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Se7en
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Se7en More at IMDbPro »

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176 out of 213 people found the following review useful:

Dark and disturbing thriller that will stay with you for ever.

10/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
30 April 2004

Rarely there has been a movie with such a good dark and chilling atmosphere. I even see this movie more as an horror movie than as a thriller because of that. "Se7en" is unique in many ways. The movies mood is already set right from the beginning on. The movie starts dark, intense, chilling and mysterious, a mood that is present throughout the entire movie. It's very depressing to watch and I mean that in a positive way of the meaning of the word. The mood is set by good camera work and lighting, or better said, the lack of it. The music from acclaimed composer Howard Shore also adds to the chilling atmosphere. Unlike many other movies from the same genre, the movie is slow paced and takes it time to develop the characters without falling into some obvious clich's. The two main characters played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are presented as an unlikely police-couple that are different in many ways from each other but in a way that is also what makes them such a great couple. Brad Pitt for once has the opportunity to play more than just the pretty boy and he does it with success. Kevin Spacey truly plays a bone chilling character, almost just as legendary and chilling as Hannibal Lecter. I would very much like to see the two of them put in the same room, just to see who would make it out alive. Further more it was great to see R. Lee Emrey again as the police captain. The movie is filled with some truly gross, sickening and horrifying scene's, this seriously ain't no kids stuff! The movie has some of the most sickening murders I have ever seen featured in a movie. But it aren't just only the gross scene's that are good, there are also some scene's that are made with lot's of beauty and profession such as the library scene. Dark and chilling movie that you will never forget also thanks to the ending which I will not spoil for you. A real must see. 10/10

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160 out of 190 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Performances / Great Storytelling

10/10
Author: purebace from Australia
4 December 2003

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. *****

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108 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

A dark and disturbing masterpiece.

10/10
Author: RedRoadster from London, England
6 May 2009

It is a rarity for a film to be completely unsettling and yet unrelentingly gripping.

David Fincher's story takes place in a bleak and constantly raining city (never named) where urban decay and sleaze in all forms are rampant. Coming up to his retirement from the police force is Detective Lieutenant Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is tasked with breaking in his replacement, Detective Sergeant Mills (Brad Pitt) before leaving. Somerset is world weary, under no illusions about the futility of the daily role he plays and (initially) wants nothing more than to escape the grime and violence of the city. Mills on the other hand is convinced that he is going to make a real difference having voluntarily transferred to this precinct, bringing his wife to the city with him. Before Somerset can move on, a homicide comes in which he and Mills are assigned to investigate. But its only the first of a string of ritual murders that will be committed by a killer who is basing his crimes on the seven deadly sins as depicted in Dante's "The divine comedy".

To begin with, Se7en appears to be a standard "cops on the trail of a killer" story which shouldn't be too difficult for the audience to get comfortable with. But as we descend along with the characters into the merciless, brutal world without hope that they inhabit, you are left reeling at the events that unfold.

The two detectives enjoy an uneasy relationship with no real friendship ever striking up between them. The older Somerset is educated, astute and gives the impression of being emotionally burnt out. Mills, who has no respect for Somersets methodical investigating gets excited at the thought of solving a murder and firmly believes that the good guys will win eventually. The further we get into the action, the might of the evil that they face pushes both men beyond their limits.

This film draws heavily on biblical themes and you can certainly see similarities with such films as "The Seventh Seal" (1957). Both films show the price that good men have to pay when they fight evil and the unsettling truth that the rule book goes straight out the window when you are dealing with something so diabolical that it has no boundaries or limits at all.

Se7en shows us a world which has been destroyed by its own sins, a wasteland in which values are minimal. The killer, having nothing but contempt for this world, sees it as his mission to expose the faults and show everyone what they have become. It is a fascinating twist that when the killers motives become clearer, Somerset with his greater understanding actually feels some degree of empathy with him. This is lost on Mills though, whose level of clarity never reaches the same point.

A previous reviewer mentioned that you begin to expect the unexpected whilst watching Se7en and i completely agree. Eventually if you think of the most obvious outcome in any situation and predict that the opposite will happen, it usually does. Even the finale itself became kind of predictable because by then you are conditioned not to have any hope. This is a minor flaw though because the story is so well and so shockingly told.

