Luc Besson (1994)

18 Certificate


Our Score
French director Luc Besson followed his international hit Nikita with his first American-set movie, Leon, a haunting and compulsive thriller that explores the relationship between the emotionally stunted hitman of the title and his 12-year-old neighbour, Mathilda. The illiterate, milk-drinking, Sicilian loner (Jean Reno) is reluctantly forced to befriend and protect the girl, played by Natalie Portman, after her family is wiped out in a horrific drugs operation led by Gary Oldman, an utterly corrupt DEA agent. Leon ends up teaching Mathilda the tricks of his trade so that she can take revenge on the deranged cop. The two masterly central performances from Reno and Portman intelligently convey how Leon's carefully constructed, reclusive existence falls apart as he lets feelings enter his life for the very first time. But it's the ultra-stylish action scenes and the series of totally breathtaking set pieces, interspersed with a provocative streak of dark humour, that propel Leon into the suspense stratosphere as Besson redefines the action genre. Funny, tragic, brilliant and unmissable.

Cast & Crew

Leon Jean Reno
Stansfield Gary Oldman
Mathilda Natalie Portman
Tony Danny Aiello
Mathilda's father Michael Badalucco
Malky Peter Appel
Mathilda's mother Ellen Greene
Mathilda's sister Elizabeth Regen
Mathilda's brother Carl J Matusovich
First Stansfield man Randolph Scott
Second Stansfield man Keith A Glascoe
Fatman Frank Senger
Tonto Lucius "Cherokee" Wyatt
Mickey Luc Bernard
Director Luc Besson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains violence and swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray