Two homicide detectives are on a desperate hunt for a serial killer whose crimes are based on the "seven deadly sins" in this dark and haunting film that takes viewers from the tortured remains of one victim to the next. The seasoned Det. Sommerset researches each sin in an effort to get inside the killer's mind, while his novice partner, Mills, scoffs at his efforts to unravel the case.
|Release Date||:||September 22, 1995|
|Genres||:||Crime, Mystery, Thriller|
|Production Co.||:||New Line Cinema, Juno Pix, Cecchi Gori Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Writers||:||Andrew Kevin Walker|
|Casts||:||Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. McGinley, Kevin Spacey, R. Lee Ermey, Richard Roundtree, Richard Schiff, Julie Araskog, Mark Boone Junior, John Cassini, Reg E. Cathey, Peter Crombie, Hawthorne James, Michael Massee, Leland Orser, Richard Portnow, Daniel Zacapa, Alfonso Freeman, Harris Savides, Andrew Kevin Walker, Richmond Arquette, Pamala Tyson, Emily Wagner, Shannon Wilcox, George Christy, Endre Hules, William Davidson, Bob Collins, Dominique Jennings, Allan Kolman, Gene Borkan, Mario Di Donato, Harrison White, Bob Stephenson, Michael Reid MacKay, Lennie Loftin, Martin Serene, David Correia, Lexie Bigham, Evan Mirand, Paul Eckstein, Rachel Flanagan, Heidi Schanz, Brian Evers, James Deeth, Charles A. Tamburro, Charles S. Dutton, Arthur Max|
|Plot Keywords||:||self-fulfilling prophecy, detective, s.w.a.t., drug dealer, evisceration, lust and impulsiveness, rage and hate, pride and vanity, immoderateness, insomnia, investigation, pension, police, serial killer|
- "Se7en is well crafted and ingeniously clever, making it one of the greatest films of the 90's"by 25 March 2002on
454 out of 522 people found the following review useful:
The movie, "Se7en", starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Gwyneth Paltrow, is by far one of the most inventive, well-written, and cerebral films in recent history. The film, blending a well put together combination of dark visual style, intense plot development, and polished acting, remains tight and focused throughout, from beginning to end, never straying outwards into unimportant issues, or resorting to typical Hollywood clichés. Se7en is uniquely on its own for suspense dramas as it both fuels the need of the audience to be drawn in and entertained by the events unfolding, and remain uncompromising and shocking, thus satisfying the initial vision of the director, David Fincher.
The story surrounds the hunt for a serial killer, who, inspired by Dante Alighieri's seven deadly sins from "The Divine Comedy", sets out to, "preach" about man's impurity, and does so by targeting victims, then torturing them by pitting their own underlining sins against them. Se7en seemingly starts out as a typical cat and mouse detective story, however, it quickly develops into of a sort of modern-myth, with good and evil taking centre stage. The story is original on all counts, and thrilling on all levels. The most important aspect of Se7en, however, is that it keeps the audience numerous steps behind its story, as oppose to other thrillers, which become predictable and bland by the end. By keeping the audience in the dark, the film remains fresh and original as it progresses. Se7en even dramatically turns the tide at one point, just as the audience is finally getting comfortable and asserted into the gloomy atmosphere, thus creating as much as fear and uncertainty in the audience as it is with the characters involved. By the film's conclusion, the audience is as much apart of the film as the characters themselves, and arrive at Se7en's surprise ending without a single clue of it, prior to it occurring. Se7en's poetic ending(which will not be given away) says a lot for the people behind the movie, showing they are not afraid of going against the grain. A rarity with films so nowadays.
Directed brilliantly by David Fincher, and skillfully written by Andrew Kevin Walker, Se7en is well crafted and ingeniously clever, making it one of the greatest films of the 90's. While Se7en may not have garnered critical acclaim as such films as Silence of the Lambs, Se7en is, undoubtedly, as influential as any film to date.
