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23 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Modern Horror At Its Best

9/10
Author: MadReviewer from Oldwick, NJ
18 May 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`Se7en' is all about harsh style and gruesome substance – while it's probably not a film for everyone (particularly the squeamish), it is one of the most moody, memorable films made in recent years. A sense of absolute dread pervades each and every scene, either from the powerful words and deeds of the characters or from the dreary sets and atmosphere created by director David Fincher. There's a quote from the film `The Crow' that goes, `It can't rain all the time' . . . well, in the world of `Se7en', it can – and it does.

`Se7en' is the story of world-weary police detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a man who's probably seen more terror and sadness in his lifetime than any man should ever be forced to see. Partnered with the young cop David Mills (Brad Pitt), Somerset is assigned to find the serial killer known only as John Doe. The horrific crimes of Doe are patterned after the Seven Deadly Sins – for Gluttony, one victim was literally forced to eat until his internal organs exploded; for another, Greed, the victim is forced to cut an actual pound of flesh away from his own body. John Doe is a highly literate, intelligent killer; but so is Somerset, and an astounding game of cat-and-mouse filled with unexpected twists ensues as the hunt for Doe gets underway.

Andrew Kevin Walker's script for `Se7en' is absolutely dazzling. It's smart and powerful, and doesn't pull any punches – the bodies, maimed and tortured, inexorably begin to pile up in graphic fashion, and Somerset and Mills aren't allowed to minimize the horrors they're forced to find. Each new corpse brings a true feeling of revulsion . . . and of dread, as the realization hits that another body will be forthcoming unless John Doe is found. The story is filled with misdirection and red herrings; just as the audience starts to think that the unfolding events of the film are starting to become predictable, the film lurches further into the unknown darkness, keeping the edge of uneasiness that pervades `Se7en' fresh . . . and constant. Kudos also to David Fincher's stylish direction – this may be Fincher's best film to date. The entire look of the film is dark and gloomy, almost a suicidal form of 1940s film noir, evoking a despairing atmosphere that never relents or shows a glimmer of optimism. Combine that with Fincher's knack for turning even the most mundane scene into a nailbiter – `Se7en' features a scene with Somerset and Mills standing together in an empty field, and yet the scene is still incredibly tense – and `Se7en' becomes an exceptionally powerful, disturbing film that's difficult to turn away from.

The cast? Also excellent. Pitt is perfect as the cocky young detective Mills, mixing together the right amount of bravado and testosterone at the start of the film, and then later tempering that swagger with cynicism – and fear – as the movie progresses forward. In a way, Mills is a surrogate for the audience; he starts out thinking that he knows exactly what's going to happen but as events slowly unfold before his horrified eyes, it starts to dawn on Mills that he is mentally unprepared he is for a maniac like John Doe. Pitt handles the decline of Mills from overconfident to completely paranoid with great skill. The killer John Doe (I won't reveal his name here; the actor's uncredited in the film, so I won't mention it either on the off chance that you haven't read it elsewhere) is simply great. He's a quiet, intense figure who is Machiavellian with his calculated words and actions. Many other actors might've just mimicked Hannibal Lecter to portray John Doe . . . but the awesome performance in `Se7en' of the uncredited actor is actually better – and more unsettling – than Lecter himself. The best performance of the film, however, may belong to Morgan Freeman as Somerset. Freeman is perhaps the only person capable to tracking down John Doe, simply because he has seen so much sadness and horror before. Nothing Doe does, no matter how vile, is able to derail the detective's efforts. As Somerset, Freeman imbues the character with a certain tired, weary attitude . . . but still lying somewhere beneath that attitude is hope, and that small glimmer of hope, along with the wisdom of experience, is what prevents `Se7en' from spiraling into complete despair. Somerset's hope, small as it is, becomes the audience's hope as well.

With the possible exception of the very end of the film – for all its daring audacity, Fincher chooses to play it a little too safe at the film's conclusion – `Se7en' proves to be an uncompromising tour de force of modern horror. If you're not easily bothered by graphic horror and gore, then go watch this film. You certainly won't be disappointed. Grade: A

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Simply one of the darkest and best thrillers of the 1990's – but don't let anyone spoil it for you.....

