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Cruel Intentions
A step-brother and step-sister with a little too much time on their hands enter into a bet. If he can't score with the chaste Annette (Reese Witherspoon), his step-sister, Kathryn (Sarah Michelle...  View more >

Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Selma Blair...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This latest Sarah Michelle Ghellar flic is just plain awesome. Story line wise, it's slightly hard to explain it fully to you, so I won't go into detail, however, you can be sure that this movie is one you can count on for good laughs, some naughty scenes, and just good date fun!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
"Cruel Intentions" is the best movie I have seen so far in 1999. It's pure delight. Everything in this movie, the characters, the humour and the great writing, all come together in a package that is undoubtedbly the best fun you will have at the movies until THAT movie comes out. This is the film that TRULY makes Sarah Michelle Gellar a star.

She plays Katherine, a super wealthy daughter who gets her kicks by using other people. Her brother Sebastian (Ryan Philippe, who double whammys a great performance here, just as he did in "Playing By Heart") is equally heartless and cold,enjoys destructing all who is around him. It's all a game (most likely because they are rich and bored...just as people on the internet con others).

We see many manipulations occuring, such as the deflowering a young teenager (Selma Blair, whom I think is the films biggest flaw, despite having many funny scenes) and the teasing of her black boyfriend (Sean Patrick Thomas), getting information from a fellow classmate (Joshua Jackson), and many more.

The film's central plot however revolves around Annette, the wealthy headmaster to the school Katherine and Sebastian enroll in. She catches their mischevious eye while looking at an article, and a bet is arranged where Sebastian's Jaguar is at stake and Katherine only has her sex to give. The outcome of all of these events is much more complex than one might think.

I just love this movie. I smiled all the way through. It's refreshing to see a movie that at first sight appeared to be yet another teen comedy, but turned out to be a lot more.

It effictively mixes a lot of good filmmaking techniques and editing to help propel the comedy. One particularly great scene is where Sebastian is seducing the Selma Blair character, and her unexpected reaction. Another great scene is where Sebastian and Kathrerine are having fun with each other, which leads to a very funny conclusion.

The film wins largely at its acting however. I love Sarah Michelle Gellar. Though she didn't get any people to see "Simply Irresistable" (a film which I really enjoyed despite bad editing and some really trite dialogue), here she shows her full potential. True, she is a real bitch, but it's impossible to take your eyes off of her. She really proves that anyone can be seduced with her looks and cleavage. Ryan Philippe, whom I hated in "54", here is very creative and very subtle in his acting...he's starting to come into form. And once again, Reese Witherspoon is wonderful, those funny faces she makes in the car halfway through the film are among the film's most hilarious moments.

Other supporting characters are very well presented, such as Joshua Jackson as Sebastian's gay friend and info getter, Sean Patrick Thomas as Christie's violin teacher, and Christine Baranski as Christie's mother. I found Selma Blair to be the only drawback here, she is too silly and goofy here, and even when she tries to be serious, it still doesnt work.

True, this film may not win any oscars next year, it would be nice, but I'm glad to see such a creative and fun movie that is packaged into a lean, mean 98 minutes and served up with a smile.

Rating: **** out of ****

Picture: 4.5 The Columbia picture is great, with some noticeable film grain, but with solid blacks, deep colors and fine contrast.

Sound: 4 The SDDS soundtrack is very minimal, no split surround effects are heard, but the dialogue is nicely recorded and music nicely extends into the surrounds. While not pleasing on the whole, no doubt it will please.

Photography: 4 The wide 1.85:1 photography (believed to have been shot in Super 35 and not transferred to 2.35:1) is very good, wide shots are very panoramic and all other shots are gorgously framed.

Length: 98 minutes. Rated R for language and suggestive scenes. Columbia Pictures.

