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5.0 out of 5 stars Seven - An intense thriller from start to end!
"Se7en" can clearly be counted among the tops in the murder/mystery thriller type movies of all time as it is an extremely intense film that frightens the soul and fills the entertainment need for such movies. Fair warning to the faint of heart as the graphics of this film are just as intense as the script itself. Much of this film is based on the script being...
Published on March 28 2004 by K. Wyatt

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2.0 out of 5 stars Unambitious, under-acted, under-written and unintriguing
First off, the good: This movie set a cinematographic standard for urban gothic-thrillers. The film presents its metropolis as a grity Daedalian labrynth in which around each dark corner some human vice is manifesting itself in macabre excess. It is grity, claustrophobic, and dark. Lights pulsate a sickly yellow, tight focus keeps the dark a mystery and the constant...
Published on March 10 2004 by Arty Fishal


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5.0 out of 5 stars Seven - An intense thriller from start to end!, March 28 2004
By 
K. Wyatt "ssintrepid" (Cape Girardeau, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seven (DVD)
"Se7en" can clearly be counted among the tops in the murder/mystery thriller type movies of all time as it is an extremely intense film that frightens the soul and fills the entertainment need for such movies. Fair warning to the faint of heart as the graphics of this film are just as intense as the script itself. Much of this film is based on the script being as intense as it as the two primary characters are trying to figure out who the killer is before he/she makes it all the way through the seven deadly sins; what I find difficult to believe when watching the film though is that the screenwriter felt it was necessary to resort to excessive bouts of cursing as opposed to reasonably intelligent verbiage. I'm far from being a prude of any sort however, a thing can be taken too far and the language of this film was taken too far too often.
Performance wise, what else can be expected of Morgan Freeman other than another marvelous performance! There are very few films in which he's starred that one could say weren't good films and parts for him; he continues to be one of the top actors in the industry. Brad Pitt gives another great performance in this film despite his part being the one in which the screenwriter overindulged in a lack of intelligent writing. Kevin Spacey's actual screen time is very limited in this film but his performance is extremely powerful. Gwyneth Paltrow, such the beauty that she is, has a limited role in the film but leaves an impression nonetheless.
Director David Fincher who is probably best known for such films as the more recent "Fight Club" and "Panic Room" shows an exceptional stylistic flair in "Seven" that carries over to his other films. He certainly deserves a fair amount of credit for this films success over the years.
The Premise:
New York City's finest, Detective Lieutenant William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) finds himself mired in an investigation of a serial killer only one week from retirement. In comes his replacement, Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) who is eager to take over the case all on his own however, their Captain played by the high spirited retired Marine Corps Staff Sergeant turned Hollywood actor, R. Lee Ermey, refuses to just hand the case over to Mills.
What follows from there is an extremely intense film in which the two detectives are desperately trying to find a killer who is forcing his victims to more or less kill themselves based on the seven deadly sins before he makes it all the way through them...
I highly recommend this film to any and all who are interested in this particular genre of filmmaking as it is, as stated above, an extremely intense thriller type film that will keep one guessing all the way to the extraordinarily frightening conclusion. {ssintrepid}
Special Features:
The one true incongruity of this particular original DVD release of the film is that it is a two sided disc that only contains about half the film on the first side. I don't know where New Line came up with their compression rate for this film and why but very few videophiles, myself included, are appreciative of having to flip a disc to continue the movie! Fortunately, this particular release is out of stock and there are newer version out there in which this technical error has been alleviated.
-Cast & Crew bios
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and dark film., March 20 2004
By 
Jim Warnke (West Palm Beach, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seven [Import] (VHS Tape)
Seven is, arguably, the most gruesome movie I've ever seen. I only saw the Tv version, which cut out a lot of the gore, and I had the unfortunate luck to see the ending first. Yet still, I rate the movie as one of the best I've seen.
The movie has only four core cast members, consisting of Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) a veteran, retiring detective that is both a realist and a wiseman, Detective Mills (Brad Pitt), a young cop that is eager to solve the case, Mills' wife, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and the serial killer, Kevin Spacey in a role that I can relate to and one that I can abhor.
