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Le Cercle Rouge

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

tomatometer

95

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 58
Fresh: 55 | Rotten: 3

Melville is at the top of his game, giving us his next-to-last entry into the world of deception, crime, and extreme suspense that made him a maestro of the French heist genre.

100

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 0

Melville is at the top of his game, giving us his next-to-last entry into the world of deception, crime, and extreme suspense that made him a maestro of the French heist genre.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 6,446

My Rating

Movie Info

Corey (Alain Delon) is the young gun in the French underworld who has just been released from prison. Escaped convict Vogel (Gian-Maria Volonté) hides in the trunk of Corey's car. The two enlist the help of an alcoholic former cop (Yves Montand) for an elaborate jewelry-store robbery. Police inspector Mattei (Bourvil) whom Vogel escaped in the beginning of the film is on the case trying to recapture the criminals. He is not opposed to using blackmail techniques to get answers out of the

Dec 1, 1990

Rialto Pictures

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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (3) | DVD (12)

Melville's special achievement was to relocate the American gangster film in France, and to incorporate his own steely poetic and philosophical obsessions.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One well-choreographed, beautifully shot and definitely cool cops-and-robbers film.

September 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I can't say that Cercle Rouge is an overlooked masterpiece, but it's an amazing antidote to the current style of filmmaking in which silence and causal relationships are routinely disregarded.

August 15, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you ever wanted to know how to look good wearing a trenchcoat, lighting a cigarette, handling a revolver, drinking a whiskey or overpowering an armed guard, Jean-Pierre Melville's 1970 gangster drama is your guide.

July 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director's penultimate work.

June 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A slo-mo gem of gangster cool.

June 19, 2003
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Melville views it all at a distance and with a slow kind of precision that is missing from modern movies. There's no flash here, just criminal behavior observed with an eye for detail.

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

Luscious modern French noir.

May 9, 2008
ColeSmithey.com

A glistening gem among caper movies.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

A seminal heist movie.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Jean-Pierre Melville is one of the most remarkable figures in world cinema, though he remains little known.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

You have to admire Jean-Pierre Melville's ambition to make a sophisticated "b-movie" that is moody, intelligent and consistently engaging.

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A classic cornerstone of the heist genre from a master of the nouvelle vague.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The epitome of neo-noir stylishness.

October 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Top-notch film noir with a bleak existential edge, executed with as much clinical precision as the crime it portrays.

April 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Gazette

It's a languorous and uncompromising work that will drive some to distraction, but also a movie of dark, still beauty that will have others weeping tears of pure, noir joy.

March 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Weekly Planet (Tampa, FL)

Apesar de jamais permitir que seus personagens falem muita coisa, Melville leva o espectador a conhecê-los através de suas ações, interações e olhares.

January 19, 2004
Cinema em Cena

An exercise in ultimate-cool where men follow a code of honor to wherever it might lead them.

January 5, 2004 Full Review

Melville remained, in all his work and particularly his policiers, a classicist of calamity, a master of transforming the chaos of criminality into a form as refined as a sonnet or a minuet.

December 5, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Melville's film is a criminal masterpiece.

November 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

A fitting capstone to the French director who melded icy hipster cool with a Parisian underground of cops, robbers, and the unbreakable, unknowable bond between the two.

October 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The dialogue is spare, spans of silence run for minutes, the tense atmosphere is punctuated by unexpected eruptions of violence, and the film does not end happily for anyone.

July 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Le Cercle Rouge

A good French heist thriller from the 70's that's a slow-burn, but delivers in spades when it comes to tension and atmosphere. A daring jewelry theft is the highlight of the movie, and kept me on the edge of my seat.
December 10, 2011
lewiskendell

Super Reviewer

The jewelry store scene alone is worth the four stars.
September 20, 2011
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

This movie makes the Fonz look like Peter Parker. Nothing is cooler than a Melville/Delon pairing.
August 27, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on Le Cercle Rouge

April 15, 2008:
Neeson, Bloom, Chow Yun Fat in Heist Caper?
According to at least one news site, Orlando Bloom, Chow Yun Fat, and Liam Neeson are starring in a...

Foreign Titles

  • Vier im roten Kreis (DE)
  • The Red Circle (Le Cercle Rouge) (CA)
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