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Finding the identity of a killer is always fascinating, no matter what you're watching...
Nazi_Fighter_David18 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone who has seen the film, discover that the story runs into an intense sexual chess game between a San Francisco detective ('But you said you liked men to use their hands.') and a vivid writer ('No. I said I liked Johnny to use his hands.')

Catherine (Sharon Stone) loves coke and Jack Daniel's... She is enigmatic ('How does it feel to kill someone?'), cool ('I like men who give me pleasure.'), frank ("What are you going to do? Charge me with smoking?") penetrating ("I've always had a fondness for white silk scarves"'), in complete command of herself... Her character holds men in her grip... To each uncrossing of legs, she masters every type of attraction...

Catherine is a bisexual heiress, who teases, tempts and commands… She refuses to let us know that she's a true threat... She creates one of the classic Femme Fatale by leading us up to twist after twist, weaving outcomes of situations to her advantage...

Nick (Michael Douglas) is the vice cop who drinks, and does a little cocaine… He accidentally shot two tourists in the line of duty... He is a troubled policeman who knows all about homicidal impulse... He is torn between two skilled women at psychology... One of the women is an evil manipulator... We can sense that Nick knows which one is the supposed killer... Nick insists he will be strong enough to take her down...

The third intriguing character of Verhoeven's "Basic Instinct" is Roxy (Leilani Sarell). She is Catherine's lesbian lover... Roxy is the menacing blonde of the black Ferrari, who seems not to get jealous, but to get excited... We see her wearing pants and a jacket, and dancing with another woman... Roxy let Nick sees Catherine with two men, one of them is a big, body-built black guy...

And there is another interesting character who deserves wide attention: the police psychologist who helps Catherine understand homicidal impulse... Dr. Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is a very good-looking, dark-haired woman, who has been involved in a love affair with a policeman...

Basic Instinct's photography borrows a range of angles from Hitchcock... The score, by Jerry Goldsmith, is wonderful... The film is wildly considered a controversial and popular erotic thriller...
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What A Film!
btbshining18 September 2001
This is one of my favorite films, even though it has some problems.

The film caused controversy with some of the gay crowd (who didn't like the negative press) and for the graphic sex (with bedroom violence). It became a box office winner, that made Sharon Stone a star, and yet was basically p****d on by the critics! The word is the film is better than your average B movie skin flick, only by the quality of the actors, and Verhoeven's ability. I feel the film is still not given the respect it's due.

I first saw the R-rated version, which is very good, but now you can get the even better Unrated Director's Cut, which has even more graphic content! If you don't like erotic-thrillers, then don't see it. But anyone with taste will enjoy the thrill ride of events that take place in Basic Instinct. The script by Joe Eszterhas was highly thought of in Hollywood, and if not for the graphic nudity, a top star like Michelle Pfeiffer would have taken the role made famous by Sharon stone.

Does the script go too far at times? Yes, but that's part of the films charm, and after all, the now 'classic film moment' of Sharon Stone's leg spread interrogation, likely would have been dropped in a conventional film. Still though, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few less people getting killed off, to keep even more suspense and realism.

The score is also beautiful, and fans of Hitchcock's great "Vertigo" can appreciate the homage that Paul Verhoeven has included. The film has a lot of eye candy, but Jeanne Tripplehorn deserves special mention for her impressive supporting role (sadly she hasn't done much of note since). Michael Douglas does a solid job also, but I can't help wondering if a better actor like Clint Eastwood could have brought more to the table. The dialogue is not up to the level of "Pulp Fiction", but it's still interesting and fun.

I highly recommend this film for fans of adult mystery.
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Over the top erotic thriller
preppy-326 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A man is viciously stabbed to death with an ice pick while having sex--by the way, that's the opening scene! Det. Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) and his partner (George Dzundzu) get involved with the case and its prime suspect--Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone). Then the story kicks into high gear with many twists and turns...

One of the most talked about films of 1992. This movie REALLY pushed the R rating to its limits (a sex scene and killing were cut by a few seconds) and started controversy over supposedly being homophobic. I'll deal with that right away--I'm a openly gay man and proud of it. I found nothing homophobic about this film back in 1992 and I still don't. SPOILER!!!! Yes Stone's character is bisexual and she is a killer. Yes, her lesbian lover dies. But does anyone realize that Stone is the most likable character in the movie and that Douglas and Dzundzu are foul-mouthed jerks? Also Stones sexual inclination is never a specific plot point--she just happens to be bi--it's treated casually. And it's just a movie! I have many other gay friends who saw it and have no problem with it either. SPOILER END!!!!

