Léon: The Professional Reviews

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Nick Rogers
Suite101.com
October 24, 2014
Luc Besson's original cut feels more like a journey than just a joy-buzzer jolt of action, and the deeper, braver, darker story he set out to tell - a fractured and fractious fairy tale. When people rave about "The Professional," they mean "Léon."
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Peter Galvin
sbs.com.au
June 4, 2014
No matter what uncomfortable undercurrents the film gives rise to, Besson's skill with action is inventive and creative (and of course over the top).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 4, 2014
Leave it to french writer-director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) to put a kinky twist on Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 4, 2014
Ultimately, like La Femme Nikita, there may be less here than meets the eye. But what does meet the eye is pretty darn thrilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
June 4, 2014
The sheer craziness and excessiveness of the movie -- no crazier, perhaps, than many of the American action movies it copies -- never finds a center of gravity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 4, 2014
The Professional is intriguing, but misses the mark as a potential cult favorite.
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
June 4, 2014
The Professional is strictly amateur-hour.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
June 4, 2014
Like Quentin Tarantino, Besson has a singular style and directorial sensibility that keeps you watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Alan Jones
Radio Times
June 4, 2014
Funny, tragic, brilliant and unmissable.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Andrew Lowry
Total Film
June 4, 2014
Having one career highlight performance in a film is a treat. Having three is just spoiling us, and the film is so solidly sold by the actors that it mostly manages to sidestep the potential queasiness in the Léon/Mathilda relationship.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
June 4, 2014
The most objectionable thing is Gary Oldman's performance, baroque in its awfulness. Almost as bad is the director's attempt to construct a visual style -- and, for that matter, characters -- by piling one mannerism on top of another.
Dennis King
Tulsa World
June 4, 2014
It's an American movie as seen by someone whose main frame of reference is American movies, not American life. Therefore, while it's draped in a cloak of gritty realism, Besson's movie is really a kind of bizarre cinemaphile fantasy.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
June 4, 2014
Its strengths grate against the movie's glaring flaws, mainly its complete lack of credibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times
June 4, 2014
Besson has a gift for amoral sleaziness that should serve him well over here. In his very first American film, he has gone straight for the smarm.
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
February 11, 2012
Leon: The Professional has style to spare.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
August 16, 2011
You'll enjoy the action, but you'll remember the movie because of Reno and Portman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Teresa Talerico
Common Sense Media
January 1, 2011
Stylish, mature hitman thriller is quite violent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 6, 2010
Mathilda is like no New York City girl-child I've ever seen riding the subway. And I couldn't take my eyes off her.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
March 26, 2010
Besson's incomparable film is almost impossible to beat and there's yet to be a director who could match his magnum opus...
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
May 16, 2009
"Leon The Professional" is a consummate hit man movie from the early '90s era in cinema when every young filmmaker wanted to be the next Tarantino. Luc Besson just had to be himself.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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