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Red Lights (Feux Rouges) Reviews

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familiar s

Super Reviewer

April 26, 2011
If you like to explore theories, you might wanna take this detour. I can only wish I'd avoided it. An utter disappointment, this friggin' (brilliant, for some; to each, their own) movie completely ruined my mood.
Curt C

Super Reviewer

June 22, 2008
After watching RL, I checked out some other reviews that mostly described this film as Hitchcockian. Here is the difference: Hitchcock would build tension and suspense throughout the film to the point that you were moved closer to the edge of your seat as the film progressed. One is never quite certain how things will proceed.

Kahn creates a film that just filled me with a different sort of tension; annoyance. This is a lot of "build" for very little payoff, and by the time the payoff occurs I was more annoyed at the movie than on the edge of my seat. The constant driving just frustrated me even further.

I promised myself I wouldn't forget how painful the first 30 minutes were, no matter how things turned out after that. Indeed, while RL clocks in at 100 minutes it feels more like three hours.
May 8, 2008
Jean-Pierre Darroussin's character was such a jerk to his wife, especially when the wife is played by the gorgeous Carole Bouquet. Red Lights, with it's mysterious plot and steady pace, shows the common male paranoia. I don't know if the end brought justice or if it made me happy, I just hope the husband will start being nice to his family and quit drinking.
Cinema101
May 8, 2008
8/10
This film has more on its agenda than mere thrills and supense, although those are plentiful. A Hitchcockian thriller in this sense, they don't make them like this any more (at least not in Hollywood), Red Lights relates the troubles of an overly domesticated man trying to regain his manhood and then some. But if there's a moral to this story it's that you should be careful what you wish for . . . or rather, you should be careful how you go about getting what you wish for. I was never sure where this film was going, which made it both interesting and entertaining; interesting being the key word, as this movie might make you rethink a few of your lifestyle choices, if not scare you into changing them; and that is a welcome change onto itself.
Freethinker
June 19, 2006
[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']STANDARDIZED MOVIE EVALUATION (06/19/06 revision)
(comments may contain spoilers)


[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
I. CONTENT (out of 3 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow): ---> 1.5<---


i. PHILOSOPHICAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPTH (out of 2 stars, where very shallow = 0; shallow = 0.25 or 0.5; somewhat deep = 0.75 or 1.0; deep = 1.25 or 1.5; very deep = 1.75 or 2.0)
---> 1.25 <---

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Does the movie provide deep insights into psychology of an individual? (0.25 for somewhat deep, 0.5 for deep) Y-0.5 personal inner-struggle [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Does the movie provide deep insights into psychology of a group? (0.25 for somewhat deep, 0.5 for deep) Y-0.25, edgy spousal interactions [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Does the movie provide deep philosophical/cosmological insights? (0.25 for somewhat deep, 0.5 for deep) Y-0.25. the nature of ?love?, ?wealth? etc?[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Do the movie?s insights care significant philosophical/political implications? (0.25 for significant, 0.5 for very significant) Y-0.25, ?We appreciate someone after we loose them?[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
ii. SCREENPLAY ORIGINALITY (out of 1 star, where very banal = 0; banal = 0.25; somewhat original = 0.5; original = 0.75; very original = 1.0):
--->0.25<---

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Is film?s screenplay creative (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Is the plot generally difficult to predict (0.25 for a positive answer)? N, too predictive[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Is film?s ending original (0.25 for a positive answer)? N, cliché ending[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Does the screenplay particularly excel in any of the above (0.25 for a positive answer)? N[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']

+ BONUS FOR CONTAINING CONTROVERSIAL & UNPOPULAR TOPICS (up to 0.5 star, where controversial topics = 0.25; unpopular and taboo topics = 0.5)


[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
II. PRODUCTION (out of 2 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow):
---> 1.75<---


iii. ACTING (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0):
---> 0.75<---

