Parents' Guide to

Layer Cake

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violence, language, drugs in British noir crime movie.

Movie R 2004 106 minutes
Layer Cake Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 18+

Heavy on Drugs, Sex Violence

The entire movie is centered around the drug trade, and there are scenes of female nudity and simulated sex involving a naked female (seen from the front, exposed breasts) and a naked male (partially seen behind female). There are several scenes of violence as well.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This movie is very much a product of its time, and while its enjoyable, it doesn't quite stand out from similar movies of that era. Layer Cake is an entertaining British crime noir movie from the makers of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. There's a distinctive style to turn-of-the-century crime movies like these -- for instance: cynical voiceovers, foul-mouthed henchmen with distinctive nicknames, criminal bosses who make their points by bringing up the behavior of some animal in nature or a tactical gambit in chess -- and Layer Cake is very much a part of that style and sensibility. Therein lies the problem. Even if the story is entertaining on its own terms, with plenty of action, double-crosses, and plot twists, there's still the lingering feeling that this has all been done before.

As the cool and professional lead character known only as "XXXX," Daniel Craig brings a suave style that seems to make it inevitable that he would soon be James Bond. He's the smart and even-keeled drug dealer surrounded by stooges and psychos. Again, this is all to be expected. There's a "love interest" that seems a little too shoehorned in, like the filmmakers realized that there were only two female characters in the whole thing, and they're both relatively minor. It's a story where style sometimes gets in the way of substance when there's no reason, because the story is fine on its own terms.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate