1. The score is beautifully ominous which only deepens the thrilling and unsettling atmosphere.
2. Brad Pitt (Mills), Morgan Freeman (Somerset), and Kevin Spacey (John Doe) give amazing performances.
3. The colour palette being dark and monotone helps to cement the gloomy and grim tone.
4. The gore and practical effects are immense and they still stand up 25 years later. The sloth, lust, and gluttony murders, in particular, stick in mind.
5. The great cinematography knows when to pull the camera back, as well as to draw it close for great effect.
6. Both Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt have great chemistry together.
7. The back-and-forth between Somerset, Mills, and John Doe in the police car is one of the most intense and captivating scenes in the history of cinema.
8. The movie presents the interesting and complex moral quandary of: is it immoral to kill the immoral? Even if those immoral people adversely affect other people? And who gets to decide who is immoral, and what punishment should be meted out to them?
9. Despite the underdeveloped character of Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), the conclusion is still one of the hardest hitting and iconic endings ever created.
1. Tracy is a severely underdeveloped character, with her pregnancy-confessing scene to Somerset feeling lazily forced to add weight to the final scene.