Léon: The Professional Reviews

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.
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.
June 4, 2014
The Professional is intriguing, but misses the mark as a potential cult favorite.
June 4, 2014
The Professional is strictly amateur-hour.
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.
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.
June 4, 2014
Its strengths grate against the movie's glaring flaws, mainly its complete lack of credibility.
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.
September 26, 2007
A naive fairy tale splattered with blood.
September 26, 2007
Ultimately seems at once too deranged and too mechanical.
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.
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.
January 1, 2004
After a dazzling opening sequence, this one goes downhill fast.
May 20, 2003
The white-hot violence may look professional, but it will leave you cold.
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.
January 1, 2000
Oldman's character is so over the top, so utterly ridiculous that the audience may feel prompted to laugh unintentionally.
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.