Layer Cake

Rated R 2005

Matthew Vaughn's ambitious trip into the London drug underworld has plenty of dark threat and compelling visual style, but it's so tricked-up with double-crosses, hidden motives, vengeful secrets, and class-conscious social commentary that it bewilders more than it intrigues. Daniel Craig (The Jacket) stars as a nameless coke dealer who runs afoul of two mob bosses (Michael Gambon and Kenneth Cranham) while tracking down a drug-crazed young woman and trying to strike a deal with a hothead (Jamie Foreman) involving a million doses of Ecstasy. By the end, you may be exhausted by the effort of trying to unravel the thing, but you may also be taken by the power of its spell. This is a movie that compels you to watch. Vaughn (the producer of Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) obviously has talent as a director. From a novel by J.J. Connolly, who also wrote the confusing screenplay.

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Layer Cake

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