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Layer Cake (Widescreen) (2005)

Daniel Craig , Kenneth Cranham , Matthew Vaughn  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Craig, Kenneth Cranham, Dexter Fletcher, Michael Gambon, Colm Meaney
  • Directors: Matthew Vaughn
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X7BDC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,339 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Layer Cake (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Alternate endings
  • Music video
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • Director and Cast commentary

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

As its title suggests, Layer Cake is a crime thriller that cuts into several levels of its treacherous criminal underworld. The title is actually one character's definition of the drug-trade hierarchy, but it's also an apt metaphor for the separate layers of deception, death, and betrayal experienced by the film's unnamed protagonist, a cocaine traffic middle-man played with smooth appeal by Daniel Craig (rumored at the time of this film's release to be on the short list for consideration as the next James Bond). Listed in the credits only as "XXXX," the character is trapped into doing a favor for his volatile boss, only to have tables turned by his boss's boss (Michael Gambon) in a twisting plot involving a stolen shipment of Ecstasy, a missing girl, duplicitous dealers, murderous Serbian gangsters, and a variety of lowlifes with their own deadly agendas. As adapted by J.J. Connolly (from his own novel) and directed by Matthew Vaughan (who earned his genre chops as producer of Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch), Layer Cake improves upon those earlier British gangland hits with assured pacing, intelligent plotting, and an admirable emphasis on plot-moving dialogue over routine action. Sure, it's violent (that's to be expected) and not always involving, but it's smarter than most thrillers, and Vaughan's directorial debut has a confident style that's flashy without being flamboyant. This could be the start of an impressive career. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Planning to retire and begin a new life, Mr. X (Daniel Craig, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), a successful West End drug dealer, has been asked for one last favor: to negotiate the sale of one million hits of Ecstasy. Unfortunately for Mr. X, the pills were stolen from a Serbian drug lord who'll cut off his head if he sells them. And with a London crime czar (Michael Gambon, Open Range & The Insider) promising to retire him permanently if he doesn't, Mr. X may be rightfully concerned about his future. Nothing worth losing his head over.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Credible and Entrancing August 28, 2005
Format:DVD
"Layer Cake" is of that increasingly popular film genre that goes by the loose title of British gangsterism. "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" comes to mind although this film is more a black comedy than "Layer Cake" which strives to remain true to its roots.

The essence of the film is that the lead character, XXXX, played by Daniel Craig is trying to retire from the drug trade. He's had enough, is now comfortably well off and has played the game carefully and by the rules, to the extent that rules exist. However, his retirement is postponed as he is drawn into an ever more complex web of intrigue and double crossing. He finds himself being exposed to greater risk that he would normally accept. He is forced to operate outside his comfort zone.

The film is well placed and totally entrancing as the viewer is gradually sucked in to this nether world of crime. His cohorts seem quite believable as do the lords of the game and the shadowy Bosnian mafia that lurks as a background threat. The plotting is complex and the deals always tense with big stakes being played. The film has "street cred".

The film's ending is unexpected. I will say no more as I don't want to spoil it for others. Perhaps the best advise is simply to see it!
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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow... Great, Great Fun and a Smashing Ending! August 11, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you like British crime movies or loved "The Usual Suspects" this move is for you. I actually saw this at our local art movie house and went twice. I can't believe it's on DVD so soon! With great acting (Daniel Craig is a young James Woods) and fab dialog, this isn't just a "thug" movie at all. The "layers" of this cake are spectacular. Just when you think you've got it figured out, it twists yet again. The fast-paced action keeps you interested and the music is awesome (I'll be getting the soundtrack next).

Don't miss this gem. You'll want to watch it over and over again.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Cake" is overcomplicated but seriously cool June 30, 2005
Format:DVD
Even though his name is never revealed during the course of the British crime thriller, "Layer Cake," we get to know the hero very well, very fast.

"I'm not a gangster," he explains. "I'm a businessman whose commodity happens to be cocaine."

This guy, identified as XXXX in the end credits, deals only in neatly wrapped kilos; he employs a smart chemist, a slick accountant and a loyal posse of heavies; he has a legitimate business on the side and he tools around London in a sleek silver Audi (station wagon).

And while he might be a "T-shirt and jeans" kind of guy, he sports very expensive-looking T-shirts and jeans.

