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Movie Review: The Number 23

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In the movie The Number 23, Jim Carrey plays Walter Sparrow, a paranoid dogcatcher who receives a strange book from his wife Agatha. As Sparrow reads the novel of obsession called The Number 23, he finds the life of the character mirrors his own in many ways. Fingerling, the character in the novel, is convinced a certain number, 23, exists everywhere he goes. As the story unfolds, Sparrow must discover the truth behind the author and the meaning of the number 23. The plot resembles Identity and Stir of Echoes.

Virginia Madison plays Agatha Sparrow, Walter's wife. She also plays Fabrizia in the Fingerling scenes. Her performance was lost in the movie due to Carrey stealing the scenes. I didn’t even realize she played Fabrizia until after the movie was over. Logan Lerman played Robin Sparrow, Walter’s son, and produced a memorable character. He becomes immersed in Walter’s obsession as well. The film was directed by Joel Schumacher, who did a great job. It is amazing how he made all the scenes gel together with smooth transitions. The story was written by Fernley Phillips who did a phenomenal job researching the origin of the number 23 and producing a truly original story.

The Number 23 is an excellent movie. The plot twists and turns while giving the viewer vital clues. The dark soundtrack drives the movie, especially in the scenes involving Fingerling. The most memorable of these scenes involves Fingerling meeting Fabrizia for the first time. The cinematography is creative. Once again, the Fingerling scenes are the best examples. They are very surreal. I loved the way the movie allows the viewer to be a detective. The number 23 is found in virtually every scene. Because of this, I wanted to watch the movie again and find all the hidden numbers.

The movie has some unrealistic qualities, yet tries to produce realism. There are a few holes in the plot, but it would take a careful eye to catch them.

Overall, The Number 23 has an interesting plot and is visually stunning. I recommend this movie to adults with an inner detective waiting to get out.

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About Kendall Karch

  • ok the movie was released on 9/14/07.
    14 could be 1 – 4 = 3, or 14 could be 1 + 4 = 5 – the 3 = 2, that is 23! or
    9 + 14 = 23!

  • Adam

    This review changed my life, thank you. Your skills at writing are to be admired. Your truly a remarkable human being, once again thanks.

  • In the end, The Number 23 turns into a rather formulaic and implausible thriller. Not terrible, but not “excellent” by a long stretch. Glad you liked it, though.

  • I thought Jim Carrey sounded like Zoolander the entire movie.