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Layer Cake (2004)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 125,383 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 256 user | 145 critic | 30 from

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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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?


In the penultimate scene at the Stokes country club, XXXX and his fellow drug dealers are eating a layer cake. See more »


When XXXX wakes up in the morning before Dragan's first phone call to him, you can see he moves a pillow revealing the gun, in the next shot the gun is facing the opposite direction. 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 »


References Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) See more »


She Sells Sanctuary
Performed by The Cult
(p) 1985 Beggars Banquet Records
Licensed courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Ltd
Written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy (as William Duffy)
(c) Tayminster Ltd / Screenchoice Ltd / Chappell Music Ltd
By kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Layers of Goodness
3 October 2004 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

I was really looking forward to seeing Matthew Vaughn's turn at directing a film and what better genre to see him make his debut in than the British gangster genre especially after his roles in the fabulous 'Lock,Stock...' and 'Snatch' even though they were Guy Ritchie's.

Fans of those two movies may notice a few references in this one, most notably two of the actors used and some of the dialogue sounded fairly similar to a few lines out of 'Lock, Stock' but they didn't detract from the films quality. For a while, I thought I was watching 'Snatch' from a few years ago as the pace and the amount of characters that were piling up in the film was at times overwhelming. This may be the downside to many people's opinion of the film but I could cope. I realized the main characters, 'got to know them', and focused very much on them. Characters like 'The Duke' and 'Morty'; that way, I wasn't totally confused at first sight.

The acting was good and there are moments which creep along silently that will have you on the edge of your seat. This included the factory in Amsterdam being robbed by 'The Duke' and his cronies as well as the scene during which our main character: 'XXXX' is pinned down in a park by a psychopathic Eastern European hit-man whilst on the phone to him.

The acting is faultless and flows all the way through. When there are scenes which perhaps do go on longer than you'd like them to, the acting and dialogue just manage to keep them going to the end. The humour element is also there as I expected it would be. Most of the time they're 'chuckle to yourself' moments but there are two or three moments where you'll really find something funny and want to laugh out loud.

Overall, it was great fun and a damn good film. I think it can just about stand it's self up there with Ritchie's two acts of brilliance as a result.

I think you can tell; I enjoyed my piece.........

69 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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First few lines of the movie... jsproat27
What age is this appropriate for? GoodfellaSeinfeld
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