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Se7en More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Pretentious and disturbingly overrated

Author: asdf-12
12 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went through these comments because I was trying to figure out why people like this movie so much. I wondered if I had missed or misinterpreted something, but now it just looks like these viewers are way too impressed by a few sophomoric "themes" and a bunch of cutesy "twists."

Direction/atmosphere: the atmosphere is the movie's greatest strength. It's certainly vivid, though it's so relentless and there is so little variety in the movie's mood that it becomes a drag. Anyway, stuff like rain and good lighting are nothing without a good script, so moving on . . .

Characters: come on, classic Hollywood "mismatched buddies" movie, only without the slapstick. The young, overeager cop and the "jaded" cop who slowly learns how to deal with him. Give me a break. There's nothing here that I haven't seen in 500 other cop movies. They just stuck this million-year-old and million-times-used Hollywood trope in the middle of a serial killer movie. Bravo. As for whether John Doe is a "great villain" (I can't believe people would compare him to Keyser Soze or Hannibal Lecter), more on that in the "themes."

Plot/twists: What exactly do people think is "clever" about haivng each murder correspond to one of the 7 deadly sins? The cleverest one is the first one--the killer makes the guy "glutton himself to death" by eating until his stomach bursts--and that isn't exactly mind-blowing, but once it's out of the way and you get the basic idea, all the others are 5x less elegant. It would be cooler if the killer had actually found a way to *truly* turn people's own faults against them--i.e., trapping the "Greed" guy by making him put himself in harm's way when tempted by the promise of money, or killing the "Lust" victim just by tempting them with an attractive but diseased person. Instead, all of these murders come down to the murderer holding a gun to the person and ordering them to act something out that in some (often convoluted) way has something to do with the sin. For lust, he kills a woman while she's having sex. This is supposed to be clever/creative?

And it gets weaker, not stronger, at the end. **Spoilers alert, I guess.** The "envy" victim doesn't die of envy--instead, he kills her and explains to the cop that he's guilty of envy. How elegant. The final twist--making the guy kill him out of wrath--is the cleverest, and is cute, but that's about all I can say about it. It certainly doesn't live up to the ridiculous buildup they give it during that car ride when they say this will be a "masterpiece" and "remembered by everyone." A killer killed 6 people in contrived ways that somehow had something to do with the 6 sins, and then for the 7th he got someone to kill him out of wrath. I mean . . . not bad, but certainly not great. Plus, that last scene doesn't even make sense. If I were Morgan Freeman, I would say "Hey, put the gun down and just beat the guy up." That would be infinitely more satisfying anyway, and it would be pretty freaking easy to claim it was in self-defense afterward . . . good thing for John Doe's little scheme that they didn't think of it. Anyway, the ending is cute, but not the kind of "mind-blowing ending" that would make up for an otherwise ho-hum movie.

Themes: OK, I have a major beef with anyone who calls this movie "profound" or the killer's philosophical view "interesting." We all know there are lots of people doing bad things in the world, but: (a) it seems to me that the "seven deadly sins" are entirely the wrong place to focus, as evidenced by John Doe's unconvincing "You mean a guy didn't deserve to die for being so fat it was gross?" Come on--things like gluttony and sloth are things that you should stay away from for your own sake, but in the scheme of things that people should be killed for, they should be all the way at the bottom. You're telling me that sloth is worse than deceptiveness? Or, say, racism? I don't even think there's anything wrong with lust. And wrath can be justified. (b) Granted that we know lots of people do bad things, what exactly does it accomplish OR illustrate OR express to pick out 7 people (one of whom wasn't even guilty of any of the 7 sins) and kill them in ways that graphically illustrate the 7 sins? Is this supposed to show how sinning will kill you? (Only if there's a serial killer holding a gun to your mouth making you act it out . . .) Or just reinforce the message "Hey, sinning is bad?"

They try to present John Doe as this mysterious, rational, calculating, intriguing man completing a masterpiece, but I end up seeing him as a nutcase whose "project" makes no sense and doesn't express anything meaningful. A truly chilling character is one who scares me not just by being violent, but through the idea that he has some sort of special wisdom or intelligence that threatens my view of myself as "normal" and "right." Keyser Soze (a true mastermind) has this. Hannibal Lecter does as well. Some idiot who kills 7 random people because he's off on a Bible-beating rant that's barely coherent? Later guys, I'm gonna go watch The Usual Suspects.

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29 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Annoying

1/10
Author: Mattie from Belgium
23 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm surprised this film is even listed in the top 250 and that it got this much praise. It really wasn't that good a movie. I liked the concept and I love Morgan Freeman, but this movie just blew it.

I didn't like some characters - mainly Mills -, the interaction between characters and especially the script.

