Seven Plot Summary

In a city plagued by violent crime and corruption, seasoned police detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) stands one week away from retirement. He finds himself partnered with the fiery and idealistic detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), who recently moved to the city with his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow).

The “Seven Deadly Sins” Murder Investigation Begins

On a Monday, Somerset and Mills probe the horrifying case of an obese man compelled to eat until his stomach ruptures, leading to his death. The detectives discover the word “gluttony” scrawled on a wall. Somerset seeks reassignment from the gruesome case, deeming it too harsh for his final investigation, but his request is denied. The subsequent day unveils another victim, forced to cut a pound of flesh from his body, a crime scene marked “greed”. Further clues guide Somerset and Mills to the “sloth” victim, leaving Somerset to deduce that the murders align with the biblical concept of the seven deadly sins.

Somerset and Tracy’s Private Conversation

Invited over for supper by Tracy, Somerset finds common ground with the Mills. Later, Tracy privately meets Somerset and shares her dismay at moving to the city, her pregnancy, and her apprehensions about raising a child in such a place. Having once persuaded a girlfriend to terminate their child due to similar concerns, Somerset advises Tracy to tell Mills only if she decides to keep the baby.

Tracing the Culprit and Confronting John Doe

Spurred by a comment from Mills, Somerset tracks library records for anyone researching the seven deadly sins, leading them to John Doe’s apartment. Upon Doe’s unexpected return, a pursuit ensues, with Doe briefly capturing Mills before escaping. Inside Doe’s apartment, the detectives uncover the disturbing breadth of his psychopathy.

The Final Victims and Doe’s Surrender

The detectives find the “lust” and “pride” victims on consecutive days, their murders as grotesque and symbolic as the ones before. Upon returning to the station, John Doe (Kevin Spacey) surrenders himself, demanding to be escorted by Mills and Somerset to an undisclosed location where the final two victims, “envy” and “wrath,” will be revealed.

The Unfolding of Doe’s Masterplan

As they drive to the location, Doe proclaims his divine mission to shed light on the pervasiveness and society’s indifference towards sin. Upon reaching the site, a delivery van approaches, containing a package explicitly for Mills. Somerset intercepts it, his horror at its contents prompting him to urge Mills to drop his weapon. Doe confesses to being “envy,” revealing he coveted Mills’ life with Tracy and implying the package contains Tracy’s severed head. He incites Mills to embody “wrath,” cruelly informing him of Tracy’s plea for her and her unborn child’s life. Mills, in his grief and rage, shoots Doe, thereby fulfilling Doe’s gruesome plan.


As the police lead the catatonic Mills away, Somerset tells his captain he will “be around,” indicating his reconsideration of retirement. In voiceover, he recites a quote from Ernest Hemingway, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for”— affirming his agreement with the latter part of the statement.

Movie Review

“Seven” is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. The movie follows two detectives, a rookie and a seasoned veteran, as they investigate a series of gruesome murders inspired by the seven deadly sins.

The film is a dark and gripping exploration of human depravity and the consequences of unchecked evil. Its atmospheric storytelling, chilling performances, and shocking twists have made it a landmark in the thriller genre and a testament to Fincher’s mastery as a filmmaker.

The film’s visual style, from its gritty cinematography to its somber color palette, creates a grim and oppressive atmosphere that mirrors the dark subject matter. The meticulous attention to detail, from the crime scenes to the production design, adds a layer of realism and immersion to the narrative.

The screenplay, written by Andrew Kevin Walker, presents a harrowing narrative that delves into the depths of human depravity. The film explores themes of morality, guilt, and the consequences of unchecked sin. It confronts the audience with the disturbing realities of human nature and the blurred lines between good and evil. The dialogue is sharp and evocative, delivering thought-provoking lines that stay with the viewers long after the film ends.

The stark contrast between the young and impulsive Detective Mills, played by Brad Pitt, and the experienced and contemplative Detective Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, creates a compelling dynamic. The film delves into their personal struggles and motivations, showcasing the impact of their experiences and the toll of the investigation on their psyches.

The film’s musical score, composed by Howard Shore, adds an eerie and atmospheric layer to the storytelling. The haunting melodies and dissonant tones complement the dark and unsettling tone of the film, heightening the tension and amplifying the emotional impact of key scenes.