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Leaving Las Vegas
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Leaving Las Vegas More at IMDbPro »

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Index 287 reviews in total 

painful but moving (mild spoiler, not a synopsis)

Author: kleppercan from United Kingdom
26 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I see comments that come along with negative ratings (come on...a '1' for being misogynistic???)

We don't quite know if Ben is drinking cos he got divorced or drinking caused the divorce but i have seen what drink can do to people and this film is very real. Cage and Shue both deliver excellent performances and do it in a very compassionate way. A hooker and a drunk wouldn't normally register as people that the everyday film goer would sympathise with, however we see in this film; raw human vulnerability. I don't think this film is sexist, especially not to the point of misogyny. Most of the male characters are not particularly positive ones and Shue is a strong woman with a tender, damaged nature. this film made me sad but I'm glad i got the chance to see it.

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It's kind of amazing...

Author: moviedude1 from Minneapolis, MN, USA
11 January 2009

Cage is dying, but not dying to be saved, which is what Shue wants to do.

This is a dark, surreal movie that brings to light the other side of Vegas, where the "working girl" struggles to make ends meet, between the rough treatment, people looking down at her, and even beaten up, all she wants is to be loved, but she picks the wrong person in Cage, because all he wants to do is die a slow death in alcoholism. I've watched this film a lot of times and I always find (or forget somewhere down the road) what new lengths she's willing to go to while worrying about the man (or rather, what's left of the man) she fell in love with.

Did these two do it? Did they have that chemistry? Yes! This was not just a film about them, but about the characters, themselves, and both actors stood apart and showed how they cope in their own world, not just how they tried to get along in each others.

7 out of 10 stars!

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Author: samkan from Poconos, Pennsylvania
10 March 2008

I am writing this opinion in 2008, about thirteen years after the movie opened. I cannot think of a better word to describe how I felt (after watching the movie at home) then devastated. There are horrible, sick, and/or perverted people in this world. There are the poor, the handicapped, the afflicted, etc. To deny such people a shred of humanity, need and emotional want is to deny one's own humanity. To be able to convey on film such need and want in such pathetic, unappealing people is film making at its highest level. My sympathies go to the viewers who were unable to appreciate LLV. It is my hope that such folk will one day be able to not avert their eyes when looking into the abyss but instead search for the light.

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Different Kind of Love

Author: Herbiegreatone from United States
26 May 2007

This movie is not my favorite love story, but nonetheless it's a good one. It is anything but a traditional story, but I think that it does a much better job of capturing the characters true emotions, than almost any romantic movie out there today. Both Shue and Cage come from different walks of life, and each have their own emotional problems. This makes it entertaining as a couple because they are essentially dysfunctional, but still manage to maintain a relationship. The performance by Cage is awesome, and Shue does a great job as well. Overall this movie is a rather dark love story with great acting and a good plot. My only complaints over the movie is that there are few minor characters and throughout the movie the volume is low and some dialog is hard to hear, also in many scenes the camera angle makes it hard to see what exactly is happening.

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Alcoholism, Prostitution... Two Great Selling Points

Author: gavin6942 from United States
7 April 2007

After losing his job as a screenwriter for boozing, a man decides to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. But what he didn't expect was to meet Sera, a prostitute with problems of her own.

This film is pretty highly acclaimed and Nicolas Cage received an Oscar for his role as the drunk. Personally, I don't know that Cage deserved the award for this one. Later on in the film his acting gets better, but the first half just seems like Cage being himself more than anything. The opening scene of him loading a shopping cart with booze is more comedic than serious. And drinking a bottle of booze as a cop drives past? Better roles he's played: "Weather Man", "Lord of War" and "Adaptation". This was more akin to "Trapped in Paradise", hardly a notable role.

Elizabeth Shue, likewise, was questionable. I thought she did a much better job than Cage, but was still not a break-out role by all means. I think any number of actresses could easily have handled her role as well or better.

I was also disappointed because the film has a strong anti-drinking message, but I have to say the movie really made me want to drink. I have no doubt many people have played a drinking game to this one. So, mission not accomplished.

Criticisms aside, it was a good movie. I really enjoyed watching it even if I didn't think it was outstanding. The story was interesting, the characters fun, the camera-work was quite good and the Vegas scenery was spectacular. So it wasn't like it was a punishment to sit through. Cage is entertaining and Shue is quite attractive in her own way (though her most attractive role will always be in "The Saint").

I suppose I'd say you should see this movie, but I'd ask you to decide for yourself is this deserved awards. I just didn't see it. Which, I guess, is more a complaint about the Academy than the film itself. But it put me in the wrong mindset -- expecting some mind-blowing drama and just getting a film not unlike which I've seen many times before.

