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Kingsley is Dynamite
gbheron20 July 2002
Ben Kingsley's portrayal of gangster Don Logan is destined to go down as one of the most memorable mobsters in filmdom; up there with the best from Robinson, Bogart, Cagney, Raft, deNiro, Pacino et al. Kingsley's all that good and more. And the other actors, in their portrayals of fellow gangsters and their lovers, are also excellent. The story is simple. Gal (Ray Winstone) is a retired English gangster living a life of leisure at his Spanish villa. Then one day his idyll is shattered by a visit from Don Logan, an old protégé, and man to be feared. Logan's intent is to lure Gal out of retirement for 'one last job'. Gal wants nothing to do with it, and the first half of the movie is a battle of wits between the two men. The second half of the film deals with the heist and its aftermath. The crime is downplayed in the movie which is primarily a psychological exploration of these gangsters; their personal demons, and the relationships amongst themselves. They are indeed scary people, no sympathetic characters here.

This is one of the best movies of 2000, and is highly recommended. I don't understand how IMDb reviewers can rate this movie so low. In my book it definitely rates an "A".
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strong performances, interesting drama
Buddy-5126 July 2002
In `Sexy Beast,' Ben Kingsley delivers a bone-chilling performance as the man everyone loves to hate, a role for which he earned not only universal critical acclaim but a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as well. Don Logan is so evil that even his fellow mobster buddies fear and hate him. From our very first glimpse of him high-strutting his way through an airport terminal, Kingsley hits just the right note for his character. Cleverly, writers Louis Mellis and David Scinto have paved the way for this entrance by introducing Logan ahead of time in a series of conversations in which just the mere mention of his name sets off portentous reverberations amongst the people discussing him.

Chief among those people is the film's protagonist, Gal, Logan's `retired' ex-partner in crime, who wants nothing more than to be allowed to enjoy life undisturbed in his seaside Spanish villa with his swimming pool and the wife he loves so dearly. But Gal soon discovers that a person cannot escape his past forever, when Logan suddenly shows up at his doorstep demanding that Gal join his own personally hand-picked gang of seasoned criminals whom Logan has brought together to pull off a major heist back in Merry Olde England. Gal would like nothing better than to send Logan home packing empty handed, but he also knows that defying Logan can be the fastest route to an early demise. It is this atmosphere of fear and dread that director Jonathon Glazer uses to make `Sexy Beast' such an engrossing and off beat little crime drama.

In fact it is the THREAT of violence, far more than the violence itself, which distinguishes this tale. Without the use of weapons of any kind, Logan is able to cow and terrorize a roomful of reasonably fearless adults simply by his steely-eyed demeanor and the unpredictable nature of his temperament. Seemingly controlled and rational one moment, he can suddenly erupt into a volcano of exploding anger the next. One of the most chilling moments in the film occurs aboard a departing airplane in which Logan refuses to douse his cigarette, thereby precipitating a confrontation with the flight crew. Logan has that quality that distinguishes all great villains: he throws us back on our heels by his refusal to conform to the social amenities that the rest of us simply take for granted and which put us at a decided disadvantage when faced with the evil characters of the world who know no rules and flagrantly disregard the ones we follow. He reminds us of how weak and vulnerable the rest of us really are.

Logan, for all the intensity generated by his character, is not, however, the focal point of the film. Gal, brilliantly played by Ray Winstone, who provides a fascinating counterpoint to Logan's no-holds-barred villainy, occupies that position. Despite his criminal background, Gal wins us over by his openhearted frankness, his sincere devotion to his wife, friends and neighbors, and his obvious desire to lead a straight life from hereon out. Winstone underplays his scenes superbly, yet he never allows himself to be acted off the screen by the fiery Kingsley. (One should mention that the heavy cockney accents of the characters make what they are saying a bit incomprehensible at times).

As is not uncommon in gangster movies these days, Glazer manages to inject an element of black humor into the proceedings. The comedy often takes the form of twisted surrealism, such as when a giant boulder rolls down a nearby hillside and lands plop in Gal's beloved pool, barely missing taking Gal to the bottom with it. The filmmakers also have an effective way of heightening the tension through indirection, particularly in the early scenes which prime us to dread Logan's entrance as much as the characters who don't want to see him – and we haven't even met him yet. This technique of telegraphing information ahead of time contributes immensely to heightening the suspenseful quality of the film.

