January 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Director Adrian Lyne turns the Fatal Attraction tables and presents a housewife (the luminous Lane) who cheats on her devoted husband (Gere) with a sketchy French hunk (Olivier Martinez). But said hunk is hardly a bunny boiler, and that’s where things get interesting. Here, the enemy is simply conscience, which makes for an earthy, claustrophobic story. Unfaithful is also so faithful to detail — a powder blue sweater as a symbol of penance, the reappearance of a snow globe — that you’ll never feel like you’re watching just for the performances.

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