Wild Things (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wild Things1998

Wild Things (1998)



Critic Consensus: Wild Things is a delightfully salacious, flesh-exposed romp that also requires a high degree of love for trash cinema.

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Think of it as endless endings. John McNaughton's playful erotic thriller about a larcenous school teacher, a pair of greedy coeds, and the cop on their trail has as many twists as there are characters, but it's all in good fun.

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Matt Dillon
as Sam Lombardo
Denise Richards
as Kelly Van Ryan
Neve Campbell
as Suzie Toller
Kevin Bacon
as Ray Duquette
Theresa Russell
as Sandra Van Ryan
Daphne Rubin-Vega
as Gloria Perez
Robert Wagner
as Tom Baxter
Bill Murray
as Ken Bowden
Jeff Perry
as Bryce Hunter
Cory Pendergast
as Jimmy Leach
Toi Svane
as Nicole
Dennis Neal
as Art Maddox
Diane Adams
as School Secretary
Eduardo Yanez
as Frankie Condo
Jennifer Bini Taylor
as Barbara Baxter
Ted Bartsch
as Bailiff
Leonor Anthony
as Ken's Secretary
Antoni Cornacchione
as Police Chief
Robert Deacon
as Prisoner
Manny Suarez
as Georgie
Janet Bushor
as Barmaid
Nancy Duerr
as Reporter No. 1
Margo Peace
as Reporter No. 2
Keith Wilson
as Reporter No. 3
Nelson Oramos
as Policeman No. 1
Michael Dean Walker
as Policeman No. 2
Jesse Muson
as Policeman No. 3
Kimberly Lamaze
as Policewoman No. 1
Rebecca White
as Policewoman No. 2
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Critic Reviews for Wild Things

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (21)

Wild Things might qualify as passable Southern melodrama, but Stephen Peters' screenplay is too ambitious by far. It changes the nature of the protagonists so often that the viewer is left in puzzled exhaustion.

August 7, 2019 | Full Review…

The movie is as tawdry as someone else's lingerie, yet not without a certain prurient watchability.

February 11, 2008 | Full Review…

What I'm supposed to find 'satisfying' is predicated on the idea that almost everyone in the world is trash.

February 11, 2008 | Full Review…

Sly, torrid and original, pic is certain to shake up an otherwise complacent marketplace.

February 11, 2008

[It's got] Neve Campbell and Denise Richards making out, all the plot twists and double-crossing of a James Ellroy novel, Neve Campbell and Denise Richards having a catfight in a swimming pool and Bill Murray as a sleazy neck-brace-wearing lawyer.

August 14, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

This is one of those puzzle movies that's quite intriguing while it's feigning superficiality -- and truly funny when Bill Murray is around -- but really dumb once it thinks it's being smart.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wild Things

An interesting movie. There is the odd twist in it.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Wild Things is of course a film that people have heard much about because of the kissing scene between Denise Richard and Neve Campbell. That was obviously one of the high points of the film, but what makes the film good is the elaborate plot twists that the film offers to the unsuspecting viewer. Wild Things is thrilling film with a surprising well executed story. The film has its flaws, but for the most part, it succeeds at being very entertaining. The cast are surprisingly good here, and Denise Richard actually delivers a pretty good performance. Wild Things is an intricate film that tends to deceive, and what you see is never what you actually think it is. The plot twists and turns and it keeps you guessing till the end, and that's what makes the film good. But the thing I didn't really like about the film, is that it felt almost teen oriented and if they would've focused more on a story that adults would enjoy thoroughly, it would've been much better. The downside was that the film felt slightly like a 90210 episode. Not much, but a bit, luckily there's enough good things going on on-screen that makes up for the bad points, and even with the slight teen feel, Wild Things works well enough to be an effective thriller. Obviously the biggest thing that's going for Wild Things is the make out scene with Neve Campbell and Denise Richard, but it's not that spectacular actually. For me though, Wild Things biggest strength is the unfolding plot twists, and without them, the film would suck. Pretty good film considering the somewhat lacking elements which I pointed out earlier in this review.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

It hurts my brain to think that someone actually wrote this movie. Wild Things' journey from Point A to Point B is so convoluted and messy, it's almost as if some sad screenwriter drew a beginning and ending out of a hat and resolved to connect them with a million other plot points from that same hat in between. The movie is like a hyperactive toddler with a story to tell; you might get the whole story eventually and it'll probably be sort of funny, but it's punctuated in really bizarre places and you eventually start to get fed up and just want to hear the ending. Honestly, by the time I got to the end of this movie, I looked back and thought "what the fuck" to myself and sort of left it on the ground. I mean, there are plot twists DURING AND AFTER THE CREDITS. It's like, come on guys, can we please just call it a night? Wild Things' sheer audacity makes it memorable, at the very least, but more tiring than anything. That said, though, it's really rather fun in a trashy way. I think the casting absolutely hamstrings it, as Denise Richards and Matt Dillon can really only take you to predictable places, the former as a fake-naive sexpot and the latter as a gruff authoritative sexpot (and Neve Campbell, who I generally like, is pretty awful here). It looks shitty in a way that suggests there wasn't much more on the DP's mind than cramming as much as Denise Richards' naked, writhing body on the screen as often as possible. But hey, if a 27-year-old with fake breasts pretending to be a high schooler does it for you, then by all means. Kevin Bacon's pretty fun, though of course it takes about five thousand plot twists for him to get there. Basically every character in this movie is involved in at least twenty or thirty plot twists so that's not really a spoiler. Honestly, I'm really surprised that there wasn't some ultimate fuck-off "it was all Denise Richards' schizophrenic delusion" plot twist at the end. Thank goodness for small blessings, I suppose.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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