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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You will be discreet about this. . .?"
Cruel Intentions has been slammed by critics, who have unfairly and unfavourably compared it with 1989's Dangerous Liaisons (both films stem from Choderlos de Laclos's novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Whereas Dangerous Liaisons is fairly faithful to the original, Cruel Intentions manipulates the plot - throwing a twist in the tail - and relocates the milieu from 18th...
Published on 24 Jan 2004 by Jennifer Litchfield

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This sure doesn't taste like an iced tea.
Kathryn {Sarah Michelle Gellar} & Sebastian {Ryan Phillippe} are devious, amoral step-siblings who delight in causing mischief to others purely to entertain themselves. Striking up a wager between themselves, a sort of sex for car type thing, Sebastian must try to bed the headmaster's virginal daughter, Annette {Reese Witherspoon}. But Annette is not for turning and more...
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by Spike Owen


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You will be discreet about this. . .?", 24 Jan 2004
By 
Jennifer Litchfield (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Cruel Intentions has been slammed by critics, who have unfairly and unfavourably compared it with 1989's Dangerous Liaisons (both films stem from Choderlos de Laclos's novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Whereas Dangerous Liaisons is fairly faithful to the original, Cruel Intentions manipulates the plot - throwing a twist in the tail - and relocates the milieu from 18th century France to the present-day Upper East Side of New York, where underneath the veneer of respectability, wealthy teenagers plot each other's downfalls.

Stepsiblings Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont are two such teenagers. They amuse themselves by arranging reputation-destroying paybacks for those who have wronged them, and make wagers on the outcome. The focus of the movie is Sebastian's attempt to make a conquest of the Headmaster's virginal daughter, Annette (who, in a heavy-handed attempt at symbolism, wears white throughout almost the entire film).

However, the movie certainly has some memorable high points, beginning at the very outset where the camera swoops fast and low over what appears to be a grassy park studded with rocks; only after the camera angles away does the viewer realise - with some discomfort - that the park is in fact a graveyard. The opening scenes also introduce the appealing and well-judged soundtrack, which includes artists as diverse as Placebo and Fatboy Slim. The Verve's song, Bittersweet Symphony, is an absolutely perfect 'just desserts' track at the film's conclusion.

These kids are incredibly nasty and vindictive, but owing to the verbosity of the script and the almost total lack of adult chaperones appearing on screen, it is difficult at times to remember that they are only teenagers. In the end though, perhaps we just like to see someone be very, very wicked and almost get away with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Dangerous Liasons' with a fresh, funny, modern twist, 4 May 2011
By 
Ms. Emily R. Nabney (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is a smart and sassy update of the 18th Century novel 'Les Liasons Dangereuse', relocating the action from Pre-Revolutionary France to the catty and privileged teenagers of the Upper East Side, New York. The book has already been made into a play and a movie (by Christopher Hampton) and has a surprisingly modern feel which means it lends itself remarkably well to an update.

Ryan Phillipe acquits himself well in the challenging role of Sebastian Valmont, the sophisticated womanizer with a bad reputation and a heart of gold (well, sort of). He has the difficulty of having to seduce, shock, appall and charm the audience in equal measure. Phillipe is suitably lively, brooding and outrageous and pouts exquisitely in a way that would make even Chuck Bass proud. But despite his character's questionable morals, he still achieves a likeability and a sincerity, and no matter what he does, his antics are certainly entertaining.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is a surprisingly effective mean girl, and exudes an icy, deadpan power as she unashamedly manipulates everyone around her. Her performance is subtle and controlled and always keeps the other characters (and the audience) at arms length. However, I felt I never 'warmed' to her like I warmed to Valmont (and ended up rooting for him, despite his bad behavior) which was perhaps intentional.

Annette, who is first Valmont's conquest and then his love interest, is brought to life quietly and sincerely by Rees Witherspoon, who radiates natural goodness. She is a stark contrast to cold, calculating Kathryn and provides a breath of fresh air which is badly needed in a movie which is populated by such manipulative people. Witherspoon is especially talented at sharing her thoughts with the audience through only a single look. The part where she pulls faces at the brooding Valmont also revealed a comic and endearing part of her character.

The various dangerous liasons and verbal sparring contests are framed by truly beautiful locations and costumes. Kathryn is often dressed in severe blacks and icy blues, emphasizing her cold and dark nature. Annette, her polar opposite, wears pale, comfy jumpers and shirts which distance her from the artificial world of New York. The production aimed to marry the world of 18th century french aristocrats and modern, coke-addicted and oversexed teenagers. This is mirrored in the design which mixes old fashioned items such as diaries, corsets and grand country manors with comtempory New York. The results are slightly eclectic but not unpleasing. A special mention has to go to the Director of Photography because the lighting was beautiful. Warmth and darkness were used effectively to create a strong atmosphere for the drama to unfold in.

All in all, it is an entertaining and attractive film which even occasionally aspires to the social satire found in the original.

