The most crackerjack entertainment I've seen so far this year.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The newest in British gangland entertainment and the tastiest in years.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
This is one of those movies in which you simply pluck out what there is to entertain you and forget about the rest.
Mike Clark - USA Today
It's a stylish and classic gangster saga about the clashing of rival empires, where the only thing worse than the killer before you is the killer waiting behind him.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
An exercise in high style, high octane and low-key suaveness.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
A propulsive drug-world movie that dutifully covers similar ground in and around London: guns, chicks, inventive use of the F word, expensive-looking locations, designer stuff, and so on.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
What's abundantly clear is how far this kind of moviemaking has come from any knowledge of real criminal life; it's a geek's ineffectual daydream of mayhem.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
Layer Cake is laced with flashbacks and stylistic tics, but it never loses its forward momentum, and to the last shot, it avoids predictability.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
A gangster film, despite what its title suggests, that ranks with the best of the genre.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Layer Cake has sizzle, but it also offers plenty of steak.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
May be a worthy successor to a busy genre, but it is not an inventive inheritor.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
Craig is fascinating here as a criminal who is very smart, and finds that is not an advantage because while you might be able to figure out what another smart person is about to do, dumbos like the men he works for are likely to do anything.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
[Craig] is a great anti-hero, tough yet vulnerable, conflicted and amused, sincere and scared, without a hint of any of it on his sleeve.
Allison Benedikt - Chicago Tribune
Pulses with nasty thugs, cold-blooded crime lords, drug traffickers, blond seductresses, and a thumping suspense that can lead to head-cracking violence.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
In the end, Layer Cake serves up the just desserts.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Bloody good fun a great deal of the time. Love the accents. Love the guns. Bang-bang.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A masterly, intricately plotted crime story.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Leslie Felperin - Variety
Vaughn's film falls short of Goodfellas, but thanks to his ability to organize a complex story and bold, color-drenched photography by Ben Davis, Layer Cake is a cocked fist of a movie, impossible to ignore.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It's almost too much to follow, but the style, proven by Ritchie time and again, is irresistible.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The film is lamentably short of narrative coherence.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
The intricate thing dodges and feints and twists this way and turns that way until, by the time of the alleged resolution, we've lost our bearings completely.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
It's a little bleak, a little twisted, a little gory, and a lot funny.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Smartly put together, with interesting characters and caustic wit.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
What sets Layer Cake apart from the usual 'Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in' films is a stunningly suave performance by Craig, a top-drawer supporting cast and a dynamic directing debut by producer Matthew Vaughn.
Kevin Crust - Los Angeles Times
Only the accents are thicker than double-crosses in a thriller that's stylish and sleek - note lyrically appropriate use of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" in one sequence - but also assuredly delirious, ethically hefty and unpredictably treacherous.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
"Layer Cake" is a stylized British noir full of clever twists, biting dialogue, and plenty of ironic violence.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
A historia bem amarrada e beneficiada ainda pelo senso de humor seco e eficaz, ao passo que o elenco confere charme a um bando de personagens inescrupulosos e a direcao de Vaughn, associada a inventiva montagem, torna o filme sempre instigante.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Dean Essner - Time Out
[A] fun, snappy crime caper that begins with a wryly understated take on the "one-last-job-and-I'm-out" subgenre.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
Intense story about low-level organized crime figures embroiled in a deadly conspiracy.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
protagonist's narration puts the film's complex plot into much broader economic, political and cultural context.
Dragan Antulov - Draxblog Movie Reviews
Matt McAllister - Future Movies UK
A smart thrill ride with one magnificent finish.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
Dean Essner - AV Club
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Fun stuff indeed, even if you might need the subtitles to help decipher all the Britspeak.
Scott Weinberg - DVD Clinic
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
It does nothing revolutionary, but it handles the basics with entertaining aplomb.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Just following what is going on is a big job, but the film has its rewards.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Layer Cake is not the most original or memorable picture in the world, but it's a great calling card for Vaughn.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Clean, crisp and gratifying, you'd be hard pressed to find a better British film this year.
Dan Chant - FilmFocus
This is one of the few movies for which I can't tell you the name of the "hero."