Mills was annoying and overrated, a worthless character and Pitt playing him only made it worse. During the movie I kept thinking that I might be OK with Mills if he had been played by anyone other/better than Pitt, but I'm guessing they wouldn't have wanted to play such a lame character. I can't take a crime movie seriously when it has an unprofessional moron as a detective. Bringing his wife in the scene made the movie made all the rest painfully obvious. Appears only one scene, what's the point of her role? Oh yes, she's going to die.

Freeman and Spacey were great. The script is a puddle of vomit, and they still managed to act it out brilliantly. I think I hated the script more than I hate Mills. Excessive swearing (I don't twist my pants at foul language, but there are so many scenes that could've done without it so the viewer would take the guys more seriously. Also, the words lose their impact when you say it a million freaking times.) and weak interaction. The ending was the worst of all. The conversation in the police car was so horribly dumb that it made me want to shake the writer. It would've been so much better if Mills wasn't such a weak character. If he had just shut his damn mouth.

The ending was predictable. You'd have to be really thick to not have seen that one of our main characters would eventually be one of the "victims". Especially after getting to see the wife. The build up was for nothing. I had a tiny hope for something grand and grimy, since Spacey convinced me with his "what I've done is going to be puzzled over, studied and followed" talk but he just disappointed me in the end. The ending scene was one big anticlimax.

And again, it made me dislike Mills' character that much more, because I was hoping he wouldn't shoot him. That I might get a reason to respect him as a character. I don't care if a movie ends good or not, but the movie would've ended on a strong note if he hadn't killed Doe. It's been nothing but a bit of gore and knowing what would happen next. A waste of time basically.

1/10 because I want to even out the balance a bit. I'd give a 5, but I really don't think this movie deserves the praise it got.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

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

10/10
Author: Girish Gowda from BangaLore
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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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Didn't live up to the hype

5/10
Author: (prvteye@yahoo.com) from Seattle, Wa
3 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I won't bother with spoilers, as there are plenty of them in the other comments.

When all was said and done, my wife and I looked at each other and said "This is the scariest movie ever?"

What I saw was a run-of-the-mill "insane killer gets tracked down by the older, smart cop and the younger, gung-ho cop while manipulating everybody in the process". Perhaps I've become jaded, but I found nothing here that was particularly scary or mind-bending. A clever nut-job leads the police on a mad chase, punishing people as "sinners". The only difference between this and a half-dozen other serial killer movies is the theme of the killings and the fact that the killer turns himself in 3/4's of the way into the story.

This leads to the "twist" ending that seems to remain with so many people. I didn't find the "twist" horrific, though. I simply found it jarring. It didn't fit and it didn't particularly surprise me either. Once the killer decided to let Mills live, you knew he was going to mess with him somehow. The only surprise is the degree of what he did. As far as I'm concerned, they could have dispensed with the whole "wrath" setup and ended with John Doe's words to Mills - "You're only sitting here because I ALLOWED you to live and you'll know that every time you look in the mirror."

Instead, they had to go for a "shocker" ending. This is the "twist" ending that supposedly makes the movie.

Here's the thing, though - The ending doesn't fit the killer's MO. We're given every reason to believe that John Doe is clever, capable, and highly intelligent. He's on a mission. He believes in his mission. He punishes the guilty for their sins, not the innocent. Why, then, does he pick a completely innocent stranger and use her as a vehicle to brand himself as personification of Envy? If he really was envious of Mills (a fact that is highly doubtful), he was already deserving of punishment so why kill an innocent person to make the point? How does the manipulation of Mills into becoming Wrath actually punish Mills for having committed the sin of Wrath?

None of these things make any logical sense within the framework of the story. The ending is completely out of synch with everything we've learned about the killer, including his own statements. All you can do is shrug your shoulders and say "Well, you can't expect an insane killer to be logical." and that just doesn't sit right with me. Not after the buildup we were given concerning John Doe.

I can't recommend this movie. If you want to see a taut, disturbing film in this style (sans the insane serial killer) then rent "8 Millimeter" instead.

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43 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Se7en Problems with Se7en

1/10
Author: Bill-276 from Norwalk, CT
26 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't remember the last movie I saw that was this full of crap. How did they convince that cast this story would be anything other than the "t-shirt"/"movie of the week" Brad Pitt's character said it was going to be? The performances were fine (particularly Freeman's and Spacey's). The script, however, was a travesty.

