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Universal acclaim- based on 196 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 196

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  1. Jul 26, 2014
    Featuring uncommonly thrilling action, an absurdly unique - yet undoubtedly affecting - relationship at its core, and an oh-my-damn-how-the-hell-did-he-not-get-nominated-for-an-Academy-Award performance from Gary Oldman, "Leon: The Professional" is a fantastically beautiful film.
  2. Jul 21, 2014
    The Professional opens with an oppressive thrum; the weight of loneliness, a major theme to the story.
    We are forced to identify with 'Leon' (Jean Reno) who we learn is a hit man that drinks milk, not whiskey, suggesting he is not numbed to his profession, but perhaps pure in his approach, further clarified by his number one rule, "No women, no kids."

    12yr old 'Matilda' (Natalie
    Portman) an old soul that says things like, "I'm already grown up, I'm just getting old." and a fatal romantic, "I want love, or death, that's it." Matilda's surroundings and upbringing make us think she could one day be an artist, a mother of three, or a prostitute, so many outs if she can only stay alive.

    DEA agent Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) charming, gallant, intense, stepping out of the pages of GQ Magazine clearly in love with himself and his work and when he pops a happy pill (his fix) one hears a disturbing audible crack and when the curtains are pulled it's a manic blend of beethoven and 12 gauge blasts, he is everything a detective should be turned on its head into corruption and greed but still we find him taking the time to lecture some truants, "Kids, should be in school."

    These three characters collide in a story of revenge and justice that a badge or a gavel cannot deliver; it's a love story, The Professional is tender and brutal and platonic and ruthless and moral and in the end, it delivers.

