Basic Instinct
Basic Instinct (1992)

Michael Douglas stars with red-hot Sharon Stone in this groundbreaking and controversial film that redefined the genre of the sexy thriller.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 20, 1992
DVD Release Date: August 26, 1997
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 53% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Unevenly echoing the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Basic Instinct contains a star-making performance from Sharon Stone but is ultimately undone by its problematic, overly lurid plot.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

Verhoeven does not explore the dark side, but merely exploits it, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Full review…
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.

Full review…
David Keyes

Here is a film so utterly devoid of art and intellect that nothing remains other than a husk of ridiculous ploys.

Full review…
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.

Full review…
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

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.

Full review…
John Ferguson
Radio Times

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.

Full review…
John Hartl
Seattle Times

Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.

Full review…
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

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.

Full review…

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.

Full review…
More reviews for Basic Instinct

Flixster Audience Score: 63% Flixster User Reviews
Nicki Marie
Took me till 2016 to finally see this. Not as shocking or sleazy as expected. Aside from the scene everyone talks about. Actually a bit dull. Sliver was better… More
Alex roy
Paul Verohoeven controversial erotic Thriller is a memorable film about a sexy author accused of killing her lover with an ice pick because she wrote… More
KJ Proulx
"Basic Instinct" is the type of interesting film that is both insane and calm at the same time. If you are watching anyone besides Michael Douglas on… More
Daniel Mumby
Erotic thrillers have never had much by way of credibility. They have a reputation for being cheesy, lurid and sleazy, and are often lumped together with horror… More
Chris Weber
If I'm not mistaken, this is probably the gold standard of erotic thrillers. It's a stylish, lurid romp that owes a fair debt to Hitchcock, but due to… More
Cassie Hill
Great action-packed erotic thriller. Michael Douglas & Sharon Stone were great together & I did not expect the ending to this movie either. :) Love… More