P.S. I would like to apologize to all current critics on this site, since the last review I did for this site was back in November. I have been doing some website work and classes have been hectic. I will attempt to post some new reviews on here in the future. Thanks. -JW (jason-whyte@home.com)

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Campy, trashy, nonsensical reworking of "Dangerous Liaisons" with a hip, young cast led by Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Ryan Phillippe. There’s nothing to be taken seriously here and some of the lines are so ridiculously melodramatic that you can’t believe they’re delivered with a straight face. So why did I like it? Cruel Intentions is a dreadful car accident that you just have to stare at. It keeps upping the ante with each scene, increasing in raunchiness throughout. It’s a very fun first hour with innuendoes and a fast pace. The movie then bogs down in unfortunate formula, but luckily the climax (pardon the homonym) satisfies. Julie Hinds of the San Jose Mercury News says Cruel Intentions is "A 90210 rerun on Viagra," thinking this a bad thing. If you are inclined to agree, you’d probably be best off skipping Cruel Intentions. But if just reading those 5 words made you laugh, go check out the flick. I’m glad I did.

10-point scale rating: 6

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I thought that this movie could have had more of a real plot. If you like sex and junk like that then go see it, but if not, then wait. My boyfriend really liked it but that is because guys are weird. If I would have known that it was like this then I could have went to a better movie. I guess to me it really had no point at all. Not worth wasting that much money on.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Let me start off by saying that it is very difficult to do a review of this movie. Overall, I enjoyed it. Sarah Michelle Gellar (as Kathryn), Ryan Phillippe (as Sebastian) and Reese Witherspoon (as Annette) all do a pretty good job in their roles. I especially liked Gellar's performance. But I had a couple of problems with the movie. It was hard to take any of it seriously, and it was very unrealistic. Also, I thought the characters seemed pretty young to be doing the things they did, and it was hard to figure out who I was supposed to be rooting for to win out in the end. I won't reveal the end of the movie, but when things started unfolding in the last half hour, I wasn't sure if I was happy about certain things or unhappy about them. In spite of all of these problems I had, I did enjoy the movie. Go see it if you're looking for something different than your typical movie, but be prepared for some frank dialogue and wild scenes, and don't take it too seriously!

My rating: *** out of *****

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Sex, Sensuality, Deceit, Facades; All these elements are in the sexual thriller Cruel Intentions. The story revolves around Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian ( ryan Phillippe) and their victims, Cecil (Selma Blair) and Annette (Reese Witherspoon). These classy characters live in New York and go to a prep school. Sebastian reads Annette's manifesto about waiting until marriage to lose her virginity in seventeen magazine, and with the very sexual reputation he has, makes a bet with his step-sister that he can bed her. If he wins, he gets to sleep with kathryn and if he loses, she gets his very nice Jaguar sportster. The second plot line includes Kathryn schooling Cecil, an arch enemy that her boyfriend dumped her for, in the ways of popularity at the prep school. That's what she tells her mother at least, what Kathryn is up to really is training Cecil, a virgin to sleep around with every guy that she can.

I thought that this movie was ok. After all the 15 year-olds in the theatre stopped snapping their gum, I started to get into the film. I thought that the sex was a bit much and I didn't care for the fact that sebastian could sleep with his step-sister if he won the bet. Not much nudity is shown, except for a a bare Ryan Phillippe's behind. Other than that, sex is talked about and suggested, but they don't show the act of it. One thing that I liked about the movie was that they didn't limit the relationships shown to purely heterosexual couples. They show two girls sharing a kiss, a homosexual male couple and also an interracial couple. With all this sex, you think that they would hint at safe sex when the main characters sleep with practically a different partner every day. However, none is suggested, which was one of the thing that I didn't like about the movie. they made it seem that unsafe sex was classy and o.k. Also an annoying role played by Cecil was like hearing nails on a chalkboard. Kudos to Gellar and Phillippe for a well portratryed upper class children. This movie would be great for couples that have been going out for a while, but if this is your first date, avoid this movie.

My overall rating: **1/2 out of ****

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Great Job! You have found one of the worst movies of 1999! Cruel Intentions is a very awful movie. This film is just a bad remake of Dangerous Liaisons (1988) Which is 1 billion times better than this crap.

