Lucky Number Slevin

"Very Good"

Lucky Number Slevin Review


Pay attention. This is going to be confusing.

Everyone thinks the mysterious Slevin (Josh Hartnett) is Nick. The confusion is understandable; after all, Slevin does look like Nick, and he's staying at Nick's apartment for a few days while the real Nick (Sam Jaeger) is somewhere else -- though nobody knows where, or even if he's alive. The only person to know that Slevin isn't Nick is Nick's neighbor, Lindsey (Lucy Liu). She discovers Slevin when she knocks on Nick's door to borrow ingredients, but accidentally she catches a glimpse of Slevin as he's getting out of the shower -- flames of lust ignite.

After Lindsey visits, thugs appear looking for Nick, but find Slevin. Slevin can't prove he isn't Nick because he lost his ID to a mugging. The disbelieving thugs grab Slevin, wearing only a towel around his waist, throw him into a car, and take him to meet a notorious mobster called The Boss (Morgan Freeman) to whom Nick owes money, apparently. Slevin -- whom The Boss thinks is Nick -- explains he doesn't have the money because he isn't Nick. Of course, The Boss doesn't believe him, and demands his cash. Since Slevin can't pay, The Boss requires murderous favors that will put him in the middle of a spectacular rival between The Boss and another mobster called The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley).

During all this, Slevin is under constant surveillance by a shady detective named Brikowski (Stanley Tucci), as well as world renowned assassin, Goodkat (Bruce Willis). Bear in mind, this is merely the setup. Where the film goes from here is for you to discover...

Don't worry if you're lost. Your chances of keeping up with the movie are decent. Although violent and bloody, Lucky Number Slevin doesn't take itself as seriously as you might expect; thus, with its suave, casual style, it's easier to follow on screen than it is reading its synopsis. Lucky for Slevin (now there's a play on words), the writing is its strongest asset. Joshua Ralph's cunning screenplay organizes the chaos well, and when the film's pieces finally create a complete puzzle, it makes for a satisfying conclusion. Especially notable is the film's dialogue, which not only helps develop the characters in a fun and interesting way, but also adds an amusing spin on a rather familiar fable.

Though, the film's humor is a double edged sward. The casual approach and witty dialogue wound Slevin's effectiveness. Director Paul McGuigan's (Wicker Park) pacing is somewhat slack for a twisty thriller, and the humor -- and a haphazard performance from Liu -- makes the movie even less taut. Additionally, it's hard to take the intense action sequences and themes of revenge seriously with all the foolishness going on. The end result is a movie that tastes like the butcher left too much fat on the roast.

Is Slevin's roast worth tasting? It's easy to admire the film for the script's cleverness, although the twists are never difficult to predict. The casting decisions are flawless in some departments -- especially with Kingsley, Freeman, and Willis -- but Hartnett and Liu represent miscalculations of grandeur. The witty, original dialogue is a treasure, but the film struggles to find a voice when guns start firing and buildings start blowing up. It's a close call -- but Lucky Number Slevin is worth a look for its refreshing qualities. They don't make enough twisty thrillers these days. If Slevin does well, maybe they'll start making more.

No anchovies, please.



Lucky Number Slevin

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th April 2006

Box Office Worldwide: $56.3M

Budget: $27M

Production compaines: The Weinstein Company, FilmEngine, Capitol Films, Ascendant Pictures, VIP Medienfonds 4, The Complex Studio

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , Robert Kravis, Tyler Mitchell, ,

Starring: as Slevin, as Mr. Goodkat, as Lindsey, as The Boss, as The Rabbi, Michael Rubenfeld as Yitzchok, as Dumbrowski, as Det. Brikowski, as Marty, as Elvis, as Sloe, Scott Gibson as Max, as Saul, as Murphy, as Nick Fisher, as Roth

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.