The Limey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Limey Reviews

Page 1 of 36
April 22, 2018
"The Limey" is a revenge story with not much of a story. Luckily it makes up for it with a bit of style, with good acting moments, with a cockney accent and with a nice ending.
½ February 21, 2018
It is a pretty basic revenge plot. While there isn't really new content in this one, Soderbergh makes this film stand out through eccentric moodiness, a stylistic tone, and jumbled editing.
½ January 15, 2018
The Limey is a film directed by Steven Soderbergh in 1999. The film starts off following the lead character Wilson (Terence Stamp) as he arrives at the airport in Los Angeles. He has come to L.A. from England to further investigate the suspicious death of his daughter. He calls upon the help of a friend of his daughter named Eduardo (Luis Guzman) to help him further understand the incident. They both come to suspect a rich man involved in the music industry names Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda) had something to do with it so they investigate his involvements surrounding Wilson's daughter.
Even though the set up for The Limey is essentially a revenge flick Soderbergh does a great job in this film rounding out the characters and making it a step above a simple minded revenge flick. And this difference comes in large part due to a lot of the editing choices that were made during the making of this film. Through the editing Soderbergh is able to make the characters more dense and multi faceted than would normally be expected in a film like this. These choices ultimately hurt the films commercial success as it did poorly in the box office. However, it was a great success artistically and was given rave reviews by a multitude of critics.
Right from the start of the film Soderbergh makes a lot of interesting editing choices stylistically. And in different parts of the film there are moments when the editing tells the story in a very jumbled and disorganized fashion and then will go right back to a more linear approach. There is one moment in the film when Wilson is at a party this is significant because at the party Wilson encounters Terry Valentine for the first time, who he believes to be the person responsible for his daughter's death. This is one of the few times in the film where Wilson does not show control and instead of being calm and calculated he lets his emotions get the better of him for a moment. In the scene Wilson sees Terry across the room and starts to walk towards him. in his mind he walks towards him slowly lift up the gun he has with him and shoots Terry. He does the exact motion to the finest detail when he raises his gun in all of these daydreams so even in a moment when Wilson has supposedly lost control he is still very precise and professional. This exactness of Wilson is made even clearer because Terry does not have the same reaction in each vision when he is shot. Before he can actually reach Terry for real and act out his vengeance Eduardo comes up and stops him. Wilson later says that it is better that he didn't do it because it would have been too easy but if Eduardo would not have stopped him there is no doubt in my mind Wilson would have just gone through with it right there. The way these scenes are shot gives a great window into the clear-cut mentality of our anti-hero. At this point in the film revenge is very black and white for Wilson. He is determined that this is the man that is to blame for his daughters death so the only way that equation ends is with Terry's death.
There is another scene that uses very curious but clearly deliberated editing. I'm not positive what the purpose is for the editing but there is definitely something here. Later in the movie Wilson after being taken in by some police agents and gets taken to the man in charge. When he gets there the man questions him and in response Wilson gives a short analogy. In his story he talks about revenge and how he could have had revenge on someone after he got out of jail but once he got the opportunity he realized that it wasn't as important as he once thought and it wasn't what he wanted anymore and ends with talking about choices and the importance of the choices we make. This speech is very important because it draws a lot of comparisons to what Wilson goes through in this film. He feels like what he wants more than anything else in revenge for his daughter's death but when he finds out more he is not so sure what he wants by the end. To help accentuate this point in the speech to the viewer to make sure it is picked up as something that is important Soderbergh makes some interesting editing choices. During the speech it cuts between several different shots back and forth that give Wilson different framing. All of the shots are lower angle or close up both giving Wilson a more commanding presence in the frame. It helps bring attention to this scene outside of just any other average scene but in a very odd way for the viewer. All of the abrupt cuts almost make the scene seem surreal almost as if this were something that Wilson had come to realize or think of at this moment without actually telling anyone. This could be possible seeing as later in the film Eduardo mentions the fact that he never understands what Wilson says to which another character responds but I understand what he means. The editing helps the viewer key in on this moment and realize that it is a crucial moment in the film. It also brings up the idea of revenge again but instead of Wilson being blinded by it he looks at it in a more passive and understanding way starting to see how it can be in more of a gray area.
The theme of revenge comes back into play all through the film. More than just revenge the idea that revenge ultimately does not fix anything. All through the film Wilson paves a seemingly unstoppable path fueled by his undying need to avenge his daughters death and bring justice to her. But by the end of the film his strong determination towards revenge falters and he isn't as sure as he was in the beginning. His change is not drastic or even obviously noticeable, even after he makes this realization he still keeps his overtly stoic demeanor. However I feel it is even more profound and realistic to his character that he doesn't make some over the top life change he just has a moment of realization at the end and reacts to it. And I think there is a lot to that. That is a big moment for that character he realizes that not everything can be answered with violence and brute force sometimes things happen that cannot be simply fixed.