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
It's nothing we haven't seen before, but Vaughn invests it with enough style and energy to make it worth the trip.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
I like Layer Cake a lot.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
...a delicious crime melodrama, with colorful characters, lots of action and violence, double and triple crosses, and a few fresh surprises of its own.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
...Michael Vaughn, has cooked up a tasty treat in his directorial debut, somewhere between Mike Hodges' cool and Guy Ritchie's out-of-control Smoking Barrels.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It's occasionally taut and clever enough to hold audience attention, but ultimately has little substance to accompany its cool exterior.
Todd Jorgenson - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Crime caper in the style of Guy Ritchie, but better.
Jeff Otto - IGN Movies
Nimbly dances through a handful of plot twists as we track who set up whom, and who hired whom to whack whom.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
It's not a Tarantino-esque self-aware pop-culture sideshow, but it knows its roots and is confident enough to sidestep the rules once in a while.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Yet another solid British crime drama...
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
There's an air of menace about even the most cheerful characters and a sense of dread in every undertaking -- it's quite wonderful, really.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
...a flat riff on a tired genre.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
A great ride, full of menace and sharp dialogue and colorful gangster characters with names like Crazy Larry, The Duke and the inaccurately-named Mr. Lucky.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
For those who like their gangster flicks on the mean, darkly humorous side, this is the goods.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
A contemporary gangster film that both looks and feels like a Britnoir classic filtered through the Jam's bang-on sense of style.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Pointless and tasteless[!]
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A smooth London lowlife discovers it's not quite as easy getting out of trouble as it is getting in.
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
...a memorable and sympathetic protagonist ...Daniel Craig with a note of cool humility Steve McQueen made a career of sounding.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Craig makes an amiable anti-hero with vague echoes of Steve McQueen. He's a guy we root for, even though we know he won't be able to cut that layer cake without spilling crumbs.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
It's not that Vaughn bites off more than he can chew. It's that we've seen these unsavory characters so many times before that they've gone stale.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
British actor Daniel Craig... is the latest name rumored to play James Bond - and this smart gangland thriller could be his audition tape.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Scripted by J.J. Connolly from his own novel, which may be why the film emphasizes double-crosses and conspiracies over the old ultraviolence.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
An entertaining Brit gangster flick with absolutely no soul but plenty of style.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Marks an impressive directing debut by Matthew Vaughn, Guy Ritchie's producer on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
(Daniel) Craig, an actor who'll be noticed whether or not he slips on Bond's tuxedo, continues to reveal a different side of himself in every role.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
All of the nastiness here gets a little tiresome after awhile, as do the attempts to glamorize the drug trade.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Full of quirky types who populate Guy Ritchie movies but set forth with more clarity and higher style.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
When the film succeeds, it does so on Vaughn's command of the visuals and Craig's subdued, steely performance.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Has enough role reversals and big reveals to keep any audience guessing.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
It has more heft than the Ritchie movies.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Nothing sweet here, and a stale crumpet and bad tea don't sound so bad right about now, because anything tastes better than a mouthful of hot lead.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
If XXXX were not Daniel Craig, the film's clever plotting and imaging would overwhelm him.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
[H]as been put together with a great deal of cleverness, and it slams along at a bracing clip ... a fast, compact and madly complicated criminal adventure.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
An appropriately hard-boiled quality runs through the movie, and the cast (from top to bottom) brings its best, putting the frosting on this nasty bit of Layer Cake.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
As good as the story and direction may be, much of the film's success is up to Daniel Craig.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Layer Cake may leave you with the feeling that you got dessert but missed the meal.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A passingly entertaining film that's so crowded, confused and busy that it flits from your mind as quickly as one of the director's fidgety jump cuts.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
The film's a diverting enough 105 minutes, with a few surprises in store.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
It's nice to look at, but lacks a sense of purpose.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Don't expect Layer Cake to add any new layers to the overstuffed genre of British gangster movies.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The first half of the film is slow and sloppy and it really only gathers dramatic tension in the last hour.
Paula Nechak - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Proudly retro ... serves as a sharp reminder of the gory glory days.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
Like The Sopranos, Layer Cake presents the criminal underworld as a tiring, middle-management nightmare.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Layer Cake is a solid entry into the British gangster film genre.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Everyone is believable, sometimes frighteningly so.
