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Movie Review: Seven (1995)

March 8, 2010 2 comments

Movie poster with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman against a dark background.Summary:
Detective Sommerset is almost ready to retire.  He just has to introduce the new detective, Mills, to the inner-city beat, but two grisly murders mark the appearance of a serial killer.  His murders are each a punishment for one of the seven deadly sins, and Mills will need all the help from Sommerset he can get to solve the crimes.

Review:
For those of us who grew up on CSI, grisly crime scenes are nothing new.  What makes them work in this film is their subtle and not so subtle associations with each of the seven deadly sins.  The English major in me gloried at the detectives’ research into Dante’s works.  The crimes are not just well thought-out; they are literary.

Beyond the crimes though is the story of the two detectives ever resonating just beneath the surface.  With a job this grisly in such a bad part of town, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You can’t have a family and live here, and you can’t do this job anywhere else.  Sommerset chose the job, but he clearly wonders if that will be the best choice for Mills.

Pitt, Freeman, and Spacey are all great actors, and they do not disappoint here.  I do think they miscast Paltrow as Mills’ wife, however.  She doesn’t read as blue collar whatsoever, whereas Mills does.  There seems to be little chemistry between the two, and I am certain that is due to Paltrow’s acting.  Her doe eyes do not suit the character.

Although the story can move a bit slowly at times, it is an enjoyable watch for anyone with a literary slant and a taste for the grisly.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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