`Sexy Beast' provides superb performances, a nasty sense of humor and a fascinating glimpse into the dark side of human nature.
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For Best Portrayal of a Rabid Dog...
Rogue-3219 April 2003
..the Winner is...Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast, hands down (and panting on all fours). Ben also wins the award for Best (and most frequent and creative) Usage of the "c" word, which plays a major part in this outrageously deranged and always thoroughly entertaining (even at its bloodiest) full-frontal bombast of a film.

The plot couldn't be any simpler: retired gangster Gal (yes, that's his name) is happy lounging around the pool at his Spanish villa with the woman of his dreams and a drink in his hand. But the big bad brutal bulldog Don (Kingsley) has been sent to convince him to do One Last Job. Gal says no. Donnie doesn't like this answer. Violence ensues.

To say any more would be a disservice; this movie has to be experienced, not explained. Suffice to say, the brilliant performances (Ray Winstone and Ian McShane in particular) and the amazingly slick editing make every second of Sexy Beast a kinetic foray into surrealism and a tour de force of epic proportions for Kingsley. So why are you still bloody sitting there, you steaming c***?!!! Go rent it now.
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Beastly Stuff, And Utterly Fascinatng
ccthemovieman-14 November 2006
At first, I thought this was just a poor man's "Snatch," with the wild cinematography, dark humor, brutal characters and language....but not as good as that more well-known film. Well, I have really begun to like this film a lot, equally, if not more, than "Snatch."

The more I see "Sexy Beast," the more fascinating it gets, and it was pretty interesting the first time! And, at less than an hour-and-a-half it's even more watchable. It also is a good idea to play this with the English subtitles on, unless you can understand the strong British accents, and can interpret the slang words.

Ben Kingsley, as sociopath "Don Logan," is unbelievably intense and almost has my jaw dropping when watching him in here. "Intense" doesn't even begin describing this guy. Ian McShane is another creepy guy in here as "Teddy." These two guys make the lead characters, two couples, look normal. Those four are retired crooks and their wives, now living the easy life in Spain. Easy, that is, until Logan arrives and wants one of them for another job. The retiree wants to stay that way but Logan is not a man who takes "no" for an answer.

This is one movie you will not forget. Warning: it's rough, crude and strange. Expect a lot of "f" words and "c" words. Also expect an interesting 89 minutes.
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Ben Kingsley is worth the rental price alone!
mattymatt4ever7 June 2002
To put it simply: I love this movie! I've really been looking forward to this movie, mostly because of Kingsley's acclaimed performance. And he is indeed brilliant in the role of the brash, uninhibited, shamelessly ruthless Don Logan--a role that should go down in history. I haven't seen Jim Broadbent's performance in "Iris," so I can't technically say if Kingsley deserved the Oscar over him, but I'm glad he got nominated, because it would be an abomination if he didn't. Kingsley is absolutely terrifying, not showing a bit of remorse. And it's a real joy to see the man who's famous for playing the well-known pacifist Gandhi take on a role which requires him to spout the "f" word 500 times in one whole minute. OK, I may have been exaggerating there, but believe me...there are scenes in this movie that make "Pulp Fiction" look like a G-rated Disney feature. Let's just say I've never heard the "f" word used so many times, at such a lightning-fast pace. Kingsley has some memorable moments, including one where he gets in trouble for smoking on a plane, and cops an alibi involving the male flight attendants sexually abusing him. As cruel as he is, I found myself laughing hysterically at Don. As Kingsley said himself, Don is the type of character who says the kind of things that are on most people's minds, but they're too afraid to let it out.

Though Kinglsey steals the film, Ray Winstone is the star and he's also great. I haven't seen a great many English films, so I don't remember seeing him before, but now I hope to see him in more films. And I was impressed to find out the movie was made by a first-time director. Jonathan Glazer did a terrific job, creating a gloriously frenetic pace. The running time is a succinct 85 minutes, and the film never takes a breath. It always captures you with in-your-face images. Glazer's sense of style is amazing. Not to mention the soundtrack is excellent. It's a nice irony: how this dark comedy ends to the tune of Dean Martin's "Sway."

