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critics consensus

Sexy Beast rises above other movies in the British gangster genre due to its performances -- particularly an electrifying one by Ben Kingsley -- and the script's attention to character development. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Ex-villain Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) has served his time behind bars and is blissfully retired to a Spanish villa paradise with a wife he adores. The idyll is shattered by the arrival of his nemesis Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), intent on persuading Gal to return to London for one last big job. Desperate not to sacrifice his enchanted existence, Dove is drawn into a shocking battle of wills with Logan, and takes part in a sensational underwater heist, risking everything to protect the woman he loves.

Cast & Crew

Ray Winstone
Gary "Gal" Dove
Ian McShane
Teddy Bass
Hercules Bellville
Associate Producer
Denise O'Dell
Co-Producer
Peter Watson
Associate Producer
Ivan Bird
Director of Photography
Jan Houllevigue
Production Designer
John Scott
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Sexy Beast

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (18)

  • The movie needs to be seen for its clean compositions, for its sure touch of fantasy, and, above all, for the forbidding presence of Kingsley-the prince of darkness, lightly disguised as a human being.

    September 14, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The talented Glazer keeps things crisp, clean and purposeful. The only flab on this film is around the waist of its sybaritic hero, a working-class crook who has finally gotten a taste of the good life, and doesn't want to lose it.

    March 31, 2008 | Full Review…
  • From the off it's clear at once that Jonathan Glazer will be a ballsy, switched-on film-maker.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Like Lee Marvin from Point Blank or Michael Caine in (the original) Get Carter, he's a force of nature; a hurricane-like dervish once unleashed cannot be contained.

    June 19, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    October 30, 2001 | Rating: 3/4
  • Aside from [Glazer's] visual flair and gallows humor, he's still subtracted much more than he's added.

    September 17, 2001 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sexy Beast

  • Mar 30, 2015
    An electric British gangster film with a slight grind house panache and a biting script. It's a lean and mean ride that is elevated by all the players involved, especially Kingsley and Winstone. Jonathan Glazer establishes himself as a unique voice with the engaging 'Sexy Beast'.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2013
    I've seen this a few times since it was initially released and I'm still floored by the film's style. Its like some crazy hybrid of Guy Richie and David Lynch stuff. And yes, Kingsley is brilliant.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2013
    I somehow skipped this Anglo-Spanish crime drama in the cinemas... Written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane, it'll provide lots of entertainment. It was Glazer's debut feature film, who had previously directed music videos and commercials for companies such as Guinness and Levi, and he did quite well! The film earned Kingsley an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. And even more amazing was that in 2004 the magazine Total Film named Sexy Beast the 15th greatest British film of all time... I would not go as far as saying that, but it had charm of its own. A straight forward story of an ex-con and expert safe-cracker Gary "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone) who has served nine years behind bars and blissfully retired to a Spanish villa with his beloved ex-porn star wife Deedee (Amanda Redman). He enjoys life in the company of longtime friend Aitch and his wife Jackie. But, their idyllic life is shattered by the arrival of an old criminal associate, sociopath Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), who is intent on enlisting Gal in a bank heist back in London... The movie felt like a roller-coaster, with ups and downs, building enough excitement for the audience to be satisfied with the final product which has something like 300 uses of the word "cunt", and 400 "fucks" (but somehow it passed the censorship and got out in US). I already mentioned that Ben Kingsley's performance received a majority of the accolades given to Sexy Beast... winning Best Supporting Actor awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, Florida Film Critics Circle, San Diego Film Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association and the Toronto Film Critics Association. He also was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award (losing to Ian McKellen for his performance in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), a Golden Globe and above mentioned Academy Award (losing both to Jim Broadbent for his performance in Iris). In addition, the film also won Best Director and Best Screenplay from the British Independent Film Awards and Special Recognition ("For excellence in filmmaking") from the National Board of Review. Check it out - it's worth it.
    Panta O Super Reviewer

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