cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Buy the Poster


Starring James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lesley Ann Warren, Jeremy Davies
Screenplay by Steven Shainberg and Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on a story by Mary Gaitskill
Directed by Steven Shainberg

IN SHORT: Great Poster. [Rated R for strong sexuality, some nudity, depiction of behavioral disorders, and language. 104 minutes]

Dear Diary,
I have been such a good girl that the doctors say I can leave the Institution to attend my sister's wedding and, if I can find a good, stable job, I can take my place in society. Mommy (Lesley Ann Warren) is watching me like a hawk because she loves me but she didn't find "my secret" stashed under the mattress. I won't need all those sharp, pointy things to cut and scar and punish this bad, bad, bad girl because the doctors say I'm rehabilitated. Still, nostalgia is a good thing and if I'm really good I won't need to punish myself.

Dear Diary,
Oh joy of joys! I've found a real job for a great lawyer. It was like Kismet. He had an ad in the paper and a permanent sign -- with flashing lights and everything saying "Secretary Wanted" -- outside his door and his last secretary was leaving in tears just as I got there. She must have been a bad, bad girl. My new boss says he's "shy" but I think he's just old fashioned. He hates computers and makes me use a typewriter. That means I have to be really, really careful with my typing because if I make a mistake he circles it in red and makes me redo the page again and again. It's a good thing I kept my stash of sharp and pointy things because I am a bad, bad girl.

Dear Diary,
I am a bad, bad girl. I try and try and try to work that typewriter correctly all day long and I just can't seem to get anything write, sorry, right. E. Edward Grey (James Spader) finally hit -- hee, hee, hee -- his limit and I thought that it was all over but, no, I was a bad, bad girl and deserved to be punished and he did and it was wonderful! Oh, Diary, I think I'm in love! Not like in love with my boyfriend Peter (Jeremy Davies) who wants to marry me. He just doesn't understand my needs and, finally, I've found a man who understands that I'm really a bad, bad girl and knows what to do about it!

Dear Penthouse Forum,
I never thought I'd be writing to you but it finally happened to me in real life so I guess all those letters aren't really written by your staff writers at all! I'm a lawyer in a small community and a very good one, too. I don't think it's too much to expect for my employees to put themselves one hundred percent into their jobs, which is why I don't like computers or other high technology. Technology keeps people apart. When I find a mistake in a document, it is important that my secretary understands that this is important work and that mistakes of any kind cannot be tolerated. Sure, that means long hours as a line of incompetent secretaries redo page after page after page, which means no life outside of the office (but then, I'm a really shy guy and love has never looked my way). Until my latest hire, Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal). She is pretty. She is hard working. She understands that, despite what the State says about employer-employee relationships, that mistakes are unacceptable in this profession. And, despite what the State says about employer-employee relationships, when she is bad she knows her place is to be bent over my desk so I can apply a good spanking! Spank! Spank! Spank!
     Sometimes I have to spank her more than once a day. Sometimes more than twice. Spank! Spank! Spank! Oh, Forum, she's perfect. My life is now perfect! Work and Spanking! Spanking and Work. The problem is, how can you have a relationship with an employee and maintain credibility?

Dear readers,
So... can you take the black leather and bondage gadgets out of a good dominance and submission love story and still have a touching, warm-the-cockles kind of good time? No. You still need the bondage gadgets, which is close to the first thing you see in Steven Shainberg's Secretary, and it's good for a quick laugh. Still, a dominance and submission fantasy draped in the veneer of a tender love story is still a dominance and submission fantasy. Just the kind of in the face storytelling that is beloved at film festivals. Not by us.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Secretary, he would have paid . . .


still, with James Spader as star, we shoulda known.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Steven Shainberg
Click to buy films starring James Spader
Click to buy films starring Lesley Ann Warren
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.