Mona Lisa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mona Lisa Reviews

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December 13, 2015
A noir film that becomes a thriller with a relation of hate sympathy between a whore and her driver an ex convict.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2015
Neil Jordan's brilliant complex drama about a lonely working class ex-con named George, played magnificently by the late great Bob Hoskins, in an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe winning performance, who has been released from prison after doing 7 years for taking the rap for a crime he did not commit for his slimy underworld boss, superbly played by Sir Michael Caine, who delivers a compelling menacing supporting performance. George soon is back on Caine's payroll, as an exclusive driver for a high class black call girl, Simone, played wonderfully by Cathy Tyson. George becomes obsessive with the exotic Simone and begins to fall in love with her. This will lead to a dark and bloody path for George and Simone. Astute direction by Neil Jordan, with fine supporting performances by Robbie Coltrane, Clarke Peters, Kate Hardie, Zoe Nathenson, and Sammi Davis. An 80s cinematic classic. Highly Recommended.
May 31, 2015
Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, and Michael Caine are all excellent in this dark romance. Great writing and music
½ October 28, 2014
awesome movie about the description of the underworld of s well made with a great acting and story.Everything suits well without being exaggerated(except one scene or two)
Itr s a nice story and a must watch for growing teenager and everyone above that age.Nice story.
½ July 21, 2014
Bob Hoskins is amazing in this. George is a really interesting character, and oddly very sympathetic. Cathy Tyson is also very good; I don't think I've seen her in anything else, unfortunately. Well directed by Neil Jordan as well.
June 23, 2014
Bob Hoskins gives off an astonishing performance in here.
May 15, 2014
wow brilliant......i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is such a great movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that bob hoskins (.R.I.P.), cathy tyson, michael caine, robbie coltrane, kate hardie, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this drama/romance/mystery/suspense/thriller movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....i think that michael caine was brilliant throughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie.......i think that bob hoskins (.R.I.P.), was fantastic throughout this movie........i think that Joe Brown as Dudley, was great throughout this movie.......its got good fight scenes thorughout this movie......its got good car chases throughout this movie......i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie........i think that Maggie O'Neill (from the brilliant tv series shameless), was great throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch i think that this is such a superb movie 2 watch......i think that Perry Fenwick was great throughout this movie......its got good fight scenes throughout this movie......i think that this is such a cult classics movie 2 watch its such a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant classics movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......
April 30, 2014
A beautiful film that Hoskins should have won best actor for.
April 30, 2014
In memory of Bob of his best roles (he was nominated for an Oscar for it)..also one of Neil Jordan ("he Crying Game") best movies as well. Highly recommended.
½ April 15, 2014
I really enjoyed this as a comedy, so the third-act turn into overwrought, puritanical drama was a bit of a letdown. Still, Hoskins is hilarious, and his rapport with Tyson and Coltrane in the early scenes is very entertaining. It's really a shame that Jordan feels he has to hew to the cliché that stories about prostitution have to end in grand tragedy. It sucks all the fun out of the movie. Also it's very weird seeing Lester Freamon/Big Chief Lambreaux playing an evil villain.
½ January 31, 2014
Mona Lisa (Neil Jordan, 1986)

I watched Mona Lisa towards the end of December, after I had set the first draft of my Best I Saw list for 2013. When I was finished, I immediately went to that list and had to rearrange it. Neil Jordan took the British gangster film (and he was serious about making sure people knew it was a British gangster film, to the point of casting the British gangster film stalwart, Bob Hoskins, the Ray Winstone of the eighties), added some of that Neil Jordan magic that few people recognized that early in his career (Mona Lisa was Jordan's third feature), and came up with something that simultaneously revelled in being a British gangster film and something that was also totally new. I'm not sure there is such a thing as the definitive British gangster film, and if it does exist, I'm certain it happened well before 1986. Besides, Mona Lisa breaks far too many molds to be a definitive anything... and yet, somehow, it is, a quick, genre-bending, exceptionally intelligent piece of work.

George (Hoskins) is a small-time mobster who has just been released from prison for a crime he didn't commit-he took a fall for his boss, Mortwell (Michael Caine), who's now avoiding him. He tries to pick up a bit of make-work until he gets back in good with his old mob, and Mortwell, through a proxy, throws him a bone as the driver for a high-class courtesan, Simone (The Serpent and the Rainbow's Cathy Tyson in her feature debut). The two of them have some rough edges to get through, but eventually end up bonding. Once that occurs, Simone asks George for a favor-she promised a fellow courtesan that she would look after her, and the two of them have lost touch over the years. Could George find her? And thus, the mobster becomes an amateur detective, leading to a sequence that's equal parts comedy and homage to Taxi Driver.

