Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Number 23 » User review

The Number 23

A movie starring Jim Carrey

< read all 9 reviews

[1.5]--I rather watch 23-minutes worth of commercials then this

  • Aug 30, 2007
Maybe it was to be expected that Schumacher, who hasn't really made a very satisfying film since the mid 90s, would gravitate to material like this that would at least allow him some time to exercise his 'weird' directorial chops. And really, there is some potential in this as well; Carrey's dog-catcher protagonist is given a book on his birthday (which is on 2/3) called the Number 23, which deals with a sax-playing detective with a dark past who gets involved with an even darker, more sadistic woman (Virginia Madsen, who also plays the 'real-world' wife of Carrey's character, as he envisions it as he reads it anyway), and the sadism and murder and madness that ensues. If there was just a straight adaptation of the book AS the movie, or if the archetypal figures that lay in this pulpy world inspired in part by serial novels were just put forward simply without the number symbolism, it would be a much more intriguing movie. Especially because said 'imagined' scenes showing what happens in the book are shot in a perfectly abstract style, where even in the choppy edit parts there's still a vicious vision going on. These sparks indicate that there could be some talent in the writer and filmmaker.

As for Carrey, he seems to be just going through his motions for what he can do as an actor (as with Madsen, up to a point), but it's not enough to stop what happens with the script, which at times seems to be going at lengths to continue that montage in Pee Wee's Big Adventure when Pee-Wee sees all the bikes going by when his is gone. Soon Carrey's "every-man" sees it everywhere, with numbers adding up, the combinations endless, and it all leading to what ends up being so predictable I wouldn't dare spoil it not because it's very important but just to not insult your intelligence reading this. Just let it be known that Phillips decides to take that easy-route of the main character really having to face head-on everything that he's encountered so far and then re-contemplate everything in his entire life. This, which makes up the last fifteen minutes, is excruciating in the length of the exposition, with all the answers spoon-fed to the audience so that nothing is left questioned about who this man really is or what he's done. It compounds what has already gone on with the pretentious obsessive qualities, of it being about the 'trick' instead of it being more interesting about characters (the very last scene also made me shake my head and do all but throw a pillow at the screen).

"The number 23" it's a pretty dense entry in the careers of both actor and director, which also happens to include a supporting character of a dog named Ned, Bud Cort in the thankless role, and lots of big-budget attention paid to the grungy details of what is under a happy existence to reveal the wretched skeletons in the closet (or rather under a stone in a park). It's too conventional, in all actuality, to follow up on the daring it portends in the already pushy trailer and ads.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More The Number 23 reviews
review by . December 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****      If you read my review for "The Lost Boys", then you'll remember that at the end of my review, I said, "Thanks Joel Schumacher. But I still hate you." Why did I say this? Well, take a good look at "The Number 23", which is directed by Schumacher, and you'll see why. There is indeed such thing as the 23 Enigma, but that doesn't make the film any better. Rather than substance (or even style), "The Number 23" …
review by . May 11, 2010
Obsession is a dark emotion that can destroy a person's soul....
Obsession is a disease, a dark fleeting sensation that can drive one person to do things that they normally would not do, driving the individual to the brink of insanity that can destroy the person’s life and turn them into a monster. In Joel Schumacher's grim psychological noir delves deep into  the physical and mental damage of how  one man's obsession  almost  destroyed everyone he loved and cared for and how he suffers at the hands of  a decade old  …
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Great movie! I thought it was more of a thriller, I liked the twists and turns in the movie and the ending was great! I recommend this movie to any type of movie watcher!
Quick Tip by . May 11, 2010
A dark, disturbing psychological noir that raises potent and daring questions about the damage and cause of obsession.
review by . March 13, 2009
Pros: none for me     Cons: I like numbers but not these     The Bottom Line:   “I can’t walk  Cannot run  I can’t seem to hide  The place I’m looking for  Lye’s behind the door  In room twenty three”  ~Neue Regel     Five minutes into the movie The Number 23 and I’m ready to insert sharp objects under my fingernails. I’ll …
review by . February 10, 2008
Pros: Imaginative story line that play on the human predisposition for superstition.      Cons: Convoluted at times; poor script; less than able direction.     The Bottom Line: In the end The Number 23 is a mildly entertaining movie that lacked a cohesive script and able direction.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. We humans have a predilection for superstition; lets fact it religion is build …
About the reviewer
Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
Ranked #81
Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


In Joel Schumacher's psychological thriller THE NUMBER 23, Jim Carrey takes on another dramatic role. Carrey's character is similar to his roles in THE TRUMAN SHOW and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND: he portrays an average man thrust into quite extraordinary situations after a series of strange events cause him to question everything he's ever taken for granted. On his birthday, Walter Sparrow is given a mysterious and tattered book called THE NUMBER 23 by his loving wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen). As Walter reads the book, he quickly notices its alarming similarities to his own life. Rather than stop reading, he continues, unknowingly inviting the book to take over his life. The deeper Walter gets into the plot, the more he sees himself in its protagonist, Fingerling, whom we see through highly stylized sequences in which Carrey appears as the seedy detective character. Madsen is also present in these scenes, cast as Fingerling's pain-loving girlfriend Fabrizia. As Fingerling and Fabrizia's love...
view wiki


Director: Joel Schumacher
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: February 23, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Fernley Phillips
DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
Runtime: 1hr 37min
Studio: New Line Home Video
© 2015 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since