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The Number 23

Year: 2007
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston
This movie was pretty maligned on release - unfairly, I thought - but then I love twist endings. Most people find them corny, cack-handed and claim they saw them a mile away, and yes, you can usually tell when one's coming, but I'm either not that in tune or I'm the only one telling the truth.

Carrey was an intriguing choice as the hero Walter - he hasn't been this understated and underplayed since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He plays a council dog catcher whose wife (Madsen) gives him a book she's found, called The Number 23.

When he starts reading it, Walter gets hooked on the similarities it has with his own life and the gritty, noir-like detective protagonist, Fingerling (playing in in-movie scenes by a tattooed, nasty version of himself).

As Fingerling becomes obsessed with the seeming random co-incidences that fill the universe surrounding the number 23, Walter becomes so too, his life soon spinning out of control. A lavish and varied collection of characters, sequences and occurrences combine to tell a story only hinted at, which in true twist thriller fashion is revealed in a flash of sudden, satisfying, gasp-worthy realisation.

Not brilliant, but not nearly as bad as a lot of talk has led you to believe. It would have been a blast to write and film - hiding little 23's everywhere, and it's fun to watch as well.

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