The plot is intricate with many turns you don't see coming--I had to see the film THREE times to figure it out completely. Here are a few random thoughts about this:

It has a great score by Jerry Goldsmith. Starts right out with a sex murder wasting no time! There's absolutely stunning cinematography by Jan de Bont. Well-directed by Paul Verhoeven. I love Stone's look when she heard about the first murder. The constant references to Hitchcock's "Vertigo" were numerous-check out Stone's outfits. Dorothy Malone pops up in a small part. The interrogation scene with Stone is just superb--and look close when she crosses her legs! The sex sequence between Douglas and Stone is VERY explicit. Douglas should think twice about ever doing a nude scene again (there were giggles when I saw it in a theatre).

Acting is great too. Douglas has played this part before and he's WAY too old but he pulls it off. He is very convincingly loosing it at the end when things start unraveling. Stone is just incredible as Tramell--sexy, frightening, just unbelievable. Her best performance so far. Jeanne Tripplehorn (in her first movie) lends strength in a strong supporting role. Not all of the cast likes this film. Stone has said it's a stupid film and Douglas still won't talk to Verhoeven or Stone and Tripplehorn won't talk about it at all. Also Joe Esztherhaus script is twisty but the dialogue is pretty laughable--it seems dumbed down so everybody will understand it.

Still this is a sexy, violent, strong thriller--one of the best ever done. Try to see the unrated version. Avoid (at all costs) the TV version.
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A fun but very muddled, illogical thriller.
fedor83 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Mad Magazine named it "Basically Stinks". A bit harsh perhaps.

This is not so much about Stone playing mind-games on the perpetually-horny Douglas so much as it is about Esterhaz's script playing mind-games with the viewer.

An extremely convoluted plot; this level of complexity is more often found in political thrillers than in regular cops'n'robbers ones. I'll give credit to Esterhaz for creating a very interesting, original story, but the man isn't undeservedly known for writing illogical scripts. Clearly, his priority is to generate suspense and as many plot twists as possible - no complaints there; those things are always welcome.

However, he does this at the expense of the logic; there are so many coincidences, contradictions, and just general far-fetchedness that even a hairless 14mm kangaroo fetus can figure out that various facts do not add up. By the last quarter of the movie all the (more relevant) evidence points to Tripplehorn as the killer. But, Esterhaz being a thrills-at-the-expense-of-logic seeker that he is, made that predictable last-minute thriller-movie twist: Stone has an ice pick lying beneath her bed, while she has sex with Douglas in the movie's last scene. What does this mean? It implies that Stone is the killer. (Unless that was a complete coincidence; the ice-pick somehow slid from the kitchen and landed under the bed. Or, perhaps, she placed the ice-pick there knowing that she can play mind-games with the audience as well. Am I being stupid? Not any more than this plot.)

However, Tripplehorny had too many motives, too dubious a past, was too emotionally involved - in short: far too suspicious - not to be the killer. And the very coincidence of her being in the building when Douglas killed her shakes away the last iota of doubt about her guilt. Yet, Tripplehorny and Stone cannot both be killers. Or can they...? Esterhaz never suggests this, but the only "logical" explanation, one which would at least tie up some loose ends, would be the following: Tripplehorn and Stone were in it together from the very beginning, just for kicks. I know; it sounds ridiculous, and entails additional illogicalities. But it would at least explain how the hell Stone had all that information about Douglas which he himself at one point said only Tripplehorny had knowledge of, or access to. This is never explained. Since the bald, I.A. dead cop wasn't the one who sold the info to Stone (nor could he have - he didn't know the intimate details which only Tripplehorn knew) it must have been Tripplehorn; this is a fact. But if she interacted with Stone then nothing makes any sense. It's a no-win (no-logic) situation. There is also the "minor" detail of both Stone and Tripplehorn having extremely questionable pasts, with dead bodies lying all around them; this would implicate both.