As you already know, the serial killer, who is named as John Doe throughout the film, murders his victims gruesomely via the seven deadly sins (Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, and Pride, not in that order.) It's both interesting and horrifying as to the way Doe murders his victims, and believe me, you won't guess at least two of them.
Director David Fincher manages a very bleak and despairing atmosphere, where he shows the true ugliness of humanity. Sex, obesity, all of them disgustingly illustrated and updated by the murders. No scene that I recall is without darkness, rain, or street garbage. Ironically, though, the climax, the most eye-opening scene of the movie, is shot in broad daylight, which itself is dulled by cinematography.
As said by the amazon review, the serial killer is in fact focusing on Mills and Somerset, especially Mills. It all becomes clear in the final scene, but to truly enjoy the film you must watch it with undivided attention and several buckets of popcorn.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Unambitious, under-acted, under-written and unintriguing, March 10 2004
By 
Arty Fishal (Fitchburg, MA USA) - See all my reviews
First off, the good: This movie set a cinematographic standard for urban gothic-thrillers. The film presents its metropolis as a grity Daedalian labrynth in which around each dark corner some human vice is manifesting itself in macabre excess. It is grity, claustrophobic, and dark. Lights pulsate a sickly yellow, tight focus keeps the dark a mystery and the constant darkness implies a godless world were hedonistic lifestyles lead to extremes of degradation. Humanity is slitting its wrists. The movie's production design and cinematography are interesting, intimidating and perfect for the theme.
Now, the bad: That is all Se7en is! Se7en's best points are its darkness, its credits and the clever use of "7" in place of "v"! All other elements of the movie fall under "the bad"; The plot, the characters, the atempts at tenstion, the dialogue and the direction.
The Plot: A clearly extremely deranged man is going around killing people in graphic parodies of The Seven Deadly Sins. The end! That's it! The police investigation into his murders is superficial and reveals no methods the police might use to identify the killer. Furthermore the several instances where Morgan Freeman suggests exploring literary sources for
clues as to what the murderer's goals might be or who he will kill next never reveal any new information to the viewer, and they seem not to convey information to the characters either. The only "revelation"(excuse the Biblicality of this wording) made by the detectives is that the killer is killing in ways relating to the Seven Deadly Sins, and we can understand that from the title!
The plot of the police investigation merely serves as a frame story to reveal each gruesome set peice of the murders. Admit it to yourself, all the time when the cops were pointlesly delineating upon how to find the killer- you were begging to be shown the next murder. The enjoyment of this movie comes from the viewers inherint interst in thr perverse fetisism of torture. We want to skip over the cops and look more at the murders. They intrigue us, the story does not.
*spoiler* We end up routing for the murderer, in whose capture the movie even concedes the superflous nature of the plot, having him turn himself over.*spoiler ended*

Somewhat interesting is the identity of the actor who plays the killer, even though everyone knows who it is, I wont reveal it. It the concealment of his identity is a nice, campy throwback to gimmick movies(which this is essentially) and monster picks( like Frankenstein).
The characters: Morgan Freeman is the jaded veteran cop and Brad Pitt is the hotshot newby. The end! Interstingly enough not only are these the characters in EVERY other psychological thriller, but it is also the character Morgan Freeman plays in EVERY other psychological thriller. Their characterization is summed up in one seen where Brad Pitt decides to drink Beer and Morgan Freman decides to drink wine. Genius!
Tension: Fast forward to the last 3 minutes of the film and wait for your heartrate to raise about 1/10 past its normal rate. The end situation of the movie provides some tension, but no mystery as to what the outcome will be due to the two-dimensionality of the characters. One other scene which could be suspensful, a chase, is left predictable and uninspiring due to the almost cartoonish way in which it was shot.
Dialogue: Because the characters and plot are secondary to the gruesome props of the murders all dialogue is stunted and cliched.
Direction: Other than the depiciton of the murders the direction is loose and meandering. David Fincher knew as we did that the plot was just to provide a frame story to exhibit the murders in and thus guides as adequately enough, but in a very straight and unabitious way, though the poor dialogue and dismal atempts at characterization.