- Probably the greatest murder story everby 15 October 2003on
383 out of 472 people found the following review useful:
Seven's quality puts it so far beyond most of the "cops on trail of deranged killer" genre that it comes out as a true jewel of cinema. Everything about seven is perfect. It is art captured on film. This movie is a bright spot for all of the stars who worked on it.
Brad Pitt never gets the credit he deserves for his acting because he's a pretty boy and the press is a lot more interested about how he and Jennifer are doing. That's a shame because he is a talented actor that isn't afraid to take chances with both the roles that he picks and the characters that he plays. That is quite rare in the A-list world. Morgan Freeman is a great actor. You can always count on him to do what he does best which is play a wise veteran that has seen it all. Kevin Spacey is another great actor that has great range and really puts life and personality into his characters.
The real talent of this movie, excluding the actors that brought it to life, is the director David Fincher and the writer Andrew Kevin Walker. Fincher's talents for making a visually stunning film are now well known and he often brings a dark patina to his work. Andrew Kevin Walker must have some incredible demons living inside him. Either that or one hell of an imagination for bringing the intricate story of Seven and the plan of John Doe to life.
John Doe's plan really is twisted and I won't be spoiling it here. Suffice to say I have never seen so evil and complicated a plan in a movie before or since. The cinematography of the film is dark but beautiful and throughout the film it is either night or raining or both except for two very brief moments. It is such an emotional movie that you can't keep from being caught up in what is happening. Do you understand and sympathize with what John Doe is doing or do you think him a mad killer that must be stopped.
Bottom Line: If you haven't had the opportunity to see Seven yet then you must at least rent it. It is so damn good that I know you will like it. The only reason you wouldn't is because you're just too damn fragile to take something this hardcore.
- Somerset's Worldby 13 August 1999on
345 out of 412 people found the following review useful:
Seldom does a film elucidate the culpability of our culture,of our society, in the mayhem and madness we often find in everyday life. According to Se7en, our culture is drifting through darkness. The mouthpiece for this thematic undercurrent is Somerset, a literate man who also happens to be a detective, a man who can read a clue ("This isn't going to be a happy ending") or Dante's Inferno with equal aplomb. He even provides the film's final thematic statement with a quote from Hemingway. His quirkiness, perhaps the outgrowth of a brilliant mind, is no worse than that of any prophet or seer of old, those harbingers of Biblical insight whom others always find kooky and offbeat. He is not well loved for his cynical, pessimistic outlook (such that his consuming motivation is to retire and get out of town). However, by the end it becomes clear that it is Somerset who sees our dark world with the prophet's particular clarity. (It is left to his partner Mills to find this out the hard way).
Working on us to reinforce this world as Somerset sees it is the film's astounding mise-en-scene, a disturbing film-noir setting developed by director David Fincher and cinematographer Darius Khondji. Flashlights barely illuminate the slimy walls of the roach-infested tenement of one victim and the dark bedroom of another. Rain pours down in buckets. Bird's-eye-view shots of downtown (the city is never named- a generic, everyman's kind of place) show dingy, sooty rooftops and grimy streets. Only the film's closing scene is in bright sunlight, which by then only serves as ironic counterpoint to what we see happening.
This is Somerset's vision; both inhabited and described by him. He finds a surprising fellow traveler in, not his partner, but the elusive killer John Doe. Doe shares the vision and provides an unsettling echo to the rumblings and teachings of Somerset. If one looks at life through the Somerset lens, one must admit that John Doe has a valid point. He and Somerset have arrived at the same conclusion, the difference between them being how they have responded. (Somerset longs to escape to some otherworldly realm in the country. Doe has taken action.)
Though gripping and fast moving, this is not an action film. It holds our interest through the workings of horror and mystery: a stark, film-noir detective piece. Except for one tense pursuit through halls and alleys in pouring rain, as well as the bit of ending action, there is surprisingly little violence. We see each murder, save two, after the fact, as a crime scene. This only makes the final act that much more suspenseful.