There is absolutely no point in going further into the complexity of illogical errors which Esterhaz undoubtedly commits. He wanted to entertain, and succeeded. His past scripts have shown him that you can have success with illogic, so he bravely marched on with yet more absurd material - right into the offices of Hollywood bosses. And they took it.

The film is without a doubt very interesting, at times suspenseful, and there are plenty of twists and revelations to avoid any boredom. That way the viewer is happy, Esterhaz is rich, the studio has a success on its hands, Stone finally makes it big, and Douglas gets to yet again have sex with attractive women all over the furniture. Everyone's happy.
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sleazy, amoral and worryingly entertaining
Jagged-113 August 2003
How does one begin a review of what is arguably the most controversial movie of the 90's? Perhaps I should start by saying that although Basic Instinct is complete trash with nothing residing beneath its glitzy surface(despite the claims of Camille Paglia there are NO subliminal meanings and the phallic symbolism of the ice pick is purely coincidental) it's also a riveting psychological thriller with Doublas and Stone providing an impressive double in a refreshingly gripping film.

I will not go deeply into plot detail, as the story is practically part of hollywood folklore, but in summary volatile cop Nick Curran(Michael Douglas) falls in love with murder suspect Catherine Trammell(Sharon Stone) who may,or may not, have brutally murdered her lover with an ice pick. If the plot sounds familiar its probably due to the fact that Basic Instinct is essentially a combination of writer Joe Eszthera's film 'Jagged Edge' and director Paul Verhoeven's film 'The Fourth Man', both of which had their fair share of sex and fashionable violence. Despite this Basic Instinct still is enjoyable and having seen either of those films will have no affect on the unpredictability of the film.

At the centre of the film is Stone's performance which is actually quite superb(though in the long run this film's been more of a curse than a blessing to her film career)as although she's easily the least probable femme fatale ever to grace(or poison to be more accurate) the silver screen, Stone plays her with such zeal that we can't take our eyes off her. That said it should also be pointed out that she becomes rather less intriguing after the first 40 minutes when she becomes involved with Michael Douglas, as her character loses a great deal of her mystique and her personality has less bite. Then of course is the infamous scene (which practically every other reviewer has mentioned and I am going to be no exception) where Tramell is being interrogated by the police and coolly turns the tables on them by exploiting their libidos and reducing them to drooling idiots, totally ridiculous but easily the film's best scene and certainly one that is not going to be soon forgotten (no doubt to the chagrin of Sharon Stone).

The rest of the cast are fine, with Michael Douglas doing the character he does best(the rather thuggish white male who constantly gets involved with the wrong kind of woman), Jeanne Tripplehorn doing an adequate job as Nick's pyschologist and George Dzunda manages to be the only half-way likable character in the movie as Curran's best(and only)friend. Unfortunately Leilani Sarelle is under-used as Catherine Trammell's enigmatic girlfriend(I forgot to mention Catherine's Bi-sexual).

The film is, of course, not without flaws. No-one (not even the director) could deny that Basic Instinct has such big plot holes you could park a car in them as for some of the events in the film to make sense characters would need to be either clairvoyant or in possession of other-worldly powers. The endings also a bit of a cop out (no I WON'T reveal it) as it was clearly engineered so that it could be easily changed with a single edit if preview audiences were unsatisfied with it.

It is also impossible to ignore the huge controversey that surrounded the films release with a particulair furor being caused by feminists and lesbians over their portrayal in the film. In truth the jury's still out on wether Basic Instinct is homophobic, but I personally don't think it is as the characters' sexuality is never really an issue although in fairness it is used as a somewhat cheap plot device to titillate the audience. The case made by feminists is much stronger as all the women in the film are portrayed as dubious and potentially dangerous. The main defence against all this is that, frankly, all the characters are unpleasent and devious , with perhaps one exception, and no discrimination is given in any way. The other issue was, of course, the sex scenes which ,although explicit, are really rather passé these days.

The film is stylishly filmed, expertly paced, brilliantly directed and has a superb music score from Jerrry Goldsmith. I'll give it a high score(by my standards) of 8 out of 10
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Classic Verhoeven
tmensamaster-21 November 2002
Paul Verhoeven is one of my favorite directors. His movies are so damn entertaining. They always, well I should say most of the time, have wit and intelligence [Forget 'Showgirls' and 'Hollow Man', any director can make mistakes] and have either graphic sex or violence or both. 'Basic Instinct' is in the latter category. It is so erotic and Stone and Douglas have so much sexual chemistry that when you look at an Adrian Lyne film, you see them for the crap they are.

