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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 25.71%
Average: 15.71%
Pretty Bad: 4.29%
Total Crap: 10.71%

6 reviews, 104 user ratings

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Sexy Beast
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

5 stars

Can a gangster ever retire? As Sexy Beast opens, Gal (Ray Winstone) is sunbaking by the pool of his Spanish villa. He's not long out of prison, and has moved with his wife Deedee (Amanda Redman) and another couple, Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White), to Spain. Gal's enjoying the easy life, until he learns Don Logan (Ben Kinglsey) is on his way to take him back to London for a "job".

We know Logan spells trouble, because news of his phone call is enough to ruin everybody's evening. Kingsley played Meyer Lansky in Bugsy ten years ago, but that was nothing to the presence he exerts as Logan. With his solid, muscular physique and bullet-shaped head, Logan exudes power whilst sitting stock-still. His Cockney speech is peppered with expletives, and he stares Gal - and everyone around him - into cowering submission. Logan demands that Gal tell him why he won't do the job: "I'm a good listener" he barks at him. When Gal tries to explain, Logan roars back "shut up!". The phrase "won't take 'no' for an answer" could have been coined about Don Logan.

Director Jonathan Glazer and first-time screenwriters Louis Mellis and David Scinto realise that Logan's intensity could easily imbalance the film. Although Kingsley's a riveting presence, it's a relief to have a break from him. There's a marvellously apposite scene where Gal, Deedee, Aitch and Jackie are "hosting" Logan at Gal's villa. One by one, they each find an excuse to escape to the kitchen, until Logan is left sitting ramrod straight on the lounge, alone. Winstone's bearish lethargy makes him a perfect foil to Kingsley. The supporting players are all spot on.

Thanks to the performances and a smart script, Sexy Beast is more about character than crime. When Gal returns to London (Logan makes that development inevitable), the robbery is treated almost perfunctorily. Glazer thankfully doesn't rely on the anticipation of violence to titillate the audience, unusual for a modern heist film. Despite his background in advertising and music video, he directs with a minimum of trickery.

There's one unusual device - a human-sized rabbit-monster in Gal's psyche - that appears twice. Thankfully, this isn't enough to overburden an unpretentious little film with weightier pretensions. Ivan Bird's photography (which includes a lot of underwater work) effectively contrasts sun-drenched Spain with London's gloom.

The British film industry isn't usually shy about triumphing its successes, but they've been unjustly quiet about Sexy Beast. Don't miss it.

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originally posted: 08/23/01 13:36:48
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User Comments