This is a very tight film. Elements within: dialogue, actions, lighting, setting, all of these tend to reinforce one another to paint a solid picture. It is a perverse logic that makes the final and seventh sin complete perfectly the circle of events begun with the first.
- Modern Masterpiece!!by 20 June 2002on
286 out of 352 people found the following review useful:
Gothic, shocking, suspenseful, disturbing and clever, `Seven' marked a new beginning for director David Fincher's career. This dark tale of murder and crime revolves around two detectives in present New York city played by two brilliant actors `Brad Pitt' and `Morgan Freeman' who are paired together to solve a puzzle of murder that is at the hands of a man who kills regarding to the seven deadly sins. Both actors displayed striking performances that are so sharp and realistic sometimes you have to remind yourself that's its all acting.
David Fincher's masterpiece really gives us an opportunity of a lifetime, maybe it's one that we don't all wish to share, but by seeing this movie you will experience a glimpse of the horrors that this world is filled with, and a small piece of mind of a man who you only prey you never have to meet.
Brad Pitt successfully proves to us that he's not just a pretty face on screen, and that he sinks into his character so well, that you can walk off after the film finishes classifying him as a pretty darn good actor.
You wouldn't expect anything else from Morgan Freeman because it's perfectly obvious that this guy was born to play the roles of the smart detective.
David Fincher's timeless directing and memorable filming captures all the goods that this film has to offer and will undoubtedly leave you shocked and begging for more films like this. Seven is a step into the harsh realities of life, a realistic portrayal of two detectives investigation into the un-describable horrific world murder, and the darkest realms of the human soul.
We can only prey for more classic memorable work from Mr. Fincher and for those future directors who are intent on making a gothic, psychological thriller, make sure you sit down and watch Seven with a pen and paper ready to take notes.
- Dark and disturbing thriller that will stay with you for ever.by 30 April 2004on
183 out of 220 people found the following review useful:
Rarely there has been a movie with such a good dark and chilling atmosphere. I even see this movie more as an horror movie than as a thriller because of that. "Se7en" is unique in many ways. The movies mood is already set right from the beginning on. The movie starts dark, intense, chilling and mysterious, a mood that is present throughout the entire movie. It's very depressing to watch and I mean that in a positive way of the meaning of the word. The mood is set by good camera work and lighting, or better said, the lack of it. The music from acclaimed composer Howard Shore also adds to the chilling atmosphere. Unlike many other movies from the same genre, the movie is slow paced and takes it time to develop the characters without falling into some obvious cliché's. The two main characters played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are presented as an unlikely police-couple that are different in many ways from each other but in a way that is also what makes them such a great couple. Brad Pitt for once has the opportunity to play more than just the pretty boy and he does it with success. Kevin Spacey truly plays a bone chilling character, almost just as legendary and chilling as Hannibal Lecter. I would very much like to see the two of them put in the same room, just to see who would make it out alive. Further more it was great to see R. Lee Emrey again as the police captain. The movie is filled with some truly gross, sickening and horrifying scene's, this seriously ain't no kids stuff! The movie has some of the most sickening murders I have ever seen featured in a movie. But it aren't just only the gross scene's that are good, there are also some scene's that are made with lot's of beauty and profession such as the library scene. Dark and chilling movie that you will never forget also thanks to the ending which I will not spoil for you. A real must see. 10/10
- Outstanding Performances / Great Storytellingby 4 December 2003on
165 out of 195 people found the following review useful:
This movie is from start to finish a well produced and directed film. The performances in this movie are outstanding. Brad Pitt, once again, makes his role a stand-out performance by putting his versatile acting skills into his interpretation of Detective David Mills. Morgan Freeman is well-cast. His brooding acting style fits the character (Detective William Somerset) like a glove, and Gwyneth Paltrow gives her best performance EVER in the role of Brad Pitt's supportive wife/lover (Tracy Mills). And of course, Kevin Spacey who plays the diabolical yet misunderstood serial killer.