On my first viewing, it took time for me to get accustomed to the cockney accents, but after approximately 30 minutes I was able to decipher most of the dialogue--and the film has some great, memorable dialogue! It's not like with "Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels" where I can watch it 100 times and still need subtitles. Not to mention "Sexy Beast" is a much more entertaining film.

All I can say is don't expect an intricate plot, with many twists and turns. The plot is all pretty simple: Retired gangster lounges around his beautiful house in Spain, then gets persuaded into doing one last heist. I'm sure that sounds very familiar. But the beauty is in its simplicity. And the film isn't in any way pretentious. It is what it is--and what it is is a smart, energetic, entertaining, hilarious, extremely well-acted dark comedy.

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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Hilarious British crime comedy with a dark edge
daletpcoop24 April 2000
Sexy Beast is a funny and highly enjoyable crime movie punctuated by some blood curdling violence. The film was directed by Jonathen Glazer, who was responsible for most of the recent amazing Guinness beer adverts.

Ray Winstone is Gal, a retired criminal enjoying retirement in Spain with friends and the woman he loves. But this is shattered by the arrival of a menacing figure from his past in the shape of pyschotic Don Logan (played with evil intensity by Ben Kingsley). Don wants Gal for one last spectacular job and will do just about anything to get him, including threatening Gal's beloved wife.

The story is told at a fast pace, with several surreal interludes but never loses momentum. Ray Winstone puts in another loveable badboy performance that he does so well, but the film is dominated by Kingsley who steals every scene he is in and creates one of the most menacing screen villains in recent memory. The brilliance of the film is that it manages to combine so many disparate elements (thriller, comedy, and a touching love story to say the least) into a cohesive and highly entertaining whole. A real pleasure to watch and a striking, brilliant debut.
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Don't Provoke The Beast
Chrysanthepop8 June 2008
This is one fascinating dark little film. Supported by fierce cinematography, black humour, chilling characters and strong language, 'Sexy Beast' works on many levels. It can be viewed as a conversational film, a study of characters and a psychological thriller. The writing is brilliant as some of the dialogues induce both humour and chill. The screenplay is pretty tight, leaving no place for loose ends or irrelevant subplots. Glazer's direction is wonderful as he keeps the viewer engaged throughout the entire 90 minutes and effectively infuses wicked humour and suspense. The characters are so interesting, while we hate Logan, we sympathize with his counterfeit Gal who is a retired gangster trying to live a straight life with his family and loyal friends. Logan desperately wants him to do a job but Gal bravely yet hesitantly turns it down. Logan won't give up and even he notices that everybody hates him (which is beginning to make him feel powerless). The cast deliver solid performances. Ray Winstone is amazing. He easily conveys Gal's complexity and dilemma with pathos. Ben Kingsley as the hatefully irritating and intimidating Logan is superb. Ian McShane is scary. Amanda Redman is electrifying in a smaller role. 'Sexy Beast' is one slick wicked little film. Not a movie for everyone, but worth watching for those who enjoy black humour and dark cinema.
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My two pence
nakkas4 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
At first I was a bit disappointed after watching the film, due to the misleading trailer and the expectations I had. Sexy Beast is at it's core a romance, not a comedy and definitely not an action flick. It's all about Gal trying to protect his life and his marriage. After finishing a nine years stretch courtesy of Her Majesty's prison, Gal has had enough of a life of "Crime and Punishment" and settles down at the Spanish Riviera with his beloved ex-pornstar wife and another couple. Together with a local Spanish boy who helps Gal around the house they seems like a family, living a peaceful and happy life far from dreary England and their equally dreary past. Enter psychotic Don Logan, who tries to "persuade" Gal to do one last job. I think the plot can be interpreted symbolically: the boulder crashing into Gal's pool, missing him just by a few inches yet shattering the two hearts pattern on the pool's basin, symbolizes the arrival of Logan. Logan is just as menacing, deadly and uncontrollable as nature, endangering the love between Gal and his wife DeeDee. He's a part of Gal's criminal past coming to haunt him, the violent and antisocial part of himself he's been suppressing so long (notice how meek Gal is?), Gal's "Id". Logan taunts Gal what a wuss he has become, how fat and lazy he's become, how low he has sunk by marrying an ex-pornstar, that he deserted Logan (some of Gal's own thoughts deep down?). He's trying to snatch Gal away from DeeDee, he doesn't want him to be happy (Gal: "I'm happy now". Logan, shouting: "I won't let you be happy, why should I!"). Interestingly enough, as soon as Logan arrives at Gal's villa, the Spanish boy leaves; so the boy could be interpreted as Gal's innocent and peaceful side. SPOILER AHEAD! So when Logan beats down the kid (i.e. Gal's evil side is gaining upperhand over his good side) it's DeeDee that makes the final decision and saves their marriage by killing her rival for Gal's soul (in between Logan's vitriolic rants he tells Gal he loves him). Everyone partakes in Logan's murder except for Gal and the boy; meaning that all of Gal's friends want to get rid of that part of him? In essence it's all about Gal's psychomachia, i.e. having to take sides: either going back to a life of crime and violence, or saving his marriage and his happiness. On that level, it was quite enjoyable. Ben Kingsley portrays Logan disturbingly menacing (the mirror scene!), Ian McShane as kingpin Teddy Bass is just as believable (no Love nor Joy...) and Ray Winstone reminded me of an English-version of James Gandolfini.
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imdb-30616 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
It seems too many people have missed the point of this movie. Someone did notice that the Ben Kingsley character was unrelentingly unpleasant and violent. Did anyone notice that the Ray Winstone character was pussy cat? Yet at one time in his past life, he must also have also been a very violent man, having moved in the circles he did.