Of course, the only reason crime thrillers stress the professionalism of their main characters is so we can watch as circumstances eventually force them to break their own rules and pay a stiff price.

Those circumstances appear in the form of Jimmy (Kenneth Cranham) a grumpy upper-level gangster who summons XXXX and demands two sketchy favors of him. XXXX complies and quickly finds himself up to his earlobes in thugs, mols, Serbian assassins and the kind of bottom-feeders he likes to shun.

"Layer Cake" was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who previously produced Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." All three movies have a lot in common but Ritchie's amped-up films bounce off the walls and onto the ceiling; Vaughn's is colder and more calculating - to use a Brit pop analogy, if Ritchie's movies are akin to the strutting, pub brawlers Oasis, Vaughn's is the orchestral-but-grooving The Verve.

Eventually, though, the plot becomes ridiculously complicated.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunned Completion March 21, 2006
Format:DVD
Not knowing what to expect, this was one of those movies that surprised and then kept on surprising. "The Layer Cake" is perhaps the most complete movie I have seen in a long while, with elements inter-linking all through to provide a varied and wild concoction of violence, humour and thrill.

The unnamed main character, (Daniel Craig), narrates the movie of his dealings in the underworld's drug scene, dispensing his wisdom all the while, including his "golden rules" for dealing drugs. XXXX gets involved with a deal regarding some pills, and also gets pulled into a favour for a criminal leader further up the food chain. The plot twists and turns, and there is an array of very colourful characters, with equally colourful dialogue.

As noted by another reviewer, the musical score just blends effortlessly with the movie, making scenes more poignant and lending itself well to the overall feel of the movie itself.

The humour, though not a major feature, is there in its subtle way. A good example is the sex scene that almost was, until XXXX got nabbed by some very serious looking and large fellows. Irony abounds all through the movie, though humour is definitely not the mainstay of the plot.

The ending, (I won't spoil it), is excellent, and makes the preceding movie seem all the more powerful, especially in regard to XXXX's narrations. It was a complete surprise to me, and it was perfect.

For a mob movie, this one has to be among the best that I have seen. It has a whole range of qualities that mark it as different, right from the acting itself to the music. For lovers of something a bit different, this would be an excellent choice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Layer Cake
Not quite like the book but very well put together as a movie. I just love the fact that you still never get his name throughout the entire film or the book. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Eric Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Hi Intensity Film Worth Seeing Repeatedly
Every once in awhile a film comes along that you know you should see again. This is one of those films. Read more
Published 15 days ago by John J. Fanning
4.0 out of 5 stars daniel craig fans
he is awesome in this movie, so fun to watch. the story is interesting it made me want to read the book, will get around to it
Published 1 month ago by carolyn kowalski
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching once, but that's it...
This is a good drug/crime film starring Daniel Craig and a few lesser known actors. XXXX is about ready to take his windfall and quit the business altogether when he is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by kazper
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not a gangster. I'm a businessman whose commodity happens to be...
I rather liked this 2004 British ganster film, even if it is not really a masterpiece. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maciej
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep the cake, I'll take the layers
First, Sienna Miller in Agent Provocateur even for a few moments is worth the price of admission. The soundtrack is worth the price of admission. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Coyne
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe for fans… otherwise… blah.
Layer Cake trades on Daniel Craig's talents and the rest of this cast, many of whom you'll recognize as character actors and from Guy Ritchie movies. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Putkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem!!
If you haven't seen this movie, you should. A friend showed me this movie a few years ago and it remains one of my favorites and a favorite to show to others!
Published 3 months ago by FavoinoA
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
I'm pretty sure this is what sealed Craig in his role as 007. If you like "Lock Stock", "Snatch", or any other Brit gangster flicks you will love it.
Published 3 months ago by BergInTheBurgh
4.0 out of 5 stars Craig before Bond
Brilliantly funny! Action packed and lots if surprises!!! The characters meshed perfectly well together for an all out celebrity cast. This is an old favorite of movie library.
Published 3 months ago by Lisa Esparza
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Bring Back the Pre-order!
It got pulled from an order I had already made... so I have no idea what's going on.
Jan 25, 2007 by Brett Wiese |  See all 2 posts
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