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
29 March 2002

`Days from retirement' Detective Somerset is teamed with new-to-the-city Detective Mills to investigate a murder that quickly becomes a series. Somerset realises that the killer must be smart and is using classic literature to model his killings on the seven deadly sins, however Mills finds to hard to see him as anything other than a crazy man. With the killer close to completing his work, Mills and Somerset begin to close in on him. However nothing is as it seems in a dark depressing city full of moral degradation and apathy.

When David Fincher came onto the scene with his debut feature Alien3 the world only paused to scorn a film that didn't fit in with the Alien franchise. Yes it wasn't a great film – but I loved the sense of mood, the dark the tension in the shadows that Fincher created. Years later we have Se7en, Fight Club, The Game, and at people are getting Fincher!

Se7en was his major break through – where his dark visions also reaped box-office gold. The story doesn't sound like much – mismatched partners (one young, cocky and reckless – the other a few days from retirement) go after a serial killer who is carrying out a series of twisted murders…..it sounds like Lethal Weapon meets a straight to video thriller. But happily it rises above that by so much it's unbelievable….it certainly shows how a story put in good hands can work out. From the start we are entombed in mood – the city where it always rains, the uncaring people etc. The we begin to find murders – but Fincher doesn't show us the murders, he lets us see the aftermath in the shadows and lets us imagine the rest – Genius!

What you don't see is more gory than what you do. Meanwhile the tension is cranked up to fever pitch as the race to catch the killer is accelerated. When we meet the killer, the film just gets better…right up to an ending that is simply one of the most logical, emotional and gripping endings I've ever seen. I promise you'll leave the cinema shell shocked.

Freeman is excellent as Somerset – so good that it's a role he's tried to do again in `Kiss the girls' etc. But here he is the perfect foil for both Mills and the killer. Brad Pitt is also superb....he isn't allowed to trade on his looks here and does very well in a film that has little opportunity for him to pander to his female fans – he spends a lot of it looking beaten up. Paltrow is OK with what she has – but this isn't really a film that focuses on female roles. R. Lee Ermey is as good as ever and it's a sign of how good the cast is that actors of the stature of Charles Dutton and John C McGinley are basically in roles that barely count as cameos.

However the best performance is from Kevin Spacey in the years before he became an Oscar lovie and stopped doing bad guys or dark characters. He is only on screen for a small portion of the film but his dialogue is superb and he delivers it faultlessly. In the scene where he shares a car ride with Mills and Somerset you literally hang on his every word. However alongside Spacey Fincher stands triumphant with his dark vision given the perfect story and perfect actors.

At heart this is a cop thriller – but excellent performances, excellent mood and a moral lesson from an excellent Spacey make this quite simply the most jaw-droppingly excellent thriller of the 1990's.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

An Eulogy of 'Seven': The modern Shakespearean tragedy

9/10
Author: Tom from United Kingdom
21 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When audiences went to see the latest production of a tragedy by William Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre, there was a universal reaction by the spectators to what they were seeing on the stage. It was one of sadness, anger, sympathy and relief. The sadness was normally due to the innocent victim (who was usually a beautiful woman) being murdered in an unjustified fashion, such as Desdemona in 'Othello'; the anger would have been directed towards the villain in the play whose dastardly deeds had resulted in the deaths of heroes and heroines - here we have Iago, arguably the most evil character in the history of literature ('Othello' again); sympathy was not for the devil, but for the poor people who had overcome the denouement but had to deal with its consequences (Horatio perhaps in 'Hamlet', or maybe Father Laurence in 'Romeo and Juliet'); and lastly relief was felt because the audience had survived the play's violence and could thank their lucky stars that they did not have to live in a world so cruel. Now stay with me here, because there is, in fact, a point to all of this. I believe that Fincher's 'Seven' is the modern Shakespearean tragedy, the modern 'Titus Andronicus', if you will. The feeling that washes over you when the credits roll in Seven (which are damn good credits I might add, start and finish) is on a par with a great Shakespearean tragedy, and it is for this reason why I think that films such as Seven should be considered as more serious in a literary sense. Not only that, but the film even introduces the audience to legendary texts such as Dante's 'Inferno' and Geoffrey Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales' - so I would be inclined to try and influence more English professors to watch this film.