The plot of this movie. Well... Pretty retarded. Don't you think? The plot is about a man named Sebastian Valmont (Played by Ryan Phillippe) make a deal with his step-sister. If he have you know what with Annette Hargrove (Played by Reese Witherspoon). He will get his step-sister. If he lose, His sister will get his new car.

I told you that the plot is pretty dumb. I didn't liked the ending. The Acting SUCKS! Don't waste your money on this pointless film. I wish that this film wasn't been made in the first place.

1/2 *

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Cruel Intentions is not a great movie, but it is strangely entertaining.

The acting is pretty good, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Perhaps it's just that I don't like her personally, but her performance is fantastically mediocre. One could stick any run of the mill High School drama student in her place and get the same result.

The sound track was good (you'll notice some characters have a distinct theme or instrumental voice that follows them through out the movie - the cello teacher has what sounds like a synthesized cello tacked onto the end of all of his scenes for example. It's something petty, but it was pleasing to me... it's an artistic attention to detail that most movies of this caliber usually lack).

There is no reason to see this movie on the big screen. It's fun, but not the way truly great movies are fun. Save your cash and rent it instead. It's a movie best watched with friends.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I loved "Cruel Intentions" it was probably the best teen movie I've seen in ages. It was definitely one of the sexiest movies I've ever seen. I love that "Buffy" chick Sarah! I also think Witherspoon is a cutie. Okay lets get down to the plot. It's al about Katherine (Gellar) and her step brother Sabastain (Phillippe) in the game of seduction. Katherine wants to ruin poor inisent Ciceles (Blaire) life for steeling Katherines X-boyfriend. So Katherine wants Sabastian to seduce Cecile but he wants a bigger challenge! He wants to seduce Anette (Witherspoon) who puts an artical in Seventeen magazene. But Anette is a warm hated person who would never fall for somebody who has as bad a reputation as Sabestain. The end of the movie is a little unbeleiveble, but I loved "Cruel Intentions".

I would rate this ***1/2 out of ****

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is a great movie. The critics said "Cruel Intentions" was horrible but what do they know! I loved this movie. This will probably be Sarah Michele Gellar's big film breakthrough.Boy she's a hottie. Reese Witherspoon added great character to her role. Ryan Philleppe is pretty good, not his best though. He sucked in "54" do me a favor, don't see it. Selma Blaire is much too goofy as Cecile, although she does make some nice expressions with her mouth and eyes.

"Cruel Intentions" is about evil Kathryn (Gellar) and her also evil step brother, Sebastian (Philleppe) in the game of seduction. Kahtryn get's Sebastian to seduce poor innocent Cecile for steeling her now x-boyfriend. Sebastian takes the bet gladly. The rules are if Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastians hot jaguar, if Sebastian wins, he gets sex. So Sebastain seduced Cecile, and Cecile fell in love with her violin teacher who sends her love letters every so often. Sebastian finally falls in love with Annette (Witherspoon)who put an article in Seventeen magazine. The end is sad, although very unbeleiveble.

Just do me a favor and see this movie! P.S. I am only ten, but I thought you might like getting my opinion on these movies. My parents let me see any R movies all the time so I hope you will be hearing a lot from me!

I would rate this ***1/2 out of ****

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Of the movies that I have seen of late have been lacking one key element, plot. This movie has that and so much more. Because of its strong sexual content I would refrain from seeing it with people of a low maturity level. The actors provide a strong character protrail and the suspence keeps you at the end of your seat through the entire movie.

Sep 28, 2003
\"Cruel Intentions\" is a undate of the 1988 film\"Dangerous Liasons,\" only this time is be played out by horney teens. Sarah Michelle Geller promise Ryan Phippee, his stepbrother that she\'ll sleep with her if he breaks Reese Witherspoon\'s heart. The best scene is the kissing scene between Geller and Selma Blair. \"Cruel Intentions\" is not as hot as \"Wild Things,\" but it\'s pretty hot.

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