Rivals (Les Liens du sang)

Critics Consensus

Atmospheric, 1970s set, French crime drama delivers hard-bitten dialogue and impressive wigs.



Total Count: 13


Audience Score

User Ratings: 343
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Movie Info

Jacques Maillot's psychological drama Les Liens du sang observes the tense and fragile days following a difficult reunion between two very different siblings. François (Guillaume Canet) is a police inspector who spent years forcibly estranged from his issue-laden brother Gabriel (François Cluzet), after a judge sentenced the latter to a decade in prison for murder. Gabriel's sudden release from prison ends the separation, and the men both instinctively make attempts to bury the past and help Gabriel reassimilate after years off the street. Their efforts prove feeble and ineffectual, however, as the past comes encroaching back and begins to plague both men.


Critic Reviews for Rivals (Les Liens du sang)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

  • This frisky if long-winded and derivative French policier never gets off the starting-blocks despite some charismatic performances and intriguingly executed set-pieces.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This being the gritty 1970s, the subtitled dialogue is as hard as nails. The Cain and Abel rivalry unfolds like a dismal episode of Minder.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The result is an enjoyably rich, gamey stew of crime and family betrayal - and there's an interesting mention of 70s French super-crim Jacques Mesrine, the subject of a new biopic starring Vincent Cassel.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Why remake a decade?

    Mar 24, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • ...an absorbing crime thriller.

    Apr 15, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The setting is a Paris packed with tight leather jackets, big hair and foxy girls, and the action, sex and family drama make for an enjoyable ride. Unfortunately, the denouement is frustratingly abrupt.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rivals (Les Liens du sang)

  • Jun 11, 2009
    Good movie. Les Liens du sang is a French crime drama set in the 70's about two brothers one a cop, the other an ex-con just released from prison after doing ten years for murder. I loved the stylish direction and the authentic camera work. The acting was top drawer throughout the cast, and the story was always interesting, with nice use of sub-plots. However I wasn't too satisfied with the ending, as it left me a bit empty.
    Jonny C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2009
    1970s setting french drama following 2 brothers, one a cop, the other a criminal freshly released from jail, the cop gets on with his brother and helps him get started again, but with life on the outside hard, will it be a matter of time when his own ways start again. the 70s setting is authentic, with a great soundtrack throughout, and the story while at times conveniant and a lot of events linked, engageing, the two leads are worth watching,while the rest of the cast are too. a good little french crime film
    scott g Super Reviewer

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