What Variety said: The only positive thing there is to say about “Showgirls” is that the sensibility of the film perfectly matches that of its milieu. Impossibly vulgar, tawdry and coarse, this much-touted major studio splash into NC-17 waters is akin to being keelhauled through a cesspool, with sharks swimming alongside.
Henry and June (1990)
Domestic box office: $11.5M
What Variety said: Henry & June, will be considered liberating by some and obscene by others. The lovemaking scenes in his previous film, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), proved that director Philip Kaufman was perhaps the best director to handle the story of the long-secret, passionate affair between writers Henry Miller and Anais Nin in Paris in 1931-32.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1990)
Domestic box office: $7.7M
What Variety said: Peter Greenaway’s grim sense of humor and cheerful assault on all our sacred cows is evident in this new outing from the iconoclastic filmmaker.
Bad Education (2004)
Domestic box office: $5.2M
What Variety said: A lengthy swimming pool sequence is erotic but emotionally barren, with an emphasis on beauty per se — dripping buttocks, slo-mo bodies under water — that’s closer to pop videos.
Lust, Caution (2007)
Domestic box office: $4.6M
What Variety said: Too much caution and too little lust squeeze much of the dramatic juice out of Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution,” a 2.5-hour period drama that’s a long haul for relatively few returns.