Basic Instinct


Basic Instinct

Critics 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.



Total Count: 62


Audience Score

User Ratings: 131,874
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Movie Info

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


Michael Douglas
as Nick Curran
Sharon Stone
as Catherine Tramell
Jeanne Tripplehorn
as Dr. Beth Garner
Denis Arndt
as Lieutenant Walker
Chelcie Ross
as Captain Talcott
Wayne Knight
as John Correli
Daniel von Bargen
as Lieutenant Nilsen
Jack McGee
as Sheriff
Bill Cable
as Johnny Boz
Stephen Rowe
as Internal Affairs Investigator
Mitch Pileggi
as Internal Affairs Investigator
Mary Pat Gleason
as Juvenile Officer
Freda Foh Shen
as Berkeley Registrar
James Rebhorn
as Dr. McElwaine
David Wells
as Polygraph Examiner
Bradford English
as Campus Policeman
Juanita Jennings
as Receptionist
Craig C. Lewis
as Bartender at Police Bar
Keith Henry McDaniel
as Featured Dancer
Peter Appel
as Detective
Michael Halton
as Bartender at County Western Bar
Keith A. McDaniel
as Featured Dancer
Eric Poppick
as Coroner's Guy
Ron Cacas
as Policeman
Elsie Sniffen
as Roxy's Friend
Ken Liebenson
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Lindy Rasmusson
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Byron Berline
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Eddie Dunbar
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Tod McKibbin
as Doo Wah Riders Band Member
Julie RitterLinda Bond
as Hand Puppet Model
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News & Interviews for Basic Instinct

Critic Reviews for Basic Instinct

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (29)

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

    Mar 25, 2013 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • [The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels.

    Mar 25, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Slick, clever and entertainingly overheated while you're watching it, Basic Instinct starts to evaporate the second you leave the theater.

    Mar 25, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The harsh, politically incorrect truth about Basic Instinct is that it's a tantalizing, suspensefully correct thriller.

    Mar 25, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 25, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 25, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Basic Instinct

  • Dec 05, 2013
    For about the first hour the movie coasts on how bonkers it is and Stone's commanding screen presence. After that it just gets boring which makes the offensive plot all the more glaring.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2013
    An erotic thriller full of intrigue, Basic Instinct is a controversial noir film from director Paul Verhoeven. The story follows a police detective that becomes obsessed with a novelist who's suspected of murdering her lover in the same manner as described in her latest book. The casting is pretty strong, and includes Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. However, it's Stone's performance that makes the film, and she does an excellent job creating a captivating and mysterious character that's always one step ahead of everyone. Still, the plot's overly complex and weaves an intricate mystery that's a bit too open ended. The gratuitous sex and violence is overdone, but Basic Instinct has compelling characters a mystery that's irresistible.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2013
    Basic Instinct is a sexual psychological thriller with twists and turns until the ending. It was undeniably intense, and explicit. It adds humor in unlikely places. The film revolves around sex, it's paced brilliantly, and you don't know anything about the two suspects true identity until last second. I'm not going to spoil it but I think the way the concluding scene is finished is smart, it leaves it to the viewer. All around a masterful thriller, that could almost be called a dirty version of Vertigo.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2012
    Basic Instinct turns out to be more of a guilty pleasure than a suspensefull thriller.
    Vincent T Super Reviewer

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