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
4,856 ( 171)
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


The truth will find you. 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?


This is the 23rd project Joel Schumacher has directed. See more »


(at around 6 mins) When Walter is first trying to catch Ned (the dog) behind the Chinese restaurant, the way that his stick-thing is positioned changes from the shots in front and behind him. 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 The Cinema Snob: Cruisin' 57 (2015) 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

The Number 23!
27 May 2020 | by beermonsterukSee all my reviews

I remember when this film came out in 2007 but for some reason I didn't see it at the time, then i stumbled across it many years later in a cheap dvd store so grabbed it, I like Jim Carrey as a comic actor but as this was billed as a horror i was intrigued to see how he'd fare in this.

Carrey stars as Walter Sparrow, a rather goofy, likeable animal control officer, and when he is bitten by a dog called Ned (which Sparrow comically refers to as nasty evil dog) it caused him to be late while meeting his wife in a bookstore, she then advises him to read a fairly old, scrappy looking book called "The Number 23", by Topsy Krets, so he does and is soon enthralled by the book, noting similarities between his own life, including the name/nickname of the books main character, "Fingerling".

The more Walter reads of the story he comes across a character called "the suicide blonde", who explains that the number 23 is cursed and appears everywhere around her, as he reads this, Walter too becomes obsessed with the number, as well as the main character, who he is convinced is somehow about him, his wife dismisses the idea but his son seems to agree with him and Walter is determined to find out more as well as track down the elusive Topsy Kretts, who it seems has no other body of work except for the novel Walter is reading, and a clerk at a bookstore, finds no information on Kretts.

As the story unfolds, it appears there is more to the whole story than meets the eye, as dark turns and twists occur, and we get an insight into Walters past, and just why he thinks the novel is somehow based on his life.

The film for me definitely lost a bit of steam as it went on, the constant flashes of Walter, as fingerling interacting with characters in the book became somewhat distracting after a while, and the more you learned about 23 it kind of took away the mystery, however the film was enjoyable in parts, and I did enjoy Carreys performance, even though I kept thinking he'd go full on rubberface mode (he didn't), it bought some humour into a somewhat bleak story.

Overall this film wasn't that good, but it was decent and I did thoroughly enjoy the first half hour or so, and I don't regret watching it I wouldn't go too far out of my way to endorse either.

6/10 Very mild recommendation.

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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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