In my mind this was a tale of two sides of the same coin. An inner struggle between the old Gal and the new kinder gentler man that just wanted a peaceful life. It was no slight thing that it was his wife who killed Don, thereby destroying the male beast within him (Gal).

There was also the old Faustian thing with the Ian MacShane character as the devil, allowing Gal to retain his soul.

Why am I rambling on about this esoteric stuff? Just to point out that, underlying the simple story, is a very powerful sub-plot that drives the whole thing along. If it didn't do it for you, then either you just haven't come accross some of life's unpleasant lessons yet, or maybe you don't like to be reminded of them.
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One of the scariest bad guys ever, and he's British!!!
jbedford13 March 2002
A fantastic British gangster movie that goes for authenticity over 'Mockney' laughs. Continuing where 'Performance' left off (it even features James Fox) this movie has stand-out performances from all of it's cast, with Ben Kingsley (as Don Logan) producing the scariest bad-guy in cinema since Dennis Hopper's 'Frank'. Ray Winstone & Amanda Redmond are perfectly cast, with Winstone flinching superbly from the terrifying aggression exuded by Kingsley and, to a lesser extent, McShane. Ian McShane does a lot to bury his lightweight 'Lovejoy' persona with an excellent, menacing performance that contrasts well against Winstone's thin bravado, but the honours here have to go to Kingsley who is simply stunning, turning in a masterclass performance and proving (once again) that he is a top-drawer actor with every aspect of his character (posture; accent; attitude) finally honed and utterly (appallingly) convincing.

