Bastards (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Acclaimed director Claire Denis's jagged, daringly fragmented and darkest film is a genuinely contemporary film noir inspired by recent French sex ring scandals involving men of wealth and power. Vincent Lindon (Denis's Friday Night) stars as Marco, a sea captain gone AWOL to avenge his brother-in-law's suicide and to rescue his estranged sister and his teenaged niece (Lola Créton, Goodbye First Love); Chiara Mastroianni (A Christmas Tale) is Lindon's married lover, who has sold her soul in exchange for the security of her young son; and the remarkable Michel Subor is her husband - a sleazy financier who is the very embodiment of an evil beyond comprehension. Denis takes the viewer into the very heart of darkness in her most unsettling film yet, an unforgettable and thrilling commentary on late capitalism. An official selection at the Cannes and Toronto Film Fesitvals. (c)IFC
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Michel Subor
as Edouard Laporte
Lola Creton
as Justine
Alex Descas
as The Doctor
Hélène Fillières
as The Banker
Eric Dupont-Moretti
as The Lawyer
Sharunas Bartas
as The Foreign Shipowner
Nicole Dogue
as The Police Inspector
Claire Tran
as The Nurse
Elise Lhomeau
as The Babysitter
Yann Antoine Bizette
as Little Joseph
Jeanne Disson
as Audrey
Edouard Laporte
as Michel Subor
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News & Interviews for Bastards

Critic Reviews for Bastards

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (18)

An imperfect film but a perfectly mesmerizing one.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

This is a film so anxious to be taken seriously that it has evaded seriousness itself.

Full Review… | November 24, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

The movie ends where it might have begun, and merely states mysteries that remain unexplored.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

"Bastards" is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

There's nothing wrong with dealing out a dense, noir-like plot in tiny scraps - unless, like "Bastards," the film remains flaccid and tensionless.

Full Review… | October 28, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Bastards skillfully deploys noir tropes-the alienated hero, the two-timing femme fatale, the ever-widening web of deceit-in the service of a larger political vision.

Full Review… | October 25, 2013
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bastards

This is an intense psychological drama. The acting is tight as is the unfolding story but forewarnings to those who care not to dwell on disturbing subjects. This will test your limits.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

One line summary: Told slowly in noir style, to a harsh conclusion. ---------------------------------- Marco is the captain of a supertanker. He's at sea and life is good. Pull the chain on that. Marco's sister Sandra calls him back in desperation: her husband has committed suicide, her daughter Justine is in a tailspin, and the family business is not going well. Sandra accuses wealthy business man Edouard Laporte as the cause of these ill fortunes. So Marco, in his own particular way, goes after Edouard. Marco's fortunes diminish, and he discovers a number of discouraging truths about his family. This gets more evident when a young man offers to sell Justine back to him for 5000 francs. Will Marco pull himself and his family out of this downward spiral, or will external forces be too great for that? -----Scores----- Cinematography: 6/10 For much of the screen time, there was not enough light or too much light, odd choices of camera angles, strange depth of field other words, much of the noir package. The filming of the car ride with passengers and drivers high on drugs was quite emblematic of this. I did not find this helpful or illustrative, even though this is a dark tale. Sound: 7/10 OK, redeemed by the sound track with the closing credits. Acting: 6/10 Screenplay: 6/10 A bit lurching for my taste. The film jumps from segment to segment to segment, with time references not all that clear, with one message. All the characters are flawed and disgusting. Got it: noir.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

With a confusing structure and plot threads that go nowhere fast, this fragmented film noir also fails to keep us involved by never going deep into the characters' motivations, and it leaves loose ends in an artificial resolution that makes it seem incomplete and pointless.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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