DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have been thinking long and hard about it and the only flaw I can find in this film is the way the title is written. It makes no sense and is annoying.
The rest? Sheer perfection.
It is always difficult to determine when you are 'allowed' to call a film a classic or a masterpiece. To avoid that discussion let's use a term I think we can all agree on. Masterclass.
Each and every aspect of this film is executed with such a degree of perfection and dedication that it is nigh impossible to call it anything else. This is filmmaking at the highest level, a level that has not been equalled or surpassed often in the genre.
It all starts with an idea, a story. There had never been, nor has there been since, a plot like the one in Seven (I refuse to write it any other way!!). Exploring the nature of evil has been done before, but never quite like this and never as firmly rooted in the zeitgeist in which it was made. It is disturbing and intelligently so. While pulling no punches it is never concerned with outsmarting its audience, but rather captivate and entertain them in this escalating spiral of violence and depravity in which its main protagonists live with a false sense of control, only to be propelled towards a certain doom. Whether you saw it coming or not, the impact of the full extent of John Doe's plan is absolutely devastating. A good script is a necessity for a great film, a superb script a guarantee.
While the cast is excellent in every way, the true star here is David Fincher. He has created an aesthetic that has been copied so many times, but has never really been equalled. He added a disturbing degree of realism to the gore and practical effects and made the world the characters inhabit a dark and bleak place with little to no room for levity. And that is what creates this film's staying power. It is a completely submersive experience, one that is hard to escape from and one that stays with you for a while afterwards. All Fincher's qualities he so often displayed with later efforts serve this film perfectly. It's meticulously made, beautifully paced and creatively shot.
Reading this all back I'm going to say to hell with it.
It's a classic and a masterpiece.