Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) Reviews

  • Jan 30, 2018

    An epic film about Algeria's fight for liberation from France, with three outstanding performances and a grand, sweeping feel.

    An epic film about Algeria's fight for liberation from France, with three outstanding performances and a grand, sweeping feel.

  • Nov 18, 2015

    So topical and timely. Terrorist attacks, police response, poverty, independence, personal interests and misery. nothing is new on this planet. ever.

    So topical and timely. Terrorist attacks, police response, poverty, independence, personal interests and misery. nothing is new on this planet. ever.

  • Dec 20, 2014

    plot line has the subtlety of a steamroller and characters were picked off a chart. hard to believe this was created by a professional director

    plot line has the subtlety of a steamroller and characters were picked off a chart. hard to believe this was created by a professional director

  • Oct 23, 2013

    It was going somewhere with the "3" brother thing...lost it...and I couldn't finish the movie...

    It was going somewhere with the "3" brother thing...lost it...and I couldn't finish the movie...

  • Oct 07, 2013

    Outside the Law is a fantastic Algerian production about a family divided during the French occupation of Algeria. The acting is top notch and other then a long runtime Outside the Law is a flick that needs to be seen by fans of the foreign film.

    Outside the Law is a fantastic Algerian production about a family divided during the French occupation of Algeria. The acting is top notch and other then a long runtime Outside the Law is a flick that needs to be seen by fans of the foreign film.

  • May 26, 2013

    Powerful film that has a lot to say about fighting for freedom and the irony that those countries who fought World War II for freedom then denied other emerging countries theirs, in this case, France and Algeria and Vietnam. Fast paced and exceedingly well-acted, Makes one wonder why these former colonies fighting for their freedom didn't pay more attention to Gandhi in India.

    Powerful film that has a lot to say about fighting for freedom and the irony that those countries who fought World War II for freedom then denied other emerging countries theirs, in this case, France and Algeria and Vietnam. Fast paced and exceedingly well-acted, Makes one wonder why these former colonies fighting for their freedom didn't pay more attention to Gandhi in India.

  • Dec 05, 2012

    Une trame chronologique un peu "saucissonnée", qui nuit à l'implication émotionnelle du spectateur : c'est peut-être le seul grand défaut d'un film d'excellente qualité et, surtout, absolument nécessaire. "Hors-la-loi" restera une référence dans la prise de conscience (trop ?) graduelle des moments sombres de la décolonisation par la société française.

    Une trame chronologique un peu "saucissonnée", qui nuit à l'implication émotionnelle du spectateur : c'est peut-être le seul grand défaut d'un film d'excellente qualité et, surtout, absolument nécessaire. "Hors-la-loi" restera une référence dans la prise de conscience (trop ?) graduelle des moments sombres de la décolonisation par la société française.

  • Sep 19, 2012

    An overlong and ham-fisted film. Predictable characterisation especially the bespectacled political firebrand. A couple of scenes were lifted directly from The Godfather which made the film seem even more unoriginal. What could have been a beautifully shot and interesting story, instead became a second rate melodrama.

    An overlong and ham-fisted film. Predictable characterisation especially the bespectacled political firebrand. A couple of scenes were lifted directly from The Godfather which made the film seem even more unoriginal. What could have been a beautifully shot and interesting story, instead became a second rate melodrama.

  • Aug 14, 2012

    I loved it and found it intriguing.

    I loved it and found it intriguing.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    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?

    "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?