Fifty Shades Darker | Chicago Reader

Fifty Shades Darker

The title suggests a more extreme follow-up to the soft-core Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), but if anything, this ersatz-noir sequel from James Foley is more laughable than Sam Taylor-Johnson's gauzy original. Anguished billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) renegotiates terms with his former BDSM partner Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), who since their breakup has moved on to a fast-track career in book publishing. Their sexual trysts this time around are both kinkier and, oddly, more sedate, every frame looking tidy and airbrushed. No real threat underlies their bedroom encounters, most of which seem to lead to cunnilingus (whether it's the punishment or the reward isn't clear). Any suspense comes first from a stalker, then from Anna's sleazoid boss, and finally from Grey's sexual mentor (Kim Basinger), tottering about like some stiletto-clad update of Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca. Other than Dornan's exceptional physique, the movie offers little gratification, delayed or otherwise.



  • James Foley


  • Dakota Johnson
  • Jamie Dornan
  • Eric Johnson
  • Rita Ora
  • Luke Grimes
  • Victor Rasuk
  • Eloise Mumford
  • Bella Heathcote
  • Max Martini
  • Kim Basinger
  • Marcia Harden
  • Hugh Dancy
  • Jennifer Ehle
  • Robinne Lee
  • Fay Masterson
  • Tyler Hoechlin
  • Ashleigh LaThrop


  • Michael De Luca
  • E.L. James
  • Dana Brunetti
  • Marcus Viscidi

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