Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) Reviews

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April 1, 2011
Bouchareb sketches this with clarity and skill, building toward a bloodstained ending that is technically happy (Algerian independence!) but feels deeply sad.
March 25, 2011
Sometimes a bit too episodic and stuffed with history to register emotionally but the three central performances carry the piece overall.
March 25, 2011
You need have no political or historical investment in the movie whatsoever to find it completely fascinating.
March 25, 2011
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.
March 2, 2011
"Outside the Law" is an epic film about Algeria's fight for liberation from France, with three outstanding performances and a grand, sweeping feel.
February 17, 2011
A gripping French-Algerian coproduction that makes Algeria's epic struggle for independence from France look like a gangster movie.
February 10, 2011
The movie is impressively made but finally feels rote and, at 138 minutes, outstays its welcome.
January 21, 2011
Bouchareb aspires to make an historical epic about the battle for Algerian independence, but the narrative unfolds as a schematic violent melodrama about three brothers who differ in their mode of engagement.
November 24, 2010
"Outside the Law" is at the very least a superior action film, in which the action sequences are plausible and grounded in reality.
November 22, 2010
Brings significant historical events memorably to life, largely through the galvanizing force of a trio of committed and thoughtful performances.
November 6, 2010
Despite the obviously hostility to its main character, a ruthless FLN leader named Abdelkader, this is a serious movie for adult audiences. But certainly no competition for "Battle of Algiers".
November 5, 2010
Extremely well-acted, suspenseful and produced on a lavish scale, "Outside the Law" may oversimplify the complex politics, but it's a worthy companion piece to "Army of Shadows."
November 4, 2010
With its mixture of righteous politics and family turmoil, this didactic, unashamedly manipulative film wants to be something like a cross between Army of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville's 1969 classic of the French Resistance, and The Godfather.
November 4, 2010
Islam seems to play little part in the brothers' lives or their cause, and Abdelkader seems more pathological than righteously inflamed when he seethes about the revolution stopping for no man - not even his brother.
November 3, 2010
Bouchareb's intensely dramatized, passionately partisan story of militancy in the struggle for Algerian independence from France after World War II makes effective use of Godfather storytelling theatrics.
November 2, 2010
The production design is nice enough, but Bouchareb's four-country co-production isn't an epic-it's just long.
November 2, 2010
Terrific Algerian/French drama, set against the decades-long fight for Algerian independence from France, follows the plight of three brothers who embody different commitments to this nationalistic cause and face different consequences.
October 31, 2010
Whenever the film starts to feel too locked in by its plotting, Bouchareb introduces a new element of moral queasiness to upset the easy balance.
October 29, 2010
The engrossing story of three Algerian brothers and their responses to French violence and injustice after World War II.
October 14, 2010
The violence that preceded Algeria's independence from France is brought explosively to life in this dramatized tale of brotherly love.
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