malkovich) is a great movie intended for the older teenagers, and stars fine young acting talent.

Rich kid Kathryn ('Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her equally jaded step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe; 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', which co-starred Sarah) that he can't seduce good girl, and virgin, Annette (played by Ryan's real-life wife Reese Witherspoon).

Along the way, Kathryn tries to help sexually-inexperienced Cecile (Selma Blair) get some action in her life, while she starts screwing Cecile's ex-music instructor! Sound weird? It is. It's basically about 2 rich snobs who mess with the lives of those around them, just because their lives get boring.

This film also stars Joshua Jackson ('The Skulls', 'Urban Legend', TV's 'Dawson's Creek) as Sebastian's gay best friend, who also gets involved in the use or be used storyline. Fellow teen-movie star Tara Reid ('Urban Legend', 'American Pie') also has a small role, as Sebastian's psychiatrists's daughter.

This film is pretty intense and deals with sex, drugs, seduction and alienation in a brave, way that makes it appealing to all teenagers. Not for the light hearted, more daring than anything like 'She's All That' and 'Never Been Kissed', but it's still good fun!
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Scandalously Ruthless
dempseyr13 June 2001
I'm writing on this movie because there is probably no bigger afficionado on this subject than myself. I've seen this movie thousands of times and must say that it is exquisite. The portrayal of Valmont by Ryan Phillippe is magnificent, and its intriguing to know that the object of his affection, Annette (Reese Witherspoon), is his real life wife. Sarah Michelle Gellar does easily the best acting of her career, not that that says too much. The story is one that has been done many times over (Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont), however, this was an excellent adaptation to this age group and these current times. The fact that the 20 somethings are portraying 17 year old kids is unnoticeable because of the great acting and the portrayal of the story. Phillippe is easily the highlight of the film with his slick portrayal of Valmont. His disregard for others feelings and emotions is ruthless. The piece is without comparison of the trend of terrible teen movies made in the late 90's-early 00-01. This is the only one that takes a serious storyline and portrays it with enough maturity to appeal not only to teens but older audiences as well. The one problem I do have with the movie is the way that Sebastian turns from so evil and wicked to this love sick kid at the end of the film. When you see the deleted scenes on the DVD, you see the original cut of the climatic scene between Valmont and Merteuil. In this scene rather than walk out in near tears, Valmont slaps Kathryn and demands her end of the bet, before he is finally denied and then leaves. This would be a much better scene than the one used. It goes along with the entire idea of the character and when he turns to a sap you feel like Sebastian is turning to a sappy wimp. The film is still an excellent piece and should be regarded as an admirable adaptation of the novel "Les Liasons Dangereuse".
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Wonderfully twisted.
Candi-58 January 1999
I have recently seen the movie "Cruel Intentions," and let me say it is one of the best films I've seen in a long while. As a big movie buff, I always see the latest movies on opening night, but I got a chance to see this one months before it will be released. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a stunning actress, and portrays Kathryn extremely well. Her character is evil and cunning, and is delivered with such grace and perfection... Ryan Phillippe is excellent as well, and he portrays Sebastian Valmont with as much talent as the lovely Ms. Gellar. They work very well together, as they did in their last movie together, "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER"

Reese Witherspoon gives a nice performance as well, and Selma Blair's acting is worthy of as much recognition as Ms. Gellar's.

Anyway, I should stop ranting about the cast... the story is a great update of "Dangerous Liaisons," with a perfect mix of satire, wit, and drama. Writer Roger Kumble certainly has a sick sense of humor, and I applaud him for that. This is the most beautiful, wicked film since "Wild Things," and though that may not impress some people, oh well. I thought it was incredible.
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What a brilliant movie!!!
alhomewood-125 November 2004
I found this movie to be one of a kind, it was a lot better than I originally thought it would be, the name didn't make the movie sound too good, but after watching the movie I thought it was excellent. I found Reese Witherspoon's performance in this movie to be outstanding, I think SHE was the person who made the movie what it was.

