Movie Review
Sin City
Sin City poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published April 12, 2005
US Release: April 1, 2005

Directed by: Frank Miller Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Jessica Alba , Rosario Dawson , Elijah Wood , Bruce Willis

Running Time: 126 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $74,098,862
This movie is a big neon middle finger to all those who think they know what movies should be like.
"This is gonna hurt bad, baby." Conservative-types are not going to like this movie at all (except maybe secretly on the inside). This movie does not have morals, values, ethics, or any sense of wholesomeness. But I mean, what do you expect with a title like "Sin" City? The film certainly lives up to its title: It is dark in every sense of the word, and many people would accuse a film such as this as being "Satanic" entertainment, and they would be right. But none of that matters because what we have here is one of the most entertaining and exhilarating films I've seen hit the big screen; it's the kind of flick I've been hoping would get made since I was about twelve.

The film involves a group of intersecting stories. The tales are not quite tied together in the manner of Pulp Fiction, or the upcoming Crash, but the purpose is just as well served: Each vignette serves up barn-burning mayhem that is so impressive that I can forgive any flaws it has concerning classical narrative. You have to realize that the stories are ripped directly from Frank Miller's comic, and the characters in the comic are all merely caricatures as they are here.

There are three main stories involved concerning the hyper-shady world of Basin City. A motley assortment of cops, crooks, and freaks dominate the foreground, and the background sprawls with German Expressionist shadows and monolithic buildings. Each of the main protagonists is a tortured soul driven by intense desire and regret. Their motivation is to stop the violent and ruthless people who make the world such a horrible place. But sometimes they just might be those people. The film is about their escapades.

Sin City is not concerned with following the rules of film textbooks of what you can and can't do. The film is about eye-popping spectacle - it assaults your senses with all the glee of an ancient warrior about to hack the enemy to pieces. For all the talk about Kill Bill being violent, Sin City steps it up several notches to a level of brutality that is truly shocking. I'm a seasoned veteran of cult films and otherwise over-the-top fare, but this movie had my jaw on the floor, and I loved that. The film doesn't warm hearts and it surely doesn't care what any critic has to say about the lack of depth. This movie is a big neon middle finger to all those who think they know what movies should be like.

It was a masterstroke for director Robert Rodriguez to work side by side with Frank Miller, which ensured that the original vision came through vividly and without any stylistic "Hollywood" compromise. This is both a work of art and a perfect movie for the video-game generation. Sin City gets my highest recommendation and is my favorite film of the year so far.
Scott's Grade: A
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
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'Sin City' Articles
  • Scott's Top 10 Films of 2005
    January 7, 2006    What I really love about {Sin City} is that it pushes the boundaries of cinema; love it or hate it, you have to admit that you?ve never seen anything like it. -- Scott Sycamore
  • Craig's review D+
    April 2, 2005    It has no story to speak of other than to show how decent its heroes are and how deranged its villains are, while keeping us from caring about them. -- Craig Younkin
  • Friday Box Office Analysis (4/1)
    April 2, 2005    Its durability will be very questionable, and considering it?s even more of a cult film than Kill Bill, it stands a chance of dropping like a rock. -- Lee Tistaert
  • Weekend Outlook Chat (April 1 - 3)
    March 31, 2005    I have a feeling this is going to be similar {to Team America}: the film could play really well in specific cities, or college towns, but not so great elsewhere. -- Staff of LMI
  • Craig's Spring Movie Preview
    February 27, 2005    Filled with danger and mystery at every turn, this is one of the greatest looking trailers I've ever seen. -- Craig Younkin