Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The story of one man's dangerous journey from peace of mind to paranoid panic when he's lured out of an idyllic retirement back to the gangster life. (Fox Searchlight)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. 100
    An extraordinary and original creation. It belongs alongside "Amores Perros" and "Memento" on a shortlist of 2001's most exciting revelations.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    91
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 88
    These are hard men. They could have the "Sopranos" for dinner, throw up and have them again.
  5. 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.
  6. 78
    It smarts, and shocks, and just for a moment blows your mind.
  7. 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.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40
  1. StuartW.
    Dec 9, 2006
    10
    An astonishing and entralling movie. Ben Kinsgley's performance is a revelation. Hard to believe that this is the same man who played Gandhi.
  2. WesM
    Jun 24, 2008
    10
    Improves with repeated viewings! Kingsley is alright and I understand the praise, but I actually preferred Winstone's performance, Improves with repeated viewings! Kingsley is alright and I understand the praise, but I actually preferred Winstone's performance, though it was probably because his character was just more likable. Collapse
  3. May 23, 2012
    10
    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.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. Expand
  4. Aug 19, 2010
    8
    Retired ex-con, lives in Spain, gets call from London to do one more job, declines, old "friend" comes over to persuade him.
    Very under-rated
    Retired ex-con, lives in Spain, gets call from London to do one more job, declines, old "friend" comes over to persuade him.
    Very under-rated British film from 2000 that stands out in the Brit Gangster dross that was coming out at this time.
    It's a pretty simple story but very well acted out & then of course there's Ben Kingsley.
    I remember telling a mate about this and he didn't believe me how nasty Kingsley could be in a film. He's terrifying, funny & fascinating in every single scene in which he features.
    Soundtrack isn't bad either.
    Expand
  5. Mar 18, 2015
    6
    Despite the lack of thrills, Sexy Beast still manages to be compelling due to the fact that it is completely unlike every other "gangster"Despite the lack of thrills, Sexy Beast still manages to be compelling due to the fact that it is completely unlike every other "gangster" film you have ever seen. While there is some violence, the emphasis is certainly not on it, rather it is on the characters here. Featuring great performances from Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, this one is quite subtle, but does think it is smarter than it really is at times. In director Jonathan Glazer's latest film, Under the Skin, I had the same complaint I do here in that he tries to make it seem deeper than it really is. His debut feature is far more enjoyable for me, but still features that same problem. Plus, some scenes were a little overdone and could have just been done normally. Glazer tries to outdo himself at times and it winds up hurting the overall product. In spite of that, Winstone and Kingsley were amazing and their chemistry is what made this film. As a whole, Sexy Beast is a good gangster flick that does try too hard at times, but when it stays focused, it is quite compelling. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2010
    3
    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 upBen 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. Expand
  7. ll
    Sep 23, 2009
    0
    An interesting and wonderful take to the life of a ex-gangster who is lured back to his old ways of being a gangster. Wonderful.

See all 40 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors

    Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors Image
    Published: August 31, 2010
    Before Anton Corbijn was directing feature films like this week's "The American," he was the driving force behind iconic music videos for Depeche Mode, U2, and Nirvana. Inside, we look at the careers of Corbijn and over 20 other directors who have made the jump from MTV to the big screen.