Yes, Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs and shows the world. . .well, metaphors aren't really appropriate here. If you don't know about the 1990s' most scandalous single second of film, then you probably might want to watch Basic Instinct just to stay up on your cultural knowledge. The film is indeed scandalous: It's hard to argue that it doesn't toe the line on soft-porn, and it's easy to see why the film sat so uneasily with many lesbian- and gay-rights supporters. What's more, Basic Instinct's mix of graphic sex with violence raised the ire of the few film and social critics who hadn't already weighed in on the matter. Assuming a morally neutral stance on the controversy, however, this is a darn good thriller. Director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe Esterhas, the team who would later give birth to the monstrous Showgirls, demonstrate many of the skills they displayed in their more acclaimed films. And it would be unfair to remember Stone's career-making performance as merely minutes of flesh. It's hard to imagine anyone who could play her calculating, stark, and stunning character better. In a thematic sense, she fulfills the oft-paraphrased, debatably sexist notion that men may control the world, but a capable woman can control any man. The ending is a bit of a cheat, and may leave the viewer feeling manipulated. However, a thriller's job is to engross its viewers with an engaging mystery, and in this respect, Basic Instinct is very successful. Assuming you're not easily shocked, you will most certainly enjoy it -- and depending on what you're, um, looking for, keep in mind that the unrated version has even more scandalous shots.