Why is Leon: The Professional not often mentioned as one of the greatest films of all time?

pramod

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Oldman as Stansfield was arguably the best and scariest movie villain of all time. Every scene he was in has become a meme. It was a legendary performance on the level of Hans Gruber or Heath Ledger Joker.

The overall acting was incredible. Portman, Oldman, and Reno...all 3 had their most memorable roles in their careers. The final apartment assault scene is one of the most realistic and intense action scenes I've seen. The ending is both heartbreaking and satisfying. For me it was pretty much a perfect movie.

I'm just surprised this movie gets so little mention when people talk about the greatest ever. Heck I don't even see it mentioned much when people talk about great action or crime thrillers. I wonder why? Is it because Besson jumped the shark and started making crap like Valerian?

Bonus question: If you put Norman Stansfield and The Joker in a room together, who would win?
 
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nikolino840

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I saw this movie Just once....i'm not a movie critic so for my tastes i preferred Nikita by besson
But yes Is a good movie indeed
 
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The Snake

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Yeah, it's one of my all-time favorites but most people either haven't heard of it or get the wrong idea about it. I think a lot of people assume it's any other 90's action movie.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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The film is pretty highly regarded as far as I can tell. My first film teacher brought it up as a good film

Yeah it’s pretty amazing. Portman puts in one of the best child performances ever
 
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Always thought this was a great movie. The first time I went to see it way back in the day, I wasn't 100% sure what it would be like (for some reason I thought it was an action movie) but what I saw was different, very interesting, and a pleasant surprise. Actually re-watched it a couple of years ago because my wife had never seen it.
 

pramod

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Always thought this was a great movie. The first time I went to see it way back in the day, I wasn't 100% sure what it would be like (for some reason I thought it was an action movie) but what I saw was different, very interesting, and a pleasant surprise. Actually re-watched it a couple of years ago because my wife had never seen it.
Yeah it's more like a crime-drama-thriller than an action movie. But even when people list great crime drama films, they usually mention the usual ones like Heat, The Departed, Usual Suspects, The Untouchables, etc but almost never include Leon. Maybe it's just too hard a movie to categorize?
 
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somerset

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Cos the film is actually sh-t, and its dreadful French writer/director a talentless hack who only became famous cos non-french peeps thought french things 'cooler' at the time. Pseudo-pseudo-'intellectuals' too thick to go for the real high brow french arty movies, but still wanted in on that pseudo-intellectual street cred.

There are some regarded directors who have not one genuinely good film in their resume. Luc Besson is one of these. Of course I'm old enough to recall when the pseuds were ranting about 'Subway'.

Unlike the Italians, the French are not a good film-making nation. I always see their big issue as the same as the far better Japanese cinema the French shares a lot in common with- narrative. How to make a story interesting and make characters function well within that story. Low brow Japanese and french films think a 'cool' character does all the work.

The French share Japan's interest in comic book 'strorytelling'- and I don't mean the yank superhero stuff. An immature and primitive form compared to actual written novels. Besson is proud to bring comic strips to the big screen in all his efforts.

The big fans of Besson who claim his downmarket films are 'high art' tend to be Americans- the same 'sophisticated' market that gave the masterpiece Brazil a 'happy ending', and re-edited the masterpiece "Once upon a Time in America" to 'correct' its fractured timeline.

PS it is because so many Americans call lousy or mediocre films 'great' that Hollywood remains so confused about what makes a good popularist script, which is why we get abominations like Transformers, and the latest GOT season.
 
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ZehDon

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I certainly enjoyed the movie when I was younger. When I revisited the movie a few years ago, I watched the Directors Cut. It made me very uncomfortable, and not in a good way. Given what I know about the Director’s history now, it’s very hard for me to not see that present in the film now, in any version. I suspect that this is true for a lot of people.
 
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John Lee Packard

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Yeah, it's a great movie.

I always found it an interesting take that instead of being the usual badass action hero, Leon, for all his skills, is also very childlike.

Funny story about this movie, I remember when it came out on video being in a Movie Gallery video store with my mom, I was only 5 or 6 but I vividly remember my mom telling the clerk that the lens of Jean Reno's sunglasses on the poster "looked like stickers" because they had this weird 3D effect to them, that still makes me laugh.
 
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kingbean

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I certainly enjoyed the movie when I was younger. When I revisited the movie a few years ago, I watched the Directors Cut. It made me very uncomfortable, and not in a good way. Given what I know about the Director’s history now, it’s very hard for me to not see that present in the film now, in any version. I suspect that this is true for a lot of people.
I think I read somewhere that the theatrical cut was made for american audiences because it was less "romantic"

In the theatrical run Leon feels more like he only cares about Mathilda as protector and not as a lover. I think it cut about 5-10 minutes of very uncomfortable conversations.
 