*Do actors portray their characters effectively (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Do actors interact among each other effectively (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Do actors connect with the audience (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Do actors particularly excel in any of the above? N[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
iv. PRESENTATION (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0):
---> 1.0 <---

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Are visual elements effective (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Are acoustic elements effective (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Is the film?s flow & duration effective (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']*Does the presentation particularly excel in any of the above (0.25 for a positive answer)? Y, great visuals, nice flow[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']

+ BONUS FOR PRODUCING ON LOW BUDGET (up to 0.5 stars, where up to one million dollars budget = 0.25; up to half a million dollars budget = 0.5)


[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
TOTAL STAR RATING:
---> 3.25<---

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
GRADE & RECOMMENDATION (above 5.0 = A+," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 5.0 & 4.75 = A," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.5 = A-, " Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.25 = B+, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 4.0 & 3.75 = B, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.5 = B - "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.25 = = C+, "Fair Movie" ; 3.0 & 2.75 = C, "Fair Movie"; 2.5 = C-, "Fair Movie"; 2.25 = D+, "Poor Movie"; 2.0 & 1.75 = D, "Poor Movie"; 1.5 = D-, "Poor Movie"; bellow 1.5 = F, "Very Poor Movie") :
---> C " Fair Movie" <---

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
IF YOU LIKE THIS MOVIE I ALSO RECOMMEND: N/A

[/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif'] [/font][/color]

[color=black][font='Arial','sans-serif']
BALANCED MPAA RATING (not biased in favor of violence and against sexuality, where G = no violence, no sexuality; PG = OK slight violence, OK slight sexuality; PG-13 = OK moderate violence, OK moderate sexuality; R = OK explicit violence, OK explicit sexuality; NC-17 = OK extreme violence, OK extreme sexuality)
--->PG-13 for moderate violence<--- [/font][/color]
Academock
April 24, 2005
[b]DVD[/b] First Viewing, 1 Kahn film seen

I enjoyed the first 30 minutes of [i]Red Lights[/i] much more than the rest of the film. I thought the dramatic dialogue between the two leads (or who I thought would be) was tremendous. It quickly took a turn for the unexpected, and I lost a little bit of interest, but it was still a fine film with a few genuinely creepy moments.
letsgothrow
January 11, 2005
Saw the movie with Steve. We were the only ones with in the theatre.

Definately Hitchcockian. Some scenes last too long - though overall it's a good suspense movie in slow-motion.
Freddy001
October 28, 2004
I saw Red Lights about two weeks ago and have finally gotten around to writing a few words about it.

James Berardinelli is right: This is the type of movie that Miramax would have been falling all over themselves to pick up ten years ago. Now, since they've sunk all their money into movies like Cold Mountain, really good but offbeat films like this are passed up by them.

But Wellspring picked it up, so that's a plus. Red Lights is unique; it's made in the mold of a suspense film but doesn't play out that way. Its real genre is more of a marriage-in-crisis drama, but we don't pick up on that immediately because Red Lights is so slow in revealing its hand.

In that way it is a lot like George Sluizier's 1988 film The Vanishing, and while Red Lights is not superior to the Sluizier film, it still has a lot going for it on its own merits.

Jean-Pierre Darrousin plays Antoine Dunan; he and his wife Helene (Carole Bouquet) are traveling to pick up their children from a summer camp. Antoine and Helene have an argument during their journey, in response to which Antoine stops for many drinks, becoming more and more inebriated.

During one of those stops, Helene leaves a note in the car indicating she's leaving him to his own device and taking the train. Meanwhile, Antoine picks up a hitchhiker, who may be an escaped convict that the news radio stations report on early in the film.

That's about all I want to say; the entire crux of the story rests on a few plot twists that are rather extreme (some would say contrivances), but I like to keep in mind that Alfred Hitchcock also rested his entire films on sometimes improbable plot twists. It's called suspension of disbelief.

