Femme Fatale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Femme Fatale Reviews

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July 3, 2016
So much better than i remembered it. I guess I was too young to really appreciate it when I first saw it. Masterful movie.
½ February 2, 2016
Excellent suspense/mystery story. Current rating is waaaay off the mark.
February 1, 2016
"Femme Fatale" is one of Brian De Palma's very best films. Sure, Rebecca Romijn isn't the best actress, but damned if she isn't sultry and good at being bad, and Banderas delivers one of his best performances. Pure style and stunning craftsmanship, and such an absolute delight to behold. I adore it.
September 10, 2015
Widely underrated and underappreciated Brian De Palma film. The score alone is easily in my top 10 favorite of all time. Clearly worth a watch..
July 6, 2015
The older acclaimed filmmakers get, the harder it is to retain the excitement found in their earliest films. If you're Michael Bay, no problem - you were never respected to begin with. But if you're an auteur that blew the minds of audiences and critics alike for a generation, there's a good chance you'll slip up in your later years and get lost in the sands of time. It happened to Hitchcock, to Donen, to Wilder; and, if you want to talk about present day tragedies, I could passively mention Dario Argento and Brian De Palma. But we don't have to go there.
One doesn't want to slip up - but the more directors stick to their guns, the more their style seems to inevitably age. Wes Craven was meta and fresh come "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream" time, but these days, he's considered to be the guy that revamped the horror genre in the past, presently a living legend who just can't seem to relive his glory days. Francis Ford Coppola made the 1970s, but currently spends his time releasing little seen indies that only suggest a fall from grace.
But let's go back to Brian De Palma. The Alfred Hitchcock of the 1970s and '80s, billed as the Master of the Macabre, he refreshed tired thriller predictabilities using metallically lux photography and implausible plot twists to complement the tone, not the little-there realism of it all. "Sisters", "Dressed to Kill", "Blow Out", and "Body Double" are untouchable masterpieces in sheer filmmaking, even if some of his choices are questionable - his most famous movies, "Carrie", "Scarface", and "Mission: Impossible", are famous for a reason, but hardly capture the same cockily audacious sleaziness of its sexy counterparts.
But as time as gone on, De Palma's fondness of split-screens, laughable plot twists, and sunglassed blonde vixens with a like for cigarettes and sunglasses have gotten remarkably stale, most evidenced by 2012's awful "Passion". "Femme Fatale" sees him transitioning into that "old man" faze - though a lot of it doesn't work, a lot of it does, in ways as stimulating as earlier, fantastically realized moments in his filmography. There's a lot I could complain about (consider that De Palma decides to pull the rug completely out from under his plot right at the conclusion, leaving us dissatisfied and upset), but there is also a whole lot I could praise. While "Femme Fatale" is imperfect, it is often times electrifying, containing some of De Palma's most artistically brazen sequences.
The titular femme fatale is Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn), a slinky thief who, in the introduction of the film, participates in a risky jewel heist at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. But things get complicated, and, unfortunately for her fellow criminals, Laure outsmarts her accomplices and ends up with the goods. After the adventure, she realizes that living the life of a piece of scum isn't for her, and so, after thinking the film is going one way, we are jerked as it cuts seven years into the future. How she gets out of trouble I cannot reveal - let's just say that some people show up in the right place at the right time. When we find her in De Palma's 2008, she is the wife of a millionaire, her past coming back to haunt her at the wrong moment. But this isn't a case of a tainted woman wanting to forget about what made her tainted in the first place; it is the continuance of a manipulator's quest for power after a long hiatus of keeping devilish instincts hidden.
"Femme Fatale" gets more and more annoyingly incomprehensible as it goes along, but never does De Palma's style stop delighting us. Perhaps at the peak of his silky intuitions, he can pull off convoluted instances of slow motion cat-and-mouse games and voyeuristic split-screen snapshots because it feels so right. Tricky and exotic, "Femme Fatale" is the kind of film that flourishes the most when it's choosing style over substance - a shame that De Palma thinks that a final plot puzzle that ruins everything will actually enchant us.
But there's too much good here to write off. The entire opening might be the best of his career. (The camera zooms in on a grainy version of "Double Indemnity" on a French television set, the subtitles giving it an allure hardly seen before. As the lens pulls back and reveals a shapely woman laying on a white sheeted bed, wearing nothing but lacy blank underwear, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, her hair slicked back, passively watching, we are hypnotized; the rest of the scene, mostly without dialogue and mostly recorded in single takes, transitions into the robbery itself, which, in turn, is sensationally executed.) But after these initial scenes end, "Femme Fatale" strolls along without the tension it once had and the sexiness it once put into our laps. But it has its moments, with an endlessly provocative Romijn to tie it all together. De Palma is one of the great modern filmmakers, and although the film can sometimes be slight, you can hardly deny how effortlessly his boldness translates onto the screen.
½ June 18, 2015
Plays like a made for TV movie of the week.
½ June 12, 2015
Decent De Palma flick.
January 20, 2015
Esta pelicula tiene muchos detractores, personalmente me pareciò fascinante ver a DePalma de vuelta a sus inicios. Excesiva y atrapante, lo que no me convenciò fuè Antonio Banderas.
½ November 21, 2014
De Palma delivers another piece of elaborated film making. The story is confusing and a little light but it's a heck of an excuse for brilliant camera work, amazing travelings and superb photography. Rebecca Romjim is gorgeous and owns every single shot of this voluptuous and sexy film. Deserves a good look.
½ July 28, 2014
If nothing else, this little movie has style. I'm not so sure the twists were rewarding, but it does have a crackerjack heist to start the whole thing and some really great performances. Romijn makes a suitably icy blonde in the Hitchcock vein.
½ April 1, 2014
Very surprised this film doesn't have better critical or audience reaction. Perhaps it's retribution for Brian De Palma playing the audience through to a final, unexpected and *enormous* twist at the end. De Palma is masterful in his story-telling, with excellent acting by an unknown Rebecca Romijn and Antonio Bandera in the leading roles. It's neo-noir in its finest, celebrating as the title's namesake, the essential and crucial Bad Girl femme fatale.