See what I mean about genre-bending? That's a tough thing to do, and the more movie I watch the more I understand how tough it is, but Jordan handles everything he tries here with aplomb. Every decision here was made correctly, from casting to camera angles, with one arguable exception (it is obvious, given that a section of the film is a full-length rendition of the Genesis song "In Too Deep" over a montage of George doing his sleuthing, that the studio paid highly for the song and damned well meant to fully showcase it). It is perhaps not a perfect film, but if it is not, is is about as close to one as I have seen in quite a while; this is fabulous filmmaking, and it doesn't matter what genre you are most into, you are likely to find a bit of it here; this is a movie that by rights should have appeal to the widest swath of filmgoers of any I have seen in many years. **** 1/2
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2013
Lots of raving about this film but I didn't find this to be an example of the best of Hoskins and Caine. The alleged grittiness and heart wrenching romance are not as wrenching as you might imagine.
December 5, 2013
Effective film which gets away with its major flaws--In the underbelly of London!!
December 4, 2013
This film has heart in the midst of darkness. Bob Hoskins, plays a loser who is employed as a chauffeur to a high-class call girl. He journeys through the london underworld, in trying to find love. Neil Jordan does a great job in exploring love as a weakness. Hoskins and Tyson have great chemistry and michael caine is just brilliantly evil.
November 16, 2013
Very dated and rubbish acting. Men make me sick the way some treat women. They should remake this film it would be much better with a modern day version.
November 2, 2013
another pic about thugs n hookers
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2013
A riveting, intelligently scripted drama concerning an ex-con (Bob Hoskins) fresh out of prison, who picks up a job as a driver for a high-priced prostitute (Cathy Tyson), who he eventually becomes infatuated with to the point where he makes a concerted effort to track down a close friend of hers that she lost in the dangerous business. An extremely well-paced, arresting tale full of twists, anchored by a ferocious, phenomenal performance from the always under-rated Hoskins makes this film a gem. The story is terrifically written, with a realistic, heart-wrenching twist in the midst of it all. While director Neil Jordan gets noted mostly for the well-done "The Crying Game", to me, this is the best movie he has done, at least that of what I have seen. Michael Caine is also great in a slimy turn against the types of characters he usually plays, and he pulls it off well, but this movie is mainly all Hoskins.
June 18, 2013
An ex convict is repayed for taking a fall for his crime boss simply by becoming the driver of a fancy call girl. Eventually, he falls in love with her and helps her look for a female junkie whose life is under threat. Neil Jordan's idisosyncratic thriller, which feels a lot like a modern noir, once again takes us through the London underground of sexual perversion and prostitution, yet has an unlikely sweet inner core, coveyed by the Nat King Cole song which opens up the film. The elelent of the central odd couple, with Bob Hoskin's great performance, falling for the charms of the popular call girl with an imposing presence is very intriguing.
June 15, 2013
I don't understand how this masterpiece is overlooked that it's not included in a simple 100 greatest films of all time when Forrest Gump and lesser movies are included. It's all about the script!
½ May 30, 2013
Worth watching just for Hoskins alone with Coltrane and Caine heading up a strong supporting cast. Its perfectly 80s (strip club scene soundtracked by Phil Collin's In Too Deep) and perfectly British too. It's beautifully bleak and has cult-classic all over it and there's enough there for it to live up to that image.

The plot is strong even if the dialogue isn't always(it certainly is at times though) and there's a nice tone of seediness with some light comedy for relief and some good drama to keep the intensity going. Its a good film noir at times that works as a thriller, romance, drama and comedy- there's something sweet to it despite its setting within the dark underworld of the sex trade.

It really does feel like a classic but one that doesn't deserve much recognition for it, its hard to explain but it feels perfectly placed to be underrated and I do believe that it is. Despite Hoskins giving a powerhouse performance at the front there's enough characters to analyse elsewhere. Its subtly impressive and surprisingly versatile and multi-faceted upon inspection, and on top of all this its also entertaining- one could easily only half pay attention to this one and miss all of the finer details but still find it worth watching.

Its a bit overly-serious at times in a mechanical way, a strange feeling from movies from the 60s onwards that somehow seemed to disappear in the 90s. Its grimly artistic at times with some well-shot scenes reflecting dark sexual aggression but Hoskin's performance also manages to keep it likeable, there's one scene in particular that was wholly serious but ended up leaving me with a slight smile thanks to Hoskin's character. Its a memorable film because of moments like that- ones that don't seem fully intentional but would require such fine crafting to pull off that they must be.

the ending does feel a little rushed but its a real ending even if its not as finely-crafted as other parts of the movie. All in all, a seriously good movie and a prime example of British cinema in its prime.

"You like her in that special way, like in the songs."
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