First, the consistency of the killings is completely muddled. The first five murders were committed by Spacey's character ("John Doe"--how original) because of what he perceives to be the sins committed by those he's killed. OK so far. The 6th murder (of Paltrow's character) is also done by Doe, but not because of a sin she's committed, rather because of the sin Doe perceives HE has committed. Got that? And the 7th murder is done by Pitt's character to Doe because of the sin Mills (Pitt) carries with him (I guess?). But even if you link the "Envy" murder of Doe by Mills as one of the 7 sinners who "deserved" to be killed for their sin, why was Paltrow's character killed again? And along with that, why does Pitt's character get to live for the sin of Wrath?

Another plot point that I don't think can be overlooked... If Doe was the religious lunatic he was presented to be, the murder of Paltrow's character and her unborn child would surely have been the 6th AND 7th murders. Doe was aware she's pregnant. Of course, how do you link an unborn child with a deadly sin? I see the writer's problem. His solution was a train wreck.

I also didn't buy at all that Doe was actually envious of Pitt's character. It made for a quirky plot twist, but it seemed so inconsistent for that character. It also didn't make much sense from a plot perspective (see paragraph above).

Have I got to 7 things yet? Did I mention the silly 7 in the title? How about the constant allusions to Somerset's knife, the knife tossing, etc... which turns out to be needed most in the film to open a box?

I guess if you make the assumption that John Doe is insane, then this master plan might make sense to the audience: He's insane, his plan probably shouldn't make sense. But to think that his plan worked, succeeded, was effective or even consistent at all (as Somerset's character implies by telling Mills not to kill Doe and fulfill Doe's plan), is giving WAY to much credit to the writer, and almost no credit to the audience.

I recently saw and reviewed Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" which would fall into the same psychological/horror/thriller genre as "Se7en". And as much as I was affected by "Funny Games" and impressed by Haneke's vision and direction, I said that I couldn't responsibly recommend it. After seeing "Se7en", however, I finally found Haneke's target audience. If "Se7en" is on your recommended must-see list, then "Funny Games" is really the must-see movie for you.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Can't stop watching.You are already sucked into the story.

10/10
Author: stallone-9 from Bulgaria
29 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The greatest thriller of all time right next to Silence of the Lambs.David Fincher has outdone himself and it shows.The story is simple.Two detectives must apprehend a twisted serial killer who punishes his victims for their own sins.But what they come across will soon change them both forever!!!Expert story teller Fincher builds non stop tension which nearly explodes by the end of the movie.Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are at their best here.There is great chemistry between the two and Gwyneth Paltrow is terrific as Tracy.The end of the movie is one of the most shocking experiences ever on film.The first time when I saw Se7en i was shocked,horrified and just couldn't believe what just happened.THE END will shock you be sure but that is one of the reasons the movie is so good.The final lines by Somerset are moving:"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place worth fighting for...I agree with the second part".

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Okay, but a bit overrated IMO

Author: john in missouri from United States
27 January 2006

Maybe I've just seen too many movies. Maybe my expectations were too high, having seen this movie highly praised here. Maybe the story seemed a bit too predictable to me. Maybe I just found some of the gore a bit over the top. Or maybe I've seen so much gore in films already that I simply wasn't that impressed.

Whatever it was, this movie struck me as okay, certainly not bad, but not the masterpiece others have praised it as. Interestingly, I've seen most of the main characters in movies that I liked better: Kevin Spacey appeared in The Usual Suspects; Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys (although he also did a fine job here); and Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption.

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5 out of 5 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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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Greatest Crime Thriller Ever Told....With The Greatest Villain Of All Time

10/10
Author: James Aust from United Kingdom
7 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is by far the finest serial killer movie of all time. The script is beautifully paced and original with a fantastic twist at the end. The acting is superb, everyone is on the top of their game. Morgan Freeman shows his versatility and superb natural ability in the role of retiring detective Somerset, Brad Pitt gives the performance of his career as the young feisty Dectective Mills and Gwyneth Paltrow is fantastic as his highly sympathetic and caring character of his wife Tracy. But of course it is Spacey who steals the show as the compelling chilling "John Doe".

His entrancingly calm and chilling performance lifts the picture above many others of its genre and his pure evil glint is just as chilling even more so than Anthony Hopkins in "The Silence of the Lambs".

I believe that Se7en is far far superior to "The Silence of the Lambs" and others of its kind. It was one of the greatest films of the 90's (for me second only to "The Usual Suspects") and i feel is constantly underrated by many. I am glad to see it at #36 although i feel it is worthy of the top 20.

This is David Fincher's finest hour as a director with his drab rainy surroundings adding a superb drab atmosphere to a drab city. Andrew Kevin Walker's script is however will be what remembered as an incredible story, perfectly crafted and acted out beautifully by Spacey, Freeman, Pitt and co.

A MUST SEE FILM FOR EVERY FAN OF GREAT 90's MOVIES, ONE OF THE DECADES GREATEST.

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9 out of 13 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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