Léon: The Professional
Léon: The Professional (1994)

As visually stylish as it is graphically violent, this thriller directed by Luc Besson concerns Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a 12-year-old girl living in New York City who has been exposed to the sordid side of life from an early age: her… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 15, 2000
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Pivoting on the unusual relationship between seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice -- a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman -- Luc Besson's Léon is a stylish and oddly affecting thriller.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Leave it to french writer-director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) to put a kinky twist on Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

The Professional is strictly amateur-hour.

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Jeff Beck

Leon: The Professional is a wonderful character study, enriched by outstanding performances, thrilling action, and a well-rounded script that gives the film an intriguing amount of depth.

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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Ultimately, like La Femme Nikita, there may be less here than meets the eye. But what does meet the eye is pretty darn thrilling.

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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times

Like Quentin Tarantino, Besson has a singular style and directorial sensibility that keeps you watching.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

A favorite of IMDb fanboys and reportedly of pedophiles as well, Leon: The Professional is noteworthy as marking French helmer Luc Besson's first American production as well as showcasing the film debut of a then-13-year-old Natalie Portman.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

The sheer craziness and excessiveness of the movie -- no crazier, perhaps, than many of the American action movies it copies -- never finds a center of gravity.

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Anthony Lane
New Yorker

The most objectionable thing is Gary Oldman's performance, baroque in its awfulness. Almost as bad is the director's attempt to construct a visual style -- and, for that matter, characters -- by piling one mannerism on top of another.

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Nick Rogers

Luc Besson's original cut feels more like a journey than just a joy-buzzer jolt of action, and the deeper, braver, darker story he set out to tell - a fractured and fractious fairy tale. When people rave about "The Professional," they mean "Léon."

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More reviews for Léon: The Professional

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
KJ Proulx
With a very interesting, yet simple premise, "Leon: The Professional" is a very smart, stylistic thriller about a young girl whose family has been… More
Alex roy
Leon (The Professional) is quite possibly the finest work by director Luc Besson, whom is for me anyways, a director who is hit and miss. The Professional is a… More
Red Lats
Cute - a 12 year old hitman. Natalie Portman plays Mathilda - a kid who is orphaned by a crooked cop. Leon is the loner "cleaner" and Leon and… More
Directors Cat
xGary Xx
Professional killer Jean Reno reluctantly takes in a 12 year old girl after her family is murdered by corrupt police detectives. Luc Besson's mix of… More
UUd Irawan Yudha Ariyanto
A naive fairy tale splattered with blood. Always at the back of my mind was the troubled thought that there was something wrong about placing a 12-year-old… More