Reviews - Léon: The Professional (1994)
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Léon: The Professional (1994)

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Taglines: A perfect assassin. An innocent girl. They have nothing left to lose except each other. He moves without sound. Kills without emotion. Disappears without trace. Only a 12 year old girl... knows his weakness.

Director: Luc Besson

Writers: Luc Besson

Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, ...

After her father, mother, older sister and little brother are killed by her father's employers, the 12-year-old daughter of an abject drug dealer is forced to take refuge in the apartment of a professional hitman who at her request teaches her the methods of his job so she can take her revenge on the corrupt DEA agent who ruined her life by killing her beloved brother.

91 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

Ah, monsieur, you can lead a Frenchman to the Big Apple, but you can't make him a New Yorker -- and that's exactly what makes The Professional so fascinating.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

90 | Hal Hinson

Oldman is the least inhibited actor of his generation, and as this deranged detective, he keeps absolutely nothing in reserve.
Read More: Washington Post

80 | Joshua Klein

Few action films can claim such complexities without conceding the bang-bang stuff that brings in the big money.
Read More: The A.V. Club

78 | Marc Savlov

Besson's visuals are, as always, vibrant and decidedly European. He fills the frames with odd-angled shots and alarming riots of color that catch you off-balance.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | James Berardinelli

With some surprisingly strong character interaction, there's a lot to like about this movie, at least for those willing to look beyond all the bloodshed.
Read More: ReelViews

70

This is a Cuisinart of a movie, mixing familiar yet disparate ingredients, making something odd, possibly distasteful, undeniably arresting out of them. [5 Dec 1994, p. 93]

63 | Roger Ebert

Besson has a natural gift for plunging into drama with a charged-up visual style.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

63 | Christopher Harris

Takes its viewers on a bouncing high-wire act between intense violence and sugar-sweet tenderness, with some light-hearted comedy along the way.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

60 | Lisa Nesselson

Widescreen lensing favors tight close-ups, and multiple shoot-'em-ups are edited with panache.
Read More: Variety

50 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

The sheer oddness of the New York world constructed for this film--where cops and crooks are literally interchangeable, and Oldman and Danny Aiello are stranded in roles that pick over the leavings of earlier parts--ultimately seems at once too deranged and too mechanical.
Read More: Chicago Reader

50 | Staff (Not credited)

Luc Besson is a masterly director of stylish, thrilling, and humorous action set pieces, and this film's bravura opening and closing sequences are two of the year's best.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

30 | Janet Maslin

Lacks the sexy elan of "La Femme Nikita" and suffers from infinitely worse culture shock. [18 Nov 1994, p.C18]
Read More: The New York Times