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Delicatessen (1991)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 44
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 11
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 46,394


Movie Info

A post-apocalyptic future becomes the setting for pitch black humor in this visually intricate French comedy. The action takes place within a single apartment complex, which is owned by the same man that operates the downstairs butcher shop. It's a particularly popular place to live, thanks to the butcher's uncanny ability to find excellent cuts of meat despite the horrible living conditions outside. The newest building superintendent, a former circus clown, thinks he has found an ideal living … More

Drama , Art House & International , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Gilles Adrien
In Theaters:
May 2, 2006


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Critic Reviews for Delicatessen

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (6) | DVD (18)

With its molelike inhabitants, its sprawling war between flesh-eaters and lentil-men, its achingly sweet love story and surrealist blend of dusty antiquities and 21st-century gizmos, Delicatessen is indescribably wild.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

All of this is handled in a breezy, off-handed, nutsy manner, as the superb cast combines to help bring it off.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Delicatessen is a fearsomely intense movie that mixes moods with formidable assurance.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

With their detached, sardonic and decidedly sick slant, Jeunet and Caro have served up a burnt-to-a-crisp feast.

June 5, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

There are no characters to care about or remember afterward -- just a lot of flashy technique involving decor, some glib allegorical flourishes, and the obligatory studied film-school weirdness.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A zany little film that's a startling and clever debut for co-helmers Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Top Critic

The movie, take it from me, is a lot more fun to sit through than to describe in a single sentence.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Baltimore Sun

Bizarre, brilliant, but wayward in its dénouement.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Radio Times

Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro made a brilliant feature film debut with this bizarre and visually stunning comedy about cannibalism.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013

A must see, Delicatessen is an absolute delight and a bizarrely madcap experience.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

What will filmmakers Jeunet and Caro serve for dessert in their next movie? Something equally daring, one hopes -- but more thoroughly cooked and a bit easier to swallow.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Christian Science Monitor

Sweet, sinister and endearingly scruffy.

Full Review… | November 27, 2012
Total Film

Like a light-hearted Brazil it conjures up imagery of such impact, and such resonant subject matter that it will (...) affect audiences for generations to come.

Full Review… | February 1, 2011
What Culture

Serves up a stew that seems to be made of a little of everything from one hundred years of screen comedy, seasoned with Grand Guignol. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | October 5, 2010
Groucho Reviews

[A] black-hearted black comedy, directed as if it were a living cartoon.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
Combustible Celluloid

Dark comedy-fantasy about cannibalism isn't for kids.

Full Review… | August 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

Part macabre horror, part romantic drama, part childlike fable, this ingeniously original French film defies categorization, but is successful on all of these levels, which may explain why it has become an international cult classic.

Full Review… | February 27, 2007

Delicatessen uses its aggressive stylization and capricious visual contraptions as a form of imprisonment.

Full Review… | May 21, 2006
Slant Magazine

A title certainly worthy of its cult status.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006

Audience Reviews for Delicatessen

A former clown lives in a tenement that features several quirky characters including a cannibalistic butcher.
Super Reviewer Alice Shen contends that Jean-Pierre Jeunet had one good idea, Amelie. I disagree only because I love A Very Long Engagement and liked Micmacs, but her view that his work descends into a convoluted mess when he is unable to seamlessly entwine his characters and plotlines is well-taken in the case of Delicatessen. The underground army that plays a seminal role in the film's conclusion isn't introduced until the second act, and even then, I thought they were just passing through, on their way to another movie. The quirky "sex symphony" and the quirkier frog man weren't interesting or amusing; they were just Jeunet trying too hard. I also think that Dominque Pinon, winner of the Most Interesting-Looking Face award, is more suitable to supporting roles, where he can provide the perfect balance to the film's straight man, as he does in A Very Long Engagement.
Overall, this is not Jeunet's best work, but it's better than most films about cannibalism.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This is exactly like Brazil. That is to say, the movies look really really similar, in thier cluttered sets, quirky characters and post-apocalyptic yet casual world. I liked it as much as I liked Brazil. It was fun, kinda cool, but not really my cup of tea. It kind of bothered me the way it couldn't quite pick what genre it was supposed to be. I think it wanted to be a comedy.

Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

05/01/2011 (DVD)

Quite good! An unusual setting with unusual characters which made this an unusually good movie. It is a flick with deception as it seemed to be a friendly comedy, but it's really smothered with darkness!

Strangely, there's romance and it's the cutest kind that lightens up the rather darkly theme, very enjoyable to sit through. It's funny which was weird for me cause its just so heavy with evilness, I was so concerned and yet I couldn't stop laughing. Its so playful and yet so evil, what a stir.

Definitely a strange one for me but a very manageable sitting. I must say that I liked this a little more than "The City of Lost Children" but anyway it's probably not one for everybody, but it was a good watch for me. I do hope to find more like this, I'm enjoying the seriously weird and strange films that exist, sweet.

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer


France in a not-too-distant, post-apocalyptic future. A grim and filthy existence, where the shortage of food have turned some into desperate acts of cannibalism. Not exactly the sort of things we associate this otherwise-beautiful country with. In the visual sense, this film is both creative and repugnant simultaneously. The brown-and-yellow color filter really invades the eyes, and brings your thoughts to the dirty restrooms found commonly in local bars. I really enjoyed the ingenuity of the camera shots though. As we know from his other work, such as Amelie from Montmartre, Jean-Pierre Jeunet has an indesputable knack for thinking outside the box. However, due to its unappealing settings and nauseating colors, this unfortunately boils down to my least favourite film by him. On the whole it's still good though and certainly worth the time invested.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

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