This is an excellent movie to the person with an Imagination
Brent Turner | Omnipresent | 08/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I feel I must correct a bunch of bad talk about this movie. First off, you have no clue as to how it is going to end, and is possibly the best movie ever created to keep your mind in question to the very last minute before it slaps you.
People have talked badly about the scenes where "Jim" is acting as a detective, but it is supposed to be portrayed in how a regular guy would see things happening, if he were imagining himself as the character in a book he were reading. It has the feel of a comic book to some degree, because it is portrayed in an artistic sense and not a literal, serious acting sense.
The story is one of the most brilliant I have ever witnessed, and all the acting was as it should be. Me and everyone I questioned agreed that Jim plays a more convincing "Mentally Insane" person than Johnny Depp even came close to in "Secret Window". Very surprising how well Jim Carrery did, in fact. If you like something that will really make you think, or enjoy a little bit of a challenge, and have an imagination, then this movie will be one of the best you will ever lay eyes on. A very artistic mind set in the making of this film."
D. Davidson | Portland, OR | 12/31/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"H o r r i b l e 8 15 18 18 9 2 12 5
8 + 15 = 23.
(18 * 18) + (9 * 2) / 12 - 5 = 23.5. If you round down that would be 23. It all adds up (pun intended). 23 is horrible. By the way, I know this is an annoying and pretentious way to start a review, but this review is about an annoying and pretentious movie, so I couldn't help myself.
Boring, predictable and abysmal are all words that spring to mind when I try to come up with a way to sum the plot up. This movie leans on pretty much every "thriller" cliché in the book (no pun intended). The whole time I was watching it I felt like it was a direct assault on my intelligence.
The character development was stunted, and there wasn't a single character in the movie that seemed believable to me. Their dialogue seems mechanical and by the end of the movie there wasn't a single character I was rooting for. In the "key scenes", or scenes where the characters were in peril, I just found myself not really caring what happened. I think the acting was actually pretty good at times, but it wasn't enough to breathe life into the characters in the story.
The pace of the movie was slow. Painfully slow. To give you an example, if 23 a good book, everything that happens in the movie would probably happen in the span of about one chapter. They had no plot or secrets to unravel, so it was pretty much like the movie rambled along with no point until it hit the end where it was like "by the way, this is what happened". And the only surprise in store for me at the end of the movie was how painfully obvious and uncreative the ending was.
Anyway, I love thrillers, and I love the horror genre. I can appreciate campy horror movies (the Evil Dead trilogy is my favorite, to give you an idea). The Number 23 is horrible because it committed the cardinal sin of taking itself too seriously. If they had embraced the fact that this is a bad movie with a horrible plot, it might have at least been entertaining."
Psychological drama that slips gears too much
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 07/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Overall I found this movie was not bad, I think it was extremely slow during the first hour and the alternate world of the characters of the book is a little confusing. Carrey himself by now has pretty much been typecast after spending the last 20+ years in a comedy laden career. The execution of the overall pacing of the film is its downfall, but that is only if you are wanting a strict thriller. The number 23 does a good job of bringing out themes of obsessive compulsiveness and paranoia.
Carrey plays a man whose normal suburban life suddenly turns upside down as he reads a book that is published but not finished. The book is titled "The number 23" and seems to be somewhat of a biography. As Carrey reads this book, the film shows a 1940's noir of black and white filming with Carrey playing the lead character that he is reading about. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING centers on the number 23, and it was interesting to see just how many ways one can come up with that number. Although the talented Virginia Madsen is in the film, I never felt like the chemistry was there between her and Carrey's character. The same goes for the actor playing his son, who although also reads the books and starts helping his pa as they undercover clues to a deeper mystery, at most times seemed non existent. Still, if you like psychological dramas in general and love hearing a hundred different ways that something can end up the number 23, you may find this one to your liking. It was interesting to see Jim Carrey play a serious role in what should have been a dark thriller, but unfortunately I think he still more naturally suited for comedy. The plot and the way this film wraps up in the end, however, is a bit surprising although in some ways at the very end, disappointing. "
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 02/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw the preview for NUMBER 23, I thought it was going to be a great film. The concept of the number 23 being part of some global conspiracy is a great idea for a mystery thriller. Also, Jim Carrey has done a great job of choosing roles that display the full range of his acting talents, not just ones that show his comic prowess and I was looking forward to seeing him in a mystery thriller film. But instead of a mystery thriller, I saw a hacked up film that barely qualifies as a mystery, has no thrills, and very little suspense.