Kingsley's scenes set the movie alight (like the stunning airport sequence, and of course the return to the villa) and it would be interesting to know just how much of the dialogue comes from the excellent script and how much (if any) was improvised. These more aggressive sections are beautifully contrasted by the 'slower' character building sections, which allow Winstone to display his charm to full affect. A superb movie, well worth repeat viewing...
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F#$@in Brilliant!
powderworks19798 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I liken this masterpiece to Stanley Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket' for two reasons. One is the similarity they share in that you're not sure it's OK to be laughing at the content and secondly each film is in two halves, changing pace slightly after the main characters die. Glazer has managed to add a touch of class though that Kubrick didn't. The second half of Sexy Beast is still charging and the flashbacks of Don dying keep the viewers pulse pumping. Ben Kingsley was born to play this role. He was robbed of the Oscar. Try watching Ghandi and this back to back, then you'll see what a great actor is. One of the best of all time. Ray Winstone is also perfect and the two of them together compliment each other nicely like a kind of steroid and sun induced Odd Couple. Don Logan is absolutely frightening which I'd be able to notice more if I wasn't huddled over laughing so much every time I watch it. The scene in the kitchen with Gal in his dressing gown and Don firing into him looks like a very upset football coach voicing his disappointment in his star player. It's so impressive the actors don't look like they're acting and the fear on everyone but Don's face says this. Glazer's direction is stunning as is the soundtrack and production. This film is a masterpiece. Anybody who doesn't see that can go back to watching My Three Sons and listening to Neil Diamond ya ponce.
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The best Brit gangster movie since The Long Good Friday
justinkyle5 March 2002
I just don't know why this movie didn't get a large release in America despite Kingsley being up for yet another very justified Oscar. It manages to be tense, funny, and totally absorbing all at the same time. The story is told at breakneck speed and never lets up for a second. All the performances are incredible, most notably Ray Winstone, Amanda Redman and Lovejoy himself, Ian McShane, but as everyone points out, Kingsley just steals the show even when he is not onscreen. If this movie doesn't get a major big screen release in the States, it will be a crime larger than any job that Don Logan or Teddy Bass could plan.
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When "No" Is Not An Option
seymourblack-12 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Action, black comedy and violence all figure prominently in this tense crime drama that illustrates brilliantly how a combination of stylish presentation, good pacing and interesting characters can elevate a hackneyed plot into something special. Its story about an ex-criminal getting involved in "one last job" is told with great economy, quirkiness and realism and the dialogue (although heavily laden with profanities) is sharp, punchy and witty throughout.

After a criminal career that ended with a prison sentence, ex-safe-cracker Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) has retired to a comfortable lifestyle in Spain's Costa del Sol where he enjoys living with his ex-porn star wife Deedee (Amanda Redman) and sunning himself by his villa's swimming pool. One day, his tranquillity is interrupted when a boulder unexpectedly tumbles down the steep hill just behind where he'd been sun bathing and after missing him by the narrowest of margins, comes to rest at the bottom of his pool. This scary incident turns out to be something of an omen, as shortly after, one of his old criminal associates arrives from London to try to persuade him to take part in a planned bank heist.

The idyllic existence that Gal, Deedee and their best friends Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White) had shared up until that point ends abruptly with the arrival of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley). They're all terrified of this unhinged sociopath who they know, from previous experience, has an explosive temper and is capable of extreme violence. Gal doesn't want to get involved in any form of criminal activity again, especially as he'd promised Deedee that he wouldn't. She's the love of his life and he's desperate not to break his promise to her but also fully realises the threat that he's under if he doesn't do what Logan wants. The exchanges that take place when they all meet are characterised by extreme fear on the parts of the four local residents and a whole welter of diabolical threats made by the foul-mouthed Logan.

A little while after the meeting at the villa, Gal arrives in London where he meets crime boss Teddy Bass (Ian McShane). He's the mastermind behind the plan to break into a safe-deposit vault from the Turkish bath establishment next door and as Logan works for him, he questions Gal about his recruiter's whereabouts. Gal tells him that the two men travelled back to London separately and claims that they'd spoken to each other by phone after Logan's arrival at Heathrow. Bass looks more than a little sceptical about this information but nevertheless, the heist goes ahead as planned and after it's completed successfully, Gal's anxiety remains at an almost unbearably high level until he gets back home with the intention of making a quick return to the life of leisure that he loves so much.

"Sexy Beast" provides a very authentic-looking picture of the London gangster fraternity and conveys just how threatening people like Logan and Bass are. Ben Kingsley makes a huge impact as Logan whose raging and determination not to take "no" for an answer, is incredibly unrelenting and makes any attempt at negotiation or reasoning totally impossible. Teddy Bass is more cultivated, soft-spoken and suave but also carries an enormous threat as is clearly shown in some of the action that follows the heist. Ian McShane makes his character's viciousness absolutely convincing and Ray Winstone, in a wonderfully sensitive performance, does a great job of making his flabby, gone-to-seed, ex-con into a really sympathetic character who's impossible to dislike. The quality of the supporting performances is also consistently top class.

