Alice King
March 15, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sexy Beast

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
88 minutes
Wide Release Date
06/13/01
performer
Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Robert Atiko, James Fox, Julianne White, Cavan Kendall, Ian McShane, Alvaro Monje, Amanda Redman
director
Jonathan Glazer
Producers
Channel Four Films, Kanzaman S.A., Recorded Pictures Company
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author
Louis Mellis, David Scinto
genre
Comedy, Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it an A

In the sun-splashed south of Spain, Sexy Beast’s ex-gangster Gal (Ray Winstone) and his cheery ex-porn star wife (Amanda Redman) live life like lottery winners — all expensive bad taste, enjoyed to the fullest — until a boulder comes tumbling down a hill and into his swimming pool. Then a far more menacing intruder wrecks his idyll, the psychopathic Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), come from London to recruit Gal for ”one last job.”

Kingsley received an Oscar nod for his anti-Gandhi, and it’s well deserved. Whether sitting ramrod-straight and silent or spitting out expletive-filled diatribes, Kingsley’s Logan is strangely vulnerable and absolutely frightening, like a whipped dog that’s turned biter.

The heist itself, into which Gal is inevitably drawn, is almost as much of a distraction for us as it is for him. His heart is in Spain, where his wife and good-time pals face some serious cleanup after Logan’s explosive exit. Our hearts are there too, wishing for a chance to watch them again enjoy their good fortune, their thick cockney accents making lines like ”gonna ‘ave the calamari” merely sound like ”gonna ‘ave to kill him, are we?” A

WHAT WE SAID THEN: ”a crackerjack genre piece… [that] presents an authentic and merciless vision of the underworld.” (#601, June 22, 2001) A

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