Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. A vicious horror flick with an actual beast and someone who just acts like one.
  2. Carries so much impacted menace and visual narrative gamesmanship that it brought back some of the excitement I felt nearly a decade ago watching Quentin Tarantino's ''Reservoir Dogs.''
  3. 100
    An extraordinary and original creation. It belongs alongside "Amores Perros" and "Memento" on a shortlist of 2001's most exciting revelations.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    It's all jolly bad fun, but the primo aspect of the exercise is the phenomenally intense performance by Kingsley as a careening sociopath who is every bit as dangerous to his friends as to his foes.
  5. 90
    Kingsley creates an unforgettable monster. Acting rarely gets this hypnotically explosive.
  6. 90
    There are long stretches in Sexy Beast that are so exhilarating it feels churlish to dwell on its flaws.
  7. Though it can overreach for emotional effect and overplay its hand at times -- Sexy Beast brings considerable virtues to telling this tale, including a great eye for faces and director Glazer's palpable excitement at working in the feature medium.
  8. He's (Kingsley) pure violence, a sociopath who radiates menace even while sitting perfectly still mouthing pleasantries.
  9. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A demonstration of bravura acting.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie is riotously entertaining, and with a big heart, too.
  11. 90
    One of the compulsively watchable films this year, second only to "Memento." It's a must-see, except for those with a sensitivity to on-screen mayhem.
  12. 88
    These are hard men. They could have the "Sopranos" for dinner, throw up and have them again.
  13. A noir masterpiece with Oscar-caliber performances, Sexy Beast slowly turns up the heat until we squirm.
  14. 88
    It is a riveting and memorable performance and Kingsley finds subtlety in Logan where there doesn't seem to be any.
  15. Noir has never been this bright.
  16. Glazer has a daring sense of story structure that ratchets up the suspense, and his sense for sardonic black comedy is unerring.
  17. 80
    Confident, mature, deeply conceived, and convincingly inhabited, it's a surprisingly humane film -- despite the close-range shotgun spray.
  18. 80
    Glazer shoots with the dreamy impressionism much favored in his principal line of work, all floaty slo-mos and in-your-face close-ups punctuated by a hard-driving rock score.
  19. Appeal lies on the bright, shiny surface of its ostensibly simple plot, and in its rat-a-tat-tat language, which often sounds like Mamet-visits-Spyne.
  20. A Molotov cocktail of a movie, an engaging conflagration of British B-flick, cockney wit and gallows humor. There's even a delicate little love story in there.
  21. 78
    It smarts, and shocks, and just for a moment blows your mind.
  22. 75
    A smart, funny, stylish and very violent British gangster movie.
  23. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Slightly misshapen and unbalanced, with a few loose ends, a few extraneous dream sequences. But there's something going on all the time.
  24. Plays in spots something like a stage play smartly brought to screen.
  25. 70
    The main event is the Mamet-esque battle of foul words between vintage hard-case Ray Winstone and the seething sociopath played by Ben Kingsley.
  26. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Often enjoyable, massively uneven Brit ganglander with an almost surreal approach to the genre.
  27. 63
    Kingsley gives the movie a jolt and blows the rest of it to pieces.
  28. Drove violence to the point of redundancy.
  29. In the end, I'm wondering what's so special about a film that has but one guilty pleasure and that's Ben Kingsley spraying saliva-lubricated variants of the F-word into the atmosphere like anti-aircraft fire for 10 solid minutes.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 39
  2. Negative: 7 out of 39
  1. May 23, 2012
    The closest thing to a perfect movie that I've found. There's too many great things about it to list here. Here's one interesting nuance. If you want to know the key to the power of Ben Kingsley's performance, it is not actually Ben Kingsley (though he is wonderful). Watch the movie up until Kingsley's arrival and then turn it off. Tell me then what you would think of Don Logan had he never made an appearance in the movie. Watch everyone's reaction at the table when Jackie says "It was Don Logan" who called for Gal. This director created an unbelievable monster of a character in Don Logan before he entered frame. It is in this way that Jonathan Glazer is largely responsible for the character of Don Logan. And why Ben Kingsley was able to spend most of his performance not raising his voice and seem utterly terrifying. Brilliant example of a director defining a character by the other character's reactions to him. Only one of the trillion great things about this film. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I'm a huge fan of the crime/mob/heist film genre, and my thoughts on Sexy Beast are: I'm not totally sure it falls into that genre. The heist portion of the movie, while somewhat clever, plays out rather quickly and uneventfully. The movie seems to place more emphasis on the chaos and anxiety that Ben Kingsley's character's arrival and (SPOILER ALERT) ultimate demise, which is the absolute highlight of the movie (END SPOILERS), causes the main character (Winstone) and his friends. I must say that Kingsley's performance is brilliant; his sociopathic tirades are rather superb. But, after a while, it's just a crazy guy harassing four people and you're ready for it to end. I didn't dislike Sexy Beast, I just don't think it's a movie I'd ever want to see again, nor is it one I can wholeheartedly recommend. Full Review »
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    Ben Kingsley appears to use his role as the psychotic gangster Don Logan purely as an exercise in variety in this crime drama that ends up playing out more like a senseless stage production than a movie. Some suave surrealism and a biting humor keep the film interesting, but not enough to save it. Full Review »