Tony’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's hard to be totally objective about this review, because while this is the first time I've watched the whole film, I've seen bits and pieces before. Some movies can survive that process unscathed, but something like Se7en (come on, it doesn't even look like a v!) really relies on you knowing nothing going in.
However, being as objective as I can, and speaking to the other person here who watched it for the first time - this is a very high quality film indeed.
Let's cover the basics.
Acting - sublime. Morgan is at his best with his understated, simple and honest delivery. Pitt is the perfect foil.
Dialogue - engaging. There's nothing insulting or condescending in the delivery, and everyone has a unique voice. This isn't a buddy movie where the two protagonists end up with the same style of dialogue, there's a clear and hard line between the two leads, and it works so well.
Violence - almost none. That's right, there's pretty much a single scene of violent activity and everything else is implied. There isn't a cut away or an oblique shot of violence in sight and yet the murders are still hugely sinister. All of the threat, violence and terror is presented in the end result, and left to the viewers imagination.
Plot - simple, direct and yet compelling. The twist isn't a twist, it's telegraphed long in advance, through words and actions, and yet it's still a shock. It's the dread, the building dread in your gut that you already know what's coming but don't want it to be there that drives the suspense at the end. Not a sudden twist only a few who can gloat saw coming. Instead, it's a gnawing, rotten, maggot ridden fear about what Spacey's character may have done.
All those elements combine to drive a movie you can't look away from, despite wanting so hard to hide behind the sofa.
I should imagine they use this as teaching material in 'how to make a suspense thriller' class.