By Sarah Fonseca | November 26, 2021

Paul Verhoeven’s psychosexual hall of mirrors remains worthy of a steel-plated prize for the best use of a kitchen utensil in a motion picture . . . Basic Instinct finds both men and women culpable in a time-honored mating game that has no clear rules barring the foolhardy pursuit of pleasure.

By Justin Stewart | November 23, 2021

The narrative remains a storytelling marvel in the way it centers an object to both push the action along and toggle between characters while sneakily establishing the greater themes of unstable justice-lust and moral rot.

By Caitlin Quinlan | November 17, 2021

The film is breezy and carefree in a manner not often seen in narratives centered around women’s power. Not only does Marie never fail, there is never the sense that she even might.

By Michael Koresky | November 15, 2021

It’s never confirmed that the film’s “right” Chinaman is a statue whose head stands still and straight. Yet this remains all a matter of perception, as well as interpretation. The object is thus tactile yet vaguely defined, and leads to a larger question: if the Chinaman doesn’t belong here, then what, or who, does?

By Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert | November 11, 2021

What does giving such primacy to the nonhuman and inanimate mean for the other elements onscreen, specifically the human or the animal? What does an object convey? What is its meaning within an art form that is itself so given to fears of impermanence?

By Adam Nayman | November 11, 2021

The baseline conceit of the actor as a ruthless authority figure derives from Blake and those brass balls, and how they wordlessly externalize the tumescent cockiness of their owner.

By Kelli Weston | November 11, 2021

The zenith of this performance by Eartha Kitt, in which she dispenses with her own figurative veil, comes in an especially tragic sequence with a literal bridal veil, emblem of the refuge that has cruelly been denied her.