Critics Slam Damian Hurley’s Directorial Debut “Strictly Confidential” as Lackluster: Film Receives Scathing Reviews

Damian Hurley’s venture into the world of filmmaking with “Strictly Confidential” has been met with harsh criticism from reviewers following its release in selected US cinemas and on Prime Video last Friday. Despite enlisting his mother, Elizabeth Hurley, for a starring role, the movie has failed to impress audiences and has been described as “absolute tosh” by critics. The erotic thriller, written and directed by 22-year-old Damian, centers around a haunted young woman portrayed by Georgia Lock, who finds herself entangled in a web of seduction, deceit, and betrayal as she seeks answers about her best friend’s suicide.

Elizabeth Hurley’s Involvement Sparks Controversy Amidst Lackluster Reception

Before its release, “Strictly Confidential” generated significant buzz, largely due to scenes featuring Elizabeth engaging in intimate encounters with another woman. However, critics have lambasted the film for its weak script, convoluted plot twists, and uncomfortable moments, particularly involving Elizabeth’s participation in risqué scenes directed by her own son. Dennis Harvey of Variety criticized the film’s narrative as “ridiculous,” while Jessie Hobson of Cinedump expressed that viewers would feel “bewildered” rather than entertained.

Critics Highlight Flaws and Uncomfortable Moments

Critics further scrutinized Damian’s direction and Elizabeth’s performance, with Brian Orndorf of rating the film poorly and highlighting Damian’s failure to capitalize on its potential for intrigue. Jeffrey Lyles of Lyles Movie Files also criticized the film’s portrayal of Elizabeth’s character and the discomfort of watching certain scenes directed by her son. Despite praising Damian’s attempt at a twist ending, Lyles ultimately deemed the film a disappointment.

Mixed Reviews Reflect Audience Divides

While some critics panned “Strictly Confidential” for its lackluster execution and questionable plot choices, others, like Markos Papadatos of Digital Journal, found merit in Damian’s directorial debut, commending its intensity and creative vision. However, Mike McGranaghan of The Aisle Seat echoed the sentiments of many detractors, describing the screenplay as derivative and the film’s reliance on sensationalism as shallow.

Elizabeth and Damian Hurley Defend Their Collaboration

Prior to the film’s release, Elizabeth and Damian addressed criticisms surrounding their collaboration, asserting that their familial bond made working together comfortable and familiar. They emphasized their mutual respect and understanding of each other’s roles on set, dismissing concerns about the film’s intimate scenes as overblown. Damian emphasized their shared background in show business, where such collaborations are not uncommon, and stressed their professional approach to the project.

Conclusion: “Strictly Confidential” Divides Critics and Audiences Alike

In summary, “Strictly Confidential” has garnered mixed reviews, with critics questioning its artistic merit and uncomfortable moments involving Elizabeth Hurley’s character. While some commend Damian Hurley’s directorial efforts, others criticize the film’s execution and reliance on sensationalism. Despite the controversy, Elizabeth and Damian remain unapologetic about their collaboration, emphasizing their professional approach and shared vision for the project.

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