You Kill Me

July 6th, 2007


You Kill Me

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Still of Ben Kingsley in You Kill MeStill of Téa Leoni in You Kill MeBen Kingsley at event of You Kill MeStill of Philip Baker Hall in You Kill MeStill of Ben Kingsley and Luke Wilson in You Kill MeStill of Téa Leoni in You Kill Me

While drying out on the West Coast, an alcoholic hit man befriends a tart-tongued woman who might just come in handy when it's time for him to return to Buffalo and settle some old scores.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 6.6/10 (11,241 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: John Dahl

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke Wilson

Frank Falenczyk loves his job. He just happens to be the hit-man for his Polish mob family in Buffalo, New York. But Frank's got a drinking problem and when he messes up a critical assignment that puts the family business in peril, his uncle sends him to San Francisco to clean up his act. Frank is not a touchy-feely kind of guy, but he starts going to AA meetings, gets a sponsor and a job at a mortuary where he falls for the tart-tongued Laurel, a woman who is dangerously devoid of boundaries. Meanwhile, things aren't going well in Buffalo where an upstart Irish gang is threatening the family business. When violence erupts, Frank is forced to return home and with an unlikely assist from Laurel, faces old rivals on new terms.

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Ben Kingsley - Frank Falenczyk
Téa Leoni - Laurel Pearson
Luke Wilson - Tom
Dennis Farina - Edward O'Leary
Philip Baker Hall - Roman Krzeminski
Bill Pullman - Dave
Marcus Thomas - Stef Krzeminski
Scott Heindl - James Doyle
Alison Sealy-Smith - Doris Rainford (as Allison Sealy-Smith)
Aron Tager - Walter Fitzgerald
Jayne Eastwood - Kathleen Fitzgerald
Al Corley - Man in Park
Erik Fjeldsted - Kevin
Aaron Hughes - Stanley
Devin McCracken - Henry

Taglines: Love is always worth another shot


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 6 July 2007

Filming Locations: Manitoba Production Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $233,709 (USA) (24 June 2007) (35 Screens)

Gross: $2,426,851 (USA) (19 August 2007)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Shot in 26 days.

Revealing mistakes: When Frank and Laurel first meet in the mortuary, in one shot you can clearly see the dead body's stomach move up and down as he's breathing.

Stef: Look, I know you think you know Frank pretty well, but there's probably a few things you're not gonna wanna hear.
Laurel Pearson: Like that he came back to Buffalo to kill Edward O'Leary so he could stop him and the rest of the Irish from getting into bed with some Chinese sugar daddy and wiping your family off the map? Oh, and he's a really big drunk.
Stef: [pauses] Wow. He's really opening up.

User Review

Dark Comedy Showcases Leoni's Talents

Rating: 8/10

"You Kill Me" is as dark a comedy as you can get. It may also be the first artistically successful romantic comedy noir. Directed by John Dahl (best known for his indie-noirs "Red Rock West" and "The Last Seduction" and the underrated killer trucker flick "Joyride"), the film depicts a hit man (Ben Kingsley-deep in character) forced into Alcoholics Anonymous by his "family" because his drinking has been affecting his ability to kill people. Shipped off to San Franscisco to start his 12 Steps, he picks up a part-time gig at a funeral home and meets a sassy single woman with "boundary issues" (Tea Leoni-hilarious) after her step-dad dies and proceeds to start an unconventional romance with her while struggling to stay on the wagon and learn how to kill again.

The film starts off very low key, and Dahl keeps such a consistently dark tone it's hard to adjust to the cadence. As good as Kingsley is here, the show really belongs to Leoni. When she finally arrives on the scene, the film reaches a level of hilarity you weren't expecting. Her facial expressions, comic timing, and interplay with Kingsley as she learns the truth about his past are pure gold. Leoni has had her fair share of commercial successes ("Bad Boys," "Deep Impact," "The Family Man", and "Jurassic Park III") but it's in this type of offbeat low-budget comedy where she really shines. She was dynamite in "Flirting with Disaster" and was the best foil for Woody Allen since Diane Keaton in the otherwise forgettable "Hollywood Ending." Here all her comic charms are on display, and she proves that at the age of 40, she is aging not only gracefully and naturally, but with all her sexiness and innate talents in tact.

While the film goes through the predictable motions in its final act, it's the gooey goodness of the middle portion (especially one laugh-out-loud montage of Leoni helping Kingsley train for his return to "work") that will leave a smile on your face, with Leoni's luminosity as a comedic actress scorched into your mind.


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