Cruel Intentions review

We review Cruel Intentions - an over-the-top teen update of Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions

Certificate: 15

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reece Witherspoon

Release date: 1999

4 out of 5


Cruel Intentions is an over-the-top 20th-century teen update of Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses (which was the basis for the movie Dangerous Liaisons). It has TV’s Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, vamping it up as Kathryn Merteuil, a rich young bitch who lusts after her stepbrother Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe) while getting perverse pleasure out of mentally torturing him.

Her latest method is by betting him that he can’t seduce and bed young, idealistic Annette (Reese Witherspoon) who has declared in a magazine article that she is determined to remain a virgin until she finds true love. If he loses the bet, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, and if he wins, he gets Kathryn.

Packed with plot twists as Sebastian and Kathryn ruin reputations and lives for sport, and frank scenes – including the now infamous ‘lesbian kiss’ between Gellar and Selma Blair (as Cecile, one of Sebastian’s conquests) – this is part black comedy and part farce, a raunchy update packed with gorgeous-looking co-stars (Joshua Jackson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tara Reid) that, while it fluffs the ending somewhat, is a camp treat throughout. For older teens only, though!

Is Cruel Intentions suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

None, but do note this got its 15 certificate for raunchy themes!

If you like this, why not try: Heathers, Easy A, Mean Girls, Clueless, Gossip,