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The Rules of the Game (1950)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 9.5/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 1

Its genius escaped many viewers at the time, but in retrospect, The Rules of the Game stands as one of Jean Renoir's -- and cinema's -- finest works.

93

Average Rating: 9.3/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 1

Its genius escaped many viewers at the time, but in retrospect, The Rules of the Game stands as one of Jean Renoir's -- and cinema's -- finest works.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 9,528

My Rating

Movie Info

Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: audiences at its opening engagements in Paris were openly hostile, responding to the film with shouts of derision, and distributors cut the movie from 113 minutes to a mere 80. It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during WWII. It wasn't until 1956 that Renoir was able to

Unrated,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Jean Renoir, Carl Koch

Jan 20, 2004

Kino International

Watch It Now

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (1) | DVD (14)

The word "Mozartean"... gets thrown around a little too eagerly by critics, but one movie, as almost everyone agrees, deserves this supreme benediction -- Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game.

June 3, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On the surface, a lace of flirtations, insinuations and rejections compose the basic plotting. But Renoir uses flashes of accelerating drama to amplify his bigger points.

June 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jean Renoir, who directs, wrote the scenario and dialog, and takes a leading role, has made a common error: he attempts to crowd too many ideas into 80 minutes of film fare, resulting in confusion.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The mobile camera seems to be a member of the party, as it follows the almost balletically choreographed movements of the cast. The effect for the audience is transcendental. We are watching life at its messiest, unfolding at its most beautiful.

April 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A disaster when initially released, the movie's reputation has only grown since.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are about a dozen genuine miracles in the history of cinema, and one of them is Jean Renoir's supreme 1939 tragi-comedy The Rules of the Game.

December 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is cinema at its pinnacle: sublime humanism smiling through tears of frustrated sadness.

June 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The film may not suit all tastes, but its insight and humanity is undeniable.

June 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Renoir's satire is a sharp dissection of human nature and a glorious piece of art that lives up to its restored reputation.

June 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

...has an attitude of empathetic enlightenment that remains a rarity.

August 21, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

... at once savage social satire and a compassionate comedy of manners with a sour undercurrent.

December 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

A film that I adore and worship with religious fervor, one of the small handful of movies that I have never been able to exhaust.

July 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

[VIDEO]...a scathing satirical dissection of bourgeois mores and the use of manners to mask its frequently adulterous, and sometime lethal, sins.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

A scathing attack on the show of feeling by a murderously superficial elite . . . the more you watch it, the more Renoir's masterwork reflects the cold, hard truth%u2014The Rules of the Game still apply.

March 25, 2007
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Welcome to The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir's delightful, frothy, bittersweet masterpiece about romance, class and manners.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

A great film because of the way it moves beyond social commentary to show how each character, rich and poor, is isolated and at the same time unified by his fears and needs. We're all in a class by ourselves.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The digitally restored print showing in theaters is worth seeing. If it doesn't come to your town, then look for it to show up on IFC in its tribute to Janus Films or buy or rent the Criterion Collection DVD. However you see this masterpiece, you absol

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Jean Renoir's classic 1939 satire hasn't lost any of its ability to both shock and enlighten.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Yes, there is the director's perfect and unobtrusive technique...and, yes, there's his extraordinarily good-natured, generous attitude toward his characters. But the whole is much greater than the sum of these elements.

December 28, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Rules of the Game

Concealing a lot of complexity in its apparently simple plot, this fabulous tragicomedy (which was almost lost in History) is a witty and smart commentary on the rules of the bourgeoisie and social relations. A classic of the French Cinema to be seen and re-seen many times.
October 20, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

A classic from Renoir. The interplay between the wonderful bourgeois upper class characters just before the second world war has never been matched. It's been copied countless times but has never been bettered in my opinion!
September 30, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Fantastic film. I hate the rich and this is a great fuck you to them. I love the style that the film was shot in as well, with wides as if watching a play unfold. There is also the rabbit hunt which is done extremely well. Well crafted film on a lot of levels. I was also impressed with the dialogue which was funny and sharp, especially considering the time it was made.
June 19, 2009
tsigur

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Spielregel (DE)
  • The Rules of the Game (UK)
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