Lucky Number Slevin



Smug and violent caper movie isn't for kids.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: September 11, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 109 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Heroes are assassins, gamblers, and cheats who outsmart mob bosses.


Includes frequent killings and beatings (knifings, shootings, nose-breaking, neck-breaking, punching faces and stomachs, poisoning); opens with a man shot in his car (windows break, blood splatters); a horse takes a bad spill on a track; a woman is shot offscreen (you see blood splatter); a boy witnesses his dad's execution (you see blood on car windshield); a man is shot from a rooftop; explosion; dead, bloody bodies; Lindsey works in a morgue and so deals with dead bodies (one is grotesquely burned).


Two sex scenes; Lindsey accidentally sees Slevin's penis (though we don't -- her reaction is our focus); Slevin and Lindsey chatting, post-sex, in bed; flashback shows two gay men meeting secretly; verbal references to "hand job," "fine ass," "t--s."


Frequent use of the f-word (30 or so instances); some sexual slang; several uses of s-word, "ass," and "hell," one "damn," pejoratives for gay men ("fairy").

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink in social situations.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie includes multiple violent scenes (shooting, neck- and nose-breaking, fighting, knifing, smothering in plastic wrap), as well as one flashback where a young boy sees his father killed by a hitman (the shooting is off-screen, the boy's stunned and frightened reaction is visible). Most characters are professional thugs and killers, gamblers, and con-men. One female character works in a morgue, where a burned corpse is visible (close-up of the grisly arm). Characters curse frequently, drink occasionally, and a few scenes display or insinuate sexual activity. None of the characters provides an admirable role model; some are cleverer than others.

What's the story?

Slevin (Josh Hartnett) leaves his unfaithful girlfriend and takes up residence in a friend's New York City apartment. Soon, Slevin finds himself mixed up in a war between two criminal kingpins: the Boss (Morgan Freeman) and Schlomo (Ben Kingsley), also called the Rabbi. They despise one another, share a history of violence and revenge, and live in stunning penthouse apartments facing one another across the street. And they think Slevin is \"Nick,\" who owes $96,000 in gambling money, and before you can say \"North by Northwest,\" Slevin is faced with impossible choices. The Boss invites Slevin-as-Nick to erase the debt by killing Schlomo's gay son (retaliation for a previous murder). And everyone is under the mostly misinformed scrutiny of muttery Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci).

Is it any good?


Proudly clever, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN sets up a range of characters for collisions and takedowns. At the center is Slevin, partly lucky, partly ingenious, mostly Josh Hartnett, with scruffy hair, bared torso, and eyes slightly squinty as he peers at the camera, inviting you to guess what he's thinking. At a train station, Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) tells Slevin (Josh Hartnett) a story about cheats, killers, and gamblers, with a lesson on what he calls the "Kansas City shuffle," which he describes thusly: "It's when everybody looks right and you go left." Check. Lucky Number Slevin is a caper movie, with tricks and turns and characters who aren't who they seem.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the strong bond between the father-figure and his protégé. You might also discuss the risks of gambling (on anything), and the suggestion here that a "sure thing" (like the central, meticulously detailed revenge plot) might be possible. What do you make of Schlomo's assertion that "People are never happy with what they have, they want what they had or what somebody else has"?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 7, 2006
DVD release date:September 12, 2006
Cast:Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman
Director:Paul McGuigan
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence, sexuality and language.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bymdeeter October 10, 2012

A great movie for adults.

A super-awesome movie for adults. The story-line is great... has some really great twists. One of my favorite movies. Not for kids: Has two sex scenes which show some canine-style sex between a fully-naked man and a fully-naked woman.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old August 7, 2012

Great movie, but some graphic sex.

Great movie.ONLY FOR MATURE TWEENS, or teens. There are two very graphic sex scenes. A considerable amount of violence, and some swearing. Other than the sex scene, it is nothing worse than call of duty.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byAker August 3, 2011

Great movie but parents should know what they are getting into

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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