Now here's the part where I say 'Yeah Seven, woo, it's awesome! Yeah!'. I'm just going to go out and say it: this film has everything that you could possibly be looking for when watching a movie. The script, for one, is great. Original, funny in places, exciting, sexy...the list is endless really. Well played Andrew Kevin Walker; the boy done good. Next we have the acting which, to put in a Romantic sense, is sublime: people may argue that Morgan Freeman can only play one character, but I think it's similar to the situation with Hugh Grant (his one persona may be a bumbling, lovable fool, but he is damn good at it) and it's the same for Morgan. Here he is at his fatherly, worldly-wise detective best, and the comic double act of Freeman and Pitt is essential to the film. Pitt's performance is probably just about overshadowed by his portrayal of Tyler Durden in Fincher's other chef d'oeuvre 'Fight Club', but in no way is this a demeaning statement to Pitt. He is, or was, one of my favourite 'younger' actors (that's the Ed Norton, Johnny Depp ring, as opposed to the Pacino/De Niro/Hoffman circle of expertise) until 2005 came about - Ocean's 12, to put it mildly, disappointed me greatly. However, let's think positively: with Seven and Fight Club and Snatch, I'm sure Brad has something in store for fans like me. Gwyneth Paltrow is probably the unsung hero, or heroine, of the film and ironically she's the one who gets it worst (or does she? Refer back to tragedy point about sympathy). The words 'never better' spring to mind when thinking about Paltrow's 'Tracey'. There's someone else I'm not mentioning here, despite the 'contains spoiler' tick, but let's just say he/she/it provides, in my eyes, the greatest twist OF ALL TIME. Last but not least, David Fincher is where it's at. His undoubtedly cool style is the reason why this film is so...cool, for want of a better word. Thanks to him, Morgan Freeman is cool, Gwyneth Paltrow is cool, the man who works in that horrible place where the 'Pride' crime takes place is cool, even the man/woman/thing with no name is cool (to a certain extent).

To conclude, there are certain films that when the credits appear at the end, you think to yourself 'That has to be the best movie I've ever seen'. 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'L.A. Confidential' are prime examples. In my opinion, 'Seven' epitomises this type of film.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

With over 900 reviews, mine is hardly necessary : ) Blu-ray: Excellent A:10 V:10

6/10
Author: lathe-of-heaven from Sunny Southern California, USA
15 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, I KNOW that I'm gonna get grief and derision from most here because, I'm sorry, but I don't really think this film is the be all, end all that everyone thinks it is.

YES, it is well made, directed, and acted; and the lighting is sharp which fits the nihilistic 'Noir'ish mood. And, yes, it was indeed pretty much the first of it's kind which set a gritty, dark tone for crime films to come. Fine... I really have no specific negatives about the movie. HOWEVER... At the end of the day did I personally really find it THAT entertaining...? Not really... Yes, the unexpected ending is both shocking and dramatic, but does it honestly make sense...? ***SPOILERS Keven Spacey clearly and explicitly states the reasons why he has committed these murders: That people are doing all these very bad things everywhere all the time and people just don't care; so, he is setting 'the example' of what people should be doing to punish these 'sinners'. Okay... Now we are supposed to believe then that out of the blue he kills a COMPLETELY innocent woman (who is also pregnant) which to me the SOLE purpose is for an (admittedly extremely dramatic and shocking) plot device to set up Mills to kill him...??? Come on... I don't buy it. It is TOTALLY contrary to the very motivation of Kevin Spacey's character. But yeah, what an ending, sure... *** END SPOILERS