The movie started off by showing what kind of a person Ryan was in the film, but as the movie commenced it showed how he fell in love and by the end of the movie he had done a complete 180 from how he had started. This movie was just so much better than most of the other films I watched in those days, and it got me into not judging a movie by its title or by what other people think. Some people had different views on it, but I thought it was brilliant and I don't think they could have done much more to improve on this movie.
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Has some redeeming qualities, but I don't recommend this one
Xophianic12 February 2000
The main reason I wanted to see this one is because I am a big SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR fan. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is one of my all-time favorite shoes. I also rather like REESE WITHERSPOON and a few of the other actors in this movie. The plot also seemed original and interesting, and of course there was no hiding the sexy scenes that seemed like it would add to the plot. It turns out this movie is just a collection of these scenes, with a seemingly original, but actually predictable, plot to hold them together.

Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) are two victims of bad parenting. They are two rich stepchildren who enjoy making other students miserable. Kathryn, with a reputation as the perfect student, often uses others to ruin people's lives. Sebastian, who has a very nasty reputation that he is proud of, prefers to do the work himself. He finds an attractive girl, charms her over, sleeps with her, and finally ruining her reputation. Kathryn has set her sights on the ditsy Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair), while Sebastian goes for the great challenge of seducing and ruining the all-American, virgin, goody-goody Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). Sebastian has a bet with Kathryn that he can win Annette over. If she wins, she gets his Jaguar. If he wins, she gets to sleep with her.

The plot, in writing, sounds fairly original. This is really just a shield. In truth, this movie is a mixture of two things. One is a predictable love story. The other is a bunch of scenes intended to turn on the teenagers who watch it, and get them to watch it over and over. I am a teenager, and I had no real desire to watch this movie again afterwards.

The acting is about even. Sarah Michelle Gellar does an excellent job as the scheming, evil rich-b***h. Reese Witherspoon did a pretty good job, but her character was not especially interesting. Joshua Jackson and Selma Blair are extremely annoying in this movie, which is good because it is what they are meant to be. Blair did better than Jackson, for the record. Ryan Phillippe did OK, but I really didn't buy his evil rich-guy character. The characters in this movie aren't anything great. This is probably because the two main characters are rich mean people, which most viewers can't relate to or enjoy much. The target audience is obviously teens, but these people, although cute, probably remind them too much of students they hate. Witherspoon's character is a little 2D, mostly because she was underplayed and the two main characters were overplayed. Blair's character is pretty fun.

The movie is very predictable. I had the entire movie figured out by the previews, and my theory (which was correct) didn't change at all watching this movie. There is only one part I didn't see coming, which happens near the end. The ending of this movie is the best part, even though I saw it coming since the beginning.

If you feel like getting drunk and watching a movie with college buds so you can drool and howl at the TV, this movie is a good choice. Most teenagers would probably enjoy it too, especially fans of the actors, but I can't say I recommend this one.
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Cruel Intentions — High society teens ruining the reputation of others with sex and deceit
Avid Climber20 December 2012
Cruel Intentions is the perfect romantic drama. This fruit did not fall far from the Romeo & Juliet tree. Romance, love, plots, and drama are all turned modern and splendidly rendered. Add to that a great soundtrack, beautiful shots, tension, hot eroticism, sex, and you get the perfect mix for that type of flick.

All the actors are playing their best game, without exception. The story line is gripping, interesting, and it delivers without fail. The twists are numerous, non-repetitive, and scandalous.

This movie showed everybody that Sarah Michelle Gallar could play anything, because this role is as far from the vampire slayer as you can get.

