Killing Me Softly

2003

Killing Me Softly

Critics Consensus

Respected director Chen Kaige's first English-language film is a spectacularly misguided erotic thriller, with ludicrous plot twists and cringe-worthy dialogue.

0%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

40%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,465
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Movie Info

The director of such highly regarded films as Yellow Earth (1984) and Farewell, My Concubine (1993), Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige makes his English-language debut with this erotic thriller adapted from the novel by Nicci French. Alice (Heather Graham) is an American Web designer living in Illinois who falls for a ruggedly handsome mountain climber named Adam (Joseph Fiennes). Bored with her dull love live, sparks begin to fly when Alice and Adam have a chance meeting at a stoplight, and it isn't long before the couple are living together and Adam proposes. With their heated romance taking on hints of mild S & M following their wedding, Alice's realization that she knows very little about her new spouse begins to take on ominous undertones when she discovers that his former fiancée died under mysterious circumstances. Allegations of rape and more missing lovers soon prompt Alice to continue her increasingly disturbing investigation toward answers she may not be ready to accept.

Cast

Joseph Fiennes
as Adam Tallis
Kika Markham
as Mrs. Blanchard
Ian Hart
as Daniel
Olivia Poulet
as Alice's Secretary
Olivia Poulex
as Alice's Secretary
Ian Aspinall
as Alice's Co-Worker
Patrick Field
as Bartender
Oliver Ryan
as Bookshop Assistant
Tim Faraday
as Street Cop
Richard Green
as Interview Cop
Lee Boswell
as Interview Cop
View All

Critic Reviews for Killing Me Softly

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Rotten (22)

  • As Graham attempts to uncover the truth about his past, the film grows increasingly convoluted, leading to a twist ending that will come as a surprise only to those who've never seen a Shannon Tweed movie.

    Aug 3, 2009 | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • A turgid erotic thriller that plays like Zalman King-meets-vintage Brian De Palma without the latter's wit or style.

    May 21, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Rooney

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Inane and shopworn material with a truly cheesy final twist, this is made excruciating by direction that takes it all deadly seriously.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Turkeys don't come plumper than this.

    Jul 11, 2002 | Full Review…
  • What a great shame that such a talented director as Chen Kaige has chosen to make his English-language debut with a film so poorly plotted and scripted.

    Jun 11, 2002
  • With miscast leads, banal dialogue and an absurdly overblown climax, Killing Me Softly belongs firmly in the so-bad-it's-good camp.

    Jun 10, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Killing Me Softly

  • Apr 20, 2017
    Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes star in the erotic psychological thriller Killing Me Softly. Based on a bestselling novel, a woman has a chance encounter with a mountain climber that leads to a passionate affair, but before long she starts to receive mysterious letters warning her that her lover is not the man that she thinks he is. Graham and Fiennes have no chemistry together, which is detrimental to the film. And the script does a rather poor job at developing the mystery and suspense; so much so that the twists and reveals have no impact. Still, there's some intrigue to the story, and a few tense moments here and there. A poorly made film, Killing Me Softly is ineffectual and formulaic.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2009
    Well, I had to review this film like this, whether the plot was the most sophisticated thriller, or whether the love scenes were copied from another film it was beside the point. Every woman would like to meet a man like Joseph Fiennes' character and be swept off her feet and have great sex and all the attention in the world. I think most of those who did not like the film must be men cause they know, they' don't have the guts to be a man like that... ( i m kidding) well, I recommend this film as a truly romantic love story and the kinky sex was also not the point of the story. Girls, u will really love this film and Joseph Fiennes is, of course wonderfully gorgeous and convincing and lovable in every scene, and Heather Graham was beautiful. The wedding night idea was absolutely brilliant. ( hi hi )
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2008
    I just simply hate it. I already know who was the killer from the middle of the movie. What. The. Fuck.!?
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2008
    Apparently it's legal to brutalize thiefs in england. And apparently Joseph Fiennes thinks it scares us if he glares at the cast and camera for 15 seconds before saying every line of dialogue he has. Silly movie.
    a z Super Reviewer

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