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as of: 10/01/04

The Ninth Gate



out of 10


Roman Polanski


Johnny Depp
Frank Langella
Lena Olin


Polanski came close to a great film here, in my opinion, but the ending was a bit of a letdown. I think a little more highly of this film than many people over at, apparently. Like most Polanski movies, this one has slow pacing. I am one of those people who does not mind this, as I think it helps add to the growing unease in a really cool way. Depp is awesome in this movie as a shady used book dealer named Dean Corso who isn't afraid to screw anyone out of any amount of money. Frank Langella plays an evil businessman named Boris Balkin who wants all three copies of the extremely rare work "The Nine Gates of the Shadow Kingdom". Legend has it that Satan himself wrote this book, Balkin owns one copy, and he wants Depp to find the other two to see if the illustrations match. Balkin does not specify why he wants to check this, and at first Corso is fine with that since he is getting paid handsomely. As the movie goes on, however, Corso changes and becomes obsessed himself. He also starts seeing a mysterious woman (Emmanuelle Seignor, Polanski's wife) who seems to be guiding him in the right direction. That's as much of the plot as I'll give away. I was a little disappointed at the ending, but the idea and the execution were both there for the most part. At the very least, this is a rental, and if you are like me and enjoy Rosemary's Baby and other movies without tons of gore, you won't regret buying it.

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