Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)


Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 677
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Movie Info

After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement; Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.-- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (10)

  • Bouchareb is not, as Pontecorvo was, a political film-maker. He's a humanist with a strong feeling for personal tragedies and people caught up in the tides of history.

    May 8, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Top Critic
  • There is no doubt where Bouchareb's sympathies lie but his attempt to marry a political lesson with the structures of an action movie doesn't always work. Current events give his argument renewed force, however.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's overlong and a little over-indulgent, but given current events in north Africa, there's an unanticipated resonance to it.

    May 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Steve Rose

    Top Critic
  • A tiring, didactic manipulation of history.

    May 5, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a big, bold film defined by a reserved passion, a stately style and strong performances from its three leads.

    May 3, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Think The Godfather II as told through France vs. Algeria tensions, and you have the essence of Rachid Bouchareb's vivid combo crime saga, action movie and historical drama.

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)

  • Jul 10, 2012
    "Outside the Law" starts on May 8,1945 as France celebrates its victory in World War II by brutally repressing a peaceful independence march in Algeria. This interrupts the boxing match promoted by Said(Jamel Debbouze) while his brother Abdelkader(Sami Bouajila) somehow barely escapes with his life with an Algerian flag before being arrested and sent to prison in France. Messaoud(Roschdy Zem), another brother, ends up in the French army where he gets to be lectured by the Vietnamese in a prison of war camp on the right way to overthrow his colonial masters. Their mother(Chafia Boudraa) is not so much interested in any of that, as she is in possible grandchildren. In depicting the violent struggle for Algerian independence, "Outside the Law" is as subtle as an explosion. Its main problem is in never going deeper than the historical record in sounding like a doctrinaire debating society at times when instead it should have been more interested in developing the various characters, especially as how they might have been affected by the casual racism of the era. Admittedly, the movie does improve as it goes on, and there is a nice subplot involving Abdelkader. Otherwise, what you basically have here is an old fashioned gangster flick with the FLN vs. MNA vs. the French authorities. This could not have been the intent of the filmmakers, could it? I mean I know the Algerian independence movement was baptized in blood but nobody asked if there could have been a better way?
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2010
    Director Rachid Bouchareb follows up his 2006 Academy Award nominated "Days of Glory," with yet another masterwork of cinema. I think this is an even better film than "Days of Glory" aswell.
    Kyle S Super Reviewer

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