Amusingly, the boulder incident that came so close to killing Gal at the beginning of the story also provides him with an important solution to his life-threatening problem by the end of the story.
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brilliant British film
frankiefraser10 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Im getting rather irritated by Americans complaining about the dialogue and accents, saying that it should be made more understandable for American audiences, so what your saying is we should change our own accents in our own films hence making them unrealistic and unbelievable to all of us brits just so u yanks can get a better understanding ? well im sorry to tell u that this is a British film made by brits starring brits and for brits, whether Americans understand whats going on or not is irrelevant, its not for u !!! do u tone down or change your language when making sopranos/forest gump and all other shocking American style dialogue ? do we ask u to ? exactly so p i s s off !!
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Big Bad Ben's Show!
meeza9 June 2002
Throughout film history, there have been so many grimacing villains that make us tremble as we watch their repugnant behaviors. The latest one is Don Logan from the film `Sexy Beast'. Ben Kingsley co-stars as Logan. His devious & energized performance make him the `king' of all villains that I have seen in film this year. Kingsley's performance was definitely oscar worthy. Logan is the scowling criminal who effortlessly tries to recruit a retired ex-thief in executing another score. Ray Winstone stars as the ex- bank robber. However, it was Kingsley who stole this show! The film does get a bit uneasy at times, and its beast representation definitely was not one of beauty. But for what it's worth `Sexy Beast' is Big Bad Ben's finest hour! *** Average
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one of my favorite
chimpacabra2 August 2003
exquisitely directed gangster movie that's really about love...a genre movie taken to a whole other level - amazing relationships are setup and played through between the characters. kingsley is a prick - so over the top it's hilarious - a perfect foil for winstone's low key brilliance (this & nil by mouth? he is a genius). this movie truly lives up to its title.
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The story really told isn't obvious
Girard-611 February 2007
On the surface it's an artful depiction of British gangsters, but the real story is of a man absolutely driven by an obsession with a woman that he's too socially maladjusted to pursue normally. On the surface he's a strong, hyper-masculine man who is pushy, demanding, intimidating and fearless. Beneath the surface he's lonely, isolated, fragile and desperately craves acceptance, especially from the woman he's obsessed with, and he's frustrated and confused by his inability to achieve that acceptance. The casting is perfect. The acting is outstanding. As an American though, I practically needed a translator to understand what they were saying with their thick British accents. I loved the movie. The only flaw I saw was in the death scene. It wasn't believable. The man didn't seem to be experiencing the kind of pain and blood loss weakness an injury like that would've caused. But believe me, it's a minor flaw. It's a beautiful movie.
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Top ten. For acting script the lot. Oh and the rabbit Devil.
shaun750-130 September 2006
I saw this film yonks ago but only half way through and never really thought much of it. I just got a copy and it's got to be one of the best films i've ever seen. The casting was brilliant. Ian McShane is a fantastic actor,but ben Kingsley was superb. There's a scene when he's in the kitchen with ray winstone when he says we know why the real reason he came and his expression changes. I played it a few times to watch it,it was fantastic,the only other person i've seen do that is jack nicholson in as good as it gets. I'd say it's got to be down to the directing. As i've seen ben kingsley in other movies and not though he was as good,and Ray Winston was not his usual character all the way through. It was the dogs!!! that was!! Oh yeah the Devil Rabbit!!!! I just looked up what was made first Donnie Darcko or this and it was this!!By 1 year?? Maybe in a book before? I saw DD before and it was definitely copied. Unless it was copied from another movie????
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Too sophisticated for many.....
marcusgoldman7024 March 2002
This is a good movie. Yes the Cockneys talk like this, yes the British use the "C" word rather a lot and yes one does have to pay attention to the movie and not mentally wander off, which is probably why most Americans didn't get it.
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But quite frankly your attitude appalls me. It's not what you're saying. It's all this stuff you're not saying. Insinnuendos.
Spikeopath4 June 2015
Sexy Beast is directed by Jonathan Glazer and written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto. It stars Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, Cavan Kendall, James Fox and Julianne White. Music is by Roque Baños and cinematography by Ivan Bird.

