Best Movies by Farr

Layer Cake

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What's it About

Matthew Vaughn's twisty gangster picture concerns a nameless cocaine middleman (Craig) who foolishly believes he's got his risky business well under control and can get out anytime he pleases. However, his cocky efficiency annoys one of his superiors – and soon our hero's tidy little enterprise is turned upside down with a couple of distracting side-bar assignments, which lead to some double (and triple) crosses. Is our nameless anti-hero clever enough to put himself back together again?

Why we love it

Breathless and slick, intelligent and dense, this dynamite thriller marks an auspicious directorial debut for Vaughn, who produced Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." This picture lacks the black humor of these earlier features, but trumps them both on sheer impact and excitement. Craig is terrific in the lead, though two other performances – Colm Meaney as elder crook Gene and Michael Gambon as ringleader Eddie Temple – elevate the film to immediate classic status. I say: let them eat "Cake."

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"