Seven (1995)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking, smart film

I think John Doe's master plan fails

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Seven

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Drama/Horror

Release Date(s):  September 22, 1995

MPAA Rating:  R


So…one week…seven days…can’t be that eventful right?

Detective Lt. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a retiring detective and assigned to mentor his replacement Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) his last week.  When a series of serial killings begin to occur involving the Seven Deadly Sins, Somerset and Mills must learn to work together if they have any hope of solving the increasingly disturbing crimes.  A man named John Doe (Kevin Spacey) turns himself in for what appears could be an answer to the crimes, and he reveals a great horror could exist…What’s in the box?


I’ve felt better

Directed by David Fincher, Seven (stylistically written as Se7en) was a big hit with fans and critics and has gained a huge cult following.  It was nominated for Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

Seven is a cult classic, and I do like the film, but I don’t love it with the fevour that many of its fans do.  The movie is rather long, but does keep moving with a smart plot.  Though a detective movie, there isn’t much mystery involved in the plot and the only question is what John Doe is up to.


Hey guys, you got me!

Morgan Freeman is good in his typical sage role.  He is the perfect officer that always seems to know the right way to go about a case.  It is easy to see why he often takes roles like this.  I don’t feel that this is Brad Pitt’s best role.  He comes off as annoying (especially early on) and doesn’t deliver his lines the best.  Allegedly Denzel Washington was offered the role, but he had turned it down due to the darkness of the script.  Kevin Spacey is close to his award winning Verbal role in The Usual Suspects but mixed with a psychotic killer instead of a genius like John Doe.  Gwenyth Paltrow is nice and good in the few scenes she appears.  There are also appearances by Richard Roundtree and R. Lee Ermey.

The film also looks fabulous.  Fincher is a great director and he works well with the dark material.  The sets of the movie are dark but detailed.  It really looks great from the police station, to David and Tracy’s apartment, to the nice bright ending at the powerlines.  The fact he can go from somewhere so dark to end in a shiny sunny place takes some skill.


What’s in the box?!?!

*****Spoiler Alert***** Seven has one of those classic endings that everyone talks about.  It doesn’t really work for me.  John Doe doesn’t pull off his glorious goal.  I realize that some of Doe’s victims don’t die, but it seems to me that Brad Pitt’s character should have killed himself in addition to killing John Doe.  He’s been punished by losing his wife, but still it would have been more fitting if he killed himself after shooting John Doe.  I also question the killing of Tracy.  None of the other John Doe victims have been “innocent” in the eyes of God, and Paltrow becomes collateral damage unjustly here.  Ironically, the film wasn’t supposed to end this way, a mistake at the studio approved the original ending, and Fincher refused to turn it back.

Seven is a good movie and a good movie to discuss and debate.  I wish I liked it a bit more, but it is a good film and any film you can walk away talking about is a higher quality film than a standard action or detective film.  Seven is a film worth revisiting.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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