Léon: The Professional
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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 family lives in a slum and her abusive father works for drug dealers, cutting and storing dope. Mathilda doesn't much care for her parents, but she has a close bond with her four-year-old brother. One day, she returns from running an errand to discover that most of her family, including her brother, have been killed in a raid by corrupt DEA agents, led by… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Leave it to french writer-director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) to put a kinky twist on Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"The Professional is strictly amateur-hour."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"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.""
‑ Nick Rogers, Suite101.com
"Funny, tragic, brilliant and unmissable."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"Its strengths grate against the movie's glaring flaws, mainly its complete lack of credibility."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Ultimately, like La Femme Nikita, there may be less here than meets the eye. But what does meet the eye is pretty darn thrilling."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Like Quentin Tarantino, Besson has a singular style and directorial sensibility that keeps you watching."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"No matter what uncomfortable undercurrents the film gives rise to, Besson's skill with action is inventive and creative (and of course over the top)."
‑ Peter Galvin, sbs.com.au
"Having one career highlight performance in a film is a treat. Having three is just spoiling us, and the film is so solidly sold by the actors that it mostly manages to sidestep the potential queasiness in the Léon/Mathilda relationship."
‑ Andrew Lowry, Total Film
"Leon: The Professional has style to spare."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"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."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"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."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"The Professional is intriguing, but misses the mark as a potential cult favorite."
‑ Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"It's an American movie as seen by someone whose main frame of reference is American movies, not American life. Therefore, while it's draped in a cloak of gritty realism, Besson's movie is really a kind of bizarre cinemaphile fantasy."
‑ Dennis King, Tulsa World
"You'll enjoy the action, but you'll remember the movie because of Reno and Portman."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
More reviews for Léon: The Professional on Rotten Tomatoes

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