Mathilda, 12, has an abusive father who stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and a mother who neglects her. Léon, her neighbour, works as a hired hitman for a mobster. When her family is murdered by a crooked agent, she joins forces with a reluctant Léon to learn his trade and take revenge.
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Something of a genre-standard, as it combines human interest and intense, moving moments of romance and attraction with graphic bloodshed and tough realities. Jean Reno gives a performance heavily bent on physical prose - moreso than you might've initially noticed - and Natalie Portman foreshadows a long career of emotionally effective roles.
Jean Reno is adorable in this, and Natalie Portman's acting is incredible for her being so young! Also Gary Oldman LOL. Cast is great, plot is great. It's a classic for a reason- you can't help but be entertained.
The most loveable film I think I've ever seen. Leon is the best anti-macho hero and Matilda is the best girl-power heroine, and together they fight the best bad-cop villain in a comic-book New York and it's just the best thing ever. Nothing intellectual to be said, just wonderful.
After watching this obsessively in my youth, it's encouraging to return and find the elements I loved completely untarnished by time. The wholly broken characters, the innocence and developing trust and the stark violence give this otherwise lightweight film gravitas. Elements I didn't appreciate earlier - ice-cool camera work, blossoming sexuality and forbidden love, Danny Aiello - make me very glad I came back.
E V E R Y O N E E E E !!!!! (Exactly what I yelled when Gary Oldman won his Oscar). Stansfield & Churchill are his best creations ever: the ultimate bad guy+the ultimate good guy. This is actually based on a true life story. American version was oh so cut cos they're moralistic prudes. Yet I dare anyone to name me one male director that created more empowering female roles than Besson. Mathilda is my forever heroine♡