Director David Fincher didn't pick up another script for 18 months, such was his exhaustion and frustration following the completion of Alien 3. Apparently he agreed to direct se7en after one reading of Andrew Kevin Walkers screenplay because he was drawn to its hard hitting delivery about inhumanity. He stated: "It's psychologically violent. It implies so much, not about why you did but how you did it". For the camera work specially altered film stock was used to make the visuals look as dark and unsettling as possible which is complemented well by Howard Shores music score.

The Most disturbing message that Se7en puts across, is that the fight against evil is destined to be a Pyrrhic victory. But regardless the only thing we can do is fight on whatever the cost. We have no other choice.

"The World is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

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113 out of 144 people found the following review useful:

Superbly crafted drama delves into darkest corners of the psyche

Author: pooch-8 from Fargo, North Dakota
16 August 1999

David Fincher's bleak, relentless, and ultimately terrifying crime thriller Seven transcends other films of the genre with incredible plotting (the sort Hitchcock might employ were he alive and making films in the 1990s) and scalding intelligence. With only a small handful of minor flaws -- the overly familiar retiring cop/young cop pairing; the awful "I'm taking you off the case!" cliche seemingly required by the genre; one giant lapse in logic in the downward spiral toward the conclusion that cannot be revealed without ruining the script's gruesome surprise -- Seven typically keeps its viewers imprisoned in their seats with a combination of morbid fascination and abject fear. Despite attempts by studio executives to alter Andrew Kevin Walker's ending, the filmmaking team prevailed and audiences experienced that rare treat of mainstream cinema: an uncompromising vision.

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100 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

An uncompromising story, filthy, grainy visuals and terrific performances make Se7en a modern classic

Author: gjgillett from Dublin, Ireland
12 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Se7En Se7en is just one of those movies that burrows deep under your skin and festers. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker have created a bleak, desolate world where there are no real heroes, only sinners. An uncompromising story, filthy, grainy visuals and terrific performances make Se7en a modern classic. Det. William Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) has seen the human spirit at its worst throughout his 34 years of police service. He finally realises he has had enough of the horrors of the world and he becomes ready for retirement. David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a brash, hot-headed rookie cop who believes his big break lies in the murky, seedy unnamed metropolis. Amidst some cynicism, Sommerset takes on Mills as a partner for his last days. When two murders occur within two days of each other the duo realize that a serial killer is murdering his victims in accordance with the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. What follows is a terrifying and disturbing story of the dark side of human nature. Fincher's Noir York with endless rain, rain that fails to wash (to quote Travis Bickle) the filth off the streets, is a harsh look into urban life where decency is a rarity. Along with his cinematographer Darius Khondji, paints the screen with dark greys, blacks and yellow to hint at the rotting core of this environment. Freeman gives the film its most complex performance and moral core. His detective has grown weary of apathy and he slightly suggests an understanding of the despicable killer. On that note, Kevin Spacey delivers a chilling portrayal, a killer with a blankly human face and disturbing conviction. Writer Walker has written a cop-genre film with impeccable substance. Rather than a whodunit or an action movie, he has given birth to a story that pokes and prods at our psychic. It forces us to confront ourselves and question the next time we eat too much, or take too much time gelling our hair or even lash out in road rage. He questions our day-by-day apathy and ignorance to the savagery of human existence in a time of war, poverty, cynicism and most importantly sin.

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87 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

Stand out Thriller thanks to Fine Cast.

10/10
Author: John Bale from Australia
21 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A stand out film dealing with a particularly unpleasant Serial Killer, "Se7en" (along with "Silence of the Lambs"), is something of a milestone in this genre. An intelligent script, and admirable actors including the excellent Morgan Freeman, Prad Pitt, Gwenth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey, with a cinema noir style, and very grisly murders representing the Seven Deadly Sins. It is the performances however that lifts this movie above the average, Morgan Freeman as the older world wise detective, Pitt almost manic as his young enthusiastic sidekick, Poltrow plays the wife with a fine degree of sensitivity, and Spacey does his usual brilliant psycho routine. There is a pivotal scene with Freeman and Paltrow in a café which shows the depth of performances here. They are believable characters in a dark disturbing world wherein it always seems to be raining. An effective thriller with tight direction and atmospheric photography.

