More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.33%
Worth A Look90%
Average: 6.67%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 12 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Rabid (2019) by Rob Gonsalves

Irishman, The by Rob Gonsalves

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project by Rob Gonsalves

Kitchen, The (2019) by Rob Gonsalves

Whistleblower, The (2019) by Jay Seaver

Aeronauts, The by Jay Seaver

Jessica Forever by Jay Seaver

Charlie's Angels (2019) by Jay Seaver

Harriet by Jay Seaver

Greener Grass by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

You Kill Me
[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Oh yeah, that's right... Ben Kingsley CAN act..."
4 stars

The cold bottom of an empty bottle. This is where the mid-90s, Tarantino-branded genre of quippy gangsters and cold, hard hitmen has fallen. “You Kill Me” has the nerve to recognize the tilt-a-whirl world of a killer has been stripped completely dry of its invention, so the filmmakers have popped the threat out of unstoppable evil and lead it to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley) is a professional killer for the Polish mob, drinking himself into a stupor to numb his sins. When his boozing ruins an important assassination attempt on a rival (Dennis Farina), Frank is ordered to San Francisco to dry out. There, Frank heads to an AA meeting, where his eyes are opened to the world of addiction, helped along by his sponsor (Luke Wilson). Frank also finds himself attracted to a woman (Tea Leoni), forcing him to deal with his drinking and confront his murderous lifestyle in an effort to give himself completely to her.

Directed by John Dahl, “You Kill Me” leads the filmmaker back to the hard-boiled world of killers and double-crosses that made his earlier career (“Red Rock West,” “The Last Seduction,” “Kill Me Again”) spark of creativity. The twist is that “Kill” is actually a peculiar amalgamation of a comedy and thriller, observing the wonky line Frank walks between his old life as a death merchant as his new one as a man fighting his demons every moment in an effort to be a productive member of society.

That struggle is what keeps “Kill” so appealing and, well, oddly humorous. Dahl is very respectful of the screenplay’s various emotional colors, keeping the viewer in a state of unrest as Frank attempts to shove his complicated life in the proper direction. Kingsley is a dream as Frank, turning a potentially simplistic interpretation of a bad guy’s life into a striking wave pool of fallibility. Every time Frank jumps off the wagon or makes a foolish mistake with his ladylove, Dahl and Kingsley make it feel like a sock in the gut. This type of character investment is a rare breed indeed, and represents the very essence of why “Kill” is a step forward for this wheezing genre of bullies, broads, and bullets.

Not to ignore the basics, Dahl includes vivid moments of violence and operatic mob-driven revenge to keep the viewer primed for danger. This is, after all, a movie about men fighting ferociously for any last grip of control.

The sequences are pulled off cleanly, creating a palpable threat for Frank and his brothers in crime. Still, I was drawn more to the idiosyncratic ways Frank holds his life together and how Kingsley conveys magic with simple a shake of the eyes or a roll of shoulders. After years of working with dreadful filmmakers such as Peter Hyams and Uwe Boll, it’s easy to forget just how invaluable this man is to the art of screen performance.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/06/07 14:39:29
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/11/12 Bobby Leoni and Kingsley are a marvel and by themselves make the film worth watching 4 stars
8/02/11 brian Intriguing concept, some very funny moments, but wildly uneven. 3 stars
9/03/08 Jennifer Definitely worth a watch, it is subtle humor. Just shy of being seriously great. 4 stars
6/23/08 mr.mike It was good , the Irish wake scene was priceless. 4 stars
4/20/08 jcjs AA time 4 stars
2/06/08 damalc kingsley, leoni, pullman: how bad can it be? really quirky and funny 4 stars
10/24/07 William Goss Solid ensemble makes familiar hitman-with-problems story a enjoyably deadpan one. 4 stars
7/17/07 Elizabeth Doesn't quite work for me. 3 stars
7/16/07 Old Clyde Most entertaining film I seen so far this summer 5 stars
7/14/07 Ole Man Bourbon Yeah, it's quite fun. Awesome cast. 4 stars
7/10/07 Georgi Petrov A nice movie, pretty entertaining. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  22-Jun-2007 (R)
  DVD: 09-Oct-2007



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast