Seven (Se7en) (1995)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.

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Director David Fincher's dark, stylish thriller ranks as one of the decade's most influential box-office successes. Set in a hellish vision of a New York-like city, where it is always raining and the air crackles with impending death, the film concerns Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a homicide specialist just one week from a well-deserved retirement. Every minute of his 32 years on the job is evident in Somerset's worn, exhausted face, and his soul aches with the pain that can only come from having seen and felt far too much. But Somerset's retirement must wait for one last case, for which he is teamed with young hotshot David Mills (Brad Pitt), the fiery detective set to replace him at the end of the week. Mills has talked his reluctant wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), into moving to the big city so that he can tackle important cases, but his first and Somerset's last are more than either man has bargained for. A diabolical serial killer is staging grisly murders, choosing victims representing the seven deadly sins. First, an obese man is forced to eat until his stomach ruptures to represent gluttony, then a wealthy defense lawyer is made to cut off a pound of his own flesh as penance for greed. Somerset initially refuses to take the case, realizing that there will be five more murders, ghastly sermons about lust, sloth, pride, wrath, and envy presented by a madman to a sinful world. Somerset is correct, and something within him cannot let the case go, forcing the weary detective to team with Mills and see the case to its almost unspeakably horrible conclusion. The moody photography is by Darius Khondji; the nauseatingly vivid special effects are by makeup artist Rob Bottin, best known for more fantasy-oriented work in films like The Howling (1981). ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
Rating:
R
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
New Line Cinema

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Cast

Morgan Freeman
as Det. William Somerset
Brad Pitt
as Det. David Mills
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Tracy Mills
Kevin Spacey
as John Doe
R. Lee Ermey
as Police Captain
John C. McGinley
as California
Richard Roundtree
as Martin Talbot
Heidi Schanz
as Beautiful Woman (Sin of Pride)
Michael Massee
as Man in Booth at Massage Parlor
Richard Schiff
as Mark Swarr
Gene Borkan
as Eli Gould (Sin of Greed)
Richmond Arquette
as Delivery Man
Mark Boone Jr.
as FBI Man
Richard Portnow
as Dr. Beardsley
John Cassini
as Officer Davis
Leland Orser
as Crazed Man in Massage Parlor
Alfonso Freeman
as Fingerprint Technician
Hawthorne James
as George the Night Guard at the Library
Michael Reid Mackay
as Victor (Sin of Sloth)
Emily Wagner
as Detective Sara at John Doe's Apartment
Bob Stephenson
as Cop on SWAT Team
Endre Hules
as Cab Driver
Reg E. Cathey
as Dr. Santiago
Pamala Tyson
as Thin Vagrant by John Doe's Apartment
Shannon Wilcox
as Woman Cop Behind Desk
Lennie Loftin
as Policeman Who Takes Statement From Vagrant
Brian Evers
as Duty Sergeant
Allan Kolman
as First Forensic Man in the Law Office
Ron Blair
as Second Cop at Massage Parlor
Daniel Zacapa
as Det. Taylor
George Christy
as Workman at Door of Somerset's Office
Julie Araskog
as Mrs. Gould
Dominique Jennings
as TV News Reporter
Lexie D. Bigham
as Sweating Cop at Massage Parlor
Bob Collins
as Second Guard at the Library
Peter Crombie
as Dr. O'Neill
Andrew Kevin Walker
as Opening Scene Corpse (uncredited)
Bob Mack
as Gluttony Victim
Andy Walker
as Dead Man at 1st Crime Scene
Duffy Gaver
as Marksman in Helicopter
David Correia
as First Cop at Massage Parlor
Charles Tamburro
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Tudor Sherrard
as Coupon Man Outside Pizza Parlor
Harrison White
as Cop on SWAT Team
Martin Serene
as Wild Bill
Mario Di Donato
as Fingerprint Forensic Man in Law Office
Evan Miranda
as Paramedic at Massage Parlor
Jimmy Dale Hartsell
as Library Janitor
Cat Mueller
as Hooker (Sin of Lust)
Roscoe Davidson
as First Guard at the Library
Charline Su
as TV News Reporter
Beverly Burke
as TV Anchor Woman
Sarah Hale Reinhardt
as Police Sketch Artist
Paul S. Eckstein
as Paramedic at Massage Parlor
Jim Deeth
as Helicopter Pilot
John Santini
as Helicopter Pilot
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News & Interviews for Seven (Se7en)

Critic Reviews for Seven (Se7en)

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (25)

Unfortunately, most of the scenes in Seven are unlikely, which means that by the end of the movie the duo is battling not just an insane killer but an off-the-wall screenwriter.

Full Review… | March 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

There's none of the humor that takes the sting out of slasher movies, and certainly none of the psychology and depth that made The Silence of the Lambs such an intellectual thriller.

Full Review… | March 25, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Were it not for the gravity and thoughtfulness of Morgan Freeman's performance as a retiring policeman, and the third-act appearance of its bizarre villain, Seven would be unendurable.

Full Review… | March 25, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The reason to see Seven, which is decidedly not for the faint of stomach, is not for the punishment of sin, but the many virtues of Freeman's contribution.

Full Review… | March 25, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The odd thing about Seven, however, is that except for its facile, familiar and ridiculously gimmicky plot, it's a pretty involving murder mystery.

Full Review… | March 25, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The movie is riveting in a gut-twisting way, but I, myself, would not call it "entertaining."

Full Review… | July 24, 2013
CNN.com
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Seven (Se7en)

½

David Fincher's sophisticated thriller is filled with daunting symbolism and an open-ended vision of grisly imagery. Se7en is a psychological fabrication of thematic scope and suspenseful sequences that pays off in the mid 90s and is still revered as one of Fincher's best and a cinematic tour de force. 4.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

½

Se7en is a worthwhile crime thriller thanks to solid performances, an intriguing mystery plot, and a memorable finale that will have you on the edge of your seat. The film has a sense of dread that is palpable and has enough moments to keep you engaged throughout, but it is really about the climax. The film clocks in at just over 2 hours and feels like it is a little slow in places, but it is worth sticking till the end. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman make a great pair playing opposite personalities and the killer is played memorably by a great actor that I won't give away for spoiler reasons. I can see why some people don't like this film. It is slow, gory, and unrelenting. Ultimately, Se7en ends up memorable for me despite its flaws.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

A retiring detective and his young successor investigate a series of bizarre murders based on the seven deadly sins. The lukewarm reception for David Fincher's debut Alien 3 resulted in most writing him off as another style over substance hack from the MTV generation, but boy did he learn from his mistakes. No-one was expecting his follow up to be much of interest; let alone a virtual modern masterpiece. Fincher had clearly been studying the stylistic hallmarks of Ridley Scott, and the dark, brooding atmosphere crossed with artistic visuals are very much in his tradition. Although the formula of world-weary educated gentleman cop teamed up with a young hot head is hardly an original one, excellent performances and intelligent writing steer the material clear of cliche, and the imagery of the grotesque never descends into unnecessary gore or sensationalism. Complimented by a suitably claustrophobic soundtrack and a brilliantly unpredictable plot twist, I struggle to see how this film could have been any better. In the absurdly overcrowded marketplace of the serial killer movie, this stands head and shoulders above the rest as the very, very best of the genre. And yes, that includes the over-rated Silence Of The Lambs.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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