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Parents' Guide to

Basic Instinct

By Hollis Griffin, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Excessive whodunit is definitely not for kids.

Movie R 1992 123 minutes
Basic Instinct Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 6+
age 16+

Well acted and interesting, but it's sexually explicit and violent.

What Parents and Adult Guardians need to know is that, I have only watched the uncut and unrated version and obviously the unrated version was previously Rated NC-17 by the MPA, so it is obviously more sexually explicit. However, kids now adays are used to watch a lot of violence and sex, on the screen and graphic novels, etc. So this film should be just fine in my opinion for Ages 16 and Up Only. In my opinion, No one under 16 should watch Basic Instinct (Unrated version). Moving on to the movie and story, the movie is very entertaining and well acted. It is not a perfect movie, for starters, it has a very predictable ending, and is a bit, homophobic and sexist, but overall very enjoyable movie for Older Teens and Adults.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (12 ):

A familiar scenario -- poor put-upon cop and his deadly, beautiful seducer -- is played to the hilt here. BASIC INSTINCT is nothing if not a hardboiled mystery movie taken through the roof with more sex, drugs, and bloody stabbings than are appropriate for younger viewers (or even many older viewers, for that matter).

It also suffers from an overuse of stereotypes. The film's treatment of female characters become (more) offensive when the detective manipulates, beats, and degrades Dr. Garner. This female character is devoted to him and risks her well-being to protect him from an overzealous police commission, even as Nick humiliates her at work and in the bedroom. Catherine Trammell's lesbian relationship is mostly ignored in favor of depicting her bedroom romps with the detective. Nevertheless, it's hard to overlook the film's use of the murderous lesbian stereotype because Catherine and her girlfriend are murder suspects throughout. The twisty-turny plot is enough to make this a compelling enough movie, yet a reliance on sex and violence clutters it.

Movie Details

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