Détective (1995)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Détective Photos

Movie Info

Two Parisian detective investigate a two-year-old murder.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Claude Brasseur
as Emile Chenal
Nathalie Baye
as Francoise Chenal
Johnny Hallyday
as Jim Fox-Warner
Stéphane Ferrara
as Tiger Jones
Laurent Terzieff
as William Prospero
Jean-Pierre Léaud
as Inspector Neveu
Alain Cuny
as Old Mafioso
Eugène Berthier
as Eugene the Old Manager
Emmanuelle Seigner
as Princess of the Bahamas
Cyril Autin
as Punk groupie
Julie Delpy
as Wise Young Girl Groupie
Alexandra Garrijo
as Young Daughter
Xavier Saint-Macary
as Accountant
Pierre Bertin
as Young Son
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Détective

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

Jean-Luc Godard's 1985 deconstruction of film noir has the lightness and comic zip of some of his 60s features, though the mix of elements isn't quite as rich.

Full Review… | April 17, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

You can't afford to miss it if you aren't afraid of a little hard work.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Very rich comedy about the age of video

Full Review… | February 4, 2010

Drawing upon a multitude of genres and styles, from film noir and crime to slapstick comedy, Détective is a variable but entertaining experiment.

Full Review… | February 14, 2008

Godard's interest, however, is not in the crime (or even the plot) but in playing with the film medium--sounds, music, dialog, images (both video and film), and the written word.

Full Review… | August 29, 2006
TV Guide

Vintage Godard with a jumpy storyline and misunderstandings between men and women.

Full Review… | August 22, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Détective


[font=Century Gothic]"Detective" was filmed in 1985 as the video revolution was taking hold. In the film, three people(Laurent Terzieff, Aurelle Doazan & Jean-Pierre Leaud) try to discover who killed the prince in the same hotel room where he died. To help out, they record and view videotapes obsessively. On the videotapes are a pilot(Claude Brasseur) and his wife(Nathalie Baye) who are trying to get money they feel is owed to them by a shady boxing promoter(Johnny Hallyday). This sets up Jean-Luc Godard's thesis of repitition and truth. In other words, how many times do we have to watch something before discovering the absolute truth? [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]So far, so good.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]But not long into it, Godard gets bored with any kind of plot, and starts indiscriminately moving back and forth not only between the above groups but also a third(including Julie Delpy and Emmanuelle Seigner when they were just starting out), one of whom is just around to try on various outfits. Basically, it feels like the remote is in the control of a five-year old, albeit alternating between the Sundance and Independent Film Channels. So, maybe "Detective" is really about short attention spans. Or it could be a modern take on "The Tempest." Who knows?[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

although godard was still experimenting with narrative during this decade, detective is a huge step up from some of his earlier films of the 80's. the telling of the story is still quite choppy, but it makes enough sense to navigate well through the stories of the compelling characters that he has thrown into the mix. a bit of comedy, a bit of neo-noir, the film has intrigue and that godard style that i love so much. still not as good as his earlier work, but a step above his previous few films.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer


Generally considered one of Godard's most worthless efforts, I have to disagree to the extent that I didn't really detect much 'effort' here. It just sort of lazes into fitful amusement and insight.

Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson

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