Layer Cake

2005

Layer Cake

Critics Consensus

A stylized, electric British crime thriller.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 140

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 147,854
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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.

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Critic Reviews for Layer Cake

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (36)

  • Layer Cake features all the doublecrosses, grasses and reversals of fortune that come as standard to the genre, but it is lifted by the uniformly excellent cast, the snide intelligence of the script, and the effortless pace of Vaughn's direction.

    Dec 26, 2017 | Full Review…
  • There's a proper lived-in believability about Layer Cake's depiction of how the worlds of the rich, the criminal and the criminally rich intersect.

    Jul 29, 2008 | Full Review…
  • I like Layer Cake a lot.

    Jun 20, 2005
  • It's a little bleak, a little twisted, a little gory, and a lot funny.

    Jun 11, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The film is lamentably short of narrative coherence.

    Jun 10, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 10, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Layer Cake

  • Nov 12, 2013
    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.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2012
    Okay, I enjoy Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrells and Snatch is one of my favorites, so I figured that Layer Cake would follow in the same spirit considering that Matthew Vaughn (producer of Ritchie's superb entertainers) was director. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I never would have guessed that I would have been watching a complete mess of a movie. There's little to like about Layer Cake. Daniel Craig is passable in the lead role, but other actors don't fare so well. Too many actors engage in scenes of shouting and cussing at each other to the point where they are no longer funny to listen to nor are they entertaining to watch. the dialog is dull and pale in comparison to the wit and hilarity of Snatch and Lock, Stock. Maybe I shouldn't be comparing this to Ritchie's films. However, without the comparison this film is still trash. The plot is completely incoherant. You have no idea what's going on and the frequent cuts and rough editing do nothing to help the cause. It feels like the film is nothing but scenes put together and there is no story to connect them. To make it better, you can't tell what the people are saying. Who are they talking about? I don't know, because I don't know the names of any of the characters and the main character of the story doesn't even have a name! Seriously, what the heck is going on? Maybe this movie does make sense, maybe there is a story, maybe these characters do have names and maybe they are releveant to said story. Point being, I can't tell. I don't know if I was too distracted by something to pay attention, or if I was paying attention but wasn't making any attempt to understand it. If it wasn't such a mess then I might remember just what the heck happened. What a garabage ending too.
    Drew O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    This is a good movie. It's not quite what I expected, as it's more of a drama than a comedy, but I still enjoyed it for it's characters, dialogue, and the twist and turns that it takes. This is a fine addition to the gangster genre. Colm Meaney kind of looks like an British Nick Nolte, right? I noticed that.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 31, 2011
    Along with Guy Ritchie, Matthew Vaughn is the probably the second biggest director from the UK at the moment with some huge films under his belt, he is also the British gangster film maker of our modern age along with Mr Ritchie having made 'Lock Stock' and 'Snatch' together. Those two films pretty much flash started the British gangster/underworld flicks back into being and created a whole load of copies in film style and imagery. 'Layer Cake' is Vaughn's attempt without his partner in crime (pun intended) and you can obviously see how that collaboration has rubbed off on him. The film is pretty much like 'Lock Stock' and 'Snatch' and could almost be the third in a trilogy really, the plot is a hotpot of subplots wrapped around one main plot which all intertwine and work off each other well. Although its very familiar by now in visuals, dialog and concept its still somehow good fun to watch hardcases, fumbling crooks and foul mouthed crime lords all batter each other trying to get money/drugs/women/guns etc...one or the other. It really is nothing new after the last two big Ritchie films it has to be said with virtually the same cast yet again, bar Vinnie Jones, the same outcomes and the same kind of violence all topped off with outrageously harsh cockney accents. Craig fits in quite well with this world as the well spoken sensible dealer and he does a good job unlike his usual wooden pouting performances, you do want him to win the day and its nice to see someone play a role in these types of films without a whole load of attitude and mouth. Don't expect anything new to the genre with this as its the same again from Vaughn but its neater, tighter and not as ludicrous as the previous big two Brit gangster flicks, its still a lairy little sod of flick though, bosh! 
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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