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masterpiece of what real life is when you're not rich or in the lucky side of the world

Author: fabricelaurens from France
25 February 2007

one of the most underrated movies of all times: it worth 8.5/10 and 50/250 in the top movies of all times.I know what alcoholism is and don't understand why Elizabeth sue doesn't exist in real life. oh my god this is a damned good movie and is my soul mate woman. sue is a real way of thinking for woman who tries to understand man in trouble. cage is outstanding and sue a woman spirit that we should meet mostly of the times in life. it's so easy to be wrong or not successful, loose a job, and so hard to have luck make kids and big money. No excuse once you touch the ground it's hard to start all over. sue is beautiful beautiful. cage one of my favorite actors. this is a masterpiece don't miss it !

Oscar both deserved for cage and sue no joke.

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Great -yet depressing- movie about loneliness

Author: Agnelin
20 February 2007

This has to be one of the best and most realistic movies ever filmed about loneliness. I loved this movie because it portrays exactly what happens when someone begins to go downhill -little by little at first, then fast enough, people begin to leave. Ben (we easily infer that he used to be a very successful writer) gets fired, his wife leaves him, all his former "friends" turn their backs on him. He moves to Las Vegas and is a lonely stranger in a big city full of people. He makes pathetic attempts at establishing ANY kind of connection with anyone, but he gets kicked out of places, laughed at, and basically dismissed.

And Sera, the prostitute, gets lots of attention from men, she can get any men she wants, but she is the most lonely woman ever. Yes, this is a bit of an over-dramatic case, but isn't it true that people leave you when you really need them?, and that everyone basically only minds their own business? Also, it is one great love story, where two people fall in love and accept each other for the one they are -especially Sera. This is what unconditional love is about.

This is one great movie; however, it's rather depressing... I don't think I could watch it again, not at least in a long time.

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A Lump of Gloom

Author: Anupam Satyasheel from United States
4 February 2007

Watching 'Leaving Las Vegas' can be an experience that takes a gloomy sadness to the interiors of your existence and keeps you immersed in it. As human beings, we consistently put the highest premium on our being alive. Experiencing the intensity of a despondent Nicolas Cage committed to taking his life by drinking himself to death, can trigger off a question as to what can prepare someone for such an act of self-destruction. Intriguingly enough we get no clear answers though there is a clear hint as to it might have been a profound sense of loss or failure.

Singular focus on the moribund obsessions of Cage would be gross injustice to the incredibly touching love and empathy that he shares with the lead female protagonist - Elisabeth Shue - who plays a hooker's role with levels of dexterity rarely attained. There is a very deep understanding and mutual acceptance between the two lead characters that is in many ways the true highlight of this movie. Interestingly, we see no reasons for this to exist but such is the articulacy of characterization that not even for a second does one find this profound relationship unrealistic.

'Leaving Las Vegas' is an iconoclastic love story whose control over the audience is fascinating. Such is the brilliance of the performances that you feel a lump in your heart by the end of the movie - and this lump transcends into the depths of your being - to stay there and to remind you that unconditional love exists and so does the capability to invite your own death to walk up to you - gradually and consistently. 'Leaving Las Vegas' is a movie that would haunt you for its portrayal of love intertwined with morbid realities of life.

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Story within a story...

Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
31 December 2006

Agreed, this is a story that has more depth than you may see at first viewing. Nicolas Cage, a man who gets fired from his screen writing job in Los Angeles, and takes off to Las Vegas. Unrelenting and alcoholic, he checks into the 'Whole Year In' ("hole you're in").

Julian Sands is Yuri, the pimp who controls (at first) Elisabeth Shue (Sera). Shue is very good in this role. Mixed up and sympathetic, she seems lost.

She gravitates toward Cage, after they spend some time together she invites him to stay at her apartment. There are many effective scenes where we see the chaos at night, frenetic tourism, commercialism. Figgis has done a good job portraying the random alienation these people live in. Sera with self-destructive relationships, Ben with his alcoholism.

There is more than just the basic theme here, it is an effective character study of two people, randomly looking for something. There are a few scenes with Shue at her therapist, which are reminiscent of "Klute" with Jane Fonda. The scenes reflect not the hooker with a heart of gold cliché, but a real person damaged and broken by her experiences.

This is an excellent film worth more than one viewing as it does not glamorize or parody the lives of these people. Cage in particular is very effective, have not seen him in a similarly good role since. 9/10.

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I loved this movie

Author: PamelaLDouglas from United States
28 December 2006

The music totally swept me away, and Elizabeth Shue was gorgeous. It's a tragic tale, yes, build was too good for an end stage alcoholic but it's a movie and he has to has some attraction, gees. One never really knew why he was so destructive but the music and Elizabeth Shue's character (she is a hooker after all) so desperate for someone...can't imagine that kind of desperation. It was the music... Also, I think this sites guidelines, there MUST be 10 lines of comments to be submitted is, silly. If someone can be concise in less than ten lines, I'd encourage it rather than forcing someone to ramble on..Oh, they just told me I was only at the ninth line, so I hope this qualifies OK, tenth line.

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