Sexy Beast (2000)

[6.5]

Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane star in this stylish and darkly comic story about a retired safecracker (Winstone) whose former mentor (Kingsley) shows up demanding that they team up for one more hit. Kingsley steals the show here in a role that earned him an Oscar nomination. His character is manic, alternating between threatening calm and almost laughable violent energy. Since I don’t generally like gangster or heist movies, I wasn’t expecting to like Sexy Beast much. But the first two-thirds of the movie were much more engaging than I anticipated. I enjoyed the Spanish hillside setting and Winstone’s relationships with other retired criminals, his wife, and even his pool boy. The final act felt a little pedestrian in comparison, but director Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Under the Skin) does a remarkable job keeping the dialogue-heavy film visually and editorially interesting.

Oscar Nomination: Best Supporting Actor (Kingsley)

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