Conclusion: The film is enjoyable, yes. It is enjoyable in a voyeuristic way. We feel sick pleasure in such extreme representations of cruelty( this is the reason we all know what Chinese water torture is). The film is nothing else though, and does not push the genre in any way. The characters are two-dimensional and the plot paper thin. See it qith friends for fun, but expect nothing as interesting as The Silence of The Lambs. It is gruesome for the sake of showing us gruesomeness.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but..., March 6 2004
By 
Rocco Dormarunno (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seven [Import] (VHS Tape)
When I first heard about this movie and its premise, back in '95, I nodded my head and figured it was a great idea. Then, some years later my father-in-law sent the vhs to my wife and me. SEVEN started out promising enough: the heavy atmosphere of a generic urban blight region, the deliberately paced filming, etc. You're set up for a terribly complex, suspenseful thriller. But it never fulfilled that promise. The movie strives for the psychological depth of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS or IN COLD BLOOD but never reaches it. I mean, the killer is using the Seven Deadly Sins as his model for the murders, so you think maybe he or she is a misguided religious nut? Duh. I dunno. Has it ever been done before?
And once you see who portrays the killer (although other reviewers have "given it away"), I think you'll kind of grimace and say, "Jeez, he was always playing the weird bad guy back in those days." And, to me, his performance is kind of a throw-away job. He almost seems to not want to be in the picture.
Freeman and Pitt give good performances, however, Although the chemistry between them seemed strained (unlike the wonderful Glover and Gibson pairing in the LETHAL WEAPON films), the combination is effective, overall. I enjoyed watching them. The cinematography was engaging enough, and the direction elicited a few good scares. I guess I was expecting a really good thriller mystery--at least I was supposed to, given all the hooplah, Instead, I got a fairly-decent though brutal film. See it before you decide to buy it, or before your father-in-law sends you a copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Highly-Charged Thriller, March 1 2004
This review is from: Seven [Import] (VHS Tape)
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star in this diabolical tale about a serial killer who kills by the seven deadly sins. Freeman stars as detective William Somerset, a thirty-four year veteran of the homicide department who is only one week away from retirement. Pitt stars as detective David Mills, a brash young detective who will eventually become Somerset's replacement. As the killing spree begins, Mills and Somerset are forced to put their philosophical differences aside and try to find the killer before the body count becomes too high.
This is one of the most thrilling, yet complex, movies I've seen. Freeman and Pitt give excellent performances throughout the film, as do Gwyneth Paltrow as Mills' wife, and Kevin Spacey as the murderer, "John Doe". The complexity of the film made it difficult to follow at some points, though, and I found myself really having to concentrate to keep up with the plot twists.
I enjoyed the way the producers of the film developed the character of "John Doe". From the grisly murders to the portrayal of a media reported paid by the police themselves, Kevin Spacey brought this character to life in an attention-grabbing style. Freeman's no nonsense, straight ahead approach is the perfect counter to Pitt's somewhat charge ahead and sometimes carefree demeanor.
I really enjoyed this film. The plot was excellent and the actors are first-rate. The only qualm I have is how hard I had to concentrate to follow the flow of the movie, but overall, I would highly recommend this movie to suspense and action fans. It is definitely worth watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Se7en, Feb. 20 2004
David Fincher's suspenseful and gritty thriller grips you, leaving you speechless and pondering once the end credits have finished rolling, even while watching the supplements. With its dark and morbid atmosphere and the uncompromising down-beat ending it will leave you thinking about what just sped by you. Harsh and real, "Se7en" is a homicide thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its entire running length, and it will not fail to impress its disturbing mood upon you, sending shivers and chills down your spine.
