Léon: The Professional - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Léon: The Professional Reviews

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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
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 4, 2014
The Professional is intriguing, but misses the mark as a potential cult favorite.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Always at the back of my mind was the troubled thought that there was something wrong about placing a 12-year-old character in the middle of this action.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 26, 2007
Ultimately seems at once too deranged and too mechanical.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Besson fails to make much of New York's visual potential, and lazily asks that Leon's expertise be taken on trust. The shallowness was to be expected; the slackness is surprising.
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
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly
May 20, 2003
The white-hot violence may look professional, but it will leave you cold.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
November 14, 2015
A favorite of IMDb fanboys and reportedly of pedophiles as well, Leon: The Professional is noteworthy as marking French helmer Luc Besson's first American production as well as showcasing the film debut of a then-13-year-old Natalie Portman.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
Oldman's character is so over the top, so utterly ridiculous that the audience may feel prompted to laugh unintentionally.
Scott Renshaw
January 1, 2000
The Professional is all over the map, and its pretensions of being about anything more than its most unpleasant elements simply make it all the more unpleasant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Michael Dequina
January 1, 2004
After a dazzling opening sequence, this one goes downhill fast.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
August 30, 2004
The Professional is much too sentimental to sound shockingly amoral in the least. Even in a finale of extravagant violence, it manages to be maudlin.
Top Critic
Lisa Nesselson
September 26, 2007
A naive fairy tale splattered with blood.
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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.
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
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
June 4, 2014
The Professional is strictly amateur-hour.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Joshua Klein
AV Club
October 30, 2001
While a wisp of a plot involving a crooked cop drives Léon from setpiece to setpiece, it's the central relationship between hitman Jean Reno and young charge Natalie Portman that makes the movie so memorable.
Jeff Beck
The Blu Spot
November 17, 2015
Leon: The Professional is a wonderful character study, enriched by outstanding performances, thrilling action, and a well-rounded script that gives the film an intriguing amount of depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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
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