Lucky Number Slevin

2006

Lucky Number Slevin

Critics Consensus

Trying too hard to be clever in a Pulp Fiction kind of way, this film succumbs to a convoluted plot, overly stylized characters, and dizzying set design.

51%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 154

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 336,759
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Movie Info

An innocent man visiting a friend in New York City becomes embroiled in a dangerous series of events after being mistaken for the very man he has come to the city to see in director Paul McGuigan's labyrinthine murder mystery. Upon arriving at the empty apartment of his old friend Nick, the unassuming Slevin (Josh Hartnett) is troubled to hear the voice of his missing friend's next door neighbor Lindsay (Lucy Liu) expressing concern as to Nick's safety and whereabouts. When Slevin ventures into Lindsay's apartment only to be greeted by the uninviting fist of a thuggish mob henchman, he quickly realizes that Nick is indeed in grave danger. Soon summoned by the big boss and accused of being the deeply indebted Nick, Slevin's attempts to prove his identity are foiled by the fact that his wallet had been stolen upon arrival in the city. With time running out and a complex plot to assassinate one of the city's most powerful crime bosses slowly coming into focus, the arrival of a notorious hit-man named Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) forces Slevin to step up his desperate search and reclaim his identity before he's forced to pay a debt that could cost him his life.

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Critic Reviews for Lucky Number Slevin

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (46)

Audience Reviews for Lucky Number Slevin

  • Apr 10, 2017
    As I continue my reviews with 501, I figured the best way to move forward was by taking a small step back to 2006 with Lucky Number Slevin. Nearly 11 years ago, Slevin was overshadowed by a plethora of other major milestones in the movie industry like Casino Royale, The Departed and Children of Men just to name a few. While none of it was difficult to predict and because it tried too hard to model itself off other movies of the same genre, Slevin takes a back seat to the aforementioned movies because of it's lack of desire to truly stand on its own. Josh Hartnett has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. He's attractive enough to get the rom-com roles we've seen him in before, but not attractive enough to really make a dent in that genre. He's a bit baby faced for roles involving gangster or tough-guy issues, but he pulls off the desired cockiness with ease. So where Slevin succeeds is when they let his attitude run wild. They compliment that with an assuredly goofy performance from Lucy Liu and an almost comic-book-like appearance from Bruce Willis. The plot is jumbled, and while we get some good background info on the proceedings to start the film, most of the "war" between Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley's dueling gangster bosses is left to the imagination. Instead of developing these two crime bosses, we get caricatures. Stanley Tucci's police detective really comes out of left field with his revelation in an unsatisfying way because of his lack of involvement with the rest of the characters outside of standard police work. Lucky Number Slevin won't wow you with its plot or capture you with its imagery. The dialogue and interaction is just campy enough to put on a good show.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2016
    A brilliant film, That for most of it leaves you scratching your head and the plot feels like it could be a mistaken identity comedy film, But if you hang in there it's worth it as the plot unravels and it's full of great twists and turns and is very clever, All the cast were great I'm just surprised it didn't get more praise, It is one of them films where if you don't pay full attention it won't make sense as it's very detailed but it's great and definitely worth the watch.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2013
    Lucky Number Slevin is a smart and thrilling noir crime drama. After falling victim to a case of mistaken identity, Slevin gets caught up in a rivalry between two competing New York crime lords. The cast is impressive, featuring strong performances from Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, and Bruce Willis. The storytelling is also especially good, and does a brilliant job building intrigue and unfolding the mystery as to who Slevin is and why he's being sought after. However, the dialog is a bit too clever for its own good and comes off as a bit rehearsed and artificial. Lucky Number Slevin has some rough edges, but it's entertaining and has a compelling story that's full of mystery.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2012
    The biggest thing I remember hearing about this film upon it's release was the mentioning of Ben Kingsley's Knighthood on the film poster. This seemed to create quite a stir, as professional credits don't normally include this. It transpired that is was all just a mistake but it overshadowed the film itself, which is a shame as this is quite a tight little mystery/thriller. Arriving in New York to stay at a friend's apartment, Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett) finds that his friend is missing and owes money to two very dangerous criminals - The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley). Added to which, Slevin finds himself mistaken for his absent friend and soon involved in a lot of trouble with them both. With the help of his friends neighbour Lindsey (Lucy Liu), Slevin tries to clear up the confusion. I've always been a sucker for films that twist and tease, keeping you perplexed and forcing you to keep up to speed. I like it when the script has actually been given some attention and one that demands the attention of the viewer. This is that type of film. It keeps you guessing and is not without a dark and lightness of touch either. It helps when there's an impressive cast assembled also and each of the performers involved here deliver fine pieces of work. Seeing old hands Freeman and Kingsley play off one another is a particular highlight. Ultimately, it's the convoluted nature of the story that impresses most though. Screenwriter Jason Smilovic and director Paul McGuigan add substance and style to the proceedings and keep you at just the distance from the characters' motivations. However, intricate and clever films also face the danger of becoming too loaded. For the most part, this film is a success but the denouement is a little muddled. For a film of this type to work, it needs to have a pay-off and this does have a satisfactory one. The only problem is, it has one two many. Without revealing too much, the fate of a prominent character seems like it's been tacked on and stinks of studio involvement, letting down an otherwise intricate and cleverly constructed film. A satisfyingly convoluted crime yarn with an impressive and eclectic mix of actors. However, the unravelling is a major demerit. Well, that and Bruce Willis' ridiculous hairpieces.
    Mark W Super Reviewer

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