A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.
Release Year: 2004
Rating: 7.4/10 (60,419 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon
A successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place among England's Mafia elite, plans an early retirement from the business. However, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy's old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds' worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal neo-Nazi sect and a whole series of double crossings. The title "LAYER CAKE" refers to the layers or levels anyone in business goes through in rising to the top. What is revealed is a modern underworld where the rules have changed. There are no 'codes', or 'families' and respect lasts as long as a line. Not knowing who he can trust, he has to use all his 'savvy', 'telling' and skills which make him one of the best…
Writers: J.J. Connolly, J.J. Connolly
Paul the Boatman
Release Date: 1 October 2004
Filming Locations: 1 West India Quay, Isle of Dogs, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £1,090,561
(3 October 2004)
(14 August 2005)
Did You Know?
Marcel Iures plays a Serbian drug dealer (Slavo) yet, being a Romanian actor, he speaks Romanian with his crew.
Slavo and Dragan are supposed to be Serbians but they speak Romanian.
When I was born, the world was a far simpler place. It was all just cops and robbers.
In short, see this film.
After being cast as Bond, Daniel Craig's back catalogue is now much
sought after. Although Craig came to most of the UK's attention with a
stand out performance in Our Friends in the North, it's Layer Cake that
showcases why he got the Bond audition. Perhaps now, this strong
contender for the best thriller of the year may find the audience it
deserves. Mis-sold as a more art house friendly addition to the Guy
Ritchie school of crime films, Layer Cake is a unique and remarkable
The plot is deceivingly simple and would wrongly be placed in the
gangster-wanting-to-retire-peacefully cinema staple seen frequently in
Al Pacino movies. It is a much greater accomplishment that the
audacious visual style, superb script and excellent performances make
easy comparisons to this film pretty difficult. If anything it is
closer to Schrader's 'American Gigalo' where the morally questionable
hero is engulfed in a situation going on around him. The predominantly
male cast is faultless with everyone from Dexter Fletcher to Michael
Gambon putting in superb turns to give the characters justice. Far more
human than the cartoon stereotypes we've come to expect after so very
many Brit gangster flicks. Craig has never looked in better shape for
taking on Hollywood.
Hats off then to Matthew Vaugn for filming Britain as it can look.
Grimy in places but every bit astonishing in locations as our Stateside
cousins. We've grown too used to seeing rain pouring and hackneyed
clichés that have represented this country on celluloid. It's not
foppish. It's not Bend It Like Beckham. So there really is no excuse
left not to see it (aside from the awful trailer). Layer Cake deserves
a wide audience and there's more than enough of everything for everyone
to enjoy. At times hilarious, astonishingly frank and incredibly
concise the whole film is a pure joy and clearly made for people that
love film. Makes you wonder why they can't all be as classy as this.