Sexy Beast (2000)



Critic 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.

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Gary (Ray Winstone) is a former gangster who has made a modest amount of money from his criminal career. Happy to put his life of crime behind him, he has retired with his wife Deedee (Amanda Redman) to the sunny bliss of rural Spain, where he lives an idyllic life with his family and a few close friends. But Gary's contentment is ruptured by an unwelcome visitor from his past -- Don (Ben Kingsley), a former associate who has been hired to assemble a team of criminals to rob a heavily guarded bank. Don wants Gary in on the job, and is less than pleased by Gary's unwillingness to volunteer his services. What ensues is a battle of wills between the two men, with Don intimidating, prodding, and manipulating his onetime friend to get what he wants, forever changing the lives of those around him in the process. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi
R (for pervasive language, strong violence and some sexuality)
Comedy , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Ben Kingsley
as Don Logan
Ian McShane
as Teddy Bass
Amanda Redman
as Deedee
Álvaro Monje
as Enrique
James Fox
as Harry
Gerard Barray
as Spanish Official
Jose Ma Cano Ramos
as Felipe's Friend 1
Ana Maldonado Herreria
as Maruja/Matronly Woman
Andy Lucas
as Jimmy
Jose Lirola Ramos
as Policia 1
Jose Lopez Carrillo
as Felipe's Friend 2
Dionisio Mesa
as Felipe
Rocky Taylor
as Raymond
Chris Webb
as Nicky
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Critic Reviews for Sexy Beast

All Critics (128) | Top Critics (34)

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.

Full Review… | March 30, 2008
Top Critic

From the off it's clear at once that Jonathan Glazer will be a ballsy, switched-on film-maker.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Aside from [Glazer's] visual flair and gallows humor, he's still subtracted much more than he's added.

Full Review… | September 17, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A marvelously suspenseful character study wrapped up in a refreshingly tight crime film.

July 6, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

One of the more interesting efforts in its genre, though it has been somewhat overrated.

Full Review… | June 29, 2001
New York Observer
Top Critic

The most original and entertaining crime thriller since The Limey.

Full Review… | June 29, 2001
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sexy Beast


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 Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I had heard so much about this, including that some consider it to be one of the best British films of recent years, if not ever. That's certainly a high bar to reach, and, now that I've finally seen this, I can say that, unfortunately, this film is grossly overrated. Gary "Gal" Dove is a retired gangster living a comfortable life in rural Spain. His comfortable situation is suddenly shaken up when Don 'Malky" Logan, an associate from his past, shows up and bullies him into taking part in a major heist back in London. The film does have its share of typical 'caper film' moments, but it is primarily a psychological duel between two volatile men. I don't have an issue with the set up, but I feel like this film really doesn't add up to anything much at all. It's not really about much, and the plot is light, and yeah, sometimes I'm cool with that, if not nuts for it. However, I feel let down here, because it's not nearly as gripping and interesting as it could have been, or as compelling as I was lead to believe. Ben Kingsley, yes, is intimidating and commanding as Don, but the scenes with him verbally abusing Gary and the new people in his life are just uncomfortable to endure. The swearing really loses its impact, and feels really awkward and forced, and it shouldn't. It starts off fine, but it just keeps dragging, and that's where I began to check out. Plus, he really doesn't give that much of a justification for his actions, making the proceedings even more pointless. The film is well shot though, and the moments when there is violence are startling, realistic, and very well done. But in the end, this feels like a glossy, but ultimately half-baked effort. Besides Kingsley, I do think the performances are good, and Ray Winstone is capable of leading a production. Ian McShane is also decent as the man leading the heist, but compared to Kingsley, he's really not as threatening as he could/should be. All in all, the film has its moments, but the bigger picture is a sloppy, sometimes tedious mess. I'll give it some credit though, since it had potential, but really think this should have been re-written and given much more thought.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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