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Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

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355 ( 24)
Top Rated Movies #22 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dead Man at 1st Crime Scene (as Andy Walker)
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Bob Mack ...
Peter Crombie ...
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Workman at Door of Somerset's Office
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Cab Driver
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George the Night Guard at the Library
William Davidson ...
First Guard at the Library (as Roscoe Davidson)
Bob Collins ...
Second Guard at the Library
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Storyline

A film about two homicide detectives' desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world's ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. The movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic "John Doe" sermonizes to Detectives Sommerset and Mills -- one sin at a time. The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer's terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured but jaded Sommerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer's modus operandi while the bright but green and impulsive Detective Mills scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Earnest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I believe the second part. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for grisly afterviews of horrific and bizarre killings, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven  »

Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£11,434,343 (UK) (19 January 1996)

Gross:

$100,125,340 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There's a line in which Mills names motives that killers give; one of them is 'Jodie Foster told me to do it.' He is referring to John Hinckley Jr., a man that was obsessed with Jodie Foster and attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress her. The other that Mills says is "My dog told me to do it.", a reference to David Berkowitz, AKA, the "Son of Sam", a serial killer who terrorized the New York City area in the summers of 1976 and 1977 and claimed that his neighbor's dog was possessed and told him to commit murder. See more »

Goofs

Uneven dispersal of rainfall on the windows of the car. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Detective Taylor: Neighbors heard them screaming at each other, like for two hours, and it was nothing new. Then they heard the gun go off, both barrels. Crime of passion.
William Somerset: Yeah, just look at all the passion on that wall.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are done over broken, blurred images of John Doe removing the skin from his fingertips and sewing it into his journals. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brief Film Reviews: My DVD/Blu-Ray Collection (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I Cover the Waterfront
Written by Johnny Green (as John W. Green) and Edward Heyman
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of Drive Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Outstanding Performances / Great Storytelling
4 December 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie is from start to finish a well produced and directed film. The performances in this movie are outstanding. Brad Pitt, once again, makes his role a stand-out performance by putting his versatile acting skills into his interpretation of Detective David Mills. Morgan Freeman is well-cast. His brooding acting style fits the character (Detective William Somerset) like a glove, and Gwyneth Paltrow gives her best performance EVER in the role of Brad Pitt's supportive wife/lover (Tracy Mills). And of course, Kevin Spacey who plays the diabolical yet misunderstood serial killer.

The movie is suspenseful and in parts very exciting. There is a "Pseudo-Noir" quality to this movie that really fits in well with the content of the film (Serial Killing). It has it's philosophical moments that anyone who thinks a lot about the state of the world today can appreciate. It makes subtle moral judgements without insulting any beliefs that the viewer may have and it also generates debate for any post-film coffee/drinks gathering.

Andrew Kevin Walker (Screenplay) has taken the subject of the Seven Deadly Sins and he really puts a great new twist on these themes. As a writer, I really could appreciate the depth that he goes into with these ideas. The movie gives us just enough information to be entertained and informed yet not bombarded and made bored with too much philosophy. In this respect, the film doesn't "preach" any special meaning even though the film's moral statements are still maintained. This film can be enjoyed on so many levels and I really enjoyed the third act. One of the best pieces of storytelling and scriptwriting ever.

Outstanding performances from everyone involved (And yes, of course, David Fincher does a wonderful job) Say no more. *****


152 of 182 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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12 monkeys manurisms crowfr
What sin did Tracy commited? gianlucero
The guy calls himself John Doe but gives the library his real address Kleighh
Great Movie! But why make it depressing ??? leosquest_1
10/10 LilZe28
Overrated? lockwodp1
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