Jesus Carbomb

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Cool movie but i think it’s a bit of a downer and doesn’t make for a fun rewatch. I’ll usually go for Fifth Element or Nikita over Leon . Throw Lucy in the mix as well... now there’s your under appreciated Luc Besson movie. The only Scarjo superhero origin film I’ll ever need.
 
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TheSadRanger

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Hey, I liked Valerian.

Leon it's a good movie, but it lacks something to be on the masterpiece level.
I liked Valerian but it had so much missed potential. I don't know what Besson was thinking with that casting, Dane DeHaan looked hungover throughout the entire movie and I just didn't really like his performance. Cara Delevigne looked hungover throughout most of the film to. I don't know if it was just a strenuous schedule during shooting and they didn't sleep much or were out partying but it showed on film.
 

godhandiscen

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Valerian was torture, specially going in with the expectation that it will hold a candle to the fifth element.
 
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MiyazakiHatesKojima

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Because it glorifies pedophilia.

On a serious note, Leon is definitely one of the best films of the 20th Century but not popular enough to be considered on those best-of lists.
 
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MrTickles

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Because it glorifies pedophilia.

On a serious note, Leon is definitely one of the best films of the 20th Century but not popular enough to be considered on those best-of lists.
It glorifies bad-ass father figures. By the end he's like her father, sacrifices himself to save her. He himself was adopted by a mob boss and turned into a killer. He does the same for his adopted daughter.

It frequently is in top ten lists, but the reason it's not more so is because it's a relatively unknown film.
 
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MetalAlien

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The long version is fuckiong amazing... but the whole thing becomes icky when you realize it's actually based on Luc's suduction of a real underage girl who actually appears in the movie (no longer underage) as a prostitute.
 

nkarafo

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If this film glorifies pedophilia then it must glorify mass murders as well. The protagonist that we have to sympathize with is a professional murderer. And how many cops did he kill near the end? Pretty sure most of them were doing their job, following orders, knowing they are against a very dangerous criminal.

Pedophilia, murders and other crimes exist. Just because a movie depicts them in one way or another doesn't mean they glorify them.

Though i do admit it's funny how in this movie it's the kid that tries to seduce the adult and not the other way around.
 

NutJobJim

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Great movie.

However, watching it now, I get uncomfortable. I think it has some pedo tones to it.
I hate to say it because I loved this film when I originally saw it many years ago but I tried to re-watch it recently with my girlfriend and there are some scenes with heavy pedo undertones which were pretty uncomfortable to watch. My girlfriend commented on it as well which was embarrassing as I'd been telling her how great the film was before we started viewing.
 

Macapala

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I like the movie, but it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. When they were playing chardes and Natalie Portman was acting out Madonna AWKWARD.... oh and that dinner scene at the restaurant.
 
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petran79

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Cos the film is actually sh-t, and its dreadful French writer/director a talentless hack who only became famous cos non-french peeps thought french things 'cooler' at the time. Pseudo-pseudo-'intellectuals' too thick to go for the real high brow french arty movies, but still wanted in on that pseudo-intellectual street cred.

There are some regarded directors who have not one genuinely good film in their resume. Luc Besson is one of these. Of course I'm old enough to recall when the pseuds were ranting about 'Subway'.

Unlike the Italians, the French are not a good film-making nation. I always see their big issue as the same as the far better Japanese cinema the French shares a lot in common with- narrative. How to make a story interesting and make characters function well within that story. Low brow Japanese and french films think a 'cool' character does all the work.

The French share Japan's interest in comic book 'strorytelling'- and I don't mean the yank superhero stuff. An immature and primitive form compared to actual written novels. Besson is proud to bring comic strips to the big screen in all his efforts.

The big fans of Besson who claim his downmarket films are 'high art' tend to be Americans- the same 'sophisticated' market that gave the masterpiece Brazil a 'happy ending', and re-edited the masterpiece "Once upon a Time in America" to 'correct' its fractured timeline.

PS it is because so many Americans call lousy or mediocre films 'great' that Hollywood remains so confused about what makes a good popularist script, which is why we get abominations like Transformers, and the latest GOT season.
50-60s French cinema was influential. Hiroshima mon amour is interesting because it takes place both in France and Japan. As for modern cinema, I tend to agree.
Best French movies were actually made by non-French, eg Kislowski, Haneke, Rosselini etc
 

mcjmetroid

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Cos the film is actually sh-t, and its dreadful French writer/director a talentless hack who only became famous cos non-french peeps thought french things 'cooler' at the time. Pseudo-pseudo-'intellectuals' too thick to go for the real high brow french arty movies, but still wanted in on that pseudo-intellectual street cred.

