“Eyes Wide Shut” is the final masterpiece from history’s greatest filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick. High praise indeed, but well deserved. The 1990s saw a bit of a boom in sexual thrillers in mainstream cinema, but instead of going the trashy route like most movies of the time (see: “Basic Instinct,” “Sliver,” “Rising Sun,” “Striptease,” “Showgirls” and so on), Kubrick delivered a movie more interested in the psychological ramifications of a man confronted with cracks in his marriage and seeking out sexual solace in the dark underground of New York City, accidentally stumbling across a secret society that wants very much to remain secret, due to all the creepy shit they get into.
And being a 90s movie, “Eyes Wide Shut” retains those classic Kubrickian touches, the shot compositions and visual storytelling, but gets to feature a movie star couple in the form of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, together at the time in real life, hence bringing that real emotion into their roles, and it all works really well. Tom Cruise is great as Dr. Harford, a man who wants to remain faithful but does feel himself becoming compelled to act out on his more base desires and as he struggles against these desires less and starts to indulge in them, his finds himself sinking further and further into some murky moral waters, so that when he comes out the other side he’s not even sure what is the truth and what is a lie. All because his wife confessed to once fantasizing about being with another man. Oh the fragility of the male ego, and how it can get someone into so much trouble.
Check out this masterpiece of a relationship drama right here on the Netflix Instant and then watch more Stanley Kubrick movies because come on, it’s Kubrick! Duh!