Lucky Number Slevin

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 356 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 356

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User Reviews

  1. karl_ravageravage
    Feb 10, 2008
    5
    worst dialogue ever!!!! overtly homophobic. ntl Josh Hartnet held his own w/ a great group of actors who must have been bribed w/ a large movie budget.
  2. HellaS.
    Apr 16, 2006
    5
    It wasn't too bad, but I was bored at times. If you are a mature movie watcher, then I think you will find that you've seen this plot many times before. Usually when you see a good movie, when you get out of the theater, you can discuss what you liked, what you didn't like, what you thought was a good idea. With this movie... nothing. Very shallow and dry.
  3. Jun 7, 2015
    4
    I want to be as cool as Pulp Fiction !
    Come on, the main character walking around only with an towel for 20 min. That's so crazy!!

    And we have Bruce Willis who was also in Pulp Fiction so..
  4. PhilipJ
    May 15, 2006
    6
    Quality Acting, Quality Directing, Original Storyline. However, it was extremely boring at times. The movie was also a bit predictable.
  5. RonJ.
    Apr 12, 2006
    6
    Utterly predictable and gratuitous. Nonetheless fun and engaging. Relax and go along for the ride.
  6. Apr 8, 2016
    5
    Lucky Number Slevin is a clever little crime thriller that really does a good job hooking you in and keeping you guessing. It ties everything together quite nicely and is a really, really tight film. The acting from Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, and Stanley Tucci, are all solid. Additionally, the writing is quite good for the most part. The charactersLucky Number Slevin is a clever little crime thriller that really does a good job hooking you in and keeping you guessing. It ties everything together quite nicely and is a really, really tight film. The acting from Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, and Stanley Tucci, are all solid. Additionally, the writing is quite good for the most part. The characters and their place in this neo-noir type film are all quite clear and compelling. However, the undoing of Lucky Number Slevin is two-fold: one, exposition. Nobody needs this much exposition. Christopher Nolan would leave this film thinking, "Wow that was a lot of exposition". That is how much of this stuff there is. While needed, obviously, it is not needed to the level found here. Additionally, the film literally walks you through the plot at the end. Any audience is not that stupid. Here, it has to be explained to you because the film did not think you could handle it without having it spoon fed to you. Thus, this is the first time you are seeing most of it. Even worse though, this piece of the film practically undoes the characterizations of the prior 3/4ths of the film. The audience is smarter than this film wants to admit. Though I said it is two-fold, I am reminded of a few more problems that are inherent here, namely how homophobic it is. Holy cow I have not seen a film this homophobic in a while. That said, it is quite entertaining and is a well made crime thriller, both of which help elevate it (slightly) above its faults. Expand
  7. Apr 3, 2016
    5
    A View to Many Kills.

    If you're feeling depravity-deprived, if you haven't seen enough violent death in the past few weeks -- after all, it's been over a month since "The Hills Have Eyes" was released! -- relief is finally in sight. That's Paul McGuigan's "Lucky Number Slevin," which despite its nonsensical title turns out to be a slaughterfest dedicated to the proposition that
    A View to Many Kills.

    If you're feeling depravity-deprived, if you haven't seen enough violent death in the past few weeks -- after all, it's been over a month since "The Hills Have Eyes" was released! -- relief is finally in sight.

    That's Paul McGuigan's "Lucky Number Slevin," which despite its nonsensical title turns out to be a slaughterfest dedicated to the proposition that killing the old way is best. It still kills that old way, via pistol, over and over and over and over. It may be the bloodiest film since "Sin City," and it's so bloody that eight people are graphically murdered before the star even appears.

    That star is the scrawny, cute, innocent Josh Hartnett, as one poor schlemiel called Slevin, who appears a typical twenty-something failed-to-launch slacker in baggy T-shirt and raggedy pants, wool cap pulled low over eyes and ears. Is he a punk musician or a computer nerd-genius?

    Well, actually neither: He's a guy who shows up in a buddy's New York apartment, which is the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. Suddenly two very violent gangstas arrive, beat the pep out of him and haul him before The Boss, played by the magisterial Morgan Freeman. Although Slevin protests, the boss isn't too interested in these protests and insists that he, amateur Slevin, is Nick, the actual renter of the apartment. And that since Nick owes him money, he, Slevin, must either pay it back (clearly impossible) or earn his way out of penury by performing a service. That service is a murder that is an act of retribution in the service of a larger tribal battle between The Boss and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley).

    Before this comes the movie's bloody preamble, which seems to have nothing to do with anything. It's the story, set 20 years in the past, of a young man who tried to hustle the mob by betting on a fixed horse race. For his hubris, he was paid in death, as were his wife and child (all three extinctions clinically documented). From that story, narrated at an airport by a crippled Bruce Willis to a completely different young man, the movie then leaps into the present, where we watch this morning's extinctions, also clinically documented, of a man getting into a car in a parking lot and a bookie and his henchmen being wiped out by an unseen expert in improvised weaponry (including a baseball!). Meanwhile, back at the airport, Willis snaps the neck of the boy he's been talking to like it's a swizzle stick in a slightly used martini glass. That extinction -- in fact, all of them -- are played as punch lines to a joke that everyone but the victim gets.

    The movie has a jaunty, even merry tone for something so blood-soaked. It takes its editing rhythms from the clever Guy Ritchie of "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" fame (and not "Swept Away," with wifey Madonna, infamy). Like Ritchie's far superior works, it plays a lot of tricks with chronology, with point of view, with concealment and revelation.

    It also bears a more than casual connection to "Wicker Park," which was also directed by McGuigan and also starred Hartnett. Many of the same mechanisms are deployed, so much so that this film could be called "Wicker Park With Berettas." That movie, if you are not among the seven or nine who saw it, was a contempo romance set in Chicago, where Hartnett played a young businessman who falls in love with a girl who then vanishes almost instantly, a mystery that becomes an obsession for him to solve.

    Both films are built around the same structure, which begins with a cleverly filmed scenario in which we watch this and that happen, and take for granted we understand what we've seen. But that scenario is kind of the Rosetta stone of the story, and it is returned to over and over, and with each revisit it becomes more complex. Looking at it from other vantage points, we learn that what seemed innocent and spontaneous was neither; relationships emerge, coalitions are revealed, perpetrators, barely glimpsed in the original, are identified. In "Wicker Park" the cleverness and the gamesmanship were fun. Here they're only almost fun.

    There's just too much death, it comes too quickly, it has no moral import, it becomes ultimately meaningless. It's not that hyper-violent movies are axiomatically a bad thing -- "The Wild Bunch," "The Godfather," "The Seven Samurai," even "Hamlet" and Orson Welles's "Macbeth" show the foolishness of that assertion. It's just that this particular example is so laden with shootings -- rarely gunfights, I should add; mostly quick executions of unarmed people who simply keel over when popped -- that it becomes somehow tedious. The young director is intoxicated with them, but out in the audience, we're beginning to squirm. Let's see some contests, some fights, some skill: No, we're just watching an execution-o-rama.

    The saving grace is both Freeman and Kingsley are charismatic performers, each the master of a posse that reflects a specific ethnic heritage.
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Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. 50
    If "Pulp Fiction" impregnated "The Usual Suspects," the spawn would look a lot like Lucky Number Slevin. Great genes, but you keep wondering when the kid is going to grow up and find an identity of his own.
  2. The film is stylish as hell with sharp dialogue, a tongue-in-cheek plot and visual and editing razzle-dazzle.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    60
    Thoroughly -- and sometimes justifiably -- infatuated with its own cleverness, this mistaken-identity thriller delights in narrative complication and Tarantino-esque self-awareness.