Anyway, the question is, what do we find truly entertaining about a film? Putting stylistic touches or technical competence aside (such as visual effects, special or moody lighting, excellent cinematography, sound design, etc.) to me it primarily is this: How engaging or absorbing is the plot or story? How does it carry us along as it develops? How involving and complex are the characters and how interesting is the interplay and relationships between them? Now, these are just basics for most films. I realize that there are special genres or styles that we enjoy individually simply because we like those types of films (1950's Sci Fi, Slasher Horror Films, Ultra-Cheeeeezy Kung Fu movies, etc.) But, with this film at the end of the day what do we have...? Sure, we have this ghoulish, creepy, dark story of a killer who is killing by way of the 7 Deadly Sins. Okay... Characters...? Well, yes, all the actors concerned do a fine job; no real complaints there. BUT...! How deep or complex are they? How fascinating are they really? How engaging and intriguing are their interactions? To me personally, I felt that both the plot and character development to be rather shallow and superficial. I mean, WHAT do we really know about them? How deeply are we drawn into their lives and relationships? I'm sorry, but to me I really don't see a whole hell of a lot going on here other than a bunch of neatly lit, dark and somewhat moody scenes with little or no real substance. And the overall 'message' we are left with? The quite trite, common, and ultimately boring 'No one cares because the evil that people do is so arbitrary and horrible, so what's the point?' Yeah, real depth there...

So, yeah, the film is well put together and there's nothing really 'BAD' about it per se; but, I do not feel myself that after all is said and done that you walk away from it with much of anything. There are darker and FAR more entertaining Horror films out there; and there are also dark, gritty, and INFINITELY more complex and engaging crime films out there. Films where afterward you actually feel like you have either been truly entertained by a story that makes you think and guess and wonder and also with characters who make you feel and care MUCH more about them because they are portrayed in a better, fuller, and more complex way.

So, do I like dark, ambiguous, moody films? YOU BET! Do I like the dark, even nihilistic overtones of period FILM NOIR? ABSOLUTELY! Do I even like films with little substance BUT have TONS of style and mood (a la David Lynch, say) YES SIREE!!! But to me, this film, although of good quality, honestly strikes me as a 'One-Note' simplistic film and I just do NOT quite buy into the ending at all; it is merely a completely nonsensical plot device to give us a slam-bang ending.

I mean, just a random example that comes to mind, I've seen Sandra Bullock's crime film 'MURDER BY NUMBERS' like 3 times and I've fully enjoyed it each time. You have a main character that is extremely complex and engaging; you have antagonists that are thoroughly riveting and with a layered relationship that is completely fascinating. And, you have a story that as it unreels truly draws you into the psyche, feelings, and motivations of the characters. And this is just an off the top, fairly above average example; nothing Earth shaking or anything, but just a simple example of what a movie is SUPPOSED to be. Entertaining...

But, I will say this though... It has to have probably THE best opening credit sequence and background song ever!!!

For this film though, I seriously doubt that I would ever really have the desire to sit down and watch it again...

*** EDIT (2015.02.14)

Heh, I'm actually thinking about giving this another chance and watching it again... :) I'm curious if my impressions will still be the same...

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19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Wow... all I gotta say

10/10
Author: David Krasnow (dkrasnow10@gmail.com) from Ann Arbor, MI
20 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At first, I was a little hesitant about taking time out of my life to see Seven. I mean, I am a busy person... but this film was well worth my time... Perhaps the best Brad Pitt film that I have seen, this film involves two detectives (Pitt and Freeman) going after a delusional killer (Kevin Spacey) who murders his victims according to the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, lust, etc... Spacey takes pride in his killings and leaves clues for the police, similar to "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz when he murdered six women in New York City in the 1970's ("Summer of Sam"= another great film)... This was an intense thriller that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish...

Movies generally take a lot to keep me interested, and I am generally a fan of comedies and action flicks. But Seven was different.... it was a fantastic thriller that kept you thinking and waiting to see what happens as Pitt and Freeman chase down the barbaric killer who feels that he is doing "God's deed"... This film is a must-see!! My only regret is that I had did not see it until 10 years after its theatrical release... Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments...

