The Number 23 (2007)

Eleven plus twelve, you say? That sounds like an equation… for MURDER.

This movie was not so good. The main characters cling to the tattered shreds of their credibility until about fifteen minutes into the movie, at which point you find out that these shreds are woven from the same insubstantial strands that the the emperor’s new clothes were made of. Jim Carrey alternates between cracking jokes – no, this is not a comedy – and staring wide-eyed and credulous between the covers of a slim red book. A very slim book. Which takes him the entire course of the movie to finish reading (perhaps a week, despite the fact that he can’t seem to put it down).

So, yeah — using the magic of mathematics, every number in existence somehow is boiled down to 2s and 3s (5? 2 + 3! 1? -2+3! Holy crap 23 must be the most fucking evil number ever). Well, all of the numbers that have to do with evil events. And so, dire circumstances arise as Carrey’s character falls deeper and deeper into his instant numerical paranoia. His son believes in the madness even faster, chiming in after hearing about three sentences from his father on the subject of numbers from the dates of bad events that equal 23. Also, there is a dog that lives to be at least 20 years old who looks the same in the flashbacks as he does in the present. The continuity guys must have been seriously preoccupied with doing all of the arithmetic assignments this movie required. Yeah, simple addition and subtraction can be a bitch.

The movie would be… well, it would be better… if that guy was proven to actually just be fucking nuts. Oh, and the background of the picture I drew is pink, because pink is an evil color according to the movie. How? I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it; there was some equation quickly rattled off exactly twice in the film that sounded like a football play (“Red forty-two! White nineteen!”), and thus pink’s nefarious tie to 23 was proven. I think that was a part of the retarded “turn the alphabet into numbers using A=1, B=2, etc.” subplot.

As much as The Number 23 made these two digits out to be a monstrous villain, I wish they had just taken a Wonder Showzen approach and armed a big foam puppet (in the shape of a “23”) with a knife before sending it after Carrey. Even if you can swallow the chunky, slimy premise thus far, I’d advise you not to watch this movie. I’ve only told you the half of it.

Oh, and I forgot my favourite 23-related joke from the night I watched that movie. What’s 23 x 3? Eh? Ehh? So yes, there you have it, proof that the number 23 isn’t always pretentious and terrible.


  1. I’ve been engrossed in your review, reading it for the last 3-4 days and finally finished. It was with nothing less than sheer terror that I realized you were talking about THE NUMBER 23. What a reckless fool you have been! You can just go around, all devil may care, and talk about THE NUMBER 23. It has powers. ANYONE who knows THE NUMBER 23 is doomed. < Zim's voice > D O O M E D! < /Zim's voice >Ok yeah…the movie was just soo poorly conceived that have to wonder why any of the cast took their parts. Rubbish.


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