Film Review
"The General's Daughter"
Released in Theaters June, 1999

The following excerpts are taken from Janet Maslin's review in the New York Times

Murder on a military base was once a good enough pretext for a detective thriller, but nowadays it takes more. The prevailing sleaze quotient calls for kinks in a movie killing, and "The General's Daughter" is eager to oblige. So the title character is left worse than dead. She is found strangled, naked and spread-eagled, pinned by tent pegs in an exposed outdoor setting. And the camera lets her lie there for repeated long shots as the investigation begins. Though the search for a culprit holds surprises, this isn't one of them: the movie thinks she asked for what she got.

"I wrote this novel partly as a result of the Persian Gulf war of January and February 1991," notes Nelson DeMille in an introduction to the blunt best seller on which this movie is based. The author, a Vietnam veteran, had been irked by how "the media personalized the gulf war with endless interviews of women doing men's jobs," and in his book he expressed his view on the idea of women in the military: that it should be bombed back to the Stone Age. So his story concerns the havoc wrought by an incredibly promiscuous female Army captain upon tough, disciplined men. . . .

And Kenneth Turan says in the Los Angeles Times: . . . troubling is the graphic sexual violence toward women that is a key feature of "General's Daughter." Though the filmmakers probably feel they've been discreet and low-key in dealing with what is doubtless an important element in DeMille's novel, excessive shots of spread-eagled, tortured and raped victims are hard to stomach and in no way help this dramatically impoverished film gain the credibility it certainly needs.

And Rita Kempley in the Washington Post says: "The General's Daughter" is a prosaic, sexually perverse thriller masquerading as a critical look at military injustice. This lazy whodunit wallows in the misogyny it pretends to abhor. There's no disguising the filmmakers' true motives when the camera lingers so lasciviously over the nude body of its raped and ritualistically murdered victim.

Posted 6/23/99