The Killer Review: A Skillful Dance of Action and Morality

The Killer (2023).

David Fincher‘s The Killer is a gripping action thriller that not only showcases the director’s penchant for intense storytelling but also offers a fresh take on the hitman genre. With a stellar performance by Michael Fassbender in the title role and a meticulously crafted screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, this film proves to be a compelling journey into the world of a professional assassin and the moral complexities that surround his life.

The film’s plot is a rollercoaster ride of suspense and unexpected twists. The unnamed assassin, simply known as “The Killer,” opens the narrative with a meticulously planned hit in a Parisian hotel. However, a seemingly routine assignment goes awry, setting off a chain of events that thrusts our protagonist into an international manhunt. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game that spans continents, pushing The Killer to confront his own morality and the consequences of his actions.

The Good:

The Killer (2023).

Fassbender’s portrayal of The Killer is nothing short of brilliant. He brings a perfect blend of stoicism and vulnerability to the character, allowing the audience to sympathize with a man whose profession is rooted in moral ambiguity. The Killer’s routine, narrated with a cynical tone, emphasizes the mundane aspects of his life, making the sudden twists and turns all the more impactful.

The supporting cast, including Arliss Howard, Charles Parnell, Kerry O’Malley, Sala Baker, Sophie Charlotte, and Tilda Swinton, complements Fassbender’s performance with skillful and engaging portrayals. Each character adds layers to the intricate plot, creating a web of relationships that keeps the audience guessing.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to balance intense action scenes with moments of introspection. The Killer’s journey becomes not only a physical pursuit but also a psychological exploration of the toll of his profession. The incorporation of yoga, music, and mundane activities serves as a poignant contrast to the violence that defines his existence.

The Killer (2023).

Andrew Kevin Walker’s script, based on the French graphic novel series of the same name, is solid. The script delves into the moral quandaries faced by The Killer, raising thought-provoking questions about the nature of violence. It delves into the thin line that separates right from wrong. The dialogues are sharp, adding depth to the characters and fueling the tension that permeates the film.

The film’s international backdrop, from Paris to the Dominican Republic, adds a layer of complexity to the narrative. Each location becomes a character in itself, influencing the events and shaping The Killer’s journey. The attention to detail in the production design and cinematography creates a visually immersive experience that enhances the storytelling.


The Killer is another success for David Fincher, Michael Fassbender, and the entire creative team. It weaves a complex and interesting narrative around the life of a hitman, offering both solid action and heavy moments.

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  • Acting - 8.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 6.5/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.