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

loved it

10/10
Author: kelly from england
10 May 2005

i love this film, it is the ultimate thriller film, everything about se7en is brilliant. the cast are well picked and make the best contributions, the main characters Somerset and Mills are portrayed perfectly through Freeman and Pitt. in my opinion this is both Pitt and Freeman's best film, they still have not outshines there fantastic performances. Paltrow as mills wife was a good choice though there are a few other actresses that could have played this part, though i think that what paltrow brought to the role was the fragile emotional side of the character, so i am pleased that she played this part so well. the director is my favourite of all time, Mr David Fincher! he is a fantastic director, not just for this film but for his other films like fight club. he gets fantastic results from his cast and crew and makes the perfect film. and as i'm a budding editor myself i have to mention the fantastic edit on the film, by the editor Richard Francis-Bruce, i do love the edit on seven as he cut at hit points and generally did well.

if you haven't watched it watch it, if you've seen it seen it again! i certainly will.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Se7en is a dark, depressing, powerful and a clever movie

10/10
Author: Girish Gowda from BengaLuru, Karnataka
2 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't know what I was getting into when I sat down to watch this movie along with my friend. He had brought the DVD to my home and as he is a hardcore fan of Brad Pitt, he has bought almost every major hit movie of Pitt and since I am also a fan, we both watched it together. I thought it would be a cool movie like other Pitt films, but it was so dark and has so much more than other films of this genre.

Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is on his last week in duty and he's all set to retire when the case of a strange death is made his responsibility to solve. Though all others think that it was a psycho who was responsible for the death, Somerset has his doubts, he thinks that the murderer is simply a clever and disgusted man who is trying to rid the society of evil. In many ways, his and the killer's view about the degrading society is alike, except that Somerset wants to leave the city for the country life and the killer is taking action. Enter Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), the young and dynamic sleuth who has a positive view on the society, and he is made the partner to Somerset. Then onwards, there are more disgusting, shocking deaths with the seven sins as its identity. The seven sins are - Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Pride, Lust and Wrath. While Mills believes the killer is an insane person, Somerset tells him that he is a very clever, normal man and nowhere near insane with his precise killings and no clues to be found anywhere. The killer is a John Doe (played brilliantly in a cameo role by Kevin Spacey) and it takes every last bit of Somerset's and Mills willpower to not get carried away by the magnitude of the brutal, methodical killings. Tracy Mills (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the wife of Mills and they are very much in love. Will the detectives be able to stop this killer who claims himself to be a servant of God and who will bear the brunt of this maniac's insanity eventually - The society or the detectives?

David Fincher is at the helm of this amazing film. This could have been a routine cop-killer story, but he does not even step into the tired and old Hollywood clichés and is not afraid to make this a dark, unique and depressing tale about the human life. Also, he does so in a very powerful and clever way. I was racking my brains to figure out who the killer was, as in films like these, they would show the killer beforehand. And in the end, it was true; the killer had come in contact with the detectives. Morgan plays the old and more worldly wise man, rather in contrast to Pitt's character who is a hot-head at times. No matter how insanely talented Pitt is, the press always seems to give more importance to his charming looks and relationship with Jolie (back then, it was Jennifer Aniston). Tracy is genuinely portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow. She played a major part in bringing Mills and Somerset together. I loved her scene where she introduces each other. Though she didn't get enough screen-time to have satisfied me, I got over it as the ending was so emotional and I cried (I am a straight guy and I am not ashamed to say that I cried) when Pitt finds out what was in the box. I could see that one coming a couple of minutes before the movie got to it, but it doesn't mean I didn't get emotional at that point. I was hoping against hope that it wasn't what I was thinking. But, it was and I cried. Don't see this if you can't handle brutal death scenes (although they show only the aftermath of the death, it is still nauseous) and are easily bored when things are not non-stop action. But, the screenplay is one of the best I have seen in this genre. Also, the colouring layout of the movie is dark, everything is subdued and always raining, except save for the climax which is bright and hot, which served as an irony of sorts and it was wonderful. When John Doe tells Mills to become wrath, I got chills running up and down my spine.

