Capsule Review: Sexy Beast

by Eric Melin on June 22, 2001

in Print Reviews

Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast is one of those rare contemporary thrillers that actually creates an unnerving sense of suspense, rather than rely on lame gun battles and car chases where you know exactly what the outcome will be.

Sexy-Beast-2001-posterSurprisingly enough, this year, Memento and With A Friend Like Harry are already stellar examples of this.

Well, add this British import to that unlikely (especially this early in the year) list. Ben Kingsley plays one of the most menacing criminals in recent memory, as he tries to convince an old, happily retired partner (played by Ray Winstone) to go in on a new scheme with him.

Some of the visual flair here reminded me of Darren Aronofsky’s dizzying Requiem For A Dream, but the real treat is how Glazer treats his subjects with absolute humanity. Because he shows us what they have to lose, it makes the uncertainty of what will happen next very heavy and frightening indeed.

There are no twisty plot points like Memento, but fans of that film will also enjoy the more subtle and hilarious (at times) delights that this and Harry have to offer.

It is a very good year so far for us neo-noir lovers, to be sure.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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