Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud) Reviews

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John Hartl
Seattle Times
September 1, 2016
A classic European film noir with an irresistible score by Miles Davis, it builds tension from a series of seemingly minor mistakes that echo the political/military context of the postwar era.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 26, 2016
Elevator to the Gallows, killer stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tina Hassannia
Village Voice
August 25, 2016
Elevator to the Gallows married a new kind of jazz to a new kind of cinema, and created something altogether sublime.
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Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
August 2, 2016
The film's alchemic blend of Bressonian rigor, Hitchcockian suspense, and overall proto-Nouvelle Vague cool more than compensates for its straightforward plotting ...
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
April 1, 2007
Efficient but soulless.
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Marta Barber
Miami Herald
March 23, 2007
Elevator to the Gallows is a treat for the film buff. Watching Moreau and Malle as they discover each other and a new trend in filmmaking, and listening to Miles Davis during their quest will remind you of what movies are all about.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 5, 2006
A suspense thriller with a tense, jazzy score and a rich undercurrent of fatalistic irony.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
April 7, 2006
Henri Decaë's black-and-white cinematography brings out the melancholy mystery of Paris' boulevards and cafes, and Ms. Moreau, shot with natural lighting and without make-up, is like a mournful goddess of glamour.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
A straightforward but classy thriller.
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
October 14, 2005
The plot crackles with energy and misdirection, while the black-and-white film sharpens angles and amplifies the shadows lurking in every hallway.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 22, 2005
The movie's most compelling element of all is Moreau, wandering the nighttime streets trying to find her lover. It's as if she's blown from one cafe to the next on a blended wind of passion, dread and the lonely trumpet wail.
Read More | Original Score: B+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 15, 2005
These 1950s French noirs abandon the formality of traditional crime films, the almost ritualistic obedience to formula, and show crazy stuff happening to people who seem to be making up their lives as they go along.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
September 9, 2005
What turns it fabulous, indeed mythical, is the presence of another entity: Paris at night in the '50s, to the tune of Miles Davis's score as realized in the dappled hues of Henri Decae's gorgeous poetic cinematography.
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
August 19, 2005
As French crime thrillers go, this is about as good as it gets. It's also an important film historically, and to top it off, the jazz score, by Miles Davis, is famous in its own right.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2005
A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
July 28, 2005
What makes this swooningly atmospheric movie a true romance is the face of Jeanne Moreau in close-up, at once impassive, devious and tragic as she wanders the rain-soaked streets of nighttime Paris.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 22, 2005
The tasty 1957 noir thriller that introduced the world to French filmmaker Louis Malle, who at the time was a 24-year-old assistant director for Jacques Cousteau.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 7, 2005
Don't miss this opportunity to see the movie that launched the legend of Jeanne Moreau.
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David Denby
New Yorker
June 27, 2005
Moreau's nocturnal wanderings are made unbearably poignant by an exquisite Miles Davis jazz score that became famous in its own right.
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Jan Stuart
June 23, 2005
If you've never seen this 1957 film-noir gem, you should be seduced by the cool nocturnal cinematography of Henri Decae and the languid improvisational sounds of Miles Davis.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
June 22, 2005
It's precisely Malle's omnivorous appetite that makes his first feature, adapted from a policier, so delectable, one stuffed with many sumptuous sights and sounds.