I liked Red Lights; it was a good way to pass two hours. While it's not as mind-blowing as other foreign films I've seen in the past few years like City Of God, Carandiru, or Sex And Lucia, it's still good cinema.

And that's my two cents.
vh
September 6, 2004
I saw this movie two weeks ago during a bit of a movie reviewing hiatus and I figure I'd better write something soon before my recollection is completely blurred. It's actually a bit blurry already, so when I can't remember facts, I'm just going to make them up. (You'll never know.)

So there's this married couple living in Paris, see, and they're about to drive to the south of France to pick up their two kids at some sort of summer camp. The wife, Helene, is a beautiful, successful lawyer and the husband, Antoine, is an average looking insurance salesman. Or something.

They're supposed to meet after work in a bar, but being how Helene is all important and stuff, she gets stuck at work so she's late. She keeps calling Antoine every 15 minutes or so to tell him she'll be there soon, and he starts getting kind of pissed, in both senses of the word. After he's had about 3 or 4 beers, she finally shows up. But then she still has to shower and pack before they can leave, so while he's waiting, he goes out under the guise of filling the gas tank and pounds a couple more drinks. Something strong. Like scotch maybe. Or vodka. Possibly tequila. I forget. But I distinctly remember him saying "Make it a double." Except the movie was in French, so that can't be right... hmm... maybe I remember reading it.

Anyway. Apparently, old Antoine doesn't usually drink much, but on this day, he's feeling particularly emasculated by his high powered wife, and what better way to assert your masculinity than to get rip-roaring drunk. And what better time to get rip-roaring drunk than when you're about to begin a very long drive in holiday traffic.

Back at the apartment, Helene is FINALLY ready to go, so the trip begins. Helene doesn't seem to be aware that Antoine is drunk but Antoine isn't about to let her drive anyway. He drives fast and erratically with a crazed look in his eyes, cutting off other drivers and changing lanes without even looking. He decides to take a "short-cut" and ends up getting them lost but won't admit it. He gets extremely angry when Helene opens up the map and tries to direct him back to the main road.

Helene doesn't seem overly phased by Antoine's wild driving or belligerence. Rather than being frightened or upset, she seems to view him as one would view a child throwing a tantrum. Her non-reaction seems to fuel Antoine's anger even more, and at a purported bathroom stop, he pounds another double. Helene waits in the car for what turns out to be a fairly long time, and when Antoine returns, the couple starts fighting in earnest.

After a bit more crazed driving, Antoine screeches off the highway again and into the parking lot of a roadside bar. Helene threatens to drive away if Antoine goes in, but he goes in anyway, taking the keys with him. When he returns quite a while later, Helene is...dun dun dun...gone. He looks inside and finds a note saying that she's going to take the train instead. (What a party pooper.)

So Antoine goes flying off to the train station to look for her, but when he gets there, the train has already left. He speeds to the next stop, but he misses it there, too. Upset by this turn of events, naturally he finds a bar and has another few drinks. When he's finally ready to leave, a hitchhiker asks him for a ride and he agrees, even though he suspects the guy may be the escaped convict he's been hearing about all night on the radio. (How ballsy is that, huh? THIS'LL prove who wears the pants in the family. Macho macho homme. He's gotta be a macho homme.)

So then things get really tense and thrillery. Antoine is drunk out of his mind, trying to find his wife, driving like a maniac, and has a potential psycho-killer on the seat next to him. I actually gasped a couple of times, once quite loudly, and I'm really not much of a gasper. (One gasp prompted a chuckle from guy seated nearby who subsequently asked me out for coffee. What a great "how we met" story THAT could've been to tell the grandkids, huh, but alas, no. "I have to get my dog...uh...because he...uh...hey, will you look at the time?")

This suspenseful, nail-biting, psychological thriller genre isn't really my favorite. I've got enough anxiety in my life as it is, thank you, and I don't feel the need to generate more in the name of entertainment. But that said, this is a very well made film and was quite successful in making me even tenser than I was to start. Pass the Xanax, please.
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