The Number 23

The Number 23

Joel Schumacher (2006)

15 Certificate


Our Score
From Shakespeare's birth date (23 April 1564) to the time taken for blood to circulate throughout the human body (23 seconds), everything in life connects to the number 23. The so-called "23 enigma" has generated a vast body of literature and now forms the basis of this initially intriguing psychological thriller. Jim Carrey stars as dog-catcher Walter Sparrow, who becomes engrossed in a murder mystery novel given to him by his wife (Virginia Madsen), only to find that the disturbing events it depicts mirror his own past. As fiction and reality become increasingly blurred, a paranoid Walter is tormented by the fixation of the central detective character (also played by Carrey) on the prophetic powers of the number 23. The acting is top notch (Madsen also has a dual role), it all looks good - especially the neo-noir visualisations of the book chapters - and director Joel Schumacher neatly disguises the shift-in-reality twist. But visual flair can't disguise the deficiencies of the plot, and as the laughably conventional ending limps into view, The Number 23 just doesn't add up.


An amiable dog-catcher is given a murder mystery novel as a gift from his wife. As he begins to read the book, it becomes apparent that there are startling similarities between the story and Walter's own past, leading him to become obsessed with the publication. Walter begins to share the central character's fixation with the number 23, believing that it is the key to a deadly secret. Thriller, starring Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen and Logan Lerman.

Cast & Crew

Walter Sparrow / Fingerling Jim Carrey
Agatha Sparrow / Fabrizia Virginia Madsen
Robin Sparrow Logan Lerman
Isaac French / Dr Miles Phoenix Danny Huston
Suicide blonde / Mrs Dobkins / Young Fingerling's mother Lynn Collins
Laura Tollins Rhona Mitra
Sybil Michelle Arthur
Kyle Flinch Mark Pellegrino
Director Joel Schumacher
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Violence and swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 23 Feb 2007