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Five men share a secret that has deadly consequences in this thriller from Belgium. When Filip (Matthias Schoenaerts), a playboy with a wild streak, finally settles down and gets married, his good friend Vincent (Filip Peeters) presents him and three of his friends with a special gift. Vincent is an architect, and after supervising the renovation of a apartment block, he installed a luxurious penthouse flat for the use of himself and his married pals, where they can enjoy liaisons with other women without their spouses becoming any the wiser. Filip, Vincent and three of their buddies -- hard-drinking ladies' man Marnix (Koen de Graeve), Filip's psychoanalyst brother Chris (Koen De Bauw) and taciturn Luc (Bruno Vanden Broecke) -- are the only ones with keys to the flat, and the only ones who are supposed to know it exists. But one day one of the five checks into the apartment and discovers a woman's bloody corpse shackled to the bed; one of their group is a murderer, but who is the killer and how can the others keep this a secret from the police and their families? Loft was directed by Erik Van Looy and written by Bart de Pauw, both of whom got their start in the film business as actors. … More
as Filip Willems
as Chris Van Outryve
as Vincent Stevens
as Luc Seynaeve
as Luc Seynaeve
as Marnix Laureys
as Ann Marai
as Sarah Delporte
as Ludwig Tyberghein
as Vrouwelijke ondervra...
as Mannelijke ondervrag...
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Critic Reviews for Loft
Audience Reviews for Loft
In its insistence on being smart and surprising - which this efficient thriller is for the most part - it also comes off as a bit contrived and over the top like a Melrose Place-like soap-opera, directed and edited as a telefilm and whose dialogue sounds at times pretty expository.
I am not familiar with Belgium cinema and these actors were all unknown for me but even so the movie LOFT, proved to be a very engaging and complicated tale about five married men, best friends, sharing a loft apartment as a playground for their affairs, and a meeting point for their mistresses. Eventually one of them became an object of a crime scene, so the story opened about these five friends, united in their common benefits, which turned later into an exciting who did it puzzle game. They started to fight each other, all with their own excuse and where they don;t trust each other anymore. Through mystery building flash-backs, the movie lead to several clever twists and turns. I won't be giving away anything more about this movie, cause this would ruin the experience, but in some ways you would be amazed by the ending.
Loft (Erik van Looy, 2008)
Erik van Looy, a prolific short and TV director, has made just four feature films over the past decade. And if you live in America, the chances that you saw the first two (one of which, for the record, stars Mickey Rourke) are pretty slim. But his third, The Memory of a Killer, should have made van Looy a household name. It is the kind of movie that you walk out of, if you lock in with the director's rhythm, having become a lifelong fan of everyone involved. It was made during the unfortunately-brief period when it seemed like every really good up-and-coming European director was making fantastic neo-noir crime thrillers-Fresnadillo's Intacto, The Memory of a Killer, Babulani's 13 Tzameti, Audiard's The Beat that My Heart Skipped, easily a dozen more. They're all brilliant. (I've said more than once that while I can never quite get my head around what's so great about the French New Wave, I understand the feeling those critics rave about when I watch those early-21st-century Eurocrime movies, which are just as much a movement.) And thus I awaited van Looy's next effort with bated breath. Even more so when I discovered that it contained a role for Jean Decleir, the killer from that previously-mentioned van Looy film. (If that's your main reason for seeing it, his role is little more than a cameo.) And when I finally got round to being able to see it-Hollywood is in the process of remaking it, which makes it difficult to find in America-it was quite a letdown. It's a stylish little mystery/thriller, don't get me wrong, but the style is really all there is to it. It's quite conventional, and more importantly, predictable if you've seen enough movies in the genre to consider yourself a fan.
Plot: five friends hatch a plot to keep a swank loft as a place where they can take their dalliances. Chris (Koen de Bouw, also returning from The Memory of a Killer), the ringleader, only makes five keys for the place, and each of them has one. So when the body of a young woman turns up in the loft, there are obviously only five suspects, and the five friends realize they don't know one another nearly as well as they previously thought. The more they dig into the mystery, the more dirty laundry appears...
Loft, IMDB's trivia section tells us, is the most well-attended Belgian film in history in its native country, with over 1.1 million paid admissions (the previous record-holder, Koko Flanel, came in at 1.09 million. As a side note, it, too, contains Jean Decleir). And if you look at it as what would happen if Agatha Christie, say, had penned a Schwarzenegger flick, where less stuff blows up but there's the same element of turn-of-your-brain-and-have-a-good-time, that makes perfect sense. It's a stock plot with stock characters, a few expected twists thrown in by the expected characters. It's safe. It's the same kind of predictability you get when you walk into a Schwarzie flick; you know beyond any reasonable doubt even before the movie begins that Ahhnold will still be alive at the end, probably grinning and giving the camera a thumbs-up. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and if you're looking for something safe that doesn't require a great deal of thought, I can't recommend this highly enough. But if you're looking for a worthy follow-up to The Memory of a Killer, you'll have to wait for it until van Looy is finished trying (and, like most other European directors who find themselves in Hollywood's clutches, probably failing) to make a decent movie within the Hollywood machine. ***
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