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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Limey (1999)



Reviews and Comments

"Stylish" is the word that comes to mind when describing Steven Soderbergh's The Limey, and it applies even more than it does to most of Soderbergh's work. I liked the movie's style. It's dreamlike. At times the visuals flip back and forth among the past, present, and future, and the audio doesn't always sync up: a character may speak without moving his mouth, because his words are what we need to hear, but his expression from ten minutes earlier is what we need to see. That an audience could even follow such carefree editing is remarkable; that it seems so natural and evokes exactly the required mood is praiseworthy. And when the movie needs to pay an event its fullest attention, the cuts disappear, and the camera focuses intently on every nuance of a critical moment.

It is this wonderfully fresh style that makes The Limey worth watching at all. A summarized version of its plot would likely not sound different from that of a broadcast movie-of-the-week. Soderbergh's inspired craft -- and a stand-out performance by Terrence Stamp -- made this an enticing, engaging mystery with moments of black comedy, one of which killed my stomach from laughter pains. The conclusion leaves one as good movies should: thinking and reflecting.