I was amused at the beginning with the television in the hotel room playing an old B&W film. It's Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in a scene near the end of their 1944 film, "Double Indemnity." MacMurray is the flawed protagonist and Stanwyck is the femme fatale. It's considered one of the finest examples of the Film Noir genre at the height of its popularity. De Palma knows his cinema. De Palma then moves on to the jewel heist itself which is reminiscent of a Mission: Impossible TV episode in how it's carried out.

My advice for enjoying this film: go with the flow, enjoy the ride, and savor how much you've been sucked in when you finally sort out what's really going on at the end. There are very subtle clues that not everything is what it seems to be sprinkled in throughout. It's not as if De Palma didn't provide anything to tell you something is a little out of kilter. It's a wild ride, if you let it be one.
February 11, 2014
Eigentlich wre der Film ganz gut geworden, aber die Story ist so verwoben und irrefhrend, dass der Film schon wieder anstrengend wird! Vor allem die Auflsung ist so mies, dass man den Film in 10 Minuten htte erzhlen knnen! Auch die Darsteller sind deplatziert und mhen sich ab, einigermassen erotisch zu wirken! Leider wurde dieses Werk vertan!
½ December 24, 2013
La secuencia inicial de "Femme Fatale" es una obra maestra en s misma, involucrndonos en un ingenioso asalto en medio del festival de Cannes. Lo que sigue es una historia llena de giros inesperados y momentos surreales a cargo del inigualable estilo de Brian DePalma (quien disfruta de usar close-ups intensos y pantallas divididas).
"Femme Fatale" recibi una terrible respuesta por parte de la critica cuando fue estrenada pero es una ingeniosa cinta lleno de misterio y erotismo, brillantemente dirigida por DePalma. Muy recomendable.
October 6, 2013
this could be the start of something good +%^@ Yah
July 31, 2013
There was a lot of talent on offer and on paper this should have been a classic film noir. However, poor dialogue, naive story telling and a musical score that just didn't work made it a waste of talent and if I were Brian de Palma, one to forget.
½ July 30, 2013
DePalma has quite literally lost the plot
June 26, 2013
Femme Fatale is sexy, seductive, but DePalma's best. I thought the beginning got off to a really good start, but after that it starts to get a little crazy, and not in a good way. You don't have to care anything about this movie, but STAY FOR THE ENDING! The ending is the best part as DePalma gives us his signature twist. The ending is worth the watch all alone, but the movie is decent, but good decent.
June 22, 2013
Beautifully photographed with some great moments, but nothing beyond that.
May 15, 2013
This ode to noir is strangely cold and disjointed and contains a handful of brilliant scenes, including a sexy striptease and a fabulous opening sequence, keeping it more interesting than it really is.
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