Carrey portrays Walter Sparrow, and older man married to a younger woman named Agatha (Virginia Madsen) who works in a bakery. Walter works as an animal control specialist. Apparently Walter's job isn't all that exciting, but it is something he enjoys doing. At the end of the work day on his birthday, he gets bitten by a stray dog. He chases the dog until he looses him in a cemetery. The incident causes Walter to be late meeting his wife for dinner, which leads her to browsing a used bookstore, where she finds a self-published book about the number 23 that she buys for Walter as a gift. Apparently Walter was so late that Agatha was able to read the entire book while waiting for him. Walter must be a slow reader because it takes him over a week before he finishes it at the end of which time he finds himself going slightly insane, seeing the number 23 everywhere he goes and having dreams about murdering his wife. All reading and no play seems to make Walter a dull boy. Is Walter really going insane? Or is the book actually part of a larger story that Walter has become involved in? Dum, dum, dum, dum, DUM! (Look what I did, onomatopoeia and foreshadowing combined!).
I was really disappointed by NUMBER 23. The concept is so interesting and could be made into a great movie, but NUMBER 23 isn't it. Jim Carrey does a great job of playing both Walter Sparrow and the character of Fingerling from the novel, but he's not given much of a story to work with. Either is the lovely Virginia Madsen. She plays two roles, too, but neither has any real depth. In fact, none of the characters are very developed at all. Sometimes that's okay in a mystery suspense film, but not if you don't have much of a story to work with.
I will give the filmmakers credit, though. There are many people who will not like the ending of the film and even though I was disappointed, I'm glad they tried to bring closure to the whole story. Many times in mystery-thriller and suspense the films end ambiguously with no closure. As my parents used to say, "That's a dumb ending." NUMBER 23 doesn't have a dumb ending. Instead, it has a middle that doesn't make any sense. I'd most like to see a film that makes sense all or at least most of the way through, but given a mindless middle or a dumb ending I think I would rather take the dumb ending."
Pure mind-bending entertainment! Caution: This movie might
C. Impton | Baghdad | 07/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, with all of the lousy reviews this movie is generating, I have got to ask this question to you all-Did we both view the same film as one another? I was absolutely amazed by this film. Granted, I will admit that I am a big Jim Carrey fan, however I don't like and enjoy all of his movies(Eternal Sunshine, The Cable Guy to name a few). But I feel he did an applaudable job with this role. I don't feel the need to tell you about the plot and synopsis of this movie, as I am sure most are already aware of the generalization of this motion picture. But with all of the negative comments I am reading from alot of people, I am just curious to what really keeps you entertained for a good 1 1/2-2 hours. Is your attention span too short to stay focused long enough to get the gist of the story? Granted, this movie might take a couple viewings to fully understand it and appreciate it(I had to rewind a few parts to pick up on the little subtleties), but it is well worth it. And the actual ending is a very nice way of closing the film, as the whole book Carey is reading(The Number 23....Duh!) is explained, and how his life is reflected in it is fully and finally understood and revealed. It's a real head scratcher at first, but is fully appreciated after you grasp the full understanding and concept of it all. Beautifully directed by Joel Schumacher, and brilliant performances by Carey and cast(who knew he could actually do anything other than comedy so naturally) make this a very memorable movie and well worth picking up. If you are still skeptical on purchasing this movie then at least do yourself a favor and rent it. I hope to see Carey casted in more films like this in the future. Very well done! You will not be disappointed!"