Watch this if you liked: Dangerous Liaisons [1988] [DVD] [1989], Clueless: "Whatever!" Edition [DVD] or Gossip Girl - Season 1 [DVD].
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIDE-SPLITTINGLY HILARIOUS, WITH EVIL CHARACTERS, 1 Jan 2001
By A Customer
I have not seen/read Dangerous Liasons, which this brilliant comedy is based on but who cares if this film is nothing like it, it makes an excellent film on it's own. Right from the beginning I was enjoying it, laughing more than I have ever laughed before, marvelling at the cruelness of the characters. In some parts of the film I was not sure whether I was meant to be shocked by the evil Sarah Michelle Gellar & Ryan Phillipe's deeds or whether to laugh outloud. The plot is that two College kids who are step-brother and sister are apparently goodie-goodies but are mean, double-crossing, cruel, spoilt brats who do anything to get representable images to teachers and other kids alike. The story tells of their wager on whether or not the brother can bed the new headmaster's daughter before he gets to the school. If he does, then he gets his hot sister for a night and if not, she gets his car. Dasterdly tricks and sick jokes ensue but this combination makes a very funny film. It is hilarious, get it now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This sure doesn't taste like an iced tea., 31 Mar 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Kathryn {Sarah Michelle Gellar} & Sebastian {Ryan Phillippe} are devious, amoral step-siblings who delight in causing mischief to others purely to entertain themselves. Striking up a wager between themselves, a sort of sex for car type thing, Sebastian must try to bed the headmaster's virginal daughter, Annette {Reese Witherspoon}. But Annette is not for turning and more importantly, she's having quite an impact on Sebastian.

Cruel Intentions is directed and written by Roger Kumble and is a comedic, dramatic and modern update of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangeureuses written by Choderlos De Laclos. While the other modern film versions of the novel are set, like the source, in France, Kumble's movie relocates to New York City and deals its tale of manipulation, seduction, sex and love amongst the affluent and socially superior youth.

Make no bones about it, this may be a modern spin on the source, but it follows its template pretty rigidly. Which of course is no bad thing if one is happy to embrace its MTV body. But it can also be said that the comedy on offer here is sort of thumbing its nose at the original, because this does at time border on the ridiculous, with both Geller and Phillipe pushing for the 1999 most OTT performance award. That said tho, it's hard not to have fun as the double crosses and twisty twistersons play out; and the film is dam sexy to boot. Selma Blair is along for the ride, err, literally; and the soundtrack is appropriately rocky for the setting. A commercial success on release and the spawner of two straight to video sequels, Cruel Intentions isn't as smart as it obviously thought it was going to be. But with dark shades flickering throughout and the youths behaving badly reason to exist, there's far worse ways to spend nearly 100 minutes in front of your TV. 6/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 1990s teen movie, 12 Feb 2008
By 
M. McManus - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This film is a classic and in many ways is the film that made Reese Witherspoon. The film follows the story of how Ryan Phillipe, her later off screen husband, pursues her and deflowers her. This is not due to love as she believed, but due to a bet he has with Gellar. If he can seduce "true love waits" figure Witherspoon, he gets a car. When Witherspoon finds out, he instantly realises the folly of his ways and attempts to reconcile with her in a particularly jarring ending.

The film's strength is in the exceptionally strong lead roles, with Phillipe, Gellar and Witherspoon putting in flawless portrayals. The film also has an excellent sound track, which will take anyone who is a child of the 1990s back into teen nostalgia. Even people who (gasp) don't remember the 90s will still find this film enjoyable, such as today's older teenagers, as the themes covered are relatively timeless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intentionally good, 30 July 2003
By 
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is one of the best films made, with an extremely talented young cast and an upcoming director. The soundtrack is perfect for the film and is amazing. Ryan Phillepe shines in his role as sebastian and selma blair is hilarious as the niave cecil. an all star cast ensures that this film is spell bounding and a must watch again and again. Sarah Michelle Gellar is outstanding in her portrayal of evil Kathryn, quite a contrast to blonde Buffy.
You must see this film.
Dark, yet witty, amusing and heart rendering at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sassy, cool, and overall evil!, 30 July 2003
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Cruel Intentions is not one of those films you could easily watch with your gran or mum and dad! It's more of a film you could watch with a best mate or a boyfriend.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Katherine) does a very evil character and does it well. Thumbs up for Sarah's evilness. Reese Witherspoon, (Annette), perhaps a little bit wooden, still good. And as for our hero (Ryan Phillipe) Sabastian, alot of cunning and evil seduction on that part. A four star film for the sassyness and evilness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN I THOUGHT!, 18 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This film was much better than I thought it would be. Ryan Phillipe was brilliant and the twists of the storyline made me hooked right til the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool!, 17 Dec 2000
By A Customer
I really like this, it was the best film I have seen in ages!!! The twist at the end was very unexpecded! I loved it! I would rocomed this film to anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern Twist on a very respectable tale of evil, 22 Aug 2000
By 
Adam Adamant "Dungeonmaster" (Liverpool, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've got to be honest I expected to hate this movie.
I loved both the book and film of Dangerous Liasons and generally am only a minor fan of Buffy (I watch the series for Willow not SMG).
Much to my suprise though the film holds up suprisingly well.
The modern settings requires few alterations (mostly towards the end) and the princple cast members turn in very believable performances (Okay it took 1- minutes for me to become absolutely convinced she wasn't going to stake someone).
I'd recommend this to any one who's seen the Glenn Close, John Malkovich Liason as an intresting change of pace and I'd recommend fans of this to check out the Liason Dangerous as well
A welcome suprise and thoroughly enjoyable film
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Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999]
Cruel Intentions [DVD] [1999] by Roger Kumble (DVD - 2005)
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