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The Spirit (2008)

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Rookie cop Denny Colt returns from the beyond as The Spirit, a hero whose mission is to fight against the bad forces in Central City.


Frank Miller


Frank Miller (screenplay), Will Eisner (comic book series)
3,219 ( 54)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaime King ... Lorelei
Gabriel Macht ... Spirit
Dan Gerrity Dan Gerrity ... Detective Sussman
Arthur the Cat Arthur the Cat ... Himself
Kimberly Cox Kimberly Cox ... Damsel in Distress
Brian Neal Lucero Brian Neal Lucero ... Thug 1 (as Brian Lucero)
David Brian Martin ... Thug 2 (as David B. Martin)
Larry Reinhardt-Meyer Larry Reinhardt-Meyer ... Officer MacReady
Frank Miller ... Liebowitz
Eva Mendes ... Sand Saref
Eric Balfour ... Mahmoud
Samuel L. Jackson ... Octopus
Louis Lombardi ... Pathos, etc.
Scarlett Johansson ... Silken Floss
Sarah Paulson ... Ellen


Down these mean streets a man must come. A hero born, murdered, and born again. When a Rookie cop named Denny Colt returns from the beyond as The Spirit, a hero whose mission is to fight against the bad forces from the shadows of Central City. The Octopus who kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face who has other plans. He's going to wipe out the entire city. The Spirit tracks this cold hearted killer from the city's rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill the masked crusader. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


My city screams. She is my lover. And I am her spirit. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French

Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Will Eisner's The Spirit See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,463,278, 28 December 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,781,879, 18 January 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Central City is the same name of the city, in which the DC Comics superhero The Flash resides. See more »


When young Denny and Sand run out of the rainstorm into the doorway, Denny's coat is not wet. See more »


Silken Floss: What a fine detective. You followed the breadcrumbs right to us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the title of the film is the very last thing shown. Typically, the title appears early in the credits, and "directed by" is the final credit. See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 12A cinema certificate the UK version was cut by 25 secs with edits to a woman being threatened by a knife-wielding gang, a repeated head punching, a shot of a severed finger and a shot of a man's rib cage embedded in the ground. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Hitler's Harlot (2014) See more »


Deutschland Uber Alles
Performed by Captain Helmut Witten and the German Airforce Band
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
Courtesy of Legacy International
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If you like movies that make you go WTF, don't miss this one
20 September 2011 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Scene: a foot with a face on it is merrily hopping around a countertop. Meanwhile a slutty nurse is talking about economic strategies of a criminal organization. Three identical idiots are watching on with titillation. The boss is hunched over the foot with great consternation, repeating "That's just damn weird."


Who here grew up on comic books, raise your hands. The dork madly flailing in the back would be me. In order to appreciate this film it requires some familiarity with the comic book medium and its ability to take us into an utterly bizarre, senseless and oftimes brainless world. Situations are surreal. Dialogue is snippy, contrived and just a snicker away from utterly ludicrous. That's what comic books do, and this film is one of the most faithful adaptations I've seen.

Those who criticize this movie for "bad script", "bad acting", etc would have a point if we were talking about some snotty, pretentious too-cool-for-mainstream flick, but no, this is the opposite: pure fun. I mean, jeez, when the bad guy pauses in the middle of a tense battle to talk about eggs... or when he gets into a debate with one of his henchmen over the job's healthcare benefits, how can you NOT have fun?? Instead of expecting an action film, you should go into it expecting something more like "Airplane!" and I guarantee you'll have a great time & some big laughs. Like when one guy commits hara-kiri with a samurai sword and says "Am I doing this right? It sorta smarts." OMG LOL. And there's plenty more where that came from, but I won't spoil it.

Both Samuel L Jackson & Scarlett Johansson as his deadpan sidekick deliver top-notch comedic performances with pinpoint timing. Set against a wickedly incongruous backdrop of "film noir" where madcap comedy is definitely against the rules, "The Spirit" presents us with one of the greatest bipolar contrasts since "Catch-22" (the greatest deadpan action flick ever).

And just a word about contrast, I'm sure that's part of Frank Miller's intent, seeing how the film is full of biting visual contrasts. I won't even go into how masterfully he brought the comic book visuals to life; you just gotta see it.

If you like witty, tongue-in-cheek, dark comedies, then this is the film for you. A lot of action films are peppered with wit & humour, but this is one of the few that crosses into outright comedy, and it does a great job. If you like this film, keep an eye out for the Japanese flick "Cutie Honey", another great, artistic, campy romp which was misunderstood by audiences and overlooked.

If any of what I've said resonates with you, I strongly urge you to run down to your local Blockbuster where you can find this film in the $2 bargain bin, watch it & get in early on the cult following. It may be 10 years before people come to appreciate what Frank Miller did here, but you can say, "I told you so!"

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