A must see.
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not worth the time
judiciary12 March 2011
I am shocked that this movie is rated as highly as it is. It was offensive without being titillating, and gave little satisfaction for watching it in the end. Reece Witherspoon's character was never developed in the script so that you care what happens to her. Ryan Philippe's character is filled with bravado, but little else. Sarah Gellar's character is the only interesting one, and she seems to be a caricature. There is a surprising ending, but it is not much of a surprise. The technicals of the film are mostly fine--good lighting, interesting scenery outside and rich appointments inside. The sound was a bit difficult to hear on the VHS copy I saw. All in all, a waste of talent and time.
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marquis de cinema27 March 2000
Cruel Intentions(1999) is a tame and lousy movie that never retains the sense of tragedy found in the Stephen Frears version of Dangerous Liaisons. It was a stupid idea to set it among high school teens(rich teens) because the characters in the film are angels compared to the French Aristocrats of the late 18th Century who were the most ruthless, extremely decandent and evil human beings around. What I find amazing is that there are many people who are unaware that the first version of Dangerous Liaisons was done in 1960 by Roger Vadim with Jeanne Moreau with the setting similar to this film except with married adults involved. The characters in the movie behaved like bad little children instead of the evil jerks that aristocrats were. This film is the worst version of the novel that its based on.

I would have enjoyed the movie more if it took a more hardcore approach to the material instead of the softness injected into it. Its easy for Hollywood to do a version of Dangerous Liaisons then it would be to do a version of 120 Days of Sodom as a novel like this might hit close to home in its subject matter. I think that the movie would've been better off in the hands of a director like for instance Francois Truffalt, Abel Ferrara, Bernardo Bertulucci, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Catherine Breillat(did the brillant Movie Romance-1999), and someone like Pier Paolo Pasolini who would have made the film more powerful and interesting. The humillation scene would have been better if it showed the spirit of Valmont coming out of nowhere ala Harry Lime to give a big smile at his step sister during this scene. I suggest this motion picture to people who are unable to see films that deal with adult themes and sexual content shown in an emotional and everyday way of life style.
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the worst of the worst for all the wrong reasons
petecrooks27 July 2000
I saw this on video with a friend who had purchased the used copy from an ugly, awful chain video store.

Cruel Intentions represents the worst, nastiest, greediest sludge of Hollywood.

First it exploits young actors and viewers by titillating with trite but explicit sexuality. Ryan Phillippe is one of the least charismatic actors I have ever seen, and Ms. Gellar baffles me with her popularity. She is a homely, scrawny, faux-thespian doing Cruella DeVille on emil nitrate, but is supposed to be this sex kitten.

the plot twists in this film are so forced and contrived that they made me very sad and tired, without really being sleepy.

Lastly, the film smugly calls itself a contemporary interpretation of a literary classic to boost its resume. All it is is an R rated version of Saved By the Bell meets Dallas.

Bottom of the pond scum. I recommend Belle Du Jour
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a juvenile production of a wonderful literary work. in other words-a "dumbed" down version of a seemingly beautiful work.
gopika27 January 2000
this movie had to be the worst film i have ever seen in my life.

originally i never wanted to see the movie and wished that i never was given the opportunity to do so. seeing that this movie was shown as part of a course requirement i was given little choice--i couldn't help but notice how bland the film was.

the actors were horrid, very fourth rate...a high school production would have rated higher than these "actors".

if you want to see a great take on this movie view "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"...better yet "Dangerous Liaisons".

I do not recommend this movie upon my worst enemy.
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Stupifyingly bad, an insult even to its teen audience.
roger-353 March 1999
Well, one thing for sure is that the previous three versions of Dangerous Liaisons have nothing to fear from this latest remake. After leaving the theatre I was hard-pressed to decide what the worst part of the film was. The cast are barely passable to pathetic, especially Ryan (54) Phillippe. The writing and direction turn the first half into an attempt to shock with repeated double entendres and sexual innuendo. It wants to be soft-core porn. And the second half is simply teenage soap opera played out so cheesily that it almost seems like a satire of itself - but don't give the filmmaker that much credit. In the end it was stupifyingly bad, an insult even to the younger teen audience to which it is obviously targeted.
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Excellent teen flick which will have you feeling good from start to finish
Catherine_Grace_Zeh21 November 2005
CRUEL INTENTIONS, in my opinion, is an excellent teen flick which will have you feeling good from start to finish. When Dr. Greenbaum (Swoosie Kurtz) pounded on her office window and yelled at Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) after Marci (Tara Reid) called her in tears, I really felt good. To me, the performances were top grade, the direction was flawless, the costumes were perfectly designed, and the set was nice. Also, the scenes with Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) were excellent, too. Now, in conclusion, I highly recommend this excellent teen flick which will have you feeling good from start to finish to any Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, or Reese Witherspoon fan who hasn't seen it. You're in for a good time, so go to the video store, rent it or buy it, kick back with a friend, and watch it.
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Weak and awful are both gross understatements...
MovieAddict20168 March 2004
I'm sick and tired of these crappy teen "updates" of classic films that aren't half as good as the source material and somehow rake in millions more.

