Hollie Horror’s review published on Letterboxd:
Se7en isn't just another 1990s movie I saw as a teenager, loved and revisted recently...I think it really stands out in a rather lackluster decade of film.
I will never forget my initial reaction to the movie, the dread I felt from each murder to the next and the ending just grabbing my heart and pulling it down into my stomach. After numerous watches in the 90s and early 2000s I had decided it was time for a much needed break. For the past few months I had been on Richard's case, telling him I was in the mood to watch Se7en, I am not even really sure what inspired it but I guess it was just time. With that said, the movie loses a bit of its punch and the physical reaction is stifled but there is still so much to appreciate and that ending remains incredibly powerful.
There are a few different dynamics in the characters, especially regarding Detective Mills (Pitt) upon this revisit. In my adolescence I was never fully aware of the amount of depth given to his character. Detective Mills is almost the exact opposite of Detective Somerset (Freeman), where Somerset was knowledgeable, calm, informed, Mills was dim, wound-up and ignorant. The two actors were perfect together, adding a striking balance, exact opposites fully aware of each strength and weakness the other has but unwilling to change. Mills, quick to anger and even quicker to act before thinking, Somerset is constantly aware of his surroundings and almost spending too much time in his head. The characters are just perfect, one would not be as good without the other.
On the subject of performances and well-written characters, even the handful of scenes between the secondary cast were well above par. Gwyneth Paltrow had a moment in that diner where I could not help but think of Viola Davis in Doubt, each having such a small amount of time on screen but a lasting impression, pouring their hearts into a performance, completely aware of the significance of their little on-screen-time roles. And Kevin Spacey, don't even get me started. Of everything I have ever seen him in, this is my favorite..this is his best.
While Se7en is the epitome of a grainy, grimy, 90s industrial soundtrack time-capsule of a film, the fact that it can come off as dated does not matter, if anything it plays that to its advantage, as if it is one last look at detectives who use typewriters instead of computers, telephones instead of cell-phones and outdated resources instead of extreme forensics. It is from the 1990s and damn proud.
Writer Andrew Kevin Walker needs to be acknowledged here as much as director David Fincher, together they managed to create one of the best movies of the 1990s.