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7 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
David Fincher

Written By:
Andrew Kevin Walker

Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, R. Lee Ermey, Richard Roundtree, John C. McGinley, Reg E. Cathey, Peter Crombie, Julie Araskog, Julie Araskog

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Seven (1995)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
July 19th, 2007

'Seven' is like something from the mind of a concentration camp guard, grisly, brutal, horrifying, but also meticulously and cleverly plotted, transcending the realm of a murder mystery and transforming into a thriller of the highest order, with another of those deviously brilliant twist endings that you never quite expect. Somerset (Freeman), is a detective about to retire, taking one last case, with a new partner, the younger, more energetic Mills (Pitt), who has a pregnant wife named Tracy (Paltrow). The two of them are investigating a bizarre series of murders, based around the seven deadly sins, and the victims are killed in properly revolting ways: a fat man accused of gluttony eats until he dies, his bloated, pungent corpse a striking and disturbing visual compliment. Another man, presumably accused of sloth, is tied to a bed for a year, barely alive, and no longer looking very human.

The killer, called John Doe, considers these atrocious crimes to be an act of God, and justifies them in this way, once he hands himself in at the last half hour or so. His identity is thus never really a mystery; his motives are more intriguing, and fact that he leaves behind evidence, to toy with the cops, outsmarting them until he chooses to be captured.

Mills and Somerset are like oil and water. Mills is c*cky and arrogant, idealistic, wanting to catch the bad guys and put them in jail, always believing he is right, when he is still rather green, good for chasing after someone and beating people up. Somerset is more concerned about trying to prevent the next murder, understanding the motive, reading Dante and other works of literature to study the nature of the seven deadly sins, and making logical deductions. He has both patience and experience, but he and Mills work well together, as they each have traits that make them an effective team. Admittedly, I don't care much for Mills, though Pitt's performance is terrific. Freeman is always great.

Director David Fincher goes for a foreboding, ominous atmosphere, stylish yet ugly and depressing, very dark, with only dim forms of light penetrating the shadows at each of the crime scenes. It is grim and nightmarish. The script, by Andrew Kevin Walker, is full of strangely poetic dialogue, most of it spoken by Freeman, whose voice has a classy, authoritative sound to it, soft and polite, but also commanding, the kind of voice you would hear and respect with few qualms. Sharp and intelligent, 'Seven' is one of the best movies of its kind, and certainly more graphic, which means it is definitely not for the squeamish.

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