Leaving Las Vegas

1995, Drama, 1h 51m

53 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Oscar-awarded Nicolas Cage finds humanity in his character as it bleeds away in this no frills, exhilaratingly dark portrait of destruction. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Adapted from the novel by John O'Brien, this acclaimed drama follows alcoholic screenwriter Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage) as he drinks himself into oblivion in Las Vegas. When Ben meets the beautiful prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue), they strike up an unconventional relationship -- one where she can't ask him to curb his drinking, and he can't fault her for her job. Though they offer each other support, Ben's self-destruction threatens to eclipse their bond.

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Critic Reviews for Leaving Las Vegas

Audience Reviews for Leaving Las Vegas

  • Jan 25, 2021
    This unglamorous, low-budget film packs more of a character study punch than the glitziest of Hollywood prestige dramas. We're shown two broken people seeking a glimmer of solace, even in the ugliest and most illogical of places. Without taking anything away from Nic Cage's Oscar-nabbing performance, Elizabeth Shue steals the show (and nabbed a well-deserved nom of her own). And if you think this is sexy because she's portraying a prostitute, then you're simply not paying attention. ‘Las Vegas' demonstrates an unflinching respect for the basic needs of a human soul no matter what hopelessness is faced and that makes it insanely legit.
    Marisol M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2020
    The gist of this story is a beautiful fantasy: a romance founded on the worst of ourselves. Nick Cage plays a alcoholic set on self-doom and Elisabeth Shue plays a prostitute with a singular will to her work, both character types exemplifying absolutely couple poison - and yet their relationship works despite those negatives. And so the charm of the film. What? Charming? A destructive couple heading for destruction? And yet therein is the beauty, that love can exist in spite of the worst of us. Cage single-mindedly pursues his objective without distraction, without pause, but Shue is a wonder as a soul who fully accepts her life choices but love gives her to wonder about those decisions. It's a new age noir in its way, worthy of a look at least, and certainly love given time.
    Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2015
    Why do so many people like this movie? It's awful! To be fair to Nic Cage, his acting isn't bad, but he sure as hell didn't deserve to win an Oscar for his performance. And the ending is probably one of the worst I've ever seen in a film. Do not see this piece of shit.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2015
    An awfully bleak and depressing drama that doesn't offer us any door or way in to connect with a deplorable alcoholic who only wants to die and a pitiable prostitute in need of his love - and her interview scenes are just intrusive, unnecessary and heavy-handed like most of the script.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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