There are some regarded directors who have not one genuinely good film in their resume. Luc Besson is one of these. Of course I'm old enough to recall when the pseuds were ranting about 'Subway'.

Unlike the Italians, the French are not a good film-making nation. I always see their big issue as the same as the far better Japanese cinema the French shares a lot in common with- narrative. How to make a story interesting and make characters function well within that story. Low brow Japanese and french films think a 'cool' character does all the work.

The French share Japan's interest in comic book 'strorytelling'- and I don't mean the yank superhero stuff. An immature and primitive form compared to actual written novels. Besson is proud to bring comic strips to the big screen in all his efforts.

The big fans of Besson who claim his downmarket films are 'high art' tend to be Americans- the same 'sophisticated' market that gave the masterpiece Brazil a 'happy ending', and re-edited the masterpiece "Once upon a Time in America" to 'correct' its fractured timeline.

PS it is because so many Americans call lousy or mediocre films 'great' that Hollywood remains so confused about what makes a good popularist script, which is why we get abominations like Transformers, and the latest GOT season.

You're making this into a weird international thing. He has a certain style but not everyone from France has the same style.

Also the Fifth Element is fantastic.
 
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Aug 27, 2015
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Cos the film is actually sh-t, and its dreadful French writer/director a talentless hack who only became famous cos non-french peeps thought french things 'cooler' at the time. Pseudo-pseudo-'intellectuals' too thick to go for the real high brow french arty movies, but still wanted in on that pseudo-intellectual street cred.

There are some regarded directors who have not one genuinely good film in their resume. Luc Besson is one of these. Of course I'm old enough to recall when the pseuds were ranting about 'Subway'.

Unlike the Italians, the French are not a good film-making nation. I always see their big issue as the same as the far better Japanese cinema the French shares a lot in common with- narrative. How to make a story interesting and make characters function well within that story. Low brow Japanese and french films think a 'cool' character does all the work.

The French share Japan's interest in comic book 'strorytelling'- and I don't mean the yank superhero stuff. An immature and primitive form compared to actual written novels. Besson is proud to bring comic strips to the big screen in all his efforts.

The big fans of Besson who claim his downmarket films are 'high art' tend to be Americans- the same 'sophisticated' market that gave the masterpiece Brazil a 'happy ending', and re-edited the masterpiece "Once upon a Time in America" to 'correct' its fractured timeline.

PS it is because so many Americans call lousy or mediocre films 'great' that Hollywood remains so confused about what makes a good popularist script, which is why we get abominations like Transformers, and the latest GOT season.
You called the film shit, and then proceeded to write six paragraphs. These six paragraphs of text included zero arguments concerning the film itself or its merits.

I have to call that an accomplishment! Lol :)
 

Alfen

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Nov 12, 2018
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Cos the film is actually sh-t, and its dreadful French writer/director a talentless hack who only became famous cos non-french peeps thought french things 'cooler' at the time. Pseudo-pseudo-'intellectuals' too thick to go for the real high brow french arty movies, but still wanted in on that pseudo-intellectual street cred.

There are some regarded directors who have not one genuinely good film in their resume. Luc Besson is one of these. Of course I'm old enough to recall when the pseuds were ranting about 'Subway'.

Unlike the Italians, the French are not a good film-making nation. I always see their big issue as the same as the far better Japanese cinema the French shares a lot in common with- narrative. How to make a story interesting and make characters function well within that story. Low brow Japanese and french films think a 'cool' character does all the work.

The French share Japan's interest in comic book 'strorytelling'- and I don't mean the yank superhero stuff. An immature and primitive form compared to actual written novels. Besson is proud to bring comic strips to the big screen in all his efforts.

The big fans of Besson who claim his downmarket films are 'high art' tend to be Americans- the same 'sophisticated' market that gave the masterpiece Brazil a 'happy ending', and re-edited the masterpiece "Once upon a Time in America" to 'correct' its fractured timeline.

PS it is because so many Americans call lousy or mediocre films 'great' that Hollywood remains so confused about what makes a good popularist script, which is why we get abominations like Transformers, and the latest GOT season.


BASED....but accurate.
 

JareBear

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Valerian was torture, specially going in with the expectation that it will hold a candle to the fifth element.
The issue for me was complete lack of chemistry between the two leads. Acting felt "stale."

I wanted to love it. I was interested in the universe it's built in.

Unfortunately that movie never seemed to have a chance. Felt like a box office flop from the first trailer, given the budget