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78 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

one of the best-made films of its era and genre

9/10
Author: (winner55) from United States
14 October 2007

Despite clichés, and a very depressing finale, this is one of the best-made films of its era and genre.

The strengths of the film include an odd relationship between the two lead cops, who seem loosely based on the two lead cops of the "Lethal Weapon" series, but who (thankfully) never play for laughs, and never really become "buddies" - the young cop is too arrogant, and the older cop has too much experience, which the young cop refuses to acknowledge. The two characters are also brilliantly acted by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt (probably his best performance).

There's one odd flaw in the film - about half-way through, I found that I had learned to "expect the unexpected" from the film, which meant that the rest of the film was predictable in a bizarre way - simply decide where the expected move would be, and then expect the unexpected move instead. The most obvious instance of this is in the finale itself, which could be guessed at least 5 minutes ahead of time.

Normally, this would be a formula for disaster - but fortunately, the high quality of the film-making twists the film into an edge-of-the-seat suspenseful waiting game as we watch with horror the one cop's encounter with the insanity of pure evil.

I didn't want to admire this film (to be honest, I dislike Brad Pitt something fierce), but I'm afraid I must - very professionally made, it delivers its promised suspense all the way.

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73 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

The best Hollywood has produced for a long time

9/10
Author: supah79 from Netherlands
28 July 2005

After the Alien-debacle Fincher proved all the critics wrong. This film is one of the best in a genre that hasn't been very innovative for a long time.

Everyone know's the story by now, so I won't waste time telling it. This film was trend setting with it's dark, gritty look and opening sequence. We still see it copied in movies and TV-series today. Everything is great about this film. I guess if anything, the weakest link in the film is Pitt, who is grossly overshadowed by Freeman. But let's not look for flaws when there really aren't any. The script is intelligent and uncompromising. The direction is innovative en daring. The production-design and cinematography are top-notch.

Fincher is one of the big boys in Tinseltown these days. Seven is the reason why.

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46 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

No one is without sin

9/10
Author: B N from Canada
31 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those dark movies, where it's constantly raining and wet and where the light always seems to be dim. Appropriately enough, this changes to bright and shimmering heat in the very end. As a kid, I hated dark movies. But perhaps it is appropriate in this case, because Seven attempts to be a statement about humanity: no one is without sin.

The seven deadly sins are gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and wrath. Prime examples of people committing these are being punished one by one, brutally and efficiently, by a psychopathic killer. Detectives, and reluctant partners, William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) are assigned to track down the killer. Needless to say, the job gets accomplished. While some might argue it is done surprisingly, I'd argue otherwise.

For once, I wasn't impressed with Pitt's acting. I thought Freeman did a great job. As usual, the villain, John Doe played by Kevin Spacey, provides a chilling performance, even though he is not given as much center stage as, say, Anthony Hopkins was in Silence of the Lambs. In fact, the whole movie seems to hurry through without giving key characters enough time to build up their emotional worth, particularly Mills' wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow).

In the end, Seven does manage to get its point across effectively. While watching the movie itself, I thought it a bit anti-climatic, but when mulling it over later, the images echo very strongly in my mind. One of the most disturbing films I've seen.

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40 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Superbly done

10/10
Author: gardenwriter from Northeastern PA
11 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love psychological thrillers and this is one of the best I've seen. Morgan Freeman was elegant and convincing as a burnt out cop who wanted to retire but found the fascination of the job tough to let go of. Brad Pitt made the transition from cocky new guy to serious cop vry convincingly. And what can I say about Kevin Spacey who is always excellent. (Except to wonder why his name doesn't appear in the opening credits - I looked three times.) And Gwyneth Paltrow as Pitt's wife was as fresh and charming as ever. I truly enjoyed the performances of all the main cast members.

The best part of this film is that even when the killer is caught the suspense isn't over. In fact - it may be just beginning.

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