Hulu released the new Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas movie Deep Water this weekend, and it is getting some intense reactions. The movie is an R-rated erotic psychological thriller, and it does not hold back on anything. The reviews have been negative so far, but there's no denying that this movie is affecting people.
Deep Water is based on a 1957 novel by Patricia Highsmith, and it was adapted into a screenplay by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson then directed by Adrian Lyne. Affleck and de Armas play the central couple, Vic and Melinda Van Allen, while supporting characters are played by Tracy Letts, Lil Rey Howery, Dash Mihok, Finn Wittrock, Kristen Connolly, Jacob Elordi, Rachel Blanchard and Grace Jenkins among others. It is the first "erotic" movie produced by Disney in almost three decades, though some viewers are already questioning whether that label should really apply here.
The story is about the Van Allens' unique marital arrangement where Melinda is free to sleep with other partners as long as she stays with her family and does not desert them. However, this open relationship is often tense, and Vic seems to hold grudges against the other men his wife is seeing.
Deep Water is streaming now only on Hulu, though you may want to check out some of the scores from critics before you commit two hours of your life to it. Here's a look at what they are saying.
Writing for Rolling Stone, K. Austin Collins emphasized how disappointing Deep Water was as the first movie directed by Lyne in two decades. He felt that the movie suffered mainly from a lack of focus that made it hard to tell what the main plot thread was really supposed to be.prevnext
On the other hand, Brian Tallerico felt that Lyne succeeded in depicting "the primal, darker parts that beautiful people hide behind their gorgeous facades," even if it wasn't pleasant to see. His review for RogerEbert.com was considered overall positive.prevnext
Dana Stevens of Slate argued that the mixed response to Deep Water was due to the recent lack of erotic thrillers coming out in general. She felt that this movie was a reasonable revival of the genre and that it makes sense that it would challenge movie-going audiences who have not seen anything like it in years.prevnext
Time Magazine reviewer Stephanie Zacharek felt that Deep Water should have done more to update its half-century-old story if it intended to be taken seriously. She felt that the "destructive nymphomaniac" trope did not work well here and that this was a foundational issue that couldn't be resolved.prevnext
Brian Lowry wrote a review for CNN suggesting that the mystery of Vic's behavior helped keep this movie afloat for longer than other critics gave it credit for. However, he, too felt that the whole thing crumbled by the end.prevnext
Paul Byrnes of The Sydney Morning Herald was one of many critics to remark on the misuse of beloved A-list actors like Affleck and de Armas in this movie. He felt that their star power alone could have made up for a lot of issues, but not for the amount of problems present here.prevnext
Finally, Jeannette Catsoulis wrote that the movie felt incoherent with too many disparate parts in her reivew for The New York Times. She called it "misaligned chunks and dangling loose ends, its scenes spat out as randomly as bingo balls."prev