Le Cercle Rouge (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Le Cercle Rouge



Critic Consensus: 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.

Le Cercle Rouge Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

French underworld member Corey has just been released from prison. One of his gangster buddies hides in the trunk of his car after escaping from the police. The two enlist the help of a former cop for a stickup. After the holdup, police inspector Mattei tries to recapture the fugitives.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Jean-Pierre Melville
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 1, 1990
Rialto Pictures


as Le Commissaire Matte...
Paul Crauchet
as Le Receleur
Paul Amiot
as L'inspecteur général...
Pierre Collet
as Le Gardien de prison
Jean-Pierre Posier
as L'assistant de Matte...
Yves Arcanel
as Le juge d'instructio...
René Berthier
as Le directeur de la P...
Jean-Marc Boris
as Le fils Santi
Jean Champion
as Le garde-barrière
Yvan Chiffre
as Un policier #1
Yves Arcanal
as Examining magistrate
Anna Douking
as L'ancienne amie de C...
Robert Favart
as Le vendeur chez Maub...
Roger Fradet
as Un policier #2
as Le gardien du billar...
Jean Franval
as Le tenancier d'hotel
Jacques Galland
as Le chef de train
Jean-Pierre Janic
as Paul, l'homme de Ri...
Pierre Lecomte
as L'adjoint de l'I.G.S...
Jacques Leroy
as Un policier #4
Jean Pignol
as L'employe du greffe
Robert Rondo
as Un policier #5
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Le Cercle Rouge

Critic Reviews for Le Cercle Rouge

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (23)

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 5, 2003
Miami Herald
Top 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

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.

Full Review… | July 24, 2003
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The director's penultimate work.

Full Review… | June 27, 2003
Boston Globe
Top 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.

Full Review… | April 11, 2011

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.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer


Jean-Pierre Melville's masterpiece Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) is a police procedural meets heist film that seems to be almost a playbook for all films like it that came afterwards. Whether it was a consious effort on other filmmaker's parts or developed along the lines by serendipity, the caper film was forever-influenced by the likes of people like Brian De Palma. To boot, there are masterful performances from both Alain Delon and Gian Maria, two men whose characters are brought together by circumstance but develop an unspoken friendship throughout the film that pays off beautifully in the end. Although the overall pace at times is a little lax, the film itself, in style, performance and execution, is a terrific piece of cinema.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

The jewelry store scene alone is worth the four stars.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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