Retired to the Costa del Chill Out, retired thief Gary 'Gal' Dove (Winstone) finds his tranquil existence shattered when menacing gangster Don Logan (Kingsley) arrives on the scene demanding Gal goes back to London to do another job.

2000 saw a slew of British gangster films released. The success of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels opened the door for film makers keen to do their bit for Brit Grit. As is always the way, quality varies, but the class of 2000 had a healthy rate of good 'uns, of which Sexy Beast is a proud operator.

The story is very thin, very film noir, an ex bad boy doing one last job that risks everything he has settled down for, but there's a panache to how the makers construct the tale. It helps that it's boosted by a ferocious performance from Kingsley, who is given licence to unleash his dark half, as he swears, stares, gets violent and has a general disregard for anyone but himself.

Director Glazer, in what was his film after breaking out from advertisements and music videos, shows a keen eye for stylist visuals and attention grabbing scenes. He opens with an outrageous sequence of Gal sun bathing by his pool, the sun burning down, and then a giant boulder thunders into view and land in the pool! All set to the sound of The Stranglers single Peaches. Quite a way to announce yourself in film.

The first half of film is the best, set at Gal's Spanish villa, Glazer neatly frames the characters (Gal lives with his wife and his two friends from England live nearby) as they bicker and cower in the shadow of Logan, who wouldn't be beyond sending them all to hell if he doesn't get his way. It's sweaty and tense, a coiled spring like atmosphere tells us something is going to give - and it does. The second half of the piece is not so tense or thrilling, though the robbery has a whiff of genius about it, but the pay off works well because Gal has earned our respect, as has his fellow sun seekers. Sexy Beast is not just sexy (tongue in cheeks for the makers), it's beefy and brutal, but also strangely beautiful as well. Nice. 8/10
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a beguiling conglomerate of romanticism, perversity absurdity and bloody gallows humor
lasttimeisaw16 July 2017
Let's assume you are a casting director, there are two roles: one is Gal, a retired safe-cracker enjoying the life of Riley in a beatific villa in Spain with his wife and friends; and the other is his former criminal associate Don Logan, a browbeating, invective-pelting psychopath who wills to recruit him to a new job and will not take no for answer. Then you are given two candidates: Mr. Gandhi himself, Sir. Ben Kingsley and a bovver heavy Ray Winstone, the choice is rather self- evident.

However, that is not the case for UK scenester Jonathan Glazer when he begins to work on his feature film debut SEXY BEAST, who does the obverse, fingers Mr. Winstone for the hapless Gal and Mr. Kingsley for the rivetingly menacing Don Logan, a delectable volte-face rewardingly earns him an Oscar nomination, meantime, Winstone also magnificently brings about an incarnation very different from his usual image, a rough diamond type, graced by the lovey-dovey intimacy between him and his wife DeeDee Dove (Redman), an erstwhile porn star.

It is a taut iteration in the UK gangster genre, the story is nothing too sparkling, it is Glazer's swift and impressive execution takes the full credit. The harbinger arrives in its opening, a boulder falls right in into the swimming pool of Gal's villa (which betrays a sloppy CGI burnished effort), while he is sunbathing under the blistering heat, this portends an impending threat which will disrupt the placidity and imperil those who cannot get away, Don Logan is coming to visit, and he will not be in a pleasant mood if he knows that Gal determines to decline his very generous offer. So sparks fly, but not without a droll war of (swearing) words and things will inevitably get physical, Kingsley's intimidating presence deviously pays off the looming dread simply elicited by the mention of his name, and after an ironical turn of events, he does manage to press-gang Gal into partaking in the action however reluctant he is, to break into a bank vault via water pressure, The suspense isn't swelling during the action, but after, when the head of the criminals, Teddy Bass (McShane, another great villain, less showy but infallibly lethal), a character turns out to be far more ruthless than Don Logan, bluffly tells Gal that "he knows what they did in Spain" and promises he will come to visit in the due future. Well, why there isn't a sequel to this?

