User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 104
  2. Negative: 4 out of 104
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  1. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    It's deep, surreal, and offers a kind of operatic ecstasy that is both wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue also deliver flawless performances.
  2. Jan 23, 2012
    9
    This movie cannot be taken at face value otherwise you will entirely miss the point. This move DOES have phenomenal philosophical value and depth. I can see how watching this movie without any guidance will lead you to believe it is possibly the most terrible movie ever made but I was asked to watch this for a Philosophy course called The Meaning of Life and looking at the film throughThis movie cannot be taken at face value otherwise you will entirely miss the point. This move DOES have phenomenal philosophical value and depth. I can see how watching this movie without any guidance will lead you to believe it is possibly the most terrible movie ever made but I was asked to watch this for a Philosophy course called The Meaning of Life and looking at the film through that lens made all the difference. Watch this movie, pretend to be super philosophical and deep, and see what you can get out of it. Expand
  3. V.S.
    Sep 29, 2003
    0
    This movie has some of the worst character development I've ever seen. He's allowed a couple of flashbacks to show us who he is (a screenwriter who lost his family) while she's the usual hooker with a heart of gold who has no point to her character other than to fall in love with Nicolas Cage for no apparent reason. I mean, do hookers usually have such perfect diction and This movie has some of the worst character development I've ever seen. He's allowed a couple of flashbacks to show us who he is (a screenwriter who lost his family) while she's the usual hooker with a heart of gold who has no point to her character other than to fall in love with Nicolas Cage for no apparent reason. I mean, do hookers usually have such perfect diction and overstocked bookshelves in their apt? We'll never know, since the filmmaker can't spare a line to give her character even the slightest history. Expand
  4. Aug 14, 2014
    5
    This is the first movie that has positive reviews and I give it a mixed review. I think the movie is well acted (Nicolas Cage nails it) but the rest of movie is entirely depressing, with no compelling characters or storytelling
  5. DaleC.
    Apr 3, 2001
    10
    Elisabeth Shue is remarkable in this film. She gets largely overshadowed in the press by Nicolas Cage, but the movie would certainly not be the same without her.
  6. Trentm.
    Dec 7, 2004
    10
    Awesome!!!
  7. KumariH.
    Feb 23, 2002
    10
    Elisabeth Shue is phenomenal! I could, and have, watch this movie over and over again. Nicholas Cage was also convincing in this part, though I usually do not like him much. The things they say in reviews are true - there is no sugar-coating in this story. But the thing I think is most beautiful about this movie is that these are two very desperately lonely people who still retain their Elisabeth Shue is phenomenal! I could, and have, watch this movie over and over again. Nicholas Cage was also convincing in this part, though I usually do not like him much. The things they say in reviews are true - there is no sugar-coating in this story. But the thing I think is most beautiful about this movie is that these are two very desperately lonely people who still retain their humanity despite their "labels" that we would necessarily place on them in our world. And in their humanity, you really root for them, and you love them for their "faults." The idea of personal responisibility in this movie is really compelling, as well; you feel that they are determined to live as they will, conscious of the consequences that they will likely encounter. I think this screenplay really could have gone wrong in the hands of other people. But these actors are just fantastic, and totally pull it off. Expand
  8. YoonMinC.
    Sep 26, 2003
    2
    A dumbass movie moping for significance and philosophical depth, it simply wallows in a pigsty of cliches--hooker with a heart of gold and world weary alcoholic. This is a very bad movie for purposes of either compassion or self-pity. Cage won an oscar for his role which makes one wonder what the Academy voters had been drinking(or snorting?).
  9. AndrewM.
    May 16, 2004
    5
    This film is both good and bad. It wants to show how a man can descend into the purgatory existence of alcoholism. How relationships are strained, tortured and destroyed by such an existence. How realism becomes shadowed and warped by this lifestyle. And how the world itself reacts to such a degraded life. In these veins, the movie is good and it succeeds. The question is: moralising This film is both good and bad. It wants to show how a man can descend into the purgatory existence of alcoholism. How relationships are strained, tortured and destroyed by such an existence. How realism becomes shadowed and warped by this lifestyle. And how the world itself reacts to such a degraded life. In these veins, the movie is good and it succeeds. The question is: moralising aside, who wants to watch this?...who wants to be willingly dragged down into this hell?...I didn't, but I was. The film didn't make me care; it was too ugly, too dark, too cold. In this way, it was bad. Some will say, so, that is how it is, that is reality! Well, I think you can paint reality in several different ways, all to get the same points across each time. I took several things out of this film...beneficial, enlightening things!...but I believe if the film had been made better, brighter, it might have made me actually care about these things. Expand
  10. TracyR
    May 31, 2005
    10
    An uncompromising, unsentimental poem. Perfectly done for what it is.
