Free Men Reviews

  • Nov 14, 2020

    So, nothing cinematically groundbreaking here, but I thought it was a solid, fascinating story and a fascinating piece of history (or historical fiction). The major characters are real and their actions generally shown as happened in real life. It got me thinking again about the Muslim and Jewish communities did not have such a level of animosity until post-WWII ans Europe’s cavalier attitude to the Middle East.

    So, nothing cinematically groundbreaking here, but I thought it was a solid, fascinating story and a fascinating piece of history (or historical fiction). The major characters are real and their actions generally shown as happened in real life. It got me thinking again about the Muslim and Jewish communities did not have such a level of animosity until post-WWII ans Europe’s cavalier attitude to the Middle East.

  • Jun 19, 2020

    Its an interesting story which flows at the right pace as more of the plot becomes exposed. The ending is somewhat abrupt, but given its based on a true story you need to accept the ending. watchable.

    Its an interesting story which flows at the right pace as more of the plot becomes exposed. The ending is somewhat abrupt, but given its based on a true story you need to accept the ending. watchable.

  • Nov 20, 2017

    Way too much cliche but a good lead performance and a reasonable but predictable story make it watchable. Not great, more of a liberal wet dream ha.

    Way too much cliche but a good lead performance and a reasonable but predictable story make it watchable. Not great, more of a liberal wet dream ha.

  • Sep 26, 2015

    Another nugget of history to add to the many nuggets I have about WW2 and the French resistance......this time how the Moroccans and Algerians helped. Very interesting!

    Another nugget of history to add to the many nuggets I have about WW2 and the French resistance......this time how the Moroccans and Algerians helped. Very interesting!

  • Jun 15, 2015

    A good story well portrayed and directed. Giving some insight into some less well known stories relating to the war. Good performances and some nice soundtrack to go with it

    A good story well portrayed and directed. Giving some insight into some less well known stories relating to the war. Good performances and some nice soundtrack to go with it

  • May 31, 2015

    This is a Nazi based story that uses a religious minority and location not often seen on the big screen. It's certainly an interesting enough story because of this, but it's also a very well made period drama that aims to break through modern perceptions of religious divide.

    This is a Nazi based story that uses a religious minority and location not often seen on the big screen. It's certainly an interesting enough story because of this, but it's also a very well made period drama that aims to break through modern perceptions of religious divide.

  • Jun 07, 2014

    Excellent retelling of a worthwhile story, with the Paris mosque being instrumental both in the Resistance and in protecting Algerian and Moroccan Jews. Tahar Rahim bears some resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch and is an excellent actor. Michael Lonsdale lends gravitas as the head of the Mosque, treading a fine line with both the Germans and the French authorities.

    Excellent retelling of a worthwhile story, with the Paris mosque being instrumental both in the Resistance and in protecting Algerian and Moroccan Jews. Tahar Rahim bears some resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch and is an excellent actor. Michael Lonsdale lends gravitas as the head of the Mosque, treading a fine line with both the Germans and the French authorities.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Apr 20, 2014

    In occupied France, Younes(Tahar Rahim) works in the black market. During an immigration dragnet, he is arrested while his cousin Ali(Farid Larbi) escapes. Younes is given a choice, either cooperate with the authorities and spy for them or be deported. He chooses to stay and is assigned to infiltrate the mosque presided by Ben Ghabrit(Michael Lonsdale). It is there that Younes encounters Salim(Mahmoud Shalaby), a young singer, using a dabrouka as a calling card. "Free Men" has a few things going for it, like its unique angle on occupied France, just as nationalism for North Africa was starting to kick into gear with immigrants being pulled in two separate directions at once. But even with a milieu as neat as this one, you need a decent story which is missing here. Plus, the lead character is more than a little lacking.(Whether this is because Younes is only a composite character and Salim and Ben Ghabrit were real people is up for debate.) But then somebody should have told Michael Lonsdale, possibly miscast as he is, that this wasn't his movie, as he steals it simply through the careful application of quiet dignity.

    In occupied France, Younes(Tahar Rahim) works in the black market. During an immigration dragnet, he is arrested while his cousin Ali(Farid Larbi) escapes. Younes is given a choice, either cooperate with the authorities and spy for them or be deported. He chooses to stay and is assigned to infiltrate the mosque presided by Ben Ghabrit(Michael Lonsdale). It is there that Younes encounters Salim(Mahmoud Shalaby), a young singer, using a dabrouka as a calling card. "Free Men" has a few things going for it, like its unique angle on occupied France, just as nationalism for North Africa was starting to kick into gear with immigrants being pulled in two separate directions at once. But even with a milieu as neat as this one, you need a decent story which is missing here. Plus, the lead character is more than a little lacking.(Whether this is because Younes is only a composite character and Salim and Ben Ghabrit were real people is up for debate.) But then somebody should have told Michael Lonsdale, possibly miscast as he is, that this wasn't his movie, as he steals it simply through the careful application of quiet dignity.

  • Feb 23, 2014

    World War Two resistance drama mixing the German occupation with the struggle for Algerian independence. Inspiring story.

    World War Two resistance drama mixing the German occupation with the struggle for Algerian independence. Inspiring story.

  • Cynthia S Super Reviewer
    Jan 28, 2014

    Really well done, and an interesting look at Paris under the Nazi heel, especially as the terror strikes Parisian Jews. I found the Islamic music trying, others may not, but the film is a low-key A list French production. Great actors. Great retelling of history.

    Really well done, and an interesting look at Paris under the Nazi heel, especially as the terror strikes Parisian Jews. I found the Islamic music trying, others may not, but the film is a low-key A list French production. Great actors. Great retelling of history.