Basic Instinct

  • 18
  • Paul Verhoeven (1992)
  • US
  • 122 min
Basic Instinct
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Director Paul Verhoeven's reputation is built on his wonderful lack of taste and restraint, and these "qualities" are fully to the fore in this controversial but massively successful thriller. Sharon Stone became a sex symbol of the 1990s thanks to her cool portrayal of the predatory novelist who may or may not be a murderer, but who enjoys tormenting policeman Michael Douglas all the same. Writer Joe Eszterhas shamelessly reworks ideas and themes he had earlier exploited in films such as Jagged Edge and Music Box, but the sheer overheated nature of Verhoeven's direction makes this extremely watchable.

Plot Summary

Erotic thriller starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. After a former rock star is brutally murdered with an ice pick, San Francisco detective Nick Curran interviews Catherine Tramell, the star's novelist girlfriend, whose last book contained an identical killing. Curran, who is trying to reform his excessive lifestyle with the help of a police psychologist, soon becomes dangerously involved with his key suspect.

Cast and crew


Detective Nick Curran
Michael Douglas (1)
Catherine Tramell
Sharon Stone
George Dzundza
Dr Beth Garner
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Lieutenant Walker
Denis Arndt
Leilani Sarelle
Bruce A Young
Captain Talcott
Chelcie Ross
Hazel Dobkins
Dorothy Malone
John Correli
Wayne Knight
Lieutenant Nilsen
Daniel Von Bargen
Dr Lamott
Stephen Tobolowsky
Benjamin Mouton


Paul Verhoeven

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Guild Film Distribution Ltd
Violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudity.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate 18