Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) (2010)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 10
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Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 4
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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 610
After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement; Sa´d moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.-- (C) Official Site
Nov 3, 2010 Limited
Aug 2, 2011
Independent Pictures - Official Site
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It's a big, bold film defined by a reserved passion, a stately style and strong performances from its three leads.
It's a ham-handed "issue" movie that preaches to the converted, but the mid-century threads look cool and those Coppola moments remain effective all these years later.
Think The Godfather II as told through France vs. Algeria tensions, and you have the essence of Rachid Bouchareb's vivid combo crime saga, action movie and historical drama.
"Outside the Law" is an epic film about Algeria's fight for liberation from France, with three outstanding performances and a grand, sweeping feel.
A gripping French-Algerian coproduction that makes Algeria's epic struggle for independence from France look like a gangster movie.
The movie is impressively made but finally feels rote and, at 138 minutes, outstays its welcome.
Ultimately, the common criminal has as much in common with the career soldier and the idealistic revolutionary . . . .
Outside The Law is a fairly run of the mill slice of historical action/crime-drama, but ironically one that has just enough story to sustain your attention, but all too little historical fact to truly deserve your it to begin with.
Part Western, part Godfather and with topical reflections of French colonialism meeting contemporary struggles for freedom in north Africa head-on, this is a thought-provoking film despite its over-ambitious nature.
Bouchareb makes subtle points here about the damaging legacy of colonial rule.
Exciting but one-sided, Bouchareb's film is a Melville-lite study of honour among dangerous men.
A little on the long side, it nonetheless keeps us involved in the deadly cat-and-mouse games between the Algerian freedom fighters and increasingly desperate police, and the performances from the reliable trio of lead actors are excellent.
Bouchareb is not, as Pontecorvo was, a political film-maker. He's a humanist with a strong feeling for personal tragedies and people caught up in the tides of history.
There is no doubt where Bouchareb's sympathies lie but his attempt to marry a political lesson with the structures of an action movie doesn't always work. Current events give his argument renewed force, however.
It's overlong and a little over-indulgent, but given current events in north Africa, there's an unanticipated resonance to it.
A self-consciously epic historical drama about the road to Algerian independence from France in 1962.
It's handsome, confident large-scale cinema, with a fascinating historical heart. Take no prisoners stuff.
Though the period feel and detail are excellent, the fascinating historical complexities become somewhat lost in a sentimental tale of bloody ties and brotherly duty.
That every political issue is covered from race to poverty to French oppression only makes the dish, like a pizza with an overcrowded topping, harder to keep piping hot.
Controversial and contended it may be in France, but whatever your stance this is another thrilling and thoughtful slice of history from the Days Of Glory director.
Bouchareb sketches this with clarity and skill, building toward a bloodstained ending that is technically happy (Algerian independence!) but feels deeply sad.
Sometimes a bit too episodic and stuffed with history to register emotionally but the three central performances carry the piece overall.
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