Basic plotline has Stone's character, 'Catherine Tramell', accused of the vicious sex murder of a retired rock and roll star. Douglas's character has a strange attraction to her, which may not lead to good things..... Paul Verhoven has openly admitted that this film is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic masterpiece 'Vertigo'. In fact, Stone wears, in sequence, the same wardrobe as Kim Novak did [which makes you wonder, was she wearing panties under her clothes]. That brings us to the interrogation scene, which is the best in the movie. Stone shamelessly flirts with the cops' libidos until the buildup of sexual tension is so great, Stone releases it by playing 'peek-a-boo' with the space in between her legs. Every male viewer cherishes that scene, simply because it is so sexy. That word can be used throughout the film, as Stone and Douglas do the mattress mumbo. At the time, the sex scenes were so realistic that the press went wild and debated whether or not viewers were witnessing un-simulated sex. The film is still quite sexually daring today and has an intriguing spider's web plot too. The plot's twists and turns manage to make the movie sexier as the viewer wonders whether Sharon is innocent or guilty..........

The film's only misstep occurs at the end, with an unsatisfactory ending that makes the whole film seem like some stupid, contrived game. But it's not. It keeps it's fascination and it's sexiness and its suspense right up till the end, which is what a good erotic thriller should. Actually, the ending for some will lead to a lot of discussion if you watch the film with someone, as the film toys with two of the film's characters innocence or guilt and does not give up all its secrets.....

The film is great Verhoeven. It has his usual, hilarious, seemingly inappropriate kinky humor and extreme sex and violence to match. The fact that Verhoeven is actually able to balance the film and make it funny and sexy is wonderful film-making. Well, have I said 'sexy' enough times? Then go rent it.........8/10

P.S. If you like this one, check out Verhoevens' Dutch film ''The Fourth Man''. It has a similar plot and even a similar character that resembles Catherine Tramell. If the ending of 'Basic Instinct' leaves you wanting, check that film out. It is even better than 'Basic' and is more 'arty'. It is also a little bit more daring erotically.
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Great thriller which constantly gets reduced to it's nude scenes
sposocke1 February 2005
The title says it all, this is one great thriller which I rate higher than "Se7en" or similar apparently top notch films in this category. It has loads of suspense, high tension, catchy and memorable dialogues, great actors, fabulous music score and an excellent director who didn't get scared off by protesters and other hypocrites. And yes, they are hypocrites in my mind, people who watch this movie are meant to be mature, thus denying sex is either hypocritical or prudish. If that's not your thing okay, then don't watch it but don't rate it low just because you can't handle it. Because the sex scenes are really just a few minutes long (I'm European and they're really aren't that strong) but make up a large part of Catherine's character and are a fundamental part of the plot. The film would be unthinkable without them but shouldn't be reduced to them either. Naturally don't watch it with your kids, but if you're not scared of some nudity and like thrillers you'll love this one since it keeps one on the edge right until the end.
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the sexiest movie ever made
baumer16 June 1999
You know a movie achieves its objective when you think that a character is sexier than the person that plays her. That is exactly what Catherine Tremell does. She exudes sex and that is exactly her game. She knows that she can play with people's minds by using her beauty and her sex appeal. And she does it so well.

The epitome of this is the interrogation scene. Much has been made about nudity in film but this is one of those movies where every breast and every shot of someone's crotch is done so to further the plot. The famous scene that we have all witnessed now is a major part of Tremell's M.O. She knows there are a room full of men asking her questions and she uses that sexuality to play with them. And it works.

The cast and the script and the direction are top notch and the movie feels like it is one big game. And Catherine Tremell is the ultimate game master. I really loved this film and I rate it a perfect ten.
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A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.
Old Joe31 January 2002
The 90's was a decade that was blessed with many great movies, yet there are none greater than that of Basic Instinct. It is a truly great film. With Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone heading a wonderful cast, this was one of the great thriller movies I can remember watching. It had everything a movie could want, a bit of mystery, sex, intrigue and murder. There will need to be a pretty good movie to replace this classic from the top as one of the greatest all-time thrillers.

