Lucky Number Slevin

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Josh Hartnett, Burce Willis, Ben Kinsgley, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Tucci, Lucy Liu. Crime thriller. Written by Jason Smilovic. Directed by Paul McGuigan.

Lucky Number Slevin is a non-linear comic thriller that twists and turns its way through an underworld of crime and revenge where nothing is as it seems. Set in New York City, a case of mistaken identity lands Slevin (Josh Hartnett) into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most notorious rival crime bosses: The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley) and The Boss (Morgan Freeman). Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat (Bruce Willis) and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot in order to stay alive.

Its always a frustration when a witty, sharply written Hollywood caper is also weighted down with R-content. Though this film keeps you on the edge of your seat, and though Josh Hartnett redeems himself for Hollywood Homicide, the 40-some obscenities and graphic violence clutter the proceedings. The sexuality, the language and the violence used here are exploitive, yet the delivery is so well mounted that those ingredients almost seem acceptable, suggesting that a quality film can be more desensitizing than a B-movie with similar content. Even more disturbing is the films anti-moral. We discover that this is a story about revenge, and those in it seeking vengeance go unpunished for their brutal deeds.

That leads us to a recommended video alternative. Often a films theme will easily remind me of another movie that presented similar motifs. Sometimes more effort is called for when searching for a positive backup. But every once in a while, a film itself suggests the perfect alternative. In this film, Alfred Hitchcocks North By Northwest is discussed between the protagonist and the villain. Definitely containing grownup subject matter, but the Master of Suspense presented his tale without excess. This quintessential mistaken identity thriller has Cary Grant chased by spies and the police across country, ending up in a precarious situation on Mount Rushmore. Everything came together on this one from supporting cast to musical score to erudite dialogue. The DVD set contains fascinating commentaries and featurettes.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of coarse sexual conversations.

Obscene Language: Around 40, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Jesus name and Gods are abused at least 5 times.

Violence: Most of the characters are eventually murdered, with lots of bloodletting; shootings, beatings and three characters are smothered, we watch as they slowly die with plastic bags over their heads. Blood: The bloodletting becomes gruesome as we see it splattering or leaking from wounded victims.

Sex: There are three sexual situations, two becoming graphic, one merely suggested.

Nudity: One scene with a couple in a sexual situation.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture:

Drugs: Drinking and smoking by several characters.

Other: Revenge is the motivation of the films protagonists. This desire is fulfilled and murders goes without punishment.

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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