Watch Now

Prime Video

Rent from $2.99

Prime Video

Buy from $7.99

On TV

Airs Sat. Feb. 23, 11:55 AM on SHOW (642)


Airs Thu. Feb. 28, 3:00 AM on SHOW (642)


On Disc

Amazon

Buy from $13.59

Léon: The Professional (1994)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


Léon: The Professional (1994) Poster

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

8.6/10
904,315

Videos


Photos

  • Luc Besson and Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Gary Oldman and Danny Aiello in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Luc Besson in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Gary Oldman in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Luc Besson and Natalie Portman in Léon: The Professional (1994)
  • Natalie Portman and Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional (1994)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Luc Besson

Writer:

Luc Besson

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


5 August 1999 | psiko
10
| Masterpiece of violent Characterisations and fast action-shooting
An interview with Anne Parillaud, in the Evening Standard, 24.8.90, it was said that the message of Nikita is not one of violence but the idea is that people who are full of despair and missing love are not alone.

This idea continues in Léon. Léon was Besson's first foray into international film production. The similarities, or parallels, between Nikita and Léon are undoubted. Both the central protagonists attempt to come to terms with their dysfunctionality, to society, against a background of violence, which they both continue to act upon as the agent of someone else. There is no clean difference (we may also include Le Dernier Combat for comparison.) The only difference is gender.

I always found that until obtaining the "Version Integral" there was a character hole in the plot. The original cut released for US audiences was felt, by Besson, had an "offending" scene cut which ruined later scenes. The American test audiences hated it, seeing it as perverse and paedophiliac. The film was still panned by US critics as quasi-child pornography on general release. What it to be understood about this film, and this is what infuriated Besson, is that the film is about pure love. Not sex, which is all the Americans, could see.

And so we have ascertained that the characters in Besson's films are, simply, great. Then there is the action which is all the grace and style of Nikita. Typical of Besson's style with fast action-shooting and violent characterisation. This has to be one of Jean Reno's and by far Natalie Portman's best screen performance. To me, Gary Oldman plays his part to the tee, said by some magazines to be the best screen bad guy - it is one of his best performances.

Stylisation and excess are hallmarks of Besson's work. Characters are larger than life. Décors are in excess of realism. Besson's characters lack psychological depth. "The sumptuous and the ornate cohabit with the violent or the vulgar." Besson's use of excess is also extremely playful mixing violence with humour. Besson's work appeals to the tastes of popular culture and may not please that of the elite - arguably a reason for the rejection of his work by many intellectual film journals.

I have yet to hear of a person putting a bad word against this film. There is nothing I can personally fault so I give this film 10/10, a score only two other somewhat different films hold in my IMDb list of 345 films - "The Wizard of Oz" and "La Cité des Enfants perdu". If you like French Cinema or consider yourself a cinephile you must see the latter.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • The Green Mile

    The Green Mile

  • American History X

    American History X

  • Se7en

    Se7en

  • Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump

  • Fight Club

    Fight Club

  • Pulp Fiction

    Pulp Fiction

  • The Silence of the Lambs

    The Silence of the Lambs

  • The Usual Suspects

    The Usual Suspects

  • Saving Private Ryan

    Saving Private Ryan

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

  • The Shawshank Redemption

    The Shawshank Redemption

  • Goodfellas

    Goodfellas

Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been claimed that Luc Besson has written the script for a sequel, which Olivier Megaton was to direct and in which Natalie Portman would reprise the Mathilda role. Filming was to be delayed until Portman was a bit older. However, in the meantime, Besson left Gaumont Film Company to start his own movie studio, EuropaCorp. Unhappy at Besson's departure, Gaumont Film Company "has held The Professional rights close to the vest - and will not budge". According to Megaton, the sequel will more than likely never happen. Besson used the idea for Colombiana (2011).


Quotes

Tony: Allora, come stai, Leone?
Léon: Bene.
Tony: OK. OK. Let's talk business.


Goofs

The amount of milk seen in the reflection of Leon's sunglasses at his meeting does not reflect the amount of milk in the next shot. The reflection in Leon's sunglasses after setting the milk glass down on the table, when asked if he is free on Tuesday the glass is gone in his sunglass reflection.


Crazy Credits

Under the "SPECIAL THANKS" heading you will find: Chevalier KAMEN (Prince of the Mash Potatoes) Byblos Bill (King of Saint Tropez) Princess Trudy (Queen of Hearts)


Alternate Versions

In the version released in India, the censors ordered to cut certain scenes which included Matilda smoking on the stairs, a man pressing the breasts of the woman, 50% reduction in expressions on Stansfield's face after he consumes the drug capsule, 30% reduction in the shootout in the flat, the shooting by Stansfield at the dying man crawling on the floor, the scene were Leon teaches Matilda to use a telescopic gun and the subsequent visuals of her actually selecting a target and killing him ruthlessly in accordance with the shooting lesson, and Matilda's dialogues "He is my lover' and 'Shut the fuck up', before giving the film an A (adults only) rating.


Soundtracks

I Like Myself
from
It's Always Fair Weather (1955)
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Gene Kelly (uncredited)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Shay Mitchell on Why Everyone Is Obsessed With "You"

The "You" star shares how social media became its own character in the psychological thriller, and why people can't stop watching.

Watch our interview

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com