I still consider Fight Club to be the best Pitt-Fincher movie, but I can't ignore this brilliantly made movie. Though not everyone will like this film (case-in-point, my Brad Pitt fan friend), because of the dark overtone, I loved it as it isn't flashy and predictable like most movies of this genre, and actually was very brilliant.

10/10

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Se7en

8/10
Author: Manoj Arya
16 June 2005

'He is preaching….punishing'.

Serial killing with clues from killer is not a new thing to Hollywood but David Fincher's Se7en exceptional. Its evil genius. Se7en opens with a homicide where a fatso is killed in a very strange manner. We meet Detective Somerset(Freeman) who is about to take off and detective David Mills(Pitt) has just fought to get assigned there. Somerset is calm, mature and has achieved mastery over his job. He probably seen so much that now he badly wants to go far away from this bloodshed. David appears cocky first but turns out amiable character of the film. Tracey(Palthow) is David's wife who hasn't got used to with guns even after so many years of their marriage.

It begins. Each killing is shockingly repellent. Like an artist's signature every victim holds a note, a sin highlighted with lines from Dante Alighieri' s 'Divine Comedy', Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice'. And his name is John Doe(Kevin Spacey). Those lines are screaming that this not just some insanity. He wants to make a point.

Each murder is done by reaching horrific extremes of those deadly sins. A fat man is fed until he burst. Then there is an infamous lawyer got gun stuck on his head, handed a knife -a weighing scale is in front of him and he has to cut 1 pound of flesh from his body by himself. A druggist tied to bed for a whole year!! A famous model, her nose is cut and bandaged again and gave a choice- phone in one hand to call help n sleeping pills in other one to die rather than live deformed. A whore is punished ruthlessly that you should see on screen only. John says, "The world is so shitty…and we get used to them".

This Script is sumptuous. It mirrors today's society skillfully and boldly. Nothing is hidden by the camera. All we watch is naked truth that we hate to admit and most of the time that we hardly care. The spirituality woven in has its impact all over. Most of all ending is a blow. It is stunning.

There are number of memorable sequences in Seven. One especially is breath-taking when Somerset and Mills reaches John doe's apartment and Doe directly starts shooting at them and chase sequence followed is absolute fabulous. On other hand dinner party at Mills house we feel wine mixed in the air. Tracey and Somerset's meeting at coffee shop is the finest ones I ever seen. The intensity of that conversation can't be described.

This is a very dark film. It is all time raining. All environment surrounding Se7en is so grim and ghastly it clouds viewers with the same. Music refuse to leave us even when it is over. I must mention titles and credits rolled, one of the best I ever seen.

Se7en comes out with strong performances. Morgan Freeman is truly outstanding. Brad Pitt made me his fan from this movie. The way he says "Ladies and Gentleman we have a homicide here" and same David when taunted by Somerset "You are saying you care for these people?" says with assuring impulse "Sure I do….!!!". Gwyneth Paltrow 's Tracey doesn't have much screen presence but when she is there, we just can not stop love her character. In final half an hour we are introduced to Kevin Spacey's John Doe. The preacher. What can I say about this chilling work? Spacey gave such a performance that stings. We hate to admit with this man but somewhere we know he is right. Somerset asks him, "So you are saying some higher power tell you to do this?" Just watch John Doe reply "Lord works in mysterious ways..". Interesting thing pointed out by one of the fan is Somerset and John Doe both observed the same facts about today's society but responds in different ways, Somerset want to run away and Doe takes action.

No matter how many thrillers I shall see but this will always one of my favorites. It affects deeply. That's the power of Se7en. Se7en is a terrific thriller and a modern classic.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Dour.

