Combustible Celluloid
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With: Josh Hartnett, Stanley Tucci, Sir Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, Kevin Chamberlin, Oliver Davis, Victoria Fodor, Sam Jaeger, Dorian Missick, Sebastien Roberts, Michael Rubenfeld, Corey Stoll, Rick Bramucci
Written by: Jason Smilovic
Directed by: Paul McGuigan
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, sexuality and language
Running Time: 109
Date: 02/24/2006

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Dumb 'Luck'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1, The Reckoning) directs this slick con game, which works for large portions, not because of brains, but thanks to its color and style. The always-underrated Josh Hartnett plays sad-sack Slevin, who is having a bad day. A gangster (Morgan Freeman) mistakes Slevin for a roommate, snatches him -- while wearing only a towel -- and informs him that he owes a massive debt. To waive this debt, Slevin can murder a rival gangster. Not long after, the rival (Ben Kingsley) does precisely the same thing. Bruce Willis plays a shadowy puppeteer and Lucy Liu turns in a surprisingly warm performance as an adorable, bouncy neighbor who takes a liking to Slevin. The more Lucky Number Slevin goes on, the more it forgets the richness of these characters and concentrates on unveiling a series of cheap twists. But the great cast chews the scenery while it can. Jason Smilovic, creator and writer behind the great, neglected TV show "Karen Sisco," provided the screenplay.

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