Nick Curran is a disgraced San Francisco police detective who helps investigate the murder of a prominent city official. Curran has a history of alcoholism and drug abuse although he is clean now. Catherine Tramell, the chief suspect, a spoiled rich girl with a background in psychology is toying with Curran's mind. When Curran is taken off the case, he enters into a dangerous relationship with Tramell, which could have bad implications. Soon everyone Curran comes into contact with turns into a suspect.

Undoubtedly, this movie is most famous for it's high level sex scenes that it contains. While I did enjoy them, they are overrated just a fraction. I must admit Sharon Stone has an incredible body and she certainly knows all the moves. These scenes also turned Michael Douglas into a sex manic of sorts and partially ruined his first marriage to Diandra Luker. Yet they create quite a mood for this film and are the main reason why it was the success it was.

The cast was great in this too. Michael Douglas is a Hollywood legend and this film only made him even more popular. His role as a the down and out cop was great. Douglas has some great films to his credit. These include Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction (not to similar to Basic Instinct), A Perfect Murder, and of recent Traffic (alongside his second wife Catherine Zeta Jones) and Don't say a word. Then what do you say about Sharon Stone? Before this film she was virtually an unknown, then she stormed on to our screens, without letting audiences take a breathe. Her film credits include The quick and the dead, Total Recall and The Specialist.

Other cast members include Jeanne Tripplehorn, who played Curran's ex-wife and Psychologist Dr Elizabeth Garner. Her role made me feel very anxious to realise what was going to happen. The sex scene involving her was a little hard to take. Then you have the good guy of the film, Gus, played by George Dzundza, but the way we see him go is also too much to handle. One other actress I did recognise, was Leilani Saralle, who played one of Catherine Tramell's gay lover's, Roxy.

Basic Instinct had a very good director, that being Paul Verhoven. He made this film extremely well and any other director might have got it wrong. He has made some other good films including Robo Cop, Starship Troopers and Total Recall. He did do one big flop, that being Showgirls. He commented on that film by saying `I think it was bad too'. I am sorry Paul, but you were right. Basic Intinct's script was pretty good in how it left you dangling. It was like you were in a big game of cat and mouse. I can understand that some people might not like it for that reason, but I thought it was good. The movie also had a great musical score attached to it, giving the movie a chilling feel to it.

So, all in all Basic Instinct is a film that I will always remember. It was so controversial that where I come from, I remember people needed to show there ID to get into the local cinemas, because of its sexual and violent content. I don't blame the cinemas for doing so, because it is not suitable for young eyes to see. If you want to watch a great thriller, then sit down and watch Basic Instinct. Trust me its ‘nice'!

Rating: 5 stars or 10/10
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More than just sex scenes!
supertom-323 July 2004
Sure its dirty minded, and extremely violent, but underneath all of Paul Verhoevens trademark sleaze there is a great film noir thriller to be seen. The film has a sense of an old 40's or 50's film noir, but of course with the 90's boundaries in taste and graphic nudity. The story is quite involving and there are plenty of twists and turns and unresolved endings. Michael Douglas is good in his role and must have really enjoyed film shagging Jean Tripplehorn and Sharon Stone, while it is Stone who steals the show as the writer Catherine, whose books write about murders that are apparently being copied by a murdering female. Its very steamy but the cinematography and the score are all very good and the film is more clever than merely T&A. It is a film that has spawned many inferior clones, usually TV movies starring melon chested playboy queen Shannon Tweed. ****
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It'll Wear Ya Out
newnoir30 March 2001
It'll wear ya out. Those were the words uttered by an old guy who was walking out of Basic Instinct that I overheard. A woman asked if the film we just saw was any good and that's what he answered. I did feel worn out by the experience of seeing this film. It was a first rate crackerjack erotic thriller. A triple degree black belt in modern movie thriller cinema. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven proves himself to be a first rate filmmaking madman with this monster work.