8/10
Author: StarkedInMovies
26 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

David Fincher's "Se7en" is one such movie that blurs the line between a giallo horror and a psychological thriller. "Se7en" sets a mood which is chilling, dark and puzzling. A mood that is present all through the entire movie. The mood set is the excellent work of director David Fincher, who wanted to give dark and gloomy atmosphere to the movie just to expose a world which is rough, bleak and gritty. The effect it makes is astounding and is does so by good camera work and lighting, or the lack of it. The cameras used in this film was specially changed film stock to make the visuals look as dark as possible which is complemented well by Howard Shores music score. The ominous music that is added keeps the audience uncomfortable, in a good way. If it wasn't for disturbing message that "Se7en" puts across, and astonishing dark scenes, I would have not given the rating I gave.

The assignment of roles in the movie is excellent, even though I loathed Brad Pitt's character. Brad Pitt's character was at times annoying and glorified. All he did was slow down the overall investigation process. His weak presence makes it seem that he was never the Lead or the Assistant detective in the investigations of the crime. All he said was excessive swear words and not something tangible and due to this reason, his interaction with Morgan Freeman's character was frail. At times I felt Morgan Freeman's character would have done a better job leading the investigation alone. The conversation in the police car was really insubstantial. I would have really despised this movie it wasn't for the phenomenal acting by 'actor who played the Killer'. It would've been so much better if Brad Pitt's character wasn't such a weak character and if he just stop talking at times and listened to the astute Morgan Freeman's character. Whilst watching the movie I wholeheartedly wanted to despise on Brad Pitt's character and to an extent Brad Pitt himself but having watched and loved Brad Pitt in David Fincher's Fight Club I often found myself forcibly liking Brad Pitt's character and justifying his decisions and his exchange of ideas but I failed. Morgan Freeman's was excellent in the role of a veteran detective and a wise mentor for Brad Pitt's character

**SPOILER**

The biggest sin in this movie is perhaps not the character but the ending. I found the ending awfully predictable. I could have seen that one of our main characters would eventually be one of the 'victims'. Especially after getting to see the 'wife' and she revealing something crucial at a buildup stage just screamed that she was going to die. The buildup was for nothing if it wasn't for the predictable ending. I had a tiny hope for something magnificent and grimy, since the killer's talk about the sins and how his killings were justified but the killer too just disappointed me in the end. Also it made me dislike Brad Pitt's character that much more, because I was hoping he wouldn't shoot the killer, and that I might get a reason to respect him as a character. I don't care how if a certain movie has a happy or a sad ending, but this movie would've ended on a strong note if he hadn't killed the killer. The director could have found another way of exhibiting the last sin. Morgan Freeman's character could have and should have done something more in preventing the last 'execution'. After all he is the one who saw clearly what the killer's grand plan was. The ending scene was one big anticlimax and thus this movie could have been my second favorite David Fincher movie following Fight Club if not my second favorite movies of all time.

8/10.

Note: I used 'actor who played the Killer' instead of revealing the actor's name is because David Fincher wanted the killer's identity to be a surprise and I shall oblige.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Ed5y but Ordinary

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
14 February 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

What a great boon these DVDs are! -- where we get to view and review with comments from the creators.

Sometimes the creative artist is a poor authority for the depth of their own art. So it is with some interest that I check if what I have seen was what the director thought he put there. Often, I find them simply working on intuition. But the better performing artists are different. They must always intend -- if they do not intend a specific feel or effect then it simply is not there. That's why when a DVD commentary involves an actor it is of particular interest.

In this DVD, we hear Pitt, who really commits to delivering, who worries, who prepares, who sublimates self in order to create an image of himself in your mind. And we hear Freeman who is arrogant, demanding of you and not of him, offering a here-I-am take-it-or-leave-it style of acting, which he calls `intuitive.' This really explains a lot for me. It's why Freeman is a negative attractor for any film I consider, and Pitt the other way around.

Either way, Spacey is the only one that connects with his character, and he's given a relatively simple job.

I admit that this story moved well, engaging by shock and unexpected moves when I first saw it. But on repeated viewings, substantial sloppiness gets in the way. What remains is the very fine lighting. I think `Fight Club,' was much the superior film. This one hardly rates any celebration.

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