Layer Cake


Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. Fast, convulsive, and densely exciting new British gangster thriller.
  2. Don't let the fast-and-loose vibe fool you: Right up to its operatic finale, this is one tight one last job.
  3. 88
    Craig is fascinating here as a criminal who is very smart, and finds that is not an advantage because while you might be able to figure out what another smart person is about to do, dumbos like the men he works for are likely to do anything.
  4. Things get a little tricky by the end, but it's the sort of trickery that's immensely satisfying.
  5. Doesn't reveal all its layers until you've taken the last bite.
  6. Smartly put together, with interesting characters and caustic wit.
  7. 80
    There's a proper lived-in believability about Layer Cake's depiction of how the worlds of the rich, the criminal and the criminally rich intersect.
  8. The newest in British gangland entertainment and the tastiest in years.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Layer Cake is a treat--especially if your taste in desserts is devil's food.
  10. 80
    A colorful cast whose combined energy lifts the story off the ground.
  11. It's a stylish and classic gangster saga about the clashing of rival empires.
  12. The director Vaughn has a flair not merely for action and ambiance but also for character.
  13. 78
    Layer Cake is suffused with a stately sense of menace and a sort of doomed existential suave.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There's a lot here to feed crime-fiction enthusiasts.
  15. 75
    This is a smart, vivid, thrillingly real gangster picture that nevertheless resembles many others.
  16. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    It’s hilarious, and genuinely cool.
  17. Laced with flashbacks and stylistic tics, but it never loses its forward momentum, and to the last shot, it avoids predictability.
  18. A crime drama in a special class.
  19. 75
    Cheeky, brass-knuckles British crime film.
  20. 75
    It's like "Lock, Stock" as filtered through the mind of David Mamet, with Craig as the suave middleman holding it all together.
  21. 70
    The writing is crisp and deeply layered, and the filmmakers gave themselves a rich array of actors to work with.
  22. 70
    The always-dependable and chameleon-like Craig has the chops and substance for that kind of film, but Vaughn prefers to keep matters brisk and superficial.
  23. 70
    A sleek, effective entertainment that is a refreshing respite from the slick emptiness of recent American crime dramas.
  24. 70
    By the end, you may be exhausted by the effort of trying to unravel the thing, but you may also be taken by the power of its spell. This is a movie that compels you to watch.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 211 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. WesM
    Jul 28, 2008
    The ultimate synthesis of recent British crime classis; the seriousness, characterization and aesthetics of Sexy Beast and the loopy, The ultimate synthesis of recent British crime classis; the seriousness, characterization and aesthetics of Sexy Beast and the loopy, multilayered plotting and style of Lock Stock... and Snatch. Very highly recommended. Full Review »
  2. JackT.
    Feb 19, 2008
    The Greatest Gangster Thriller I have Ever Seen
  3. AdamC.
    Feb 4, 2008
    too good