Parents' Guide to

Cruel Intentions

By Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Rich NYC teens behave badly; lots of sex, cursing.

Movie R 1999 97 minutes
Cruel Intentions Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Now THIS is what I call an Ideal Romantic Drama

Our story revolves around two step-siblings who make a bet. Regarding this bet, the sophisticated Sebastian must seduce the beautiful virgin Annette into bed. In the process, he not only falls in love with her but also ensues a love triangle with the naive and sexually inept Cecile. Once Sebastian's evil stepsister, Kathryn, realizes that her plans backfire, she tries her best to get ahead through blackmail and deceit. You know, 1999 was the year where incredibly brilliant movies came out. I must thank Roger Kumble for his successful attempt at his script, which resulted in perfect casting, splendid direction, suspenseful story turns, and an overall satisfying project!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

for teens

Love it if u let ur teens watch prime time soaps let them watch this

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (9):

The novel on which Cruel Intentions is based has been filmed several times, but it took a special stroke of genius to reset it in the particularly malicious world of wealthy Upper East Side teens. The performances are generally quite good, and the contemporary setting suits the story perfectly. Filmed in settings of dizzying opulence, the atmosphere of indolent wealth is very strong and very real throughout.

The story exposes the dark side of people who appear good on the surface, and mature viewers will enjoy both the thrill of the badness and a sense of superiority over these very depraved characters. It's definitely not for tweens and young teens, but its themes of love, betrayal, manipulation, and cruelty will ring true for older teenagers. If you do decide to let your younger teen watch it, keep in mind they might need some guidance to unweave the subtleties of the story. In the end, though, the worst of the evil is punished and good prevails.

Movie Details

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