The second most anticipated film of the summer lives up to its hype, but not in the way you'd expect. Sexy, steamy, erotic? Absolutely. (In fact, Kidman's tush should get a costar credit.) But Kubrick's final film is as much about the mysteries of the human soul as it is about sex, lust and (in)fidelity. Cruise and Kidman play a wealthy Manhattan couple whose marriage has lost its spark.
After she confesses fantasizing about another man, Cruise goes prowling the night where he has some strange and titillating encounters, including dropping into a cult orgy. (This guy knows how to squeeze a lot out of one evening.) Cruise is surprisingly good as the jealous, off-kilter doctor, but Kidman, in her scenes involving drugs and drink, seems simply slow instead of stoned (otherwise she's fine). Pollack--along with strong performances by Sobieski, Serbedzija and the brilliant Cumming--almost steals the show as a creepy but charming pleasure seeker. Ultimately, though, this is all Kubrick. His captivating visuals, gripping tension and masterful use of music make this film, if not one of his finest, an excellent production indeed.