Hanh Nguyen - Zap2it.com
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
A virile British bounce off the Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee films and some hyper-hip TV shows.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
A stylishly dark, occasionally funny UK gangster film in the tradition of John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday and Peter Medak's The Krays.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
A stylish, dynamic thicket of thorny underworld twists and deceptions.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
It's hard to remember an American gangster film that has been as brazenly entertaining as Layer Cake.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Features a plot anyone over 16 has seen at least a dozen times, with slick but completely unoriginal directing by Matthew Vaughn.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
The special appeal of Layer Cake derives from its efficient, gripping story and from the personality of the unnamed protagonist.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Gets by courtesy of a fierce, wounded performance by Craig, whose icy blue eyes and serene pragmatism offer a convincing ballast to Layer Cake's pop violence.
Brent Simon - Now Playing Magazine
A corrosive confection of style and bile, its gleaming, butter cream-frosted contours not really concealing the crumbs who have curdled British society with their drugs.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
A snap, crackle, pop mobster classic.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Half-baked--astronomically high in cinematic calories but very low in nutritional value.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
As choices for a night's entertainment, well, you'd do better with a pint of Bass.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Layer Cake doesn't offer much that we haven't seen before.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
The extra attention the film demands will be richly rewarded--especially with lead Daniel Craig's hilarious, and genuinely cool perfromance.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
Though style ultimately outweighs substance, the film is formidably entertaining.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
The cast is uniformly good...but Vaughn is much too enamored of trick transitions
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
Leanly muscled British actor Daniel Craig gives a star-making performance in Layer Cake, the latest in the recent wave of stylish and ultra-violent gangster films from across the pond.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
a real movie rush, giving you such an adrenalin high that it feels like it should be illegal.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
There's plenty to enjoy with this piece of Cake.
Dean Essner - E! Online
Like just about every British crime picture of the last decade, it's stacked with gentlemen gangsters in Saville Row suits, blockheaded yobs with names like Kinky, Tiptoes and the Duke, and a disposable caper scenario.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
It doesn't seem to be making any point other than 'that's how we do violence in hip crime movies now.'
Fred Topel - About.com
Layer Cake is a fabulous movie about the underworld we only want to visit on film.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
With Daniel Craig channeling Steve McQueen as if he had a sense of humor...Vaughn's film is slightly cheeky even though the action is dense and often gruesome.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Infused with a healthy dose of nastiness and post-modern irony.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
This isn't the real British underworld, and it's not supposed to be. This is a highly stylized and ultra-hip British underworld - and it's entertaining as hell.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Confusing...befuddling...too long. With a different script and a different director this might have worked...But, then, that would have been a completely different movie.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Craig scores, but difficult accents plus uneven cutting are as deadly as the drug trade.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Although ultimately no less artificial than hyperactive laddie gangster flicks like Snatch ... just an uncommonly good one.
Chris Barsanti - Film Threat
More complex and intriguing than most American crime films, Layer Cake benefits from Daniel Craig's lead performance, which compensates for shortcomings in the direction.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Mayhem and drugs but with a lot more sty le than 'State Property II."
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Matthew Vaughn's confident debut's reserved pace and composed nastiness lends the action a matter-of-fact menace.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Nice look, but there's more promise than delivered goods.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
a must for those who like their tough talk delivered with an English accent
David Thomas - Filmcritic.com
Layer Cake always pulls itself up by its bootsraps whenever its energy threatens to flag.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Fast paced and complex, Layer Cake rewards those who pay attention.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
The film's style ... makes up for its difficult story.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
It's a testament to the subdued style, the witty script and the colorful (but not too colorful) characters that we don't even realize the entire story is built on a cliche.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
The [crap] may be out of control, but director Matthew Vaughn is firmly in it.
Carlo Cavagna - AboutFilm.com
An unusual crime thriller that feeds us the dynamic, edgy, and cataclysmic storyline that we hunger for.
Melissa McGibbon - Film Threat
Craig proves that he's got the strength, sophistication and brawny sex appeal to carry 007's license to kill, if only Hollywood would consider the fair-haired hunk.
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
As a whole, it just seems like we've seen it all before.
Don R. Lewis - Film Threat
It's slickly shot and enjoyable.
Nev Pierce - BBC
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
While it's visually striking, with superior acting, it's also cluttered with a bewildering collection of characters and plot threads.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall