Sexy Beast

Sexy Beast

5.0 1
     
 

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… See more details below

Overview

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

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
It’s not easy these days to come up with anything new in a gangster film, but first-time director Jonathan Glazer has done just that in Sexy Beast. The basic contours of the plot are familiar: Former crook Gal (Ray Winstone), happily retired to a Spanish seaside villa with his beloved wife, ex-hooker Deedee (Amanda Redman), is bullied by Don (Ben Kingsley), a sinister cohort from his past, into committing a high-stakes heist back in their native England. The intensity of the performances and the vividness of the milieu, though, make the film bracing and fresh. Kingsley dazzles as a demonic thug so choked with rage that he’s a walking time bomb. Don viciously badgers Gal and Deedee with a nonstop stream of Cockney-accented vitriol, yet he reveals, beneath his repugnant exterior, glimmers of a warped human being that make him almost as pathetic as he is horrific. In contrast, Gal is a teddy bear who has grown soft and fat on a life of sun-baked bliss; and Winstone and Redman make their characters’ terror palpable as Don threatens to destroy their Spanish paradise. As riveting as Kingsley is, it is Winstone and Redman's quietly passionate performances that hold the film together. With their suntans, garish jewelry, and ostentatious dream house, Gal and Deedee look like gangster clichés; that their devotion to one another is so convincing and moving is among the film's refreshing surprises. Sexy Beast evokes inevitable comparisons to Guy Ritchie's heist films with its flashy, MTV-style camera work (a former music video director, Glazer makes brilliant use of the Stranglers' raunchy, irresistible punk classic "Peaches" in the film’s opening scene), and when the action shifts to England, it succumbs to genre conventions. But when Glazer concentrates on his characters and the exploration of middle-aged marital love, this Beast is a beauty.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
The first half of Jonathan Glazer's psychological thriller Sexy Beast seems stolen straight out of Greek myth. At the film's outset, corpulent ex-gangland thug Gal and his wife, Dee Dee, are the picture of earthly contentment, living in their bone-white hacienda with a view of the sea and filling their days with basking by the pool and barbecues. Like a Fury descending on a hapless mortal, Don Logan descends on Gal and his Spanish Eden to cajole, badger, and bully him into helping on a big heist back in England. Gal and Dee Dee's dread and palatable tension over Don's imminent visit feels like an impending visit from the Grim Reaper. In the resulting psychological warfare, Gal -- whose bulky physique makes him look oddly feminine -- is utterly outmatched by Don (who looks like Anton LaVey in a leisure suit and who is a head shorter than his ursine adversary). Rigid, twitchy, and coiled, Don seems like he's one misspoken word away from an act of terrifying violence. Ben Kingsley is mesmerizing as Don Logan, who brings the act of swearing and verbal abuse to an exuberant art form. Unfortunately, once Don is dispatched halfway through the film, the movie seems to deflate. Once in Britain, Sexy Beast treads perilously close to the masturbatory camera trickery of a Guy Ritchie flick. Ian MacShane as Teddy Bass -- the architect of the heist and the uber-criminal of the movie -- conveys little of the menace and charisma of Don Logan. Of course, no one short of Darth Vader, Keyser Sose, or Satan himself could.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
It brought back some of the excitement I felt nearly a decade ago watching Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
1/2
I didn't know Kingsley had such notes inside him. Obviously, he can play anyone.
Boston Globe
Its mix of surrealism, coolly chic visuals, and juicy acting leapfrogs it ahead of most of the competition. Jay Carr

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/20/2002
UPC:
0024543047230
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alvaro Monje Enrique
Julianne White Jackie
James Fox Harry

Technical Credits
Roque Banos Score Composer
Hercules Bellville Associate Producer
Ivan Bird Cinematographer
Antonio Bloch Sound/Sound Designer
Lucy Boulting Casting
Jann Houllevigue Production Designer
Louis Mellis Screenwriter
Denise O'dell Co-producer
Kieron Phipps Asst. Director
David Scinto Screenwriter
John Scott Editor
Steve Simmonds Art Director
Sam Sneade Editor
Louise Stjernsward Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Peter Watson Associate Producer

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