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Léon aka The Professional pairs Jean Reno and then-newcomer Natalie Portman as a lonely hitman named Leon with a code of honor and a streak of decency with an abused, neglected and equally lonely child named Mathilda caught in the cross-hairs of a corrupt DEA and his murderous colleagues. Léon meets and grows to care for sullen Mathilda instantly when he moves into the meager apartment building she and her uncaring and criminally involved family reside-only her baby brother brings her any love or joy. Mathilda's life soon is in danger when her father crosses the sinister and psychotic, drug-addled DEA Stansfield, who executes her entire family and seeks to silence her. Léon takes Mathilda in and they forge a potent relationship that's something between best friends, substitute father/daughter and even unconventional lovers with coming-of-age undertones as the socially stunted Léon protects Mathilda and she seeks revenge for her little brother's death. The movie balances crime drama, action and thriller elements with a developing a subplot akin to a love story, as Léon and Mathilda's feelings blossom and redeem them both. While the notion of older man/younger girl bonding might well be off-putting for many, director Luc Besson manages to keep it innocent and focuses on how two hurt and lonely hearts might meet and discover love despite innumerable obstacles. Years later, this is one of those movies that can stand the test of time and be both entertaining and thought-provoking! For fans of Luc Besson films, a terrific Jean Reno, an adorable then-first-time actress Natalie Portman, and a scene-chewing Gary Oldman as the twisted main villain. A Classic.

Erik M.

Continuity mistake: Before the dreadlocked man starts looking at the vinyl records in the apartment, he places his uzi down with the butt facing the camera. In the next shot the barrel is facing the camera, and switches back again in the next shot.

More mistakes in Leon

Mathilda: Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?
Leon: Always like this.

More quotes from Leon

Trivia: Keith A. Glascoe, who plays Benny, one of Stansfield's (Gary Oldman) men, was also a New York Firefighter and sadly died carrying out his duties during the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

Jeff Walker

More trivia for Leon

Question: Near the half-hour mark, Gary Oldman pulls out a small box of green-and-yellow pills and takes one. What exactly is it?

Answer: Some kind of (unnamed) drug. Just to show how nasty the DEA agent is.


More questions & answers from Leon

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