Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 4/10

Not much

Bad message, poor script

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fifty Shades of Grey

Studio:  Michael De Luca Productions

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):  February 9, 2015 (Premiere)/February 13, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Who would show up to do an interview dressed like this regardless of the situation?

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has met a man that could change her future.  Executive Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) has taken an interest in the young woman who has come to interview him for a friend and now is pursuing her.  Ana finds that Grey has a different take on relationships than she’s ever experienced and that being with Grey will compromise her principles…will Ana be able to change Grey or is Grey a broken man?

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey adapts the best-selling 2011 novel by E.L. James.  The film was released to largely negative reviews but an immense box office return.  The film won Razzies for Worst Picture (in a tie with Fantastic Four), Worst Actor (Dornan), Worst Actress (Johnson), Worst Screen Combo (Dornan and Johnson), and Worst Screenplay with a nomination for Worst Director (losing to Fantastic Four) but the film did get an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “Earn It”.


I love you because you are weird, creepy, and rich.

I pretty much knew what I was getting into with Fifty Shades of Grey.  I suspect I wouldn’t like it and I had a feeling that the movie would bore instead of thrill and titillate.  I was right, but it also left me questioning a lot of popular culture.

The story for the film is plodding.  I had hoped for a good erotic thriller, but this movie’s pacing had me thinking Eyes Wide Shut was an action film.  The movie just crawls and provides little thrills.  It is not erotic whatsoever and has you really questioning why this was a popular novel.


So remind me how rich you are

First, ignore the domination relationship…this is a thing so the idea that this is kinky and exciting and/or shocking is pretty weak.  The real question is why does she even hook up with Grey, and why do women find it appealing?  It is essentially a rape fantasy in that the character is willing to objectify herself to Grey (she’s not into the domination/submissive stuff) because he stalked her and has money and is attractive.  The movie tries to paint it in that he’s “broken” and she hopes to fix him, but she hooks up with him before she knows this…it is rather sick, twisted, and dangerous as a feminist perspective vs. the reality of what women are reading and possibly “want” (though studies of romance novels have shown that rape is often a factor in the novels).


The excitement of instant messaging!

The movie also doesn’t work on the level of the relationship because there is no chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.  Casting the movie was highly watched by those who liked the novel but the style of the novel and the film dialogue doesn’t allow interaction between the characters to feel real or create any sort of bond that has you liking either of them.  Ana is weak for objectifying herself for Grey and Grey just comes off as highly unlikable…I don’t care if he is screwed up.

Fifty Shades of Grey was a built in success.  Those who read the novel were going to see the movie and though they were seeing something edgy…they weren’t.  The movie is lazy and boring and doesn’t reach the level of good erotic thrillers or romances.  It was creepy enough when bored housewives were interested in a romance between a teen girl and a teen vampire and werewolf, but here, it reaches all new level of bizarre in that this book was written for them (unlike with Twilight)…and they ate it up.  At least something happened in Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey just failed to engage.  Fifty Shades of Grey is followed by Fifty Shades Darker in 2017.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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