    Would have preferred a more European open ending, but American audiences demand closure and absoluteness, robbing themselves of a story or character living on and haunting their imagination.
  3. Jul 17, 2014
    León: The Professional manages to be an excellent action movie, while at the same time having some depth and character development, a rarity in the genre. It definitely sticks out (in a good way), and is both fun and entertaining. The movie is definitely worth a watch.
  4. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    Leon: The Professional was a very good movie. Since I saw this after The Family, I didn't know what to expect, but it actually turned out to be a good movie.
  5. Jun 27, 2014
    Leon: The Professional is a very good action thriller that has one major area of success. That area is acting. Gary Oldman is absolutely phenomenal in portraying a crazed DEA agent and truly is a superstar here in this cast, not to say that Jean Reno or Natalie Portman were not good, because they were great as well. Not as good as Oldman, but they were no slouches either. For this one, the few actiony sequences were well done and very exciting and the thriller element was certainly there as the thrills, at times, really left you on the edge of your seat. The film is also very heartwarming as both Leon and Mathilda are in tough spots and really fill the holes in one another's hearts. At times, it can be a little creepy, but for the most part, their father-daughter esque relationship is charming, even if a bit odd to many. Overall, Leon: The Professional is a good film that has great performances, though that does not necessarily overshadow the other good qualities it brings to the table. Expand
  6. May 23, 2014
    The Proffesional is a very unique film, i like that they put a kid at the center of the movie to dramatize the movie. Jean Reno is very good in this material and Gary Oldman is just the perfect villain for this movie as Norman Stansfield
  7. May 17, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have been dying to buy Leon for years now and when i saw it on the top shelf at my local music store (why it was there i don't know) i bought it straight away, went home and watched it and it was awesome. The directing was as smooth as a circle, the writing inventive, the action was limited but awesome when it was there, the acting holds up mostly and then there is the greatest villain of them all, Gary Oldman. Starting with the acting, Jean Reno aced his performance and really did portray the 'cleaner' profession, i really do wish all films based around hit-men could be like this, i really do. The writing, it sustained a brisk pace throughout the movie and plotted twists and turns in different places creating this fantastic film. But there is one character who i find unusually disturbing and this was Matilda played by Natalie Portman, Matilda was weird, disturbing and a little bit looney, but on the other hand she is still a innocent kid who loves to copycat and play games, yet she acts like an adult to lure Leon into her trap where who knows what would have happened. Matilda disturbed me yet showed me the innocence of childhood and that is exactly what a charterer like her should do, divide your opinion and question their every move. Then there is Gary Oldman, and he honestly was more disturbing, you could see the insanity in his eyes, yet he could be disturbingly calm or the complete opposite and we never actually get to know his character which i love to see, every film needs a character like this, i think it just keeps the audience on the edge of their seat just connecting the dots. To conclude i feel as if Leon has made it into my top 10 favourite films of all time so i award it with a 10/10. Expand
  8. Apr 27, 2014
    A great movie. This one was a blind buy for me on Blu-Ray but I am glad that I picked this one up because I really enjoyed it. I think this is one of Natalie Portman's first movies and she is amazing in this movie. She is not one of my favourite actresses but she is really good in this movie and is why I ended up enjoying this movie so much.
  9. Mar 6, 2014
    Though too much on vengeance and parenting for my taste, 'Leon' has an amiable cast such as the awkward Leon, the youngster Matilda, and Norman Stansfield, whose brief time on screen is one of cinema;s most eccentric and corrupt villains of all time. Luc Besson has his own style of film to bring on the screen.
  10. Dec 26, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. first of all it is a Great movie With Great Directing an all, but nobody ever thought about Natalie Portman's Acting it was her first time in front of the cameras but she NAILED It Expand
  11. Dec 2, 2013
    Great action sequences, great acting, a simple, solid plot. This is one you never forget. I don't have to say much more but metacritic insists is have at least 150 characters.
  12. Nov 28, 2013
    Killer thriller on par with any "assassin" genre French, English, Chinese whatever. Jean Reno is incredible. Gary Oldman is riveting. Natalie Portman is captivating. This is Luc Besson's best film, by far. Even better than 5th Element (and I love that one). And ignore the low raters obviously, brain dead or just dead. If you aren't spellbound by the end of the first act stop watching film and go directly to the hospital to have your heart restarted. Expand
  13. Nov 23, 2013
    An absolute legend of a movie, extremely well acted, and thoroughly played/ thought out well.
    This movie is in a class of it's own, a high one at that, i do not want to mention too much as i would spoil the film, but this is a must watch!
    10/10, awesome film.
  14. Jul 20, 2013
    Look, I don't consider myself to be a huge Natalie Portman fan, but geez, when this girl touches my heart, she touches my heart. This movie is just... it's one of those films. It's beautifully shot, sometimes you'll forget you aren't in Paris aside the backdrop of Leon's grim reality. The script is fantastic, see: every interaction between Reno and Portman. It's a heartwarming story. A story of healing, of daughters, fathers, innocence lost, but a hope that never fades out. It's a story of brutal honesty, yet a quiet optimism always shines through. It captivated me on so many levels... I don't know. I was deeply affected. It's a worthwhile investment, and it's definitely "buy it" quality. A film I'll never forget and one that I can't wait to revisit once my batteries recharge. It's no walk in the park, but damn is it still a beautiful ride. Expand
