Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

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Critic Consensus: A Dame to Kill For boasts the same stylish violence and striking visual palette as the original Sin City, but lacks its predecessor's brutal impact.

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Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Photos

Movie Info

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite. Weaving together Miller's classic stories with new tales, Sin City's hard-boiled citizens once again cross paths with more reviled inhabitants.

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Critic Reviews for Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (38)

To call Sin City noir is to misunderstand the genre, as perhaps Miller does. Each story ends pretty simply-in brutal fighting and murder-and lacks genuine intrigue or ambiguity.

Sep 22, 2016 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

Reviewers were forbidden from posting a word about this sequel until opening day, lest we give away the shocking secret that it's a carbon copy of its predecessor.

Aug 28, 2014 | Full Review…

There are a handful of ways in which A Dame to Kill For actually improves on the first movie. Alas, none are enough to prevent it from being a substantial disappointment.

Aug 22, 2014 | Full Review…

A Dame To Kill For isn't likely to create converts out of those uninterested in the pulpy side of fiction. But it more than earns its keep in terms of lavishing love, mildly ironic as well as pretty damn earnest, on pumped-up noir.

Aug 22, 2014 | Rating: 3/4

Miller's original comic-book frames serve narrative functions, but these movies are all grabby graphics, devoid of compelling style.

Aug 22, 2014 | Rating: D | Full Review…

You don't expect to be exhausted by reams of soul-sick narration and artful chiaroscuro compositions, but that's what happens.

Aug 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

½

Not really my favorite genre, but visually beautiful and Eva Green, so no grizzling from me.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Oddly lifeless prequel to the 2005 already-classic. While a superficial glance might make you think things are just like in the first film, actually, they're not. The effects look faker, the characters just don't click, or don't feel like the same ones anymore (excluding Rourke's Marv). Sure, there is some gory action, a lot of crime noir voice over and all that jazz, but it all feels so pretentious this time and leaves you so very indifferent, in worst cases even pisses you off. I don't wanna say this almost ruins the original, but now I dunno how to finish this sentence. Miss out on this if you can.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

