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Layer Cake (2005)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 6

A stylized, electric British crime thriller.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 146,011

My Rating

Movie Info

Just as a successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place among England's Mafia elite, eyes an early retirement from the business, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal neo-Nazi sect and a whole series of double crossings.


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

J.J. Connolly

Aug 23, 2005


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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (109) | Rotten (26) | DVD (23)

I like Layer Cake a lot.

June 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a little bleak, a little twisted, a little gory, and a lot funny.

June 11, 2005 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is lamentably short of narrative coherence.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (2)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The intricate thing dodges and feints and twists this way and turns that way until, by the time of the alleged resolution, we've lost our bearings completely.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's almost too much to follow, but the style, proven by Ritchie time and again, is irresistible.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A heavyweight gangster picture worthy of being included in with the greats.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Only the accents are thicker than double-crosses in a thriller that's stylish and sleek - note lyrically appropriate use of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" in one sequence - but also assuredly delirious, ethically hefty and unpredictably treacherous.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source:

"Layer Cake" is a stylized British noir full of clever twists, biting dialogue, and plenty of ironic violence.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

A história bem amarrada é beneficiada ainda pelo senso de humor seco e eficaz, ao passo que o elenco confere charme a um bando de personagens inescrupulosos e a direção de Vaughn, associada à inventiva montagem, torna o filme sempre instigante.

September 1, 2008
Cinema em Cena

[A] fun, snappy crime caper that begins with a wryly understated take on the "one-last-job-and-I'm-out" subgenre.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Intense story about low-level organized crime figures embroiled in a deadly conspiracy.

March 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

protagonist's narration puts the film's complex plot into much broader economic, political and cultural context.

November 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

A smart thrill ride with one magnificent finish.

October 7, 2005

Fun stuff indeed, even if you might need the subtitles to help decipher all the Britspeak.

August 23, 2005 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

It does nothing revolutionary, but it handles the basics with entertaining aplomb.

July 28, 2005 Full Review Source:

Just following what is going on is a big job, but the film has its rewards.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source:

Clean, crisp and gratifying, you'd be hard pressed to find a better British film this year.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

Layer Cake is not the most original or memorable picture in the world, but it's a great calling card for Vaughn.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

This is one of the few movies for which I can't tell you the name of the "hero."

June 27, 2005 Full Review
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

It's nothing we haven't seen before, but Vaughn invests it with enough style and energy to make it worth the trip.

June 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

...a delicious crime melodrama, with colorful characters, lots of action and violence, double and triple crosses, and a few fresh surprises of its own.

June 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

...Michael Vaughn, has cooked up a tasty treat in his directorial debut, somewhere between Mike Hodges' cool and Guy Ritchie's out-of-control Smoking Barrels.

June 15, 2005 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

It's occasionally taut and clever enough to hold audience attention, but ultimately has little substance to accompany its cool exterior.

June 14, 2005 Full Review | Comments (2)
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Crime caper in the style of Guy Ritchie, but better.

June 14, 2005 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Audience Reviews for Layer Cake

Stylish, energetic, but overall run-of-the-mill crime thriller, with a convoluted twisty plot and too many characters, which might be a good thing for fans of "Snatch", but I found it more manipulative and confusing than deep and engaging.
November 17, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

A kinetic and razor sharp crime-thriller. It packs style and brains. It's got the style of Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels, Resivor dogs and Goodfellas. It`s wild, fresh, stylish and frequently funny. It's brilliant, gripping, compelling and electrifying. Gangster films don't get any better than this. One endlessly cool flick that has you thinking right till the end. You'll be intrigued, thrilled and amused and definitely entertained. A pure and wickedly awesome adrenaline rush. A unique, clever, intelligent, hard-boiled and hard-edged flick that will have you on the edge of your seat. Director, Matthew Vaughn crafts a near perfect crime film and is a wonderful directional debut. Daniel Craig gives a sensational performance.
January 17, 2013

Super Reviewer

A sharply written, funny, violent look at the British crime scene where a middleman (Daniel Craig) wants desperately out of the trade, with one last job on his mind. A somewhat of a cliche plot structure is executed with style and offers enough surprises to keep it interesting, with Craig proving to be a fine fit for the leading man (it's easy to see why he got 007 after this). Director Matthew Vaughn definitely has skill behind the camera, while giving his film a Guy Ritchie gangster feel but also not coming across as a copycat. The ending is really well done, as it pokes fun at the normal, standard finale to a film like this by throwing in a ambiguous shot at its conclusion.
November 22, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Daniel Craig in one of his pre-Bond efforts, wherein a large shipment of drugs gone missing is the object of mucho consternation. Colm Meaney and Michael Gambon aid in ratching up the drama, but not enough to cause tension as is intended unfortunately. Still not a complete bore.
April 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Morty: [XXXX is beaten and bloodied on the ground] You killed crazy Larry?
    2. Gene: So? This fucker killed Jimmy! [kicks XXXX in the chest]
    3. XXXX: Oh. Jesus Christ!
    4. Morty: [grabs XXXX by his shirt] Why did you do it?
    5. XXXX: He was an informer! He was a police informer!
    6. Gene: Jimmy, a grass? Are you fucking mad? You'll have to do better than that.
    7. XXXX: I've got a recording at home, of Jimmy and a cozzer called Albie Carter.
    8. Morty: Gene, let's listen to this shit. If he's lying, we'll both fucking kill him.
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
    1. XXXX: [answering his phone] Who is this?
    2. Dragan: My name is Dragan.
    3. XXXX: How did you get this number?
    4. Dragan: Boatman Paul gave me your number, in the end.I believe you have some property that belongs to my employer and you're the person I should talk to about the return of this cargo stolen by your associate, the Duke.
    5. XXXX: Dragan, the Duke is nothing to do with me.
    6. Dragan: Mr. Duke came to Amsterdam, used your name, said he worked for you. Are you listening?
    7. XXXX: Dragan... I've got an idea. Why don't you come round for breakfast, I'll squeeze some orange juice and grind some coffee and we'll talk about this like adults, how does that sound?
    8. Dragan: Sounds very hospitable.
    9. XXXX: Do you know where I live?
    10. Dragan: No.
    11. XXXX: Well fuck off then. [hangs up]
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
    1. Morty: Why did you keep the gun?
    2. Gene: Silly as sounds, but it was me favorite.
    3. Morty: I hope you don't tell your other guns that you have a favorite. [Gene and XXXX laugh]
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
    1. Cody: [impersonating a police captain] Is the area now secure?
    2. Tiptoes: Yes sir.
    3. Cody: Well you can fuck off then, can't you?
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
    1. XXXX: Hey Gene, I've got some good news.
    2. Gene: Oh yeah? Whats that? [punches XXXX in the face] You murdering bastard!
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
    1. Clarkie: Where are we going Morty?
    2. Morty: Back to that boatyard. Someone is about to get a fucking slap.
    3. Terry: Yes Morty, about fucking time. [pats him on the back]
    – Submitted by David O (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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