The movie is suspenseful and in parts very exciting. There is a "Pseudo-Noir" quality to this movie that really fits in well with the content of the film (Serial Killing). It has it's philosophical moments that anyone who thinks a lot about the state of the world today can appreciate. It makes subtle moral judgements without insulting any beliefs that the viewer may have and it also generates debate for any post-film coffee/drinks gathering.
Andrew Kevin Walker (Screenplay) has taken the subject of the Seven Deadly Sins and he really puts a great new twist on these themes. As a writer, I really could appreciate the depth that he goes into with these ideas. The movie gives us just enough information to be entertained and informed yet not bombarded and made bored with too much philosophy. In this respect, the film doesn't "preach" any special meaning even though the film's moral statements are still maintained. This film can be enjoyed on so many levels and I really enjoyed the third act. One of the best pieces of storytelling and scriptwriting ever.
Outstanding performances from everyone involved (And yes, of course, David Fincher does a wonderful job) Say no more. *****
- A dark and disturbing masterpiece.by 6 May 2009on
114 out of 127 people found the following review useful:
It is a rarity for a film to be completely unsettling and yet unrelentingly gripping.
David Fincher's story takes place in a bleak and constantly raining city (never named) where urban decay and sleaze in all forms are rampant. Coming up to his retirement from the police force is Detective Lieutenant Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is tasked with breaking in his replacement, Detective Sergeant Mills (Brad Pitt) before leaving. Somerset is world weary, under no illusions about the futility of the daily role he plays and (initially) wants nothing more than to escape the grime and violence of the city. Mills on the other hand is convinced that he is going to make a real difference having voluntarily transferred to this precinct, bringing his wife to the city with him. Before Somerset can move on, a homicide comes in which he and Mills are assigned to investigate. But its only the first of a string of ritual murders that will be committed by a killer who is basing his crimes on the seven deadly sins as depicted in Dante's "The divine comedy".
To begin with, Se7en appears to be a standard "cops on the trail of a killer" story which shouldn't be too difficult for the audience to get comfortable with. But as we descend along with the characters into the merciless, brutal world without hope that they inhabit, you are left reeling at the events that unfold.
The two detectives enjoy an uneasy relationship with no real friendship ever striking up between them. The older Somerset is educated, astute and gives the impression of being emotionally burnt out. Mills, who has no respect for Somersets methodical investigating gets excited at the thought of solving a murder and firmly believes that the good guys will win eventually. The further we get into the action, the might of the evil that they face pushes both men beyond their limits.
This film draws heavily on biblical themes and you can certainly see similarities with such films as "The Seventh Seal" (1957). Both films show the price that good men have to pay when they fight evil and the unsettling truth that the rule book goes straight out the window when you are dealing with something so diabolical that it has no boundaries or limits at all.
Se7en shows us a world which has been destroyed by its own sins, a wasteland in which values are minimal. The killer, having nothing but contempt for this world, sees it as his mission to expose the faults and show everyone what they have become. It is a fascinating twist that when the killers motives become clearer, Somerset with his greater understanding actually feels some degree of empathy with him. This is lost on Mills though, whose level of clarity never reaches the same point.
A previous reviewer mentioned that you begin to expect the unexpected whilst watching Se7en and i completely agree. Eventually if you think of the most obvious outcome in any situation and predict that the opposite will happen, it usually does. Even the finale itself became kind of predictable because by then you are conditioned not to have any hope. This is a minor flaw though because the story is so well and so shockingly told.
Director David Fincher didn't pick up another script for 18 months, such was his exhaustion and frustration following the completion of Alien 3. Apparently he agreed to direct se7en after one reading of Andrew Kevin Walkers screenplay because he was drawn to its hard hitting delivery about inhumanity. He stated: "It's psychologically violent. It implies so much, not about why you did but how you did it". For the camera work specially altered film stock was used to make the visuals look as dark and unsettling as possible which is complemented well by Howard Shores music score.
