Stranger by the Lake (2014)


Critic Consensus: Sexy, smart, and darkly humorous, Stranger by the Lake offers rewarding viewing for adult filmgoers in search of thought-provoking drama.


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Movie Info

Frank (Pierre Deladonchamps) spends his summer days hopelessly searching for companionship at a popular cruising spot on the shores of a lake in rural France. One day, he meets Michel (Christophe Paou), an attractive yet darkly mysterious man and falls blindly in love. When a death occurs, Frank and Michel become the primary suspects but they choose to ignore the dangers and instead continue to engage in their passionate and potentially lethal relationship. STRANGER BY THE LAKE is an erotic thriller that tests the lengths and limits of sexual desire. (c) Strand

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Critic Reviews for Stranger by the Lake

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (27)

A stunning minimalist erotic thriller that explores with arresting photography and economical use of dialogue how human identity is defined, and sometimes imprisoned, by our desires, drives, and passions.

Mar 14, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Carefully and often brilliantly creates its own Eden-like universe.

Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4

What sets the engrossing "Stranger by the Lake" apart is that its excesses seem to point to a moral purpose beyond shock or entertainment value.

Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A simple and ruthlessly effective exercise in minimal narrative and style, Alain Guiraudie's moral tale is so restrained and atmospheric that the nudity and graphic sex don't upstage the creepy mood of seductive, inescapable doom.

Feb 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This lake is a sexual refuge, about to be stained by sin and blood.

Feb 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4

Movies must go somewhere, plots must always kick in, and when this one does, that's where "Stranger by the Lake" begins to contract into something less creative than its odd setting and compelling compositions would suggest.

Feb 6, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Stranger by the Lake

Guiraudie deserves praise for the unrestrained way he shows male nudity and explicit sex, approaching all with the level of openness that one expects from this kind of provocative, erotic thriller, while building it slowly in a deliberate pace to reach moments of great suspense.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Excellent direction by Guiraudie outshines even the spot-on performances by Padu and Deladonchamps. An eerie masterpiece of isolation, loneliness and suspense. Undoubtedly one of the best films of 2013-2014. However, be forewarned that the film is extremely sexually graphic (on the level of "Shortbus"), but not gratuitously so. This would be quite an awkward film to watch with children in the room. But for adults, it's exceptional.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

'Stranger by the Lake'. Might have enjoyed it if the ratio of suspense to male genitalia was