Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) Reviews

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Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
The first and probably least of the collaborations between screenwriter Jacques Prevert and director Marcel Carne.
Shaun Munro
What Culture
May 5, 2012
Carné's thrilling film is an important and undervalued influence on the post-war American noirs of the 1940s.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
September 11, 2012
From Gabin's fatigued magnetism to cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan's woodcut-worthy attention to texture, this is movie melancholia of the very highest order.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Paul Huckerby
Electric Sheep
May 3, 2012
What is often forgotten when discussing poetic realism is how entertaining the films are, and none is more so than Le Quai des Brumes.
Philip Concannon
Little White Lies
May 3, 2012
Marcel Carné's film has fully earned its status as a classic of French poetic realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Leo Robson
Financial Times
May 3, 2012
The results are frustrating, though Michel Simon is wonderfully vulnerable as the shopkeeper Zabel, who complains about the injustice of loving like Romeo but looking like Bluebeard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Diego Costa
Slant Magazine
September 13, 2012
We empathize with their resistance to suffer, but it's hard to feel something other than philosophical respect for characters who think of swimmers as soon-to-be drowned men.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
May 3, 2012
Essentially, this is film noir, so there's crime and romance, but both are submerged beneath a resolutely ground-level exploration of lives in crisis -- a mood bolstered by shots of the down-and-dirty French port groaning into action.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
December 31, 2005
One of the reasons the French so readily accepted the American film noir of the 1940s is because they already had it in the 1930s, and this crime drama is proof of that.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Rumsey Taylor
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
August 3, 2004
Despite the hospitality of any character in the film, Port of Shadows is a clinical tragedy, and its characters are sentenced to suffer the instant they enter the film.
Miles Fielder
The List
May 4, 2012
One of the definitive examples of the 'poetic realism' style of French cinema of the pre-war and wartime years...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jake Euker
Filmcritic.com
July 25, 2004
A pleasure to watch, and there's much to recommend it. But, like that other poetic realist stalwart Pépé le Moko, what's best about it is its atmosphere of romance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
May 5, 2012
[A] 1938 masterpiece of poetic realism...
Philip Kemp
Total Film
April 30, 2012
Predictably, all ends tragically. But mondieu, doesn't it look sublime?
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
November 24, 2004
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Frank S. Nugent
New York Times
January 28, 2006
It's a thorough-going study in blacks and grays, without a free laugh in it; but it is also a remarkably beautiful motion picture from the purely pictorial standpoint and a strangely haunting drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine
May 2, 2007
Not a cheerful evening's viewing, this, but a superb and compelling example of melancholic realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
May 3, 2012
Pessimistic, yet strangely sublime.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Otis Ferguson
The New Republic
August 29, 2012
As a film that neither attempts more than it can do nor is satisfied with the trivial, Port of Shadows is a pleasure.
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
January 24, 2013
This collaboration of Marcel Carne and Jacques Prevert is a highlight of French poetic realism and a masterpiece of world cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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