75

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A splendid murder mystery, but one with as much gore and steamy sex as I've seen in a long time. [20 Mar 1992, p.3F]
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The film is for horny pups of all ages who relish the memory of reading stroke books under the covers with a flashlight. Verhoeven has spent $49 million to reproduce that dirty little thrill on the big screen.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Beneath its heavy-breathing fripperies, though, Basic Instinct is mechanical and routine, a muddle of Hitchcockian red herrings and standard cop-thriller ballistics.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Mike Clark
The film never makes total sense, but at its best (the first half-hour), it comes closer to solidly junky titillation than the hapless Final Analysis. [20 Mar 1992, Life, p.1D]
Full Review
63

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
Paul Verhoeven's Basic Instinct is a slick, trashy, blatantly manipulative thriller that you won't stop watching once you start. [20 Mar 1992, p.25]
Full Review
50

TV Guide

The worst things about Basic Instinct, though, are the explicit "love" scenes. They're supposed to contribute to a heady equation in which sex, violence and psychology are fused; instead, they're gratuitous, exploitative, and entirely unerotic.
Full Review
50

Baltimore Sun

By Stephen Hunter
Overpublicized and underbrained,Basic Instinct is a bitter disappointment, worth maybe a 10th of the hype that the media have so obligingly ladled out for its benefit.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Uninvolving. Even the sex is boring. Are these scenes supposed to be wildly erotic? If they are, they don't work. [20 Mar 1992, Daily Notebook, p.D1]
Full Review
50

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The film is like a crossword puzzle. It keeps your interest until you solve it. Then it's just a worthless scrap with the spaces filled in.
Full Review
50

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Joe Eszterhas' screenplay doesn't make sense, and he doesn't bother to hide this fact. In the end, Basic Instinct teases and screws us with the same efficiency that the film's femme fatale handles the protagonist.
Full Review
41 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.