Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director:

David Fincher
Popularity
250 ( 5)
Top Rated Movies #20 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Morgan Freeman ... Somerset
Andrew Kevin Walker ... Dead Man at 1st Crime Scene (as Andy Walker)
Daniel Zacapa ... Detective Taylor at First Murder
Brad Pitt ... Mills
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Tracy
John Cassini ... Officer Davis
Bob Mack Bob Mack ... Gluttony Victim
Peter Crombie Peter Crombie ... Dr. O'Neill
Reg E. Cathey ... Dr. Santiago
R. Lee Ermey ... Police Captain
George Christy ... Workman at Door of Somerset's Office
Endre Hules ... Cab Driver
Hawthorne James ... George the Night Guard at the Library
William Davidson William Davidson ... First Guard at the Library (as Roscoe Davidson)
Bob Collins Bob Collins ... Second Guard at the Library
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Storyline

A film about two homicide detectives' (Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt) desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world's ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. The movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic "John Doe" (Kevin Spacey) sermonizes to Detectives Somerset and Mills -- one sin at a time. The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer's terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured but jaded Somerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer's modus operandi while the bright but green and impulsive Detective Mills (Pitt) scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gluttony * Greed * Sloth * Envy * Wrath * Pride * Lust See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for grisly afterviews of horrific and bizarre killings, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the location of the city is never explicitly given, there is a scene in a cafe where Mills and Somerset are waiting for Mark Boone, Jr.'s character where a poster behind them is advertising "New York pizza". Although this restaurant is called New York Pizza Express, it is actually in Hollywood, California. See more »

Goofs

The dead "Gluttony" victim can be seen breathing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Detective Taylor: Neighbors heard them screaming at each other, like for two hours, and it was nothing new. Then they heard the gun go off, both barrels. Crime of passion.
William Somerset: Yeah, just look at all the passion on that wall.
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Crazy Credits

SPOILER: Kevin Spacey's name is not included in the opening titles to keep the John Doe intrigue going. To compensate, he is listed twice in the closing credits: once before the credits start rolling and once in the rolling credits in order of appearance. See more »

Alternate Versions

The writer, Andrew Kevin Walker, completed two separate drafts of the ending. The first is the one that we see, and the second is one where John Doe is killed by Somerset instead of Mills. This alternate ending sequence was storyboarded and is included in the published script, but never filmed. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 20 Psychological Thrillers (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Now's the Time
Performed by Charlie Parker
Written by Charlie Parker
Courtesy of Blue Note Records / A Division of Capitol Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
one of the best-made films of its era and genre
14 October 2007 | by winner55See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seven Deadly Sins See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,949,807, 24 September 1995

Gross USA:

$100,125,643

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$327,333,559
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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