• James Rutherford

'Seven': The Electrifying Pursuit of a Killer Compelled to Reenact 'The Seven Deadly Sins'


Movie poster for the film Seven starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freedman

“Seven” (aka “Se7en”) (1995) is a darkly electrifying crime thriller starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freedman as police detectives Mills and Somerset, mismatched partners on the hunt for a serial killer who utilizes the "Seven Deadly Sins" as the motif for a series of brutal murders.

Working together despite initial misgivings, the two men race against time to thwart the merciless "John Doe" (Kevin Spacey) as he fabricates extravagant murder scenes in depiction of man's inherently atrocious nature. An obese gentlemen forced to eat until his stomach bursts as a representation of gluttony, a defense attorney impelled to remove a Shakespearean "pound of flesh" from his own body representing greed—the killer's showcase swells with ghastly illustrations of moral decay as Mills and Somerset painstakingly hunt for clues to his identity.

An early career milestone for cinematic luminary David Fincher ("Fight Club", "The Social Network"), "Seven" is a hyper-stylized fever dream of intrigue, delivered with brutally efficient zeal by the infamously painstaking director. Andrew Kevin Walker's script serves as an ominous vehicle for John Doe's brand of savage gamesmanship, upending contrivance and crafting a wholly unique form of entertainment. Now famous for its indelible and stunningly affective finale, "Seven" remains a darkly impressionable masterpiece of 90's-era cinema.

 

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