Parlaying his reputation as an eclectic music video director into this breakout debut, Glazer has concocted up a stunning-looking fare seeped with robust characterization, pulsating rhythm of montage, scintillating chromatic disposition and optimal pop taste, ultimately transmogrified it into a beguiling conglomerate of romanticism, perversity absurdity and bloody gallows humor like an arch cautionary tale: there is no easy way of going straight, so think twice before you get your feet wet!
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This movie deserved a better title!
f-rabit17 March 2015
This movie deserved a better title and a better promotional poster. The one they used is just awful and the title reminds of a bad class b movie with seductive hybrids or something like that. The fist 5 minutes of the film never ended...maybe they were trying to show us the "sexy beast", but the joke wasn't that great. After that, it all starts to build in a very effective and tense way. The interest grows when Kingsley shows up. Fantastic role. One of his best. All the actors did a good job and the plot was very good till the end. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't consider this one of the best gangster movies, but a good action comedy thriller. Worth to watch.
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A Metaphysical Heist Movie Like No Other
inkwarp5 October 2014
After a few days puzzling and mulling over the wonderful Under The Skin I though a revisit was required to Glazer's wonderful feature debut. It exceeded my expectations and , like all great movies gave up a whole slew of nuance and forgotten or overlooked details. And an unexpected icing on this particularly eclectic cake, i was very moved. It seems de-riguer to label Logan as the devil incarnate, bit in some senses winstone is the devil who wins out in the end more cunning (in a parochial way) than any of the many devils on display, even ian macshane's terrifying mob boss. as with under the skin, the narrative such as it is is merely a framework to quilt some amazing set-pieces ( and some jarring interruptions of utter mundainity such as winstone's gal waiting on a rain-soaked and colourless bus stop which could be anywhere in the antipodes to winstone's 'baking hot' Spanish villa. there is much here as well to place glazer into the same vaunted pantheon of film makers like Kubrick. these films do not take 10 years to make because of perfectionism unless perfectionism is knowing when the time is right to say a film is finished. After all kubrick's life-long deep passion for making AI and most notably the forever unmade Napoleon, are so distinct by being unmade they are more prefect to that which has been committed and reified using awkward clay. it seems i have been floated onto some netherworld between pretension and deep impacting emotional truth. such is the marker of a great work of art. Glazer i feel has not made at least two. i have yet to see birth but i have a feeling i might have to before the day os out. bravo. go see this and then watch Under the Skin in a few days..
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115 f**ks and 21 c**ts, plus everything else that was cut from Gandhi
tedbennett_8812 November 2013
This is a spectacular piece of British cinema only made better by the lack of Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis.

Ben Kingsley portrayal of a nasty bastard is amazing his delivery is to the point and scary, His character has a slight smile and staring eyes that drill into you and talking himself into a frenzy makes him even more horrible to cope with.

What is shown in this film is very quick editing combined with sound continuity so the cuts are invisible and unintrusive, strong use of colour, using a low key to make even the sun of Spain seem dark and a style unseen before, the lack of cliché ridden cockney slang makes this film even more credible.

When the film first starts we get a dream like underwater shot which you are not expecting, a metaphor for 'living the dream' possibly, but throughout the film the increasing amount of surrealism adds another layer to this almost perfect British gangster film.
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BA_Harrison15 December 2012
Don't do the same as me and mistake this for just another Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels: although the film features exaggerated Cockney characters, sharp dialogue, snappy direction, and the occasional brutal outburst of violence, its unique pace, offbeat style and surreal asides (that rabbit demon is bloody freaky!) make it a far sexier beast than anything Guy Ritchie has to offer.

Surprisingly, for much of its running time, the film is an intense character study, one that relies on talk over action; well over half the film passes without a gunshot fired or punch thrown, but it is riveting stuff nonetheless. This is largely thanks to flawless performances by its superb cast (not least from Ben Kingsley as psychopath Don Logan, who steals virtually every scene he is in with his utterly menacing manner and ripe discourse), although the film also benefits immensely from director Jonathan Glazer's bold aesthetic, his imagery as colourful as his characters' language and as striking as Deedee's eyes.
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