Cruel Intentions Parents Guide

Cruel Intentions Parental Guidance Review and Ratings. How Good or Bad Could it Be and For Who? Let’s explore.

Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions is a 1999 American teen comedy-drama film written and directed by Roger Kumble. It is a modern adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

The film follows the story of two wealthy stepsiblings, Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), who make a bet that Sebastian can seduce and bed the headmaster’s daughter, Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon). However, Sebastian soon finds himself falling in love with Annette, which threatens to derail his plans.

Cruel Intentions was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $75 million worldwide against a budget of $10 million. The film was praised for its sharp script, stylish direction, and performances from the cast, particularly Gellar and Phillippe. The film has since become a cult classic and has been referenced in numerous other films and television shows.

The film’s moral is somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand, it could be seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of manipulation and deceit. On the other hand, it could also be seen as a celebration of teenage rebellion and hedonism. Ultimately, the film leaves it up to the viewer to decide what they take away from it.Now, what is the age appropriateness and family suitably ratings for this epic content? Follow on…

Age Rating and Content Warnings

The movie is rated R for strong sexual dialogue and sexual situations involving teens, language, and drug use. It is important to exercise parental guidance due to the mature content depicted in the film.


Important scenes and details:

  • The movie contains frequent sexual innuendo, including references to oral sex and homosexuality.
  • There are passionate kissing scenes, including a depiction of two women kissing passionately.
  • Implied oral sex in several instances, with moaning and sexual dialogue.
  • A scene shows a partially nude man and woman in bed; only their faces, bare shoulders, and the top of her breasts are visible.
  • Scenes featuring characters in revealing outfits and a one-piece bathing suit.
  • The film includes discussions about sex and strong sexual dialogue.
  • The main plot revolves around a bet between step-siblings involving the step sister agreeing to have sex with the step brother if he wins the bet.
  • Implied sexual activity between young characters without explicit nudity shown.
  • References to manual stimulation and oral sex.


Important scenes and details:

  • A character is hit by a car, resulting in some blood on the forehead and mouth.
  • Instances of fistfights and characters slapping each other.
  • A woman throws a vase at a man, shattering it on the wall.
  • A man pushes a woman off a bed, and we hear the sound of her hitting the floor.
  • References to suicidal feelings.


Important profanity and language:

  • The film contains frequent profanity, including multiple instances of the F-word and other strong language.
  • Anatomical references, scatological references, and mild obscenities.
  • Insults and derogatory language.

Substance Use

Important scenes and details:

  • A character opens the crucifix in her rosary and snorts cocaine in two scenes.
  • A young man is shown smoking cigarettes in multiple scenes.
  • A man is seen grinding up marijuana and using a scale; a bong is visible in the background.
  • Teenage characters are shown consuming alcoholic beverages in a few scenes.
  • A young woman unknowingly drinks Long Island iced tea (containing alcohol) while mistaking it for regular iced tea.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

Important scenes and details:

  • A character expresses occasional suicidal feelings.
  • References to bulimia.
  • Emotionally intense moments due to characters’ romantic relationships.
  • A character manipulates another by getting them intoxicated and pressuring them into engaging in sexual acts.

Discussion Topics

  • Deception
  • Death
  • Scheming
  • Promiscuity
  • Virginity
  • Homosexuality
  • Biracial relationships
  • Drug use
  • Revenge
  • Falling in love


The film conveys the message that those who engage in deceit ultimately face the consequences of their actions.

What You Should Know

1. What is the age rating for “Cruel Intentions”?

The movie is rated R, which means it is restricted to viewers above 17 years of age without a parent or guardian. The rating is due to strong sexual dialogue and sexual situations involving teens, language, and drug use.

2. Is there explicit nudity in the film?

No, there is no explicit nudity shown in the movie. However, there are scenes with partial nudity, including bare shoulders and the top of a woman’s breasts.

3. Are there any violent scenes in “Cruel Intentions”?

Yes, the film contains some instances of violence. There is a scene where a character is hit by a car, resulting in minor injuries. Additionally, there are fistfights and instances of characters pushing and slapping each other.

4. How is drug use depicted in the movie?

Drug use is shown in “Cruel Intentions.” There are scenes where a character snorts cocaine, another character smokes cigarettes, and a man is seen grinding marijuana. Additionally, teenage characters are depicted drinking alcoholic beverages.

5. Does the film contain strong profanity?

Yes, the movie includes strong profanity, including multiple instances of the F-word. Other profanities, mild obscenities, and insults are also used throughout the film.

6. What are the main themes discussed in “Cruel Intentions”?

The film explores themes of deception, death, scheming, promiscuity, virginity, homosexuality, biracial relationships, drug use, revenge, and falling in love. These themes contribute to the overall narrative and character development in the movie.

7. Is there any positive message or moral lesson in the movie?

The film conveys the message that those who engage in deceit ultimately face the consequences of their actions. It serves as a cautionary tale about the negative outcomes of manipulative behavior and dishonesty.

8. Can teenagers watch “Cruel Intentions” with parental guidance?

Parents should exercise caution when considering allowing teenagers to watch “Cruel Intentions.” The movie contains explicit sexual content, strong language, and depictions of drug use. It is recommended for mature audiences above the age of 17.

9. What should parents discuss with their children after watching the movie?

After watching “Cruel Intentions,” parents may want to have open discussions with their children about topics such as healthy relationships, consent, the consequences of manipulation and deceit, the dangers of drug use, and the importance of making responsible choices.

10. Are there any scenes that may be emotionally intense for younger viewers?

Yes, the film includes emotionally intense moments, particularly related to the characters’ romantic relationships and the manipulative actions taken by certain individuals. These scenes may be unsettling or disturbing for younger viewers.

The Verdict

Considering the explicit sexual content, strong language, and depictions of drug use, “Cruel Intentions” is not recommended for children or younger teenagers. Parents should exercise caution and evaluate the suitability of the movie for older teenagers, taking into account their maturity level and ability to handle the adult themes presented in the film.