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Perfect Stranger Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

… trashy, awful, piece-of-crap … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0
    31

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Life is full of choices, and Halle Berry has made another bad one with Perfect Stranger, a perfectly off-putting thriller.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A crappy thriller gussied up with a chrome-plated veneer.

    Read Full Review

  • 25

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Superficial and lurid, Perfect Stranger is the cinematic equivalent of spam and should, like those trashy messages, be avoided.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    The star wattage quickly dims in this slick-looking but ringingly hollow affair that starts off generically at best before collapsing into a convoluted heap of shrill screen cliches.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Perfect Stranger reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Silly thriller has creepy mix of sex, violence.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Halle Berry/Bruce Willis thriller -- which focuses on corporate deception and murder and has several sexually charged scenes -- is meant for adults. Violent imagery includes a decaying corpse in a morgue, flashbacks to a stepfather about to rape a little girl, a man's bloody murder and late-night burial, discussion of the effects of a dire poison, a threat made against a woman in a car, and a bloody stabbing death. Sexual content includes women in lingerie and sexy dresses, intercourse up against a wall (after a brief look, the camera cuts to man watching in the shadows), repeated references to Harrison's "lesbian" assistant, allusions to incest, sexual slang ("d--k," "balls"), graphic photos, and frequent sexual talk online. Four or five scenes feature drinking, at least twice to visible drunkenness, and there's a fair amount of swearing (mostly "f--k" and "s--t").

  • Families can talk about why sex and violence often intersect in thrillers. How do movies and TV shows make sex seem bad or good? Do any of the characters in this movie use sex -- or even the idea of sex -- as a weapon? What messages does that send? Families can also discuss secrets. Is it ever good to keep secrets from people who trust you? What are the possible consequences of being caught in a lie or a secret?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Murder, betrayal, blackmail, deception, bargaining for power and favors. No one here makes a morally sound choice.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Explicit shot of young woman's naked corpse; discussion of Grace's brutal murder (her eyes were filled with aggressive toxin); Harrison loses his temper at a deceptive employee and hits and pushes him, then turns his desk over; man threatens woman in his car; courtroom case concerning murder; flashback to a murder (blood on the wall as killer hits victim with pipe) leads to a secret burial at night; surprise stabbing in a kitchen produces blood on floor.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Politician/intern sex scandal; sexual slang ("stroke a man's d--k," "balls"); full-frontal shot of woman's naked corpse; several shots of Rowena in lace panties/bra ("exotic" mirror view and close-ups); several sexy dresses show cleavage and leg; consenting sex up against a wall (hidden voyeur watches; viewers mostly hear bumping and moaning, with the focus on the watcher's face); references to Harrison's "lesbian" assistant; shots of Harrison having sex with mistress through apartment window (gossip about his adultery includes the remark, "He's into some very kinky s--t"); flashbacks to incest committed by Rowena's apparent stepfather (could be her father) as he approaches/scares her in the bathroom; fashion show features models in underwear; (ridiculous) online flirting ("I'd like to get a fistful," etc.); references to "blue balls" and "deep throat" (in journalistic context); sexual photos (bondage and other activity) on computer screen.

  • language false5

    Language: Repeated uses of "f--k," plus other profanity -- "s--t," "ass," "hell," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," and a scene that features repeated use of "bulls--t" in anger.

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: Repeated placements for Reebok and Victoria's Secret (they're clients for an advertising agency in the film), as well as mentions or visuals of Vaio laptop, Planter's nuts, Armani, Ben & Jerry's, Google.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking shots in celebration; drunken behavior in bar; other potables include whiskey, beer, pina coladas, and daiquiris; prescription pills in bathroom.

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