One must wonder how in the world this ever got made in the first place. And how in the world did it ever become a box office smash? The majority of the filmgoers must have been teenagers, because I doubt any educated cinemagoer could actually enjoy *this*, much less recommend it to someone else. I could be wrong, but I somehow doubt it. (Roger Ebert liked it. Why? How?)

Forgive my condenscending tone, but this film is a disaster. Essentially a lackluster teen update of "Dangerous Liaisons," "Cruel Intentions" concerns the bet between step-siblings Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar with black hair). If Sebastian can lay Annette (Reese Witherspoon), a virgin, then he gets to keep Kathryn for himself. But if he fails, then Kathryn gets his Jaguar. Simple enough, yes?

Not so. Annette is very reserved about her feelings and her body, which provides a bit of a problem for Sebastian. But let's face it: we all know what's going to happen between them. Without spoiling the movie, our first thoughts are that Sebastian will lay Annette, then realize that he really loves her over Kathyrn, then become "unevil." I'm not going to confirm or deny this as truth, but I will say that a lot of the thoughts you're probably having about what happens in this movie are correct.

This could have been an intriguing film, to be blatantly honest. Some teen updates, such as "Romeo + Juliet," have a unique style that provides the audience with something new. Not here. Sure, "Cruel Intentions" is stylish, but it brings nothing new to the party, and you're going to be left with a sour taste in your mouth after it's over. You're also going to be continually checking your watch to see how much longer the film is and slapping your own head every time the stupid characters on-screen mutter their scripted words.

Still, even with its stylish non-style aside, "Cruel Intentions" had potential as a sort of stupid, entertaining film. But Phillippe is one of the worst actors of the decade, and Sarah Michelle Gellar is no hot catch, either. Every production they touch usually ends up either disappointing or awful (sometimes both), including "Scooby-Doo" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

And Witherspoon, the best young actress in the film, is entirely subdued here. She seems like an utter dipsy-doodle idiot cast between a dangerous game between two non-related siblings. Which is the point. But she doesn't seem very intriguing at all, and her performance in 2001's "Legally Blonde" is by far a much better one. She basically played the same part, with the same corny dialogue, but that movie was a comedy that intended its audience to laugh at the character. Here she is actually meant to be taken seriously, which is almost as laughable as the entire film's overall effect.

Based on Choderlos de Laclos' "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" and its original 1988 film remake with John Malkovich, "Cruel Intentions" is nothing but a modern day pale imitation of a greater picture. Its dialogue is ridiculous and its characters are all stereotypical. We know where the film is going long before it seems to know that we know that, which means we get a lot of stupid and cliched moments in between.

This is a bad movie, and a bad remake. Perhaps with someone cleverer behind the helm, and with better actors and actresses, this could have been worthwhile. But then it would have just been "Dangerous Liaisons," would it not?

* 1/2 out of *****.
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The cruel thing is making somebody watch this garbage...
Infofreak8 November 2001
'Cruel Intentions' updates Choderlos de Laclos 18th Century novel of sex, deception and morality (or lack thereof) for the 'Buffy'/MTV generation and falls flat on its ass. This is a movie so God-awfully embarrassing that you wouldn't even wish it on a Backstreet Boys fan!

All the cleverness, subtlety and ironic wit of the original story is lost in this dumbed down Gen Next mess. It doesn't even work on the trash level of similar superficial crap like 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' or 'Wild Things'. It's just plain BAD in every department!

