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LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN

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A gentle wiseacre of a hitman (or is he?) named Slevin (Josh Hartnett) surfaces in New York City, and initiates a complicated dance between two warring crime bosses. Paul McGuigan's postmodern noir is exceedingly complicated ... the story unfolds in a nonlinear fashion, and the large cast of seemingly disparate characters turn out to be variously linked (numbers and names are your best clues). Harnett is not entirely believable as either a naïf or a hard case, but McGuigan loads the supporting cast with capable old hands such as Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman and Stanley Tucci. If there had never been a Tarantino, The Usual Suspects or countless other too-clever-by-half twisty crime dramedies, then Lucky might have garnered a gasp or two. As it was, at the big reveal, I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd seen it all before. (AH)

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