  11. TedK.
    Jun 20, 2008
    8
    Cage's performance is mesmerizing. This movie will resonate with anyone who has struggled with alcoholism. It can be a downer but the film--and Cage in particular--is so memorable that it's worth watching.
  12. SantinoS.
    Oct 14, 2002
    9
    This is an uncompromising look at alove story between two losers. Cage and shue are heartbreakingly realistic in 2 outstanding performances. figgis 's direction is masterful, especially the way he creates the mood of this sad movie. but the best part about this movie is that it does not compromise, especially at the end and does not settle for a feel good ending. one of the best loveThis is an uncompromising look at alove story between two losers. Cage and shue are heartbreakingly realistic in 2 outstanding performances. figgis 's direction is masterful, especially the way he creates the mood of this sad movie. but the best part about this movie is that it does not compromise, especially at the end and does not settle for a feel good ending. one of the best love stories i've ever seen. Expand
  13. ButteredPopcorn
    Nov 16, 2003
    4
    Compelling to watch as we witness this downward spiral, but that's about as far as it goes. Left wishing the movie had a little more to offer.
  14. PatC.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    There is no better example of the interaction of two proficient actors at the top of their game. Vegas is the repository of the American dream, and these characters, in their efforts to dignify their situations, don't let us forget that that dream comes with a price. As close to truth as Hollywood nowadays allows itself to get.
  15. CaptainCraig
    Feb 18, 2005
    0
    Depressing, miserable production about two people to enable their adictions. No redeaming value whatsoever. Im boycotting Nick Nolte films in revenge for making me suffer thru this.
  16. HaroldP.
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    Won't say it's the finest movie ever made, but it's my favorite ever. This film haunts me days after I watch it. Elisabeth Shue's tragic beauty is almost too much to bear. If you've ever loved and lost you understand what I mean.... This is Nicolas Cage's best performance, it's clear he knows his way around the bottle. Depressing, yes, ultimately Won't say it's the finest movie ever made, but it's my favorite ever. This film haunts me days after I watch it. Elisabeth Shue's tragic beauty is almost too much to bear. If you've ever loved and lost you understand what I mean.... This is Nicolas Cage's best performance, it's clear he knows his way around the bottle. Depressing, yes, ultimately uplifting...no. Just a small window into the lives of two hurt souls who finally find a lover and friend, even if they both know it's much too late...awesome. Expand
  17. JobA.
    Dec 21, 2005
    10
    I've seen this movie probably 30 times.The acting by cage is really unbelievable.Who ever doesn't like this movie never really paid attention to the amazing story and acting.A work of art.
  18. Feb 9, 2015
    7
    Dark, depressing, and extremely raw, Leaving Las Vegas is an exquisitely made film that showcases Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue in one of the best roles of their careers. Featuring two very troubled individuals who fall in love, Leaving Las Vegas is one that certainly hits you hard and really makes you feel attached and feel a lot of empathy for the characters. Though these people mayDark, depressing, and extremely raw, Leaving Las Vegas is an exquisitely made film that showcases Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue in one of the best roles of their careers. Featuring two very troubled individuals who fall in love, Leaving Las Vegas is one that certainly hits you hard and really makes you feel attached and feel a lot of empathy for the characters. Though these people may not be the best human beings ever (in particular Cage's character), you get a sense that there is more to both of them and that they absolutely need one another. A very interesting character study and an interesting look at the seedier parts of Las Vegas, this one does have its negatives. Namely the fact that it can drag a bit. While riveting and a very interesting example of how a film just needs characters, not necessarily a plot to make it successful, this one does slow down at times, which is what made me not enjoy it as much as others. However, overall, it stands tall as a great example of two people on the downslide of life who find each other. Expand
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    100
    The film pulls no punches, takes no prisoners and flies in the face of feel-good pictures.
  2. Nicolas Cage gives one of the best performances of his strange, courageous career.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Deliberately downbeat, it's best as a two-person character study, stumbling a bit whenever it extends its parameters.