films seen
average score
The Netherlands - 85 years old
Alive and kicking
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Verhoeven made big-budget cheese his personal trademark, he just wasn't always successful. When it turns out right his oeuvre offers solid entertainment, but too many of his films fall flat on their face. Explore at your own peril.



1987 / 102m - USA
Action, Crime
RoboCop poster

Starship Troopers

1997 / 129m - USA
Sci-fi, Action
Starship Troopers poster


2016 / 130m - France
Drama, Thriller
Elle poster


2012 / 55m - The Netherlands
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Tricked poster


1995 / 128m - USA
Showgirls poster

Showy and kitschy showbiz drama that has a little extra because of Verhoeven's over-the-top direction, but fails to excite beyond that. The acting is pretty bland, the story is boring and the film could've been 30 minutes shorter. It's not a terrible film, certainly not as bad as its reputation, but it's not very noteworthy either.

Basic Instinct

1992 / 127m - USA
Basic Instinct poster

I'm pretty sure I'd seen this film before as a kid, but I didn't remember much of it, apart from the scenes that have become part of our cultural memory. It's a Verhoeven though, so I figured it would be nice to give this one another go and see if it was still worth something. The result was a little disappointing I'm afraid.

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There's quite a bit of nudity and the murders are pretty direct (for a Hollywood film), but that's about it really. The film itself is a very basic cop thriller, with a rather plain "did she or didn't she" plot that Verhoeven drags out until the very end. I found it hard to care about the final twist, which is never a good sign.

Performances are rather weak (Douglas in particular is prone to some serious overacting) and the film has that rather cheap 90s cop thriller look. The soundtrack isn't very helpful either. The pacing is fine though and the film never gets too slow or boring, but in the end there's not all that much appeal left for a 2 hour film.

Total Recall

1990 / 113m - USA
Sci-fi, Thriller
Total Recall poster

The 4th Man

De Vierde Man
1983 / 102m - The Netherlands
Mystery, Thriller
The 4th Man poster

An old Verhoeven and veritable Dutch classic. It's not difficult to see where this film got its reputation from. The premise is interesting enough and Verhoeven doesn't shy away from the juicier details. The presentation feels a little cheesy though, with the performances in particular being pretty poor.

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Gerard is a popular writer who bumps into Christine, a young woman who lives life to the fullest. Gerard is smitten, but their relationship isn't exclusive. Christine has another boyfriend, even though he can't please her like she wants him to. As they get more serious, Gerard learns that Christine has a hidden past.

It's a pretty straightforward story, luckily, there's quite a bit of symbolism which adds to the intrigue. The homo-erotic overtones felt a bit out of place, though they don't detract I guess. Better acting and a slicker finale could've given the film a real boost, but at least I didn't feel bored watching it.

Turkish Delight

Turks Fruit
1973 / 98m - The Netherlands
Turkish Delight poster

A Dutch classic and one of Paul Verhoeven's first feature films. I'd never seen the film before, nor read the book, so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn't all that surprised to get a somewhat raunchier romance, what I didn't expect was the rather crummy and stilted execution of the thing.

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When Olga picks up Eric on the side of the road, it's love at first sight. The two get into a car accident and Olga disappears from Eric's life, but he can't forget about her and looks everywhere until he finally finds her again. They get married and for a while, things go well, but then disaster strikes.

The performances are horrible, the dialogues are hideous, and almost half of the film is made up of nonsensical interludes. The romantic angle works relatively well regardless, but that too gets stunted in the second half. It's a pretty rough start to Verhoeven's career, but at least the film got his name out.

Hollow Man

2000 / 112m - USA
Sci-fi, Thriller
Hollow Man poster

Flesh & Blood

1985 / 126m - USA
Action, Adventure
Flesh & Blood poster

Soldier of Orange

Soldaat van Oranje
1977 / 165m - The Netherlands
Drama, War
Soldier of Orange poster

Black Book

2006 / 145m - The Netherlands
Thriller, War
Black Book poster