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play as a pair of homicide detectives on a quest to solve a mysterious series of murders. Lt. Somerset (Freeman) is a burnt-out veteran cop on the brink of his retirement when he is teamed up with his replacement, an ambitious and fervent Brad Pitt as Detective David Mills. Two worlds collide as they struggle to accept each other even as a serial killer haunts the streets of this unnamed city, taking upon himself the burden of the Hand of God. He commits various creative punishments on people he feels exemplify the nature of the seven deadly sins. It takes all of the detectives' experience and effort to track the bloody trail of John Doe (Kevin Spacey), who in turn enjoys toying with the cops, planting clues as part of his deadly vision.
Fincher's world is dark, gray and foreboding through most of the movie and destroys any hope you might have for this urban civilization. Even the opening credits are murky, jerky, near-subliminally interspersed with disturbing crime-scene photos. Drenching rain is falling from depressingly cloudy gray skies for most of the movie, underscoring the unhealthy and fatalistic nature of this picture. "Se7en's" claustrophobic urban world rustles with cockroaches, and is filled with piles of rotten junk to the point that you can almost smell the putrid air. When the scenes begin to brighten and we finally move into broad daylight, it is only for the most gripping climax suspense cinema has seen in a long time, in a counterpoint revealing the abominable abyss of the dark and masochistic soul of the killer.
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2.0 out of 5 stars And Your Point Is?, Feb. 18 2004
This review is from: Seven [Import] (VHS Tape)
Normally I either dismiss horror movies as juvenile thrills or ignore them as social metaphors wrapped in a package I simply don't care for. In general, I avoid horror pictures. Se7en is a horror movie that took me by surprise. It was not a pleasant surprise.
From the edgy and original titles to the top-notch acting to a screenplay that keeps you completely engrossed in the story, Se7en is a quality production. So what's the problem?
Call me crazy, but I think that for a movie to be entertaining, it has to be pleasing in some way. It should make you laugh, or maybe you learn something from it. If it's a sad movie, you should leave feeling as if there was some kind of cosmic justice to the sad outcome. In other words, there should be a satisfying finality to the story. Isn't that why we like stories at all? If we wanted real life, we wouldn't be watching a movie.
When Se7en ended, I wanted to know what the point of this tragedy (in the Shakesperean sense) was. We spend two hours watching our heroes make difficult choices and deal with tough situations. They (and we) are rewarded with a grisly and unsatisfactory conclusion.
I would like to leave Se7en behind me, as I do with probably four of every five movies I watch. Unfortunately, I find it haunting me with its pointless gruesomeness. Perhaps the deeper meaning of this movie will come to me eventually. But I doubt it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mood, Jan. 31 2004
By 
J. Buettner "Jaws Fan" (Folsom, Ca) - See all my reviews
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Seven is a film that is built on mood and performance. The movie for all intensive purposes shows just one murder happen on screen and that's by gunshot. What makes this movie so disturbing to people is it leaves a lot up to the imagination which is a much stronger tool. What the movie expertly does is set a mood by the way it's shot, by the constant raining and darkly lit, dunging sets, and an eerie soundtrack. It also sports one of the most distubing opening credit sequences which the filmmakers put a lot of thought and time into.
I liked that the movie focused not on delivering shocking moments but on themes of the human condition. Each of the main three characters presents a different viewpoint of life and purpose. What may disturb people most is that even the seriel killer makes a compelling arguement (in a sick way) and is guided by a deep rooted conviction.
If you like movies with happy endings do not see this film. This film was not made to have you leave with a smile. It does make you think however. I respect what the film accomplishes and the amount of care and detail that the filmmakers poured into this project and for that I give it four stars.
A note on the DVD --- It is one of the best out there in terms of presentation and special edition material. However, the alternnate ending is terrible. First off it is in storyboard form, secondly in is only slightly different but enough to be aweful so don't have your hopes up for something great in that regard.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fully loaded DVD of a fantastically well-made movie, Jan. 23 2004
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
I know what you're thinking - how can I give 3 stars to a film that I called "fantastically well-made" and that has a wide array of DVD extras? Because technical skill is not enough - the film must be worthwhile viewing and certainly must not let me down at the end.
