Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him, as more and more similarities between himself and his literary alter ego seem to arise.


Joel Schumacher
5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Carrey ... Walter Sparrow / Fingerling
Virginia Madsen ... Agatha Sparrow / Fabrizia
Logan Lerman ... Robin Sparrow
Danny Huston ... Isaac French / Dr. Miles Phoenix
Lynn Collins ... Suicide Blonde / Mrs. Dobkins / Young Fingerling's Mother
Rhona Mitra ... Laura Tollins
Michelle Arthur ... Sybil
Mark Pellegrino ... Kyle Flinch
Paul Butcher ... Young Fingerling / Young Walter
David Stifel ... Hotel Clerk
Corey Stoll ... Sergeant Burns
Ed Lauter ... Father Sebastian
Troy Kotsur ... Barnaby
Walter Soo Hoo Walter Soo Hoo ... Chinese Restaurant Owner
Patricia Belcher ... Dr. Alice Mortimer


On his birthday, Walter Sparrow, an amiable dog-catcher, takes a call that leaves him dog bit and late to pick up his wife. She's browsed in a bookstore, finding a blood-red-covered novel, a murder mystery with numerology that loops constantly around the number 23. The story captivates Walter: he dreams it, he notices aspects of his life that can be rendered by "23," he searches for the author, he stays in the hotel (in room 23) where events in the novel took place, and he begins to believe it was no novel. His wife and son try to help him, sometimes in sympathy, sometimes to protect him. Slowly, with danger to himself and to his family, he closes in on the truth. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A number is just a number. Or is it? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Logan Lerman character's name is Robin Sparrow. Robin and Sparrow are both two types of birds. A robin being the red breasted bird and the sparrow being a small finchlike Old World bird related to the weaverbirds, typically with brown and gray plumage. See more »


(at around 38 mins) The movie says that 2÷3 is 0.666, however, when rounding to three decimal places, 2÷3 is 0.667. See more »


[first lines]
Walter Sparrow: A week ago, the only thing I thought was out of the ordinary was that it was my birthday.
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Alternate Versions

Unrated version runs 3-4 minutes longer. See more »


Referenced in Movie Nights: The Mystical Adventures of Billy Owens (2012) See more »


The Banality of Evil
Written by David Sylvian and Burnt Friedman (as Bernd Friedmann)
Performed by Nine Horses
Courtesy of Samadhisound LLC
See more »

User Reviews

Kinda neat, kinda dumb, very sinister but not bad
30 August 2009 | by Samiam3See all my reviews

I can't say that either Jim Carrey or Joel Schumacher have done anything impressive lately, but they do an okay job here. The number 23 is strangely entertaining. With its moody tone, its claustrophobic and haunting photography, its convoluted storytelling, and a lot of walls defaced with black ink, the movie frequently resembles John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. This one is not quite as creative, and even though it occasionally gets clumsy, the film is fairly intriguing and might be worth checking out if you like scary thrillers.

Jim Carrey is Walter Sparrow, a mild mannered dog catcher who has a nice family and a dull life. On Chrismas week, his wife buys him a strange memoir entitled 'The number 23'. Sparrow is a little sceptic at first, but once he starts to read he quickly gains interest, and is surprised to discover that the story has remarkable resemblance to his own life. One aspect in particular has gotten his attention. Sparrow starts to notice the number 23 itself appear everywhere, in dates, names, times... It gets him quite excited. Soon however, this hysteria will take him down a dark road as he seeks to find out the truth about what is really going on. What does the number mean? who wrote the novel? and what does it have to do with him?

The funny thing about the movie, is that the whole 23 concept ends up being kind of eluding and irrelevant. It feels like little more than a plot element to throw the viewer off track so we cannot figure out the movie before it is ready to give us the climactic twist. Depending on how focused you are on the picture, it may or may not work. The ending is strangely predicable in a way, although not too blatantly.

I can't say much for the acting (esspecially Carrey) but the cinematography and music are quite eccentric. There are times when the Number 23 feels like a cross between a Jazzy scored film-noir and a comic book.

I guess in the end, the movie could use a little work, but of course nothing is perfect. Try it and see what it does for you. It's not 2 bad3 .

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:




English | Chinese

Release Date:

23 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Number 23 See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,107,000, 25 February 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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