Basic Instinct
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This cold, stylish erotic-thriller grossed over $100 million at the box-office despite vigorous protests at its depiction of gays and women. The shocking opening sequence features a graphic sexual encounter involving a rock-star bound with a white Hermes scarf by an unidentified blond woman. Despite the fact that the scene ends with a bloody icepick murder (horrifyingly realized by makeup artist Rob Bottin), Hermes scarves quickly sold out at stores nationwide. This seeming paradox is at the heart of the film's appeal, as it mixes perverse sexuality and erotic bloodshed in a manner common… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Joe Eszterhas shamelessly reworks ideas and themes he had earlier exploited in films such as Jagged Edge and Music Box, but the sheer overheated nature of Verhoeven's direction makes this extremely watchable."
‑ John Ferguson, Radio Times
"Trailer trash Hitchcock spliced with overboiled film noir."
‑ Jamie Graham, Total Film
"[Stone] is the very best thing about this often disappointing, frantically sexy and, ultimately, unpalatable thriller."
‑ Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Basic Instinct is 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."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Flashy, raunchy and schlocky, Basic Instinct is classic nineties noir for which Verhoeven's overblown direction and Stone's exposure secured a place in movie history."
‑ , Film4
"[Verhoeven] has always had a skill for storytelling, however questionable and tasteless the materials; but here he is hopelessly defeated by Ezsterhas' talky, slow-moving, and derivative script."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"There's nothing new about this ploy, or about much else in Basic Instinct, but it's disheartening to see that Hollywood is still afflicted by its age-old anxiety toward strong, confident women."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Call me a prude, but it's not sexy watching an erotic thriller in which every time a couple does it, one of them gets it with an ice pick. I don't care how many firmly toned tummies and tushes are bared."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The result may be flimsy, but it goes out and grabs you from the start."
‑ , Sky Movies
"If Basic Instinct achieves nothing else, it will replace Caligula as Bob Guccione's favorite movie."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Through all this, there remains that calm center of nasty, brilliant social insight."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
More reviews for Basic Instinct on Rotten Tomatoes

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