I can't really decide which of the subplots is the dullest and most forgettable, or if Nancy's revenge story could have possibly been any less pointless or dragged any less had it been cut by half - everything so flat that it doesn't even make me want to write about it.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Holy silhouettes the sequel finally arrives, a cool nine years after the original hit. A direct sequel that follows on from the original with all the characters we know and love, two stories from the original comic/graphic novel, and for some reason two entirely new stories. This time Tarantino does not direct anything leaving it to Rodriguez and Miller, whilst Rodriguez leaves the writing entirely to Miller...if any of that matters or you're interested. The movie is a jumbled mix of both sequel and prequel storylines which hark back before the original movie whilst tying up loose ends. The first tale called 'Just Another Saturday Night' follows on with the deeds of Marv who still looks out for Nancy. A very brief introduction which merely showcases Marv taking down some punk frat boys in his old neighbourhood. 'The Long Bad Night' is the first new tale which sees the young cocky card shark Johnny taking on his corrupt father (Senator Roark) at cards and beating him badly. He is warned to flee the city but shrugs this threat off and goes out on the town with his new blonde floozy Marcie. Roark and his goons catch up with him, severely beat him, take back their money and dump him. 'A Dame to Kill For' is a prequel that is set before the original story 'The Big Fat Kill' in the first movie. It shows Dwight as a private eye, trying to be a decent man, but is lured back to the dark side by the rich and sexy Ava Lord. Basically Ava wants Dwight to kill off her rich husband so she can claim all his fortune, naturally lots of double dealing, back stabbing and trickery ensues. 'Nancy's Last Dance' is the second movie exclusive tale which is set four years after 'That Yellow Bastard'. Nancy is still suffering from depression after Hartigan killed himself back in the first flick. Eventually sick of suffering in silence she asks (tricks) Marv into helping her kill Roark, her thirst for revenge must be quenched. So this is Sin City and we all know what to expect after the fantastic original movie back in 2005. Naturally this sequel gives you exactly what you crave with slightly bigger doses. The visuals are of course the movies selling point and they don't disappoint with those gorgeous bleak black and white comicbook-esque panel shots, the only things missing are the speech bubbles and text. Everything is once again mainly cast in shadow and silhouettes with only the odd hint of colour from various items, objects or body part. So amidst the bold stark blacks, whites and grey scale you might see a bright red classic car, or a splattering of red blood, or a pair of green eyes or a red item of clothing, red being the popular colour used more often. But seriously I don't need to talk much about the visuals, you all know why this franchise looks so lush, well wash rinse and repeat here, but that's a good thing. The small short stories are also just as good as before (they should be seeing as they are continuations) offering some great interweaving plots. The fact that we get a prequel mixed in along with the sequels/present day stories was a surprise to me, not being a fanboy of the franchise, and I liked that. At first I found myself struggling to figure out what was going on and this did require me to do a bit of quickfire homework on the older stories from the first movie, but once I had gotten my head around all the U-turns and twists I found myself enjoying it. I think the problems with this movie stem from the fact its been so long since the first movie. People's enthusiasm has understandably died down since 2005, not because the franchise is no longer any good but because the first movie was such a fresh and original blast which hadn't really been seen before. The visuals were amazing to see back in 05, a real graphic novel/comic come to life! of course since then special effects have improved and this visual style no longer has the wow factor it once did. The space between movies has also meant casting no longer retains continuity unfortunately. Most of the main characters are played by the same stars but many are not. Manute is now played by Dennis Haysbert who really can't and doesn't hold a candle to Michael Clarke Duncan, Bob is played by Jeremy Piven instead of Michael Madsen and Miho is no longer played by Devon Aoki. While this isn't the end of the world and most of the other players are still present and correct it did let the film down in my opinion. Had this not taken so long to be made then I'm confident the cast would have remained the same 100% which always feels better. Honesty I have always hated it when they recast a character for a sequel, even if it works, I just prefer continuity. Not knowing anything about the original yarn, at first I thought the casting of Brolin as Dwight was a horrendous cock-up because he looked nothing like Clive Owen. I have of course since found out his character origins and now know the character was suppose to look completely different for the prequel story. Alas the change of casting still has a negative effect because when we see the new Dwight with his new face that is suppose to be the face we know from the first film, it very obviously looks nothing like Owen. Speaking of the cast I must also add that I really don't understand why the awful looking Ava Green was cast in this, I'm guessing mainly for her period looking looks (the 50's). People are saying she can act but I just don't see it, plus I really don't find her attractive with her many body moles yeesh! I preferred the original choices of Selma Hayek and Rose McGowan. Even though I did enjoy the movie for the most part some things still did bother me, much like the first movie. As we get towards the climatic finale the action does become even more outrageous and reality bending. In fact much of the violence in this movie is like that, yes I realise its a comicbook flick adaptation but the thing I did like about this franchise (other than the sweetass visuals) was the fact the violence in general was gritty and semi-realistic (at first at least). Unfortunately both movies do descent into ridiculous action mode much like 'Kick-Ass' and other Rodriguez nonsense 'Machete'. Rodriguez's violent action style is very clear and in all honesty I don't like it for the most part, it has its place and can work but too much of it is not good and he uses it in virtually everything he does. This movie didn't quite have the same sense of grandness or scale that the first movie had, the cast isn't quite as impressive either, but I don't think it was ever gonna beat the first one. It tries to be sexy but in my opinion comes across as terribly vanilla half the time with laughable, apparently sexy outfits for the ladies and some rather limp strip club dancing to boot (what's sexy about a girl in cowboy attire?). Easily picks up top marks for artistic style and sticking to its adult orientated guns (always a plus these days). I love the trashy seediness, the period setting and some of the characters, although the excellent main score from the first movie is missed greatly. Its cold, its kinky and its dark, all agreeable ingredients which in my humble opinion gave us a reasonably solid followup.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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