Sombre (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sombre (1998)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Former video installation artist Philippe Grandieux made his feature directorial debut with this French psychological thriller that probes the mind of a serial killer. A hand-held camera follows murderer Jean (Marc Barbe) as he strangles French women while driving about France. When Claire (Elina Lowensohn) has a roadside car breakdown, she and her sister Christine (Geraldine Voillat) get a lift from the demented Jean, who later attacks Christine while she's at a lake for a swim. Back at the hotel, he menaces both sisters. Claire succeeds in extricating Christine, who leaves on a train for Paris -- while Claire makes the mistake of sticking around in order to "help" the crazed Jean. Shown in competition at the 1998 Locarno Film Festival where it provoked controversy and an official statement: "Half of the jury would like to call attention to Sombre. Our jury split between those who were morally offended by the film and those who saw a purpose in its darkness, and in the strength of its mise-en-scene and images." ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Sophie Fillières, Philippe Grandrieux
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 10, 2007
Runtime:
Koch Lorber Films

News & Interviews for Sombre

Critic Reviews for Sombre

All Critics (1)

Technique in 'Sombre' becomes annoying rather than extreme or unsettling.

Full Review… | November 17, 2013
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Sombre

It's neither disturbing or graphic as it was reputed to be, Sombre is by far the worst French extremities. It was wonky, boring and confusing. The only reason why people would walk out of the cinema is because of how boring it is.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

Looking at other reviews and feedback, the majority of people who didn't like this film didn't like it because it was too disturbing or too graphic. Personally, I didn't like it because it was a piece of shit.

In most instances, I will praise a movie for taking its time. Its often refreshing to see a story portrayed without forcing action and dramatic plot points into every scene to keep an audience entertained. It is usually a nice change of pace from the overstimulating and seizure inducing mantra of modern film making. This however borders on coma inducing boredom. I would wager that there are literally 40 minutes of wasted time in this film. So much wasted space that even Werner Hertzog fell asleep. I just can not forgive that blatant of a waste of my time.

The plot itself is mundane, unfulfilling, unrelatable, and simply boring. OK, so there's a serial killer. He starts hanging out with some chick. He kinda wants to kill her and kinda doesn't. The end. Throw in a bunch of lackadaisical camera work, stupid indy rock music, unnecessary dance scenes, some full frontal female nudity and you have the formula for a 2 hour movie right? Wrong. Its basically a more graphic version of a Lifetime Network original movie.

The acting is wooden as a hollow log. Barbe is more funny than anything. His bumbling and fumbling killings are in no way disturbing, bordering more on hilarious. His murders are more like a 13 year old boy struggling to get a girls bra off the first time. Lowensohn as the female lead is even worse. A total waste in fact. I can't even remember enough about her performance to critique it it was so non-memorable. All other actors are equally terrible.

The direction is amateur. Over saturated color, terrible lighting, half-framed shots, and confusing scene cutting combine to give the effect of a movie filmed on a broken hand-held Nikon. The script is nearly non existent. I would be surprised to here that there are more than 200 spoken words of dialogue. Of course that's probably by design when you hear how hokey the existing script is. Whats worse is that it insists upon it's own supposed seriousness and depravity, trying to force a pitch black tone on a film that's ridiculousness and horrible construction give it away 5 minutes in.

Not disturbing, not relevant, not anything but a shittily constructed, self insistent, boring-ass piece of shit film. Not even copious amounts of female nudity could muster this above one star. A complete waste of time. Anyone who thinks this is a disturbing film still has a nightlight in their room.

Julian T.
Julian Toepfer

Looking at other reviews and feedback, the majority of people who didn't like this film didn't like it because it was too disturbing or too graphic. Personally, I didn't like it because it was a piece of shit.

In most instances, I will praise a movie for taking its time. Its often refreshing to see a story portrayed without forcing action and dramatic plot points into every scene to keep an audience entertained. It is usually a nice change of pace from the overstimulating and seizure inducing mantra of modern film making. This however borders on coma inducing boredom. I would wager that there are literally 40 minutes of wasted time in this film. So much wasted space that even Werner Hertzog fell asleep. I just can not forgive that blatant of a waste of my time.

The plot itself is mundane, unfulfilling, unrelatable, and simply boring. OK, so there's a serial killer. He starts hanging out with some chick. He kinda wants to kill her and kinda doesn't. The end. Throw in a bunch of lackadaisical camera work, stupid indy rock music, unnecessary dance scenes, some full frontal female nudity and you have the formula for a 2 hour movie right? Wrong. Its basically a more graphic version of a Lifetime Network original movie.

The acting is wooden as a hollow log. Barbe is more funny than anything. His bumbling and fumbling killings are in no way disturbing, bordering more on hilarious. His murders are more like a 13 year old boy struggling to get a girls bra off the first time. Lowensohn as the female lead is even worse. A total waste in fact. I can't even remember enough about her performance to critique it it was so non-memorable. All other actors are equally terrible.

The direction is amateur. Over saturated color, terrible lighting, half-framed shots, and confusing scene cutting combine to give the effect of a movie filmed on a broken hand-held Nikon. The script is nearly non existent. I would be surprised to here that there are more than 200 spoken words of dialogue. Of course that's probably by design when you hear how hokey the existing script is. Whats worse is that it insists upon it's own supposed seriousness and depravity, trying to force a pitch black tone on a film that's ridiculousness and horrible construction give it away 5 minutes in.

Not disturbing, not relevant, not anything but a shittily constructed, self insistent, boring-ass piece of shit film. Not even copious amounts of female nudity could muster this above one star. A complete waste of time. Anyone who thinks this is a disturbing film still has a nightlight in their room.

juliantoepfer
Julian Toepfer

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