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Movie Review

Cruel Intentions

Rated “R” for strong sexual dialogue and sexual situations involving teens, language and drug use

Reviewed by: Michael Patrick
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
an empty theater
Genre:
Drama
Length:
95 min.
Year of Release:
1999
R

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius, Sean Patrick Thomas / Director: Roger Kumble

H E L P F U L
R E S O U R C E S

Sex, Love and Relationships


a new question and answer destination addressing topics like…
  • Pornography
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  • Dating
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  • Abuse
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Making the explicit rated R film “Wild Things” look like “Mary Poppins”, “Cruel Intentions” delivers some of the most explicit filth of its genre. What some may expect to be an entertaining and fun film is, in reality, nearly entirely pornographic.

The plot line says enough to warn discerning viewers to stay away: Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her step-brother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), will not be able to make an innocent virgin girl, Annette (Reese Witherspoon), go to bed with him. If he loses, his Jaguar sports car goes to his step-sister. If he wins, he gets to bed and sodomize his step-sister. Come on, guys, this is a no-brainer!

This twisted movie contains excessive profanity and sexual acts from the teenage cast, including dozen’s of “f” words and even homosexual content. In one particularly shocking scene Sarah Michelle Gellar (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame) has a graphic french kiss with another younger teen girl. Gellar’s character also carries a cross around her neck throughout most of the film. However, this cross is not for praying. Instead, it is used as a container for storing cocaine, which she snorts during the film.

“Cruel Intentions” must be avoided at all costs!

Viewer Comments
I’ll admit this film borderlines on an NC-17 rating (had they shown full-frontal nudity, it would have been). It’s sad that the director couldn’t take this story from another perspective. The plot was good, but tainted by the offensive material.

To me, this movie shined with realism. Having gone to a Christian school, I’ve seen virtuous girls, lose their virginity—because they think they’re in love. Yes, morals and maturity are two different things. Reese Witherspoon’s character was a shining example of that. She thought she was in love (and in the end we knew she was), but would risk giving up something so precious to a guy she barely knew and knew for all the wrong reasons.

But, it was the Sarah Michelle Geller character that was most interesting. Here was the student-body president who everybody loved. Yet, she had a deceptive side to her. She had the “cruelest” of “Cruel Intentions.” She was only looking out for her own interests, trying to get what she wanted and become more popular. Meanwhile, our hero (technically, that’s what he is) is killed over all of this. In a sense he’s martyred after finding the girl he loves.

We see him try to transform—only to see him trashed by Geller and lose (literally) in the end. In a way, this movie does mirror real life. It mirrors the attitudes of teens nationwide to battle it out for love and affection (trust me, even I was a partaker in these actions before my Christian days.) As for the cast, let’s remember that these are early 20s players and not teenagers (though that’s what they play).
—Brian McClimans
There is no doubt that Cruel Intentions is a film about evil people. However, the question it left me with was whether it really encouraged this behavior or not. “Buffy's” school career is trashed and she is unpopular for it. Her brother dies. His virginal paramour is terribly hurt and embarrassed by succumbing to his blandishments and even reveals her mistake to the others at the school.

The loss of the virtue of other girl they set out to corrupt is the occasion for the evil brother’s death. I do not approve of the film, for it can plant wicked thoughts in a mind, but the outcomes are not what they would have been in a teen film 20 years ago, where everyone would have lived happily and corruptly ever after.
—Jim, age 39
I think anyone with a Christian moral outlook will be offended by this movie. However, I think a case can be made that the wicked were punished in the end, and that the innocent, pure-hearted girl who was the object of the cruel intentions, came out the winner in the end. If you can stand the filthy language and the sexual content, you might see some interesting acting—most notably by Reese Witherspoon. I enjoyed the film, although it was a guilty pleasure.
—Ken Clary Jr, age 37
Well, this movie almost made me puke in my popcorn. Ok, well, even I wasn’t already sick enough about the stereotypes I receive in life, they seem to get worse!!! I think what made me the sickest was that the young girl played by Reese Witherspoon seemed so strong in her convictions but then ended up doing something so stupid anyway. Ok, so let’s make it look like no young female has a brain!!!… Plus, it may have just been me but there seemed to be a hole in the plot big enough to drive a truck through. The use of drugs, the acts of homosexuality, the incest, the nudity, the racism, none of this offended me as much as the fact that my friends were actually enjoying the movie.

I found it disgusting and insulting. Movies like this almost me inspire to become a script writer so I can make a movie that is actually interesting! And the money this movie is bringing really worries me about the people in this country. I personally say that any theatres playing it should be boycotted and avoided with extreme prejudice (and that was almost as redundant as the scenes in the film!)
—Elisabeth Moore, age 17
Praise God that he has seen fit to save me from situations such as this by giving me Godly parents and a church body to keep me accountable! Reading the reviews (which didn’t surprise me much as I had read as much in a secular magazine) I cannot help but think “There but for the grace of God go I!” We need to pray for the young people out there who are sucked in by this absolute trash and belive the lie “everybody’s doing it.” The phrase “input/output” comes to mind. You cannot watch this kind of stuff without being marked in your mind. It will always stay—there is no way to ever get it out. Parents, no matter what anyone says keep them from seeing this movie!
—Kendall, age 18
I wish that I had read the review that you had done before I went to the movie. The theatre was packed. I went by myself, as my other friends were busy. I couldn’t believe the movie. It was so awful. I knew that it wasn’t going to get any better, so I prayed that God would get me out of there. 30 seconds later, the movie stopped as the projectionists were having trouble with the film Answer to prayer! I got up and left about half way through the film. I was very disgusted and can’t believe that this movie was in the theatre!
—Aleece, age 23
I definitely agree with the review. This was an awful movie—I’ve never been so offended by a movie. And while this movie may be marketed towards the teen crowd, it is not suitable for teens (or anyone else for that matter).
—Jo, age 24
After reading the review for Cruel Intentions by Michael Patrick, I was able to stop my two teenage daughters from seeing this abominable movie. One of my daughters has already had problems with temptation. To see a boy seduce an innocent, virtuous girl to win a bet is appalling. When the prize is sodomizing one’s sister, that goes beyond too far. Only God know the damage you have saved. Thanks Christian Answers.
—B.H., age 52
I was also horrified at the movie as a whole. This movie is the worst piece of filth I have ever laid eyes on. I was so disappointed in the storyline and its laid-back approach to teenage sex and homosexuality. What was even more disrupting was the post-movie interviews with the actors of the film. They showed no remorse or even acknowledged that the characters were doing wrong things. Instead, they seemed proud of their “accomplishment” on the screen. This film must be avoided at all costs.
—Katy Thompson, age 21