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Layer Cake (2004)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 127,226 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 258 user | 146 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.



(screenplay), (novel)
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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brinley Green ...
Paul the Boatman
Dimitri Andreas ...
Garry Tubbs ...
Charlie (as Natalie Lunghi)


A successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place among England's Mafia elite, plans an early retirement from the business. However, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal neo-Nazi sect and a whole series of double crossings. The title "LAYER CAKE" refers to the layers or levels anyone in business goes through in rising to the top. What is revealed is a modern underworld where the rules have changed. There are no 'codes', or 'families' and respect lasts as long as a line. Not knowing who he can trust, he has to use all his 'savvy', 'telling' and skills which make him one of the best, to escape his own. The ultimate last job, a love interest called Tammy, and an international drug ring threaten to draw him back into the 'cake mix'. ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | cocaine | pills | serbian | cake | See All (306) »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, sexuality, nudity, pervasive language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L4yer Cake  »

Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,090,561 (UK) (1 October 2004)


$2,338,695 (USA) (12 August 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (US prints)|


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


J.J. Connolly, the author of the Layer Cake novel, wanted to play Lucky in the film. See more »


When XXXX goes to lunch with the boss at the clubhouse at the beginning of the movie, the position and composition of golfers on the green and golf bags propped at the flagpole changes between the aerial and ground shot. See more »


[first lines]
XXXX: When I was born, the world was a far simpler place. It was all just cops and robbers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film lacks a traditional opening title. The title Layer Cake appears ten minutes into the film on a door that XXXX walks through. See more »


Referenced in Film 2015: Episode #44.3 (2015) See more »


Four to the Floor (Soulsavers Mix)
Written by James Walsh, James Stelfox, Barry Westhead and Benjamin Byrne
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by Starsailor
Licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A nice slice of brit gangsters
30 September 2004 | by (Sheffield, Uk) – See all my reviews

The trailers to Layer Cake left me with mixed feelings. Usually when a trailer needs to draw reference to 'one's we made earlier' (in this case Lock, Stock, and Snatch) when the writer or director of said films has nothing to do with the project, the end result is a poor copycat. After watching the film, I am more than impressed!

Layer Cake introduces us (once more) to the world of the cockney gangsters, and the dealing of drugs. The medication of choice this time is Ecstacy, and the set up involves an up-and-coming name in the dealing trade being thrown a job by one of the big names. Sent to find a missing girl, and also buy and sell on a large shipment, it all seems like easy work. However, as he soon finds, things are not always as they seem, and before long his life is at risk when the deal begins to go sour.

For the first 20 minutes of the film I couldn't decide whether it was going to be a Lock, Stock, or Honest (the dreadful All Saints film). The film uses the obligatory 'catchy' tunes from the past 2 decades, and uses the same type of framing of scenes as the genre. For the first 20 minutes, whilst we were introduced rapidly to the characters in the tale, it was hard to discern where the plot was going, and even harder to care much about the players. By the half way point I was engrossed! The plot twists and turns at various points throughout, and you do begin to care about the lead character and the associates around him.

The film oozes cockney cool, and although not quite on par with the best of the genre, it is still a worthy, and very engrossing, offering from director Matthew Vaughn. Stylishly shot, with a great soundtrack, this is one of those films that blokes will walk out of very pleased, but their partners may not feel the same way. Whilst not really violent or sexist in nature, this is a lads film through and through, and it is one cake that I want another slice of.

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