Sharon Stone became one of my fave rave movie stars after the release of this flick. All her other work has pretty much been second rate. And Mikey Douglas once again pushes the envelope in Hollywood where everything these days must be safe and non-offensive. This is badass dangerous filmmaking, daddy-o, and it's apart of what I call The Evil Three. The Evil Three Of Filmmaking. Or the the three sexual films that really p***ed a lot of people off. The Evil Three consists of: Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal. Too bad Mike didn't play Redford's part in Proposal. That woulda REALLY honked those uptight squares off.

And don't listen to the stiffs who hated this film because of its so called negative portrayals of lesbians. I think most intelligent folk knew before going to see this movie that most lesbians don't have a thing for ice picks and crotchless underwear. A word to the wiseguy...
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a thriller with an interesting twist on the old detective vs. a suspect who happens to be an irresistible babe as well as a hard as nails dame.
christopher9004526 December 2004
I gave this film a 10 in part because 12 years after seeing it for the first -- and only -- time, it still evokes a spontaneous "wow, it was great" whenever I think of it. The screenplay was truly excellent in its genre, leaving you guessing and revising your guess throughout the film. It should also be commended for daring to portray an "uber"- homosexual with no apology to either conservative homophobes or the zealously politically correct.

Douglas merits praise for this performance, which was so good that I was able to put my intense dislike of him for personal reasons aside and worry about the safety of the character he portrayed in the film.

As for Sharon Stone, it only takes one performance like the one in this film to make an indelible mark. Superb. I had no idea who Sharon Stone was when I went to see this film and I left the theater as mesmerized by her screen presence as I had been by Faye Dunaway's in Bonnie and Clyde and Kristin Scott Thomas in Brideshead Revisited. The caliber of her breakthrough in this film matches that of Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential and Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted.

In much the same way as Glenn Close set the standard for a certain character type in Fatal Attraction, Stone established the standard for another character type against which all subsequent interpretations should be measured. If it were only to see how beautiful Stone is in this film it would be well worth the rental. She leaves as unforgettably stylish and seductive an impression as Rita Hayworth's Gilda did in a role that might be thought of as the anti-Gilda.
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Pushes the envelope, with no substance to back it up.
Clothes-Off17 November 2007
When word came out that one of the highest prices to date was paid for this screenplay, many excellent screenwriters must have been scratching their heads in disbelief. But the studio got a return on its investment, in dollars if not in quality.

Kudos to Michael Douglas for accepting a daring part at this stage in his career, but for all he and Sharon Stone give to their roles, the script lets them down, with poorly-developed supporting characters and a very unsatisfying conclusion.

Then there's the gay/bisexual angle. This film angered some gay activists because of its negative portrayal of female sexuality. I don't think there was any disrespect intended, but it seemed that way because of the careless handling of the female characters. The character of Roxy, a girlfriend of Stone's character, would have been much more fleshed-out in a better film.

So for all the thrill of the sex scenes and the suspense, the viewer is left at the end saying merely, "Okay, I've seen it." And that's all I'll say as well. It's worth seeing once if you're curious, but once is more than enough. It does not hold up in repeated viewings.
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Just Love It (original director's cut)
Wes-1323 December 2000
I first saw this movie at it's theatrical release and then later stumbled upon the original director's cut video(red box) at Best Buy. This is absolutely the one to see. I watched it again last night, and then went to this data base to review other viewer's comments and finally to vote (9) myself. The director's cut is fabulous as far as I am concerned. The acting (esp. Douglas) is super, the tight hard boiled dialogue and dramatic scenes are excellent, the music score is "eery" and perfect for this type of movie, and the whole production design keeps the viewer spellbound throughout. The only real hangup is the icepick at the very end. It "throws" the viewer into a state of limbo and leaves the ending a bit unresolved in the viewer's mind. To be sure, those who have seen this one either loved it or hated it, but on must view the director's cut on it's own terms: that is of good sound, well done movie making regardless of the subject matter.
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Get ready.
lee_eisenberg12 March 2006
"Basic Instinct" is one movie that truly blows your mind. You've probably heard about the interrogation scene, but there's of course more to the movie than that. As Det. Nick Curran, Michael Douglas seems to be channeling his character in "Fatal Attraction" somewhat, and preparing for his role in "The Game" a few years later. But it's Sharon Stone, as author Catherine Tramell, who really makes the movie what it is. Along with the interrogation scene, she's like a combination of every femme fatale throughout movie history.