The good points: Director Fincher and cinematographer Darius Khondji deserve special mention for making the film dark, moody, and of exactly the right pitch for the material. Although I couldn't tell on my system (I don't have surround sound), I'm told that the sound itself is worth the price of the DVD. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are perfect, as is the "guest star" serial killer, whose name I won't reveal because it's a neat surprise (his name is not given in the opening credits so it's not for me to reveal his name, although other reviews do). The idea is creative - a serial killer "sermon" on the deadly sins. Many have commented on how disturbing the film is, which is true, but not any more so than some true story serial killers, and I would have no problem recommending the film to others (but take the R-rating very seriously!)
However.... At the end of the film, for all its technical skill, I was not left with the impression that the experience was worthwhile. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the ending and the protrayal of the serial killer. Some of the murders (e.g. greed and sloth) are grisly, but not really poetic justice. Likewise, the ending is very irritating. Not so much for its predictability, but for the fact that it cheats. Count up the number of murders at the end, and you don't get seven. I have other objections, but they would require revealing too much, so I won't post them here.
Seven is one of these moody pieces where the audience is jerked around but where it should all come together at the end. Think about two films with some of the same stars, namely 12 Monkeys and The Usual Suspects: the endings of these films are consistent with the buildup and don't cheat the audience. Seven does cheat, so it loses status in my star rating.
The DVD edition is quite a good package. There are 4 audio commentaries, although most of them (and many of the other extras) are technical in nature. One entire commentary is devoted to the sound alone! My favourite extra - cut and/or alternate scenes - is interesting, especially the original opening sequence of the film and the subplot it generated. There is also an alternate ending that was storyboarded, which contains an interesting difference from the one that was filmed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 8th Deadly Sin Is Not To Own This Fantastic DVD!, Jan. 13 2004
By 
Timothy Michael Resh (Roswell, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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There are only a handful of films that are good enough for me to benchmark the experience of seeing them in the theater. Se7en is one of those movies. I saw the film for the first time with a group of friends on a college trip. We went into the film laughing and joking, and when we emerged, we were all totally silent for at least fifteen minutes. We were still recovering from the shock of this film, the benchmark by which I have since judged all suspense thrillers.
The film is exceptionally well-written, merging classical elements of the ars praedicandi (the ancient teaching texts to which Freeman's character refers in the film), with Dante's Inferno, and Milton's Paradise Lost with a serial murder investigation in a modern metro area. While the exact location is nondescript, the location is simultaneously nowhere and everywhere, thus making this "everycity" that much more disturbing.
Freeman is brilliantly cast as the aging, jaded Detective Somerset, ready to retire, while Brad Pitt makes the perfect brash foil to Freeman's Somerset. A character study in contrast, Pitt's impulsive irreverence keeps the viewer engaged and entertained, while Freeman's brooding Somerset provides necessary exposition and grounds the story with his shrewd, patient omniscience.

Kevin Spacey's John Doe is one of the most frightening villans to have ever graced the screen, not merely because of the horrible murders the character commits, but because of the character's cool amorality regarding his own actions. Gwyneth Paltrow and Leland Orser also make appearances in gut-wrenching supporting roles.
Not intended for those who are pregnant or nursing or for those who have heart or kidney conditions, this film will grab your viscera and twist them until you want to beg for mercy, then make you want to come back for more. This is more than just another genre film. It redefines the suspense/thriller genre, and its brutal ending becomes only marginally less upsetting on subsequent viewings.
The Platinum Edition DVD is a must in this case. With digitally enhanced negative transfer, digitally remastered surround sound, and loads of special features, the film finally looks and sounds like the masterpiece it is. If you only saw this movie in the theater, you have not seen this film the way Fincher intended it to be seen.
Fincher's commentary track is, like the commentary on Fight Club, thoroughly entertaining and enlightening, and he has gone into the vault to provide us with an alternate opening sequence, as well as a coda-less ending, and a vastly different storyboarded ending that was never filmed. Only special feature that could have easily been omitted is Morgan Freeman's whiny, self-absorbed commentary track. I respect Freeman immensely as an actor, but he's rather annoying when allowed to ramble on unscripted.
Another one of the best films of the 1990s, the Platinum Series version of Se7en is a must for any DVD collection!
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