The Most disturbing message that Se7en puts across, is that the fight against evil is destined to be a Pyrrhic victory. But regardless the only thing we can do is fight on whatever the cost. We have no other choice.
"The World is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
- Superbly crafted drama delves into darkest corners of the psycheby 16 August 1999on
120 out of 151 people found the following review useful:
David Fincher's bleak, relentless, and ultimately terrifying crime thriller Seven transcends other films of the genre with incredible plotting (the sort Hitchcock might employ were he alive and making films in the 1990s) and scalding intelligence. With only a small handful of minor flaws -- the overly familiar retiring cop/young cop pairing; the awful "I'm taking you off the case!" cliche seemingly required by the genre; one giant lapse in logic in the downward spiral toward the conclusion that cannot be revealed without ruining the script's gruesome surprise -- Seven typically keeps its viewers imprisoned in their seats with a combination of morbid fascination and abject fear. Despite attempts by studio executives to alter Andrew Kevin Walker's ending, the filmmaking team prevailed and audiences experienced that rare treat of mainstream cinema: an uncompromising vision.
- An uncompromising story, filthy, grainy visuals and terrific performances make Se7en a modern classicby 12 September 2004on
102 out of 122 people found the following review useful:
Se7En Se7en is just one of those movies that burrows deep under your skin and festers. Director David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker have created a bleak, desolate world where there are no real heroes, only sinners. An uncompromising story, filthy, grainy visuals and terrific performances make Se7en a modern classic. Det. William Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) has seen the human spirit at its worst throughout his 34 years of police service. He finally realises he has had enough of the horrors of the world and he becomes ready for retirement. David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a brash, hot-headed rookie cop who believes his big break lies in the murky, seedy unnamed metropolis. Amidst some cynicism, Sommerset takes on Mills as a partner for his last days. When two murders occur within two days of each other the duo realize that a serial killer is murdering his victims in accordance with the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. What follows is a terrifying and disturbing story of the dark side of human nature. Fincher's Noir York with endless rain, rain that fails to wash (to quote Travis Bickle) the filth off the streets, is a harsh look into urban life where decency is a rarity. Along with his cinematographer Darius Khondji, paints the screen with dark greys, blacks and yellow to hint at the rotting core of this environment. Freeman gives the film its most complex performance and moral core. His detective has grown weary of apathy and he slightly suggests an understanding of the despicable killer. On that note, Kevin Spacey delivers a chilling portrayal, a killer with a blankly human face and disturbing conviction. Writer Walker has written a cop-genre film with impeccable substance. Rather than a whodunit or an action movie, he has given birth to a story that pokes and prods at our psychic. It forces us to confront ourselves and question the next time we eat too much, or take too much time gelling our hair or even lash out in road rage. He questions our day-by-day apathy and ignorance to the savagery of human existence in a time of war, poverty, cynicism and most importantly sin.
- Stand out Thriller thanks to Fine Cast.by 21 August 2005on
88 out of 102 people found the following review useful:
A stand out film dealing with a particularly unpleasant Serial Killer, "Se7en" (along with "Silence of the Lambs"), is something of a milestone in this genre. An intelligent script, and admirable actors including the excellent Morgan Freeman, Prad Pitt, Gwenth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey, with a cinema noir style, and very grisly murders representing the Seven Deadly Sins. It is the performances however that lifts this movie above the average, Morgan Freeman as the older world wise detective, Pitt almost manic as his young enthusiastic sidekick, Poltrow plays the wife with a fine degree of sensitivity, and Spacey does his usual brilliant psycho routine. There is a pivotal scene with Freeman and Paltrow in a café which shows the depth of performances here. They are believable characters in a dark disturbing world wherein it always seems to be raining. An effective thriller with tight direction and atmospheric photography.
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