2/05/18 Barbara Leaf Worst Ben Kinsgley movie I have ever seen. He is wasted in this role. What a shame 1 stars
1/21/18 Todd Excellent movie. Gets better with every viewing. 5 stars
5/17/17 Louise (the real one) Hard-hitting. strong stuff - despite the lame title. 4 stars
10/13/12 kiran bc so nice 4 stars
4/05/12 mehedi Overrated, decent concept though horribly tiresome genre (gangster, haven't we seen enough) 5 stars
9/26/11 asg Try to forget Kingsley in this...try. 5 stars
3/26/10 Tony Arnold Superb film...sexey, exciting, scary and well crafted 5 stars
8/09/09 s pandy good 5 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 5 stars
10/11/08 brian YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!!! 4 stars
9/25/08 parasvati great film, and (surprise!) a lovely love story-- but a very, very dark take on life-- 5 stars
8/07/08 tom palmer very very good. 5 stars
1/19/08 india good 5 stars
10/20/07 kunjesh i want to seen a sexy film 5 stars
9/24/07 Jim Zebo Great. but he didn't have to piss on the floor and why didn't someone (the kid?) kill him. 4 stars
7/26/07 parasvati full of cognitive dissonance, creepy, but really, really good 4 stars
7/12/07 Edward Shandis I'm a sexy beast!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/08/07 sammy lovely film 5 stars
1/26/07 Artist Bill had to watch again to understand....Gritty!! 4 stars
11/25/06 alan price a chilling insite to the mind of a psycho. 5 stars
10/13/06 Manni nice movie 4 stars
7/09/06 sreedhar so beautiful 1 stars
6/22/06 Jack Sommersby Good-looking but empty and derivative. 1 stars
5/31/06 stephanie willis Ben Kingsley, as you've never seen him 4 stars
12/05/05 fred definitely worth it, even if only for kingsley's explosive and rabid performance 5 stars
7/27/05 Indrid Cold The browbeating delivered by Kingsley becomes hilarious, and not in a particularly good way 3 stars
6/09/05 Bluto Ian McShane as Teddy was best, scary guy 5 stars
1/27/05 MyGreenBed Overrated, decent concept though horribly tiresome genre (gangster, haven't we seen enough) 3 stars
1/06/05 Asaad very nice 1 stars
11/19/04 brenda jones disturbing 1 stars
11/04/04 suresh sexey movies 2 stars
11/02/04 LIly's mom Superb, original, all good performances, fun 5 stars
10/03/04 Daveman Overrated, no substance beneath the style, but it's too "cool" to dismiss completely. 3 stars
8/06/04 DM Ben Kingsley kicks ass; but what happened to the rest of the movie? 3 stars
6/21/04 Dick Logan Great film, great directing, Kingsley is the bomb!! 5 stars
4/27/04 dung your best film 4 stars
3/16/04 Deanna from Indiana understated Winstone cool, Kingsley terrific. No spoon fed plots here 5 stars
3/07/04 malcolm you've got to like this movie. yes, you do. come on, then. yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes 4 stars
2/24/04 Jonni Fantastic cinematography. Great story 5 stars
1/23/04 steve Booth Just to watch Ben Kingsley and the fear he puts into the other cast members without doing a 5 stars
1/21/04 tatum Great direction hides standard script 4 stars
12/28/03 bert bakker No story and no suspence in a wink of an eye. 2 stars
10/04/03 Alfred C. No...I think you're going to have to turn this movie YES!!...Great film...can't get enough! 5 stars
10/01/03 nick Ben Kinsley is a master chameleon. Best movie of the year for me! 5 stars
9/22/03 kill quacky the title sounds gay 4 stars
6/12/03 Logan, Don What's that cunt 5 stars
5/08/03 Alexander McDowell This filmes is the most terrifici film of Ben Kingsley 5 stars
4/20/03 Goofy Maxwell Cocksure gangster cum demonic rabbit goes off on Cockney crook wit da rocks to roll da mob. 4 stars
4/17/03 rx dx stellar performance. not an action film, but an outstanding character film. 5 stars
4/14/03 LIAM JACKSON ben kingsley rocked! he proves a point: if someone is disrespecting you,fucking batter them 5 stars
4/01/03 Dave Cliched, but stylish gangster movie that puts overrated films like Lock Stock to shame. 4 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Overly mannered, cliche-ridden crime flick. Showy camerawork is only asset. 1 stars
2/08/03 natasha_theobald brilliant performances, amazing things to see, wit and menace 5 stars
1/29/03 spacecowboy intense 5 stars
12/27/02 RAVIKUMAR I LOVE MOVIES 2 stars
10/30/02 Bluto Teddy scared me 5 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Great no worries. 5 stars
9/18/02 Andy Hards A return to the classic British Gangster Movie, Ben Kingsley still scares me 5 stars
9/11/02 Francofile Some of the most gut-level, plausible fear ever on screen. Raw, mature performances. 4 stars
8/19/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) I don't know why people were saying it was so scary. It's actually funny...on purpose! 3 stars
8/18/02 Larry O'Connor Perfect casting 5 stars
8/09/02 billywood always be good 2 stars
7/12/02 ran bad 5 stars
7/12/02 Katrina Disappointing, actually 3 stars
5/23/02 Adrian Kingsley is Scary! 5 stars
5/15/02 Peet A perfect film, beautifully written, acted, shot and directed. 5 stars
5/13/02 Caiphn I had to turn the subtitles on. What's with the rabbit? 4 stars
4/29/02 zxy ok 5 stars
4/13/02 John Watson "Phil M. Afficianado" stick to video games 4 stars
4/06/02 Dave MacDougall i couldn't understand a word...and i still liked it... 3 stars
4/02/02 Gemini Not too bad. Kingsley is great and so is Winstone. The movie worked out great. 5 stars
3/24/02 dave vousden brilliant, life like 5 stars
3/22/02 The Bomb 69 need subtitles to enjoy, not much about the caper itself but strong performances 5 stars
3/19/02 Spyguy2 Watch it on DVD and add subtitles...quirky, cool little film...Kingsley is an amazing actor 4 stars
3/18/02 john b excellent 4 stars
3/16/02 Gold Medal No Ghandi here 4 stars
3/13/02 Phil M. Afficianado very nearly total crap; dialog unintelligible and pointless flick. 2 stars
3/13/02 جنس ma_2003 3 stars
3/07/02 Ike The BEST 5 stars
2/19/02 sd good score as well 4 stars
1/21/02 BumperFish The best movie I've seen this year! 5 stars
1/05/02 Lesley I loved it. 5 stars
12/06/01 Linda Frost Excellent film.. 4 stars
11/24/01 Ellis Best film of the year 5 stars
10/25/01 Bill Gains Very good, but not as good (read: violent) as Gangster No. 1 5 stars
10/24/01 tom turley thats sexy 4 stars
9/25/01 bluebeena Interesting... hard to understand at times. 4 stars
8/29/01 Benjamin Allen Very Good, Great Camera Work 4 stars
8/28/01 Kooler extraordinary performances from Kingsley et al 5 stars
8/24/01 stan a much better than average film 4 stars
8/23/01 Kevin I wish I could get that 2 hours of my life back 1 stars
8/18/01 matthew smith kingsley adds a touch of menace that goes under your skin 4 stars
7/27/01 Reverend Krule Chilling watching kingsley at work. brilliant film 5 stars
7/20/01 skye lots of fun. original. evenifwedon'tknowwhat'sgoingon.orwhy.orbelieveit.ben's scary! 3 stars
7/15/01 malcolm Kingsley is incredible. much of dialogue is hard to understand w/heavy English accents. 4 stars
7/10/01 Ed Jepson Hypnotic 5 stars
7/05/01 Gronk U Lator Powerhouse Kingsley performance. Everything else is windowdressing. 4 stars
7/05/01 Newmarket Movie Warrior The worst piece of trash I have ever had to pay $12.50 plus tax to see! 1 stars
6/23/01 Silly Me Kingsley is awesome but the movie is awful and a waste of time. 2 stars
6/19/01 Heather Ignore the morons who have posted here, Kingsley is amazing, definitely one to look out for 5 stars
6/15/01 Denis Pedregosa Superb 5 stars
5/28/01 Vandemaele Kurt Nothing really new but Winstone is a winner and Kingsley is kingsize 4 stars
1/29/01 rubber This was the worst movie I've seen in a long time,it's nothing but a stretched out TV drama 1 stars
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  13-Jun-2001 (R)


  16-Aug-2001 (MA)

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