  15. Apr 30, 2013
    The Professional, or as I know it Leon is my favourite film. It has everything I ever want in a film. It has action, comedy, drama and romance. It simply thrilling to watch. The film is visually spectacular, with a range of location and set shots proving that Luc Besson truly wanted us to dive into New York's Little Italy. Obviously the acting is perfect from all members of the cast and Natalie Portman breaks into Cinema with the role of Mathilda. She takes her performance to the next level proving that even at the age of 10 she takes acting seriously. Expand
  16. Apr 2, 2013
    The movie is great in everything, Gary oldman makes a perfect role and Jean Reno is amazing, Luc besson makes a great movie, the trama is perfect and the ending is a lot of reflection someone make happy a bad person.
  17. Jan 5, 2013
    This movie is highly regarded, but I can not see anything to justify it. There are plenty of better movies that you can waste an hour with, many that are bad but they at least fit their roles. This movie is just a misfit that doesn't easily hold one's attention. There must be something I'm missing, like a popular release or good actors or something, but its just not very appealing.
  18. Jun 9, 2012
    There are a few different ways to see Leon (or Leon: The Professional or The Professional, whichever). The first is as an action movie, complete with tense and exciting thrills. You can also see it as a sweet movie in which two lonely people walk into and enhance the life of the other. The best way to view it, however, is as a combination of the two. Leon shows that a movie doesn't need to sacrifice emotion and sincerity in the name of action or cut down on violence for the sake of drama. Leon wants to be two things and succeeds admirably. Expand
  19. Jun 6, 2012
    I loved this movie before I even watched it. Leon is French-produced, meaning you wont see any of Hollywood's cliches. Leon's not some undefeatable 6th sensed assassin .Instead he is human with emotions who cares for the world he lives in, he just has an immoral "profession". You can understand his decisions and begin to care for him and the girl. I even started caring for the plant Leon keeps. His relationship with the girl also really grows on you. Expand
  20. Mar 26, 2012
    Hats off to Luc Besson for taking such a brave concept and absolutely nailing it. The Professional is one of the best films of the 90's, and trumps all but the best of today's thrillers. There's a really perfect balance between action sequences and slower-paced, dialogue driven scenes. The interaction between the confident Portman and soft-spoken Reno is quite beautiful, and kept me hooked even as the film slowed in pace towards the mid-way point. However, it's Gary Oldman who steals the show as the psychotic DEA agent, which is no small feat given Reno and Portman's solid performances. I don't think there can be any denying his performance was a inspiration for Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker - sometimes humorous, usually clever, and always tinged with a little insanity.
    The Professional truly is a gem - I just hope people can look past the mediocre critic reviews and form their own opinion.
  21. Jun 24, 2011
    Three great actors playing excellently. A very well done movie that is about much more than killing people as a profession. It's well directed and well told. Simply amazing.
  22. May 13, 2011
    This movie just. has. it.
    The story is inspiring and its awkwardness is fantastic, there are no holes there: it's entertaining from beginning to end. The actors are wonderful, Jean Reno did his part very well and 12-year old Natalie Portman is amazing. Gary Oldman was fabulous. I could scream EVEEERYYYYOOONNNE!!!!!!! all day! (but never the way HE does). Even secondary characters were very
    well played. The end was royal: a mix of action and emotion is masterly delivered with a nice song to close the epilogue.
    In conclusion, this movie is definitively a must-see. It's the only great movie that wasn't even nominated for Oscars.
  23. May 2, 2011
    Just finished watching this movie a few minutes ago. An unbelievable rollercoaster ride that had me hooked from the very start. The only bad things I can think of are the musical choices and Jean Reno's heavy French accent throughout. Gary Oldman is actually scary as a drug addicted DEA officer (catch the joke?). Some parts were very slow, but it IS meant to be more dramatic than action packed.
  24. Jan 22, 2011
    A great movie, with a very unique chemistry to it. Portman, Reno, and Oldman hold the film to a greatness, while the action glorifies it. Yes, there is touchy subject matter, but it is held well. See the international uncut version for a wonderfully wild ride. (Bonus points to the Transformers fans)
  25. Jan 8, 2011
    Despite being an action movie, really the film is about the difficulties of how to deal with a little kid that falls in love with you. Moreover, the movie encourages to enjoy life and suggests that revenge does not help but only makes a situation worse. Great acting.
  26. Aug 26, 2010
    This movie is soo amazing! I **** love it.
    It's in the top in my list of favorites movies, and I think that is one of the best movies of all times.
    I saw it like 64165465643 times haha and it always surprise me

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. 90
    Oldman is the least inhibited actor of his generation, and as this deranged detective, he keeps absolutely nothing in reserve.
  2. 78
    Besson's visuals are, as always, vibrant and decidedly European. He fills the frames with odd-angled shots and alarming riots of color that catch you off-balance.
  3. The sheer oddness of the New York world constructed for this film--where cops and crooks are literally interchangeable, and Oldman and Danny Aiello are stranded in roles that pick over the leavings of earlier parts--ultimately seems at once too deranged and too mechanical.