Gellar and Phillippe completely fail to convince as the Machiavellian anti-heroes. You do not believe in them for one second, and that is the major problem with this movie. But not the only problem. The acting is uniformly awful, but special mention must go to Selma Blair who will have you cringing in disbelief. It's a wonder she ever worked again after this. The usually impressive Reese Witherspoon fares the least worst from this turkey, but no-one could seriously claim that this role is one for her to be proud of. Let's just pretend it just never happened, okay?

'Cruel Intentions' is THE PITS. If you're too brain-dead from watching Britney and Christina videos all day, try any of the three previous versions of this story. They are all worth watching, and all demolish this fiasco. And if you want to see a REALLY cynical and wickedly subversive teen spoof try Gregg Araki's 'Nowhere'. It's twenty times the movie this will EVER be! The decision is yours...
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Les Dreadful Liaisons
kenjha29 May 2007
Did the world need a teen version of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"? Writer-director Kumble's screenplay is atrocious, veering from convoluted to mildly interesting to boring to ludicrous. Phillippe and Gellar look like little kids trying to play grown-up roles while the grown-ups (Fletcher, Kurtz, Baranski) simply look embarrassed. All the characters are uninteresting and one-dimensional. The dialog is so bad at times that it appears that Kumble is doing a spoof of the de Laclos novel except that any humor is purely unintentional. Phillippe's character is supposed to be a misguided and tragic hero or something but comes across as a confused and spoiled brat.
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A waste of time and money.
BigDWS27 December 1999
A few friends and I went to see "Cruel Intentions" when it first came out in the theatres. I had absolutely no idea what it was about, nor what to expect. Let's just say I left the theatre in a disappointed mood. The movie is shrouded with poor acting, a stupid plot, and nothing but cheap sex thrills for teenagers to swallow up. I myself am a teenager and found the movie to not only be disgusting, but a waste of time and money. I'm glad I'll never have to see this movie ever again.
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A Redeeming Ending
jrfranklin0131 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
"Cruel Intentions" is something a sadistic look at other people through the eyes of two spoiled university brats. They view others as mere objects that are insignificant unless they are of some use or entertainment. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Kathryn Merteuil, her university's class president. She conveys a public image of sunshine and roses but behind closed doors carries out actions not better than a sociopathic slut. Her step-brother, Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) is of equal footing, living the life of a playboy whose ambitions favor the seduction of innocent young girls.

The brother and sister soon engage in a bet involving the deflowering of a puritanical coed. If Sebastian wins, Kathryn is his to do anything he wants with. Yes, this means some pretty perversely incestual acts. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian's vintage Jaguar. The kicker to what would seem an otherwise easy accomplishment for Sebastian is that the girl he has in his targets, Annette Hargrove (played by Reese Witherspoon), is anything but stupid and is keen of Sebastian's reputation and his advances.

