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An accomplished thriller that's nasty, brutish and relatively short. Veteran detective Morgan Freeman and cocky upstart Brad Pitt team up to catch a serial slayer with a biblical bent: He's staging brilliantly sadistic murders that illustrate each of the Seven Deadly
Sins. Gluttony and Greed are first, and the mismatched cops try desperately to identify the madman as he works his way through Sloth, Lust and Pride. The situation is formulaic, but director David Fincher (ALIEN3) contrives a stylish, intentionally ugly look that transcends the pulp narrative.
Freeman and Pitt deliver better performances than we had any right to expect, while Gwyneth Paltrow shines in the thankless role of Pitt's wife. And Kevin Spacey, consolidating his position as Hollywood's preeminent character player, is the creepiest psycho since John Lithgow in BLOW OUT. And what
of Envy and Wrath? The last sins are neatly wrapped up in a very satisfying finale.