The Limey (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Limey (1999)



Critic Consensus: Crafted with eccentric moodiness and style by Steven Soderbergh, The Limey is also a gritty neo-noir showcase for the talent of leading man Terence Stamp.

Movie Info

Two actors best known for their work in the late 1960s, Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda, star in The Limey, a drama in which a recently released felon contemplates the gulf between aging criminals like himself and their modern counterparts. Wilson (Stamp) is a British career criminal who has been released after nine years in prison. He has learned that his daughter Jenny died under suspicious circumstances in Los Angeles, so he travels to America for the first time to find out what happened and who's responsible. With the help of an ex-con named Ed (Luis Guzman), Wilson discovers Jenny was romantically involved with Valentine (Fonda), a middle-aged record producer with a shady past and a fondness for young women. In hopes of getting the truth -- and getting to Valentine -- Wilson finds himself doing battle with some of the worst criminals to crawl from the underbelly of Los Angeles; along the way, he also meets Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren), an older actress who knew Jenny and reminds Wilson of how little he really did for his daughter while she was alive. Steven Soderbergh's first film after his commercial comeback with 1998's Out Of Sight, The Limey features, along with Stamp and Fonda, two other notable 60's actors in supporting roles, Barry Newman and Joe Dallesandro. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for violence and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lem Dobbs
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 20, 2001
Artisan Pictures - Official Site


Joe Dallesandro
as Uncle John
Peter Fonda
as Valentine
Bill Duke
as Head DEA Agent
William Lucking
as Warehouse Foreman
Nancy Lenehan
as Lady on Plane
Wayne Pére
as Pool Hall Creep
Ousan Elam
as DEA Guy
Dwayne McGee
as DEA Guy
Brian Bennet
as DEA Guy
Allan Graf
as Gordon
Carl Ciarflio
as Warehouse Thug
George Marshall Ruge
as Warehouse Thug
Lincoln Simonds
as Warehouse Thug
Rainbow Borden
as Warehouse Sweeper
Michaela Gallo
as Young Jennifer
Jose Perez
as Teen Gun Dealer
Alex Perez
as Teen Gun Dealer
Brandon Keener
as Excited Guy
Jim Jenkins
as Party Guy
Mark Gerschwin
as Party Guy No. 2
Brook Marie Bridges
as Child Actress
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Limey

Critic Reviews for The Limey

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (28)

The crimer suffers from a slim, underdeveloped script by Lem Dobbs (who also write Kafka), but benefits from Soderbergh's astute direction that posits two 1960s cinematic icons, Brit Terrence Stamp and American Peter Fonda as long-time enemies.

Full Review… | November 9, 2006
Top Critic

Those interested in more challenging work will find the film a unique meditation on the nature of Hollywood.

Full Review… | February 21, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

An apparently simple movie that demands and rewards a deeper look.

Full Review… | April 25, 2003
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A first-rate crime thriller and further proof that director Stephen Soderbergh is one of our great contemporary film stylists.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

One of the smartest and honestly exciting movies of the year!

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Sleek, stylish.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Limey

This is the classic revenge thriller, as tweaked by Steven Soderbergh.

Terence Stamp stars as WIlson, the titular character, who is a recently released career criminal who travels to Los Angeles to investigate the death of his estranged daughter, whom he is told died of mysterious circumstances. Besides being about a man who is out for straight up vengeance, and really not much more, it also touches upon the divide between old school criminals like Wilson, and their modern day counterparts.

The film is pretty clear cut, and Soderbergh is maybe one of the few directors who can really get away with such a basic, single minded premise with not much else backing it up. Even though the film doesn't have much depth to it, it oozes style, mood, and tone, and is really rather mesmerizing.

I also liked how the film is a meeting of two titans of 60s cinema, with the British Stamp going up against America's Peter Fonda as the shady record producer Valentine who was involved with Wilson's daughter, and is thus the prime suspect in her "accidental" death. Both are amazing, but this is easily Stamp's film through and through, and a real showcase for him. Luis Guzman is pretty terrific as Ed, an acquaintance of Wilson's daughter, and perhaps the only person he can trust. He's pretty much the guiding light here, as he;s the one who contacted Wilson about his daughter, and provides him basically everything he needs to complete his quest. Barry Newman is also pretty awesome as Avery, Valentine's chief of security. Nicky Katt also makes a brief appearance as a hitman associated with Avery, but he could have been used a little more. He's good for how much we get him, though.

Being a Soderbergh film, it's got a great amount of style, slick production values, and is shot masterfully. Some of the proceedings get rather dark and intense, but thankfully there's a nice undercurrent of sly humor. One of the coolest things going on here is the creative integration of footage from an old Stamp film from the 60s as bits of flashback sequences.

This really isn't a deep film, and while it is pretty cut and dried, and just a variation on a theme, it's somehow gets a pass because Soderbergh just has this touch that elevates even the most unoriginal concept into something fresh and entertaining.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


If it weren't for the assured direction of Soderbergh, 'The Limey' would be a simply forgettable film. In a way, it kind of is. Stamp's performance is a little sketchy and the script a little rugged, but Soderbergh's thriller has a tasteful touch of noir that does it a solid amount of good.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

I rarely like these new stylistic thrillers from directors like Soderbergh, but this had a great story and great actors starring in it. I should watch it again soon.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Limey Quotes

– Submitted by Gene O (31 days ago)
– Submitted by Moe J (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Moe J (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Limey on our Movie forum!