*SPOILER* A bit of the plot gets lost in Kathryn revenge against a boyfriend that dumped her. She justifies going after his girlfriend so that her actions cannot be traced back. This makes sense except for the fact that it would appear that little harm if any would have made to the boyfriend.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is about as seductive and sexual as you can imagine in the film without actually taking her clothes off. Reese Witherspoon does great at being a good-natured person with a brain actually fixed to her beautiful body. Perhaps the carried weight of the whole film rests on Ryan Phillippe's performance and how love transforms him. But in redemption of some of the film's wandering and weak plot points, the ending comes along as a wonderful tsunami of sweet justice. *SPOILER* Sebastian turned over his most prized possession to Annette to show her the truth of who he is. In a beautifully portrayed ending like that of "Real Genius" (soundtrack playing in the background and the film's characters moving in slow motion), Kathryn storms out of the school's main hall and discovers every dark secret in her brother's journal has been published for all to see. 6/10
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This movie sucked...
GAPgirl-210 March 1999
I saw this movie on the weekend expecting it to be good. I was pretty disappointed because it was really, really, bad. Not only did its "f**k as many people as you can and you're cool" morals annoy me (the two normal people in the film who did not screw everyone they could, were portrayed as not as cool as the two slutty people), but the acting and plot line were terrible as well. The plot was really thin especially at the end when Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon were supposed to fall in love and then you were supposed to feel sorry for him (what was that?). Anyway I suggest save your money and go see a good movie or if you must see it at least wait until it comes out on video.
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mysteriously well liked
emwolf18 September 2011
Many people adore this movie. A friend of mine recommended this to me and I trusted his judgment. I probably should say that, although I found it well made, I was no great fan of Dangerous Liaisons either. I found Cruel Intentions very poorly written and badly overacted. Attempts at tenderness and intimacy come across as heavy handed and the attempts at eroticism are laughable. Sarah Michelle Gellar has a huge following who find her irresistible. I am not one of those. Perhaps this is one of those movies, like Showgirls, that can be really funny when re-watched, but my initial viewing was sheer embarrassment for all involved in making this steaming mess of a movie.
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A sassy, sexy, and downright seductive shocker!. Cruel Intentions is one of my all time favorite films.
callanvass28 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Cruel Intentions is seriously a movie that gives me the chills, every time I watch it. Its bold, its daring, and downright chilling. The main thing I dug about Cruel Intentions, was the relationships, and the manipulation for there own benefits. Sebastian is used to getting his own way, he uses woman to sleep with them, and manipulates people for the hell of it, along with his sister Kathryn. What we don't know at the start of the movie, is how Sebastian has been affected by Kathryn. Then comes along Annette, who Sebastian figures will be his little toy, his own personal trophy so to speak. As much as I loved the relationship between Kathryn and Sebastian, I adored the one between Annette and Sebastian even more. We see this arrogant young charmer, who loves to mess people up, and as the movie progresses, we see the real him start to come out, thanks to Annette. Sebastian isn't used to fun, he's not used to genuine laughter, other than the laughter he got for his own amusement, and Annette gave that all to him.

It just seemed so genuine. I'm a rare guy who enjoys romance, and this put a whole new deal on romance for me, They pushed the envelope many times, and I loved every minute of it. One thing I was disappointed about though is they didn't give us enough info, on how Kathryn and Sebastian became so evil together. The prequel|If that's what you wanna call it| gave us snippets of information, but it was basically a rehash, so I would really love to see a real movie focused on the relationship of Kathryn and Sebastian. Cruel Intentions is a movie I can't stop thinking about, each time I watch it. Each time I have new questions I need answering, and every time I noticed something new, something that stimulates my mind even more. It's just a fascinating film, and one of my favorite daring love stories.

Performances. Ryan Phillippe in his best role in my opinion, delivers a suave, emotional, and downright convincing show. At the start of the movie we are aware of his charm, but we hate what he's pulling, yet somehow he's able to make us relate to him. It's a terrific performance, that often gets overlooked, how can people honestly say he's wooden?. Sarah Michelle Gellar gives one hell of a devious, yet deliciously sexy performance. She's clearly a backstabbing woman, who cares about no one about herself, and at the time Sebastian seemingly is the only one who understands her, it's only what's revealed in the diary, that we come to see how he felt. Reese Witherspoon is fabulous as Annette. Perfectly innocent, yet wonderfully charming, and good-hearted. Her simple gorgeous smile, or her easy-going charm can put a smile on your face in a minute. Her chemistry with Ryan was outstanding. Selma Blair plays the ditsy Cecile to perfection. She's clearly a ditz, yet a likable one. Joshua Jackson has a small bit as a gay man. Sean Patrick Thomas plays the token black part down to a T, and a has a key role in the end. Tara Reid has a small part in the beginning.

Bottom line. Cruel Intentions is a movie I'm very fond of, and I can proudly say it's one of my all time favorites. This isn't just a movie for teens, it's a powerful love story for us adults too. I think everybody needs to experience this movie at least once. An absolute must see! Now I gotta check out Dangerous Liasons, because that's what this movie is based on.

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