But overall, I can't do this movie justice by trying to describe it. You have to see it to understand it. One of the reasons that it's so good is that you can never really tell who's on which side. As for all the sex (which probably takes up a quarter to a third of the movie)...well, that's part of what makes the movie so good. But I should remind you that this movie is very likely to completely blow you away. Also starring George Dzundza and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Considering that Paul Verhoeven directed "Soldier of Orange" in his native Netherlands, then directed "Robocop" and "Basic Instinct" here (and even "Starship Troopers" was OK), why did he degenerate into "Hollow Man"?
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R-rated vs. Director's Cut
sweetdaddyjones39117 July 2002
Best erotic thriller ever, period. I own the unrated DVD from Artisan. Very violent and sexual, it lives up to its reputation of being very controversial, even by today's standards. A female killer stabs a man to death, but who is it? that is the main focale point of this movie. gotta love the interrogation scene. Definitely not for children or those with a light stomach for violence or sex, both the R-rated and Director's Cut.

Rated R: some strong violence, strong sexuality, and language.

Unrated: some graphic bloody violence, very strong sexuality including rape, and language.
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Does Not Hold Up At All
JasonIK7530 March 2007
Basic Instinct seemed like a big deal 15 years ago, since there was so much nudity and sex. Unfortunately, once you get past that, there's not much else here. The plot is so convoluted that even Joe Esterhaz, the guy who wrote it, wasn't sure who the killer was or what happened. The film did make Sharon Stone a star, but did not help her in the long run. Aside from Casino, has she made one good movie since Basic Instinct? In a way, it did for her what Dracula had done for Bela Lugosi 61 years earlier. Yes, the roles made them famous and immortal, but also typecast them leading to careers in generally inferior films. The gay protesters who objected to the film's negative portrayals of lesbians missed the mark. What they should have objected to is that all of the characters are unlikable or unsympathetic. It's all flash and no substance (pun unavoidable.)
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really bad
xxavaadorex11 November 2003
I was looking forward to seeing this movie..and I finally saw it and I was really disappointed. I thought it was lame. They didn't develop the characters and you never understand Catherine's motives. Don't waste your time.
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Silly, enjoyable thriller with loads of stupid porno sex
CalDexter4 December 2006
I was 16 years old when i first saw Basic Instinct in 1992. For a mainstream Hollywood film its sex scenes were really explicit and shocking. Now its rather tame compared to the other violent and sex mad movies which have surfaced in the last 14 years.

Some of the film is still entertaining, but i just found Michael Dougla's Nick Curran a pain in the ass imbecile who lets Sharon Stone's Catherine Trammell wind him up big time. And the nightclub scene is one of the best laughs in the movie. Dougla's V neck sweater is a fashion disaster and the way he pulls Stone towards him while they are dancing would make any other woman break his jaw.

Still its enjoyable mindless rubbish that does not get better with each viewing.
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Good for some laughs, but mostly just stupid.
davehbrown11 July 2003
This film had me laughing quite often. I really don't think I've ever seen a film in which the cops were portrayed like such complete morons. Realistic cops would have chewed up and spat out Sharon Stone's idiotic character in a second.

Unless you just have to see Sharon Stone nude, don't waste your time with this garbage. Go rent Fargo and see how an intelligent depiction of a murder investigation can be done.
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i can't believe this movie is so popular!
talel_bj9 April 2006
okay, so there is the infamous legcrossing and "the twist" at the end, but please... i have never been particularly fond of sharon stones acting but here performance as femme fatale is really more of a satire than anything even close to sexy! the script is pathetic. catherine did manipulate nick, but what's the truth behind doctor garners story. there are so many clichés here i don't even want to bother laying it out for you, but seriously if it wasn't for michael douglas status as a star and those very explicit scenes no one would even remember this sleazy stupid movie i can't believe how overrated this film is. they say it's a classic. i say skip it
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Leave it to beaver!!!
SanFernandoCurt5 June 2005
Oooo-eee. No thumbs up, but we gotta wave a big stinky finger at this one: Without question, it is one of the funniest movies of the 1990s.

You can pretty much boil it down to the legendary "Guy Who's Never Seen a Pussy Before" scene with Michael Douglas. Cutting to the chase: He deserved an Oscar for that scene alone. Acting, schmacting. He sweats, he palpitates, he looks like he's just about to jump out of his skin! I know what you're thinking: Michael Douglas frequently looks like he's about to jump out of his skin. But in this one, he tops it all by quivering moistly!!! (There's quite a bit of that in this movie.)

And kudos must go to the director. You think of the giants - Hawks, Hitchcock, Truffaut - who attempted "Guy Who's Never Seen a Pussy Before" scenes. Well, compared to "Basis Instinct," they all fell short. Nosirree, it took a true-born HACK like Paul Verhoeven to give it the glistening meatiness and pinkish texture it deserves.

Folks... this isn't some throwaway Brillo patch. It's the real deal.

Oh... and the music is truly great!
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However You Label It, It Does Get Your Attention!
ccthemovieman-113 January 2007
I've heard this movie labeled "soft porn" and perhaps that's correct. There are a number of sexy scenes in here including one famous one with Sharon Stone giving a glimpse of anatomy that usually isn't seen on mainline movies.

The general question of the story is regarding Stone's character "Catherine Trammell." Is "guity of a crime or not guilty? As viewers, we have to guess, and they don't make it easy.

Along with the sex, you get a healthy dose of profanity and gore, too. Needless to say, this is a pretty intense and gritty film. (Many call it sleazy.) To its credit, it's a movie not easily forgotten.

Michael Douglas co-stars as "Det. Nick Curran." In his prime film years, Douglas played in a lot of movies like this, with a lot of sexual stuff and intrigue.

Every character in here is a rough-edged one, which is typical of a Paul Verhoeven-directed film. It may be his best movie (but I don't think much of him).

It was interesting to see Dorthy Malone once again, even if it was just a cameo appearance. The 1950s movie star still looked pretty good to me!
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Could have been something, ended up nothing
gcd7013 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Another trashy thriller that tries to shock and scare you to the edge of your seat, "Basic Instinct" is a classic example of bad technique. Paul Verhoeven's forceful directing and poor method ensure that the potentially intriguing plot is lost in the sex and violence. The film desperately needed toning down, as subtlety and a well-worked script would have been so much more effective.

Michael Douglas is okay, but his detective character is so painfully stupid it's unbelievable. Sharon Stone has shown she poses no threat to the likes of Glen Close and Rebecca De Mornay, as she fails to absorb her character in any way. Supporting cast Jeanne Tripplehorn and George Dzundza outshine the two stars by far.

The sexiness of the film just serves as a distraction, in a movie that never ever lives up to expectations. The comedy also fails dismally. "Basic Instinct" does manage to entertain, but only at a low level. What a shame; that script could have really been something, in the right hands.

PS Oh, what's all the confusion about who did it? Is it not obvious from the final scene?

Friday, May 29, 1992 - Knox District Centre
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Apart From The Sex Scenes What's The Fuss About ?
Theo Robertson28 August 2005
In 1992 BASIC INSTINCT was a media event in itself with right wingers and gay groups standing side by side picketing outside cinemas and mainstream critics gasping as to what Hollywood studios would depict next on screen . Ah you see you'd forgotten all about the controversy hadn't you ? Perhaps that's because the people who called this movie " depraved " or " homophobic " quickly woke up and smelled the coffee and realised they'd made fools of themselves while Paul Verhoeven , Joe Eszterhas and the studio bosses laughed all the way to the bank

I suppose somewhere down the line BASIC INSTINCT was planned as a modern film noir but it's important to note that film noir is a sub genre that is darkly lit . Why then does Verhoeven and cinematographer Jan De Bont insist on using bright and garish colours throughout the movie ? Remember the neon lighting in TOTAL RECALL ? That's the exact same style we see here and you do have to wonder if anyone involved in this production had any inkling of the literal _expression of " Film noir " ? But lets not be too critical since this movie was hyped as containing " the most explicit sex scenes ever seen in a Hollywood production and you can even see a front bottom if you look closely enough " . You do get the feeling that some people need to get out more

All in all a very average movie that without the controversy would have probably disappeared quickly from the box office and seems lame and cynical in the 21st century . You might be surprised to learn that there's a sequel planned for release next year which will no doubt be released straight to DVD
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