½ September 25, 2017
Thin script and typically poor acting from Stamp. A waste of two hours
August 20, 2017
It isn't the story that is what fascinates but how this movie is told with stylish editing and a loopy structure that attracts the audience. Terence Stamp brings a gutsy performance as a guilt stricken ex-con father and Luis Guzman gives the lite humor to make a throughly enjoyable, simple movie.
August 17, 2017
Beautiful locations, has a style all of its own from the disoriented structure to the subtle, but forceful performances. Both Soderbergh and screenwriter Dobbs are in-sync and develop an unique experience to a familiar revenge tale.
December 1, 2016
I'm not big on this experimental editing style. The story would have gained by having the nihilist gravitas of movies like Night Moves or Point Blank. Still, Soderbergh is a master of his craft and the truth is that The Limey offers a powerful trio of exquisite photography, performance and score.
July 18, 2016
Terence Stamp delivers a strong performance with no punches held. The editing makes it worth your time as well.
November 26, 2015
The past large looms large in this revenge film which casts Baby Boomer counter culture icons Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda, (Barry Newman of "Vanishing Point" fame and Joe Dellesandro of various Warhol films also appear), to which director Steven Soderbergh uses to it's fullest. Stamp plays a British ex-con who comes to LA following the death of his daughter, which was under suspicious circumstances, and is looking for answers and revenge upon the music producer mogul, Fonda, who was dating her at the time and who he believes is responsible. This film doesn't have the pacing of an action film and the action that the film does have is often subdued. The film has a dreamlike quality and I think that's the point of the film, that these baby boomers are now past their time and yet continue to exist in a time and place very unlike the prime days of their youth. However, I may be reading more into the film and it may be more simply a revenge picture with a theme about family. Either way, the film is excellent. Not all of the film works, as it is rather indulgent in parts to no real purpose of the whole (such as Nikky Katt's comic quips on a movie set or Stamp's monologues with over-the-top cockney slang), but that can be forgiven for the film's may delights. Stamp is absolutely commanding gin the lead and is the best part of the film, but Fonda is also deliciously slimy. I've also always been fascinated by bagman type of characters and Barry Newman is great as the guy who's likely been cleaning up Fonda's messes for year. Nikki Katt is also memorable as a hitman with his mute partner, Dellesandro. Katt has been acting for years, but this was the first film where I really took note of him. Soderbergh's regular composter Cliff Martinez also gives the film a hypnotic score that complements the films dream-like reality. You also get Bill Duke in an uncredited one scene role. Overall, this film is flawed, but a wonderful treat for fans of old style revenge pictures or of Soderbergh.
½ September 27, 2015
9/27/2015: Not what I was hoping for. It started as a good action flick, but died into a drama pretty quickly. Disappointing.
September 17, 2015
This may have been innovative stuff in 1999 but in today's world of revenge pics, angry dads, and urban horror this didn't really do much for me.

God bless Terence Stamp though.
August 24, 2015
The reason I watched this tale of a father's revenge on the man who killed his daughter was terence Stamp--he always gives an interesting performance-- and here he delivered.
June 5, 2015
Ugh I just couldn't get into it. I watched the whole thing, but I didn't like it.
May 25, 2015
Stamp kills it...this is how you do the thriller noir and do it really well.
January 31, 2015
Stamp's lead performance is excellent, the direction is great and the camerawork is superb. This all adds up to a gripping crime-thriller.
January 24, 2015
Damned good movie; I've re-watched it at least 4 or 5 times. Every role is well-done and the plot moves along crisply. A story well-told, with believable turns and plot points (not the stupid stuff you see in a lot of tv/movies).
I like revenge movies, and this is one really well done.
December 1, 2014
Steven Soderbergh has frequently stated how John Boorman's Point Blank was a seminal film for his style, and The Limey is the most telling reminder of this. Like that 1967 neo-noir classic, The Limey seeks to be an existential take on the typical revenge thriller, and utilizes a very unique non-linear narrative style. While Soderbergh's direction remains fairly steady, the editing is far more abnormal, and utilizes heavy use of flashbacks and jump cuts in a way that vaguely resembles Pulp Fiction on celluloid. It's more a cinematic flourish than a viable thematic construct, but it works, and keeps the Limey's slim script from ever being boring. Cinema fans expecting a great show-off between acting veterans Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda won't leave disappointed either, as both of the veteran actors deliver latter career highlights here, even if the finale comes off as a bit of a let-down. One of Soderbergh's most under appreciated films, and maybe his best.
August 22, 2014
Terence Stamp is a bigger badass in 'The Limey' than in 'Superman II'.
July 15, 2014
Great early movie by Soderbergh whose creative storytelling and editing choices really keep you on your toes as you watch. Stamp is incredible as the father out for revenge.
June 7, 2014
A very good, high-quality film with a simple but strong plot and story, great characters and acting, and very good cinematography. The setting is fantastic, and the movie has a very good atomosphere that's hard to explain but very good (moody maybe and dreamy). The direction is very good - the flashback thingy is a bit confusing, but also innovative. I like these kind of movies - they tell one personal story eschewing the complicated spectacle of many other films. Overall, a solid film that's a good watch and well-acted.
Page 1 of 36