Critics Consensus

Polisse is a gripping and powerful procedural drama filled with fine acting and unflinching eye for truth and brutality.



Total Count: 84


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,292
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Movie Info

Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for 13 César Awards, Polisse follows the daily lives of a tight-knit team of men and women working in the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police. Basing her richly textured script on real child investigation cases, writer-director actor Maïwenn has gathered an accomplished ensemble cast of French actors who convey the emotional strain of the unit's work with gritty realism. They not only deal with the stress of their jobs but the inevitable fall-out in their personal lives-breakdowns, divorce and adulterous relations within the force. In between, there are frequent flashes of humor as the team attempts to diffuse daily realities. As the cases,confessions and interrogations pile up, the squad members have only each other as support as they face an uphill battle against both criminals and bureaucracy. -- (C) IFC


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Critic Reviews for Polisse

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (73) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Polisse

  • Jan 28, 2014
    Whenever something bad happens to a child in Paris, the Child Protection Unit is called in to investigate. These are their stories. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) With the exception of a couple of music video like sequences, "Polisse" attempts to use a documentary like realism in a story that is framed by Melissa(Maiwenn, who also directed, and not at all well), a photographer, being assigned to follow the unit. Sadly, the movie is something of a mess with too many characters to adequately keep track of in showing how the frustrations of the job get to the detectives with too much emphasis away from the job. That and the movie's idea of high drama being yelling and screaming lead to only one case that truly resonates. And that's not to mention one huge cliche that had been dynamited to bits fifty years ago and one truly WTF ending.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2014
    Even if I must accept that the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival has some bias in favor of French films, even if I must highlight that there were more artistically uncommon and engaging deliveries around the world in 2011, I must also accept that I cannot complain for the Jury's choice in 2011 like I somewhat can for their decision three years before with <i>Entre les Murs</i>. Based on alarming real-life cases reported by the Parisian CPU (Child Protection Unit), the movie is a complete expectations surpasser. With a realism so striking that it almost becomes tangible to the viewer, <i>Polisse</i> assembles a cast of actresses and actors so good at their profession that the overall result is extraordinary (it really blows your mind), bringing along perfectly delineated and differentiated characters with performances out of this world (heck, out of this galaxy!). Even if the film acts as a collage of raw experiences, skipping from one event to the next one with an unforgiving pace as an attempt to mirror the vigorous pace that their lives follow and how they struggle everyday, constantly, to balance their personal lives with such a psychologically and physically demanding job, it also manages to encapsulate your senses and attention span to every single event depicted. This is done thanks to what may be the best screenplay of the year, which makes the characters fight against the authoritarian barriers within the CPU, and get emotionally involved with their cases and between themselves. The realism of the film is the highlight. The performances, the directing, the screenplay, the characters, the vivid situations, all manage to make you emotionally involved. The film transmits emotions as effectively as any other human being could do. If they laugh, you want to laugh. If they dance, you want to dance at their beat. If they cry, they scream, they drink, they argue, they hit, shoot and run, you want to accompany them. You feel as a part of their team. You become a member. I could argue that you have no human heart if you do not get also emotionally involved with at least 3 situations presented in the film. It happend to me at least five times: I wanted to laugh at the smartphone scene, wanted to cry twice and jumped (literally) from my seat out of two scares I did not see coming at all. As for the rest, they represent problems of our contemporary society that we should care about and fight against them as responsible citizens with the means given at our disposal. We rarely get movies with such a precise emotional maturity. This film just opened my eyes a little bit more at the entrails of the bureaucratic organization of an admirable job like the CPU is. Even with their conflicts, with their occasional unprofessional behavior and with their childish management of conflicts, you learn how to respect them, because their human condition is no different than yours. It really isn't. 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2013
    Extraordinary performances and gritty writing truly elevate this look into the lives of a group of people working in a juvenile protection division in Paris. It's also assuredly directed by Maïwenn.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2012
    'Polisse'. Unflinching and raw in capturing the intimacy, camaraderie and harrowing nature of a Child Protection Unit's daily lives.
    c0up   Super Reviewer

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