This is one of my favorite films, even though it has some problems.
The film caused controversy with some of the gay crowd (who didn't like the negative press) and for the graphic sex (with bedroom violence). It became a box office winner, that made Sharon Stone a star, and yet was basically p****d on by the critics! The word is the film is better than your average B movie skin flick, only by the quality of the actors, and Verhoeven's ability. I feel the film is still not given the respect it's due.
I first saw the R-rated version, which is very good, but now you can get the even better Unrated Director's Cut, which has even more graphic content! If you don't like erotic-thrillers, then don't see it. But anyone with taste will enjoy the thrill ride of events that take place in Basic Instinct. The script by Joe Eszterhas was highly thought of in Hollywood, and if not for the graphic nudity, a top star like Michelle Pfeiffer would have taken the role made famous by Sharon stone.
Does the script go too far at times? Yes, but that's part of the films charm, and after all, the now 'classic film moment' of Sharon Stone's leg spread interrogation, likely would have been dropped in a conventional film. Still though, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few less people getting killed off, to keep even more suspense and realism.
The score is also beautiful, and fans of Hitchcock's great "Vertigo" can appreciate the homage that Paul Verhoeven has included. The film has a lot of eye candy, but Jeanne Tripplehorn deserves special mention for her impressive supporting role (sadly she hasn't done much of note since). Michael Douglas does a solid job also, but I can't help wondering if a better actor like Clint Eastwood could have brought more to the table. The dialogue is not up to the level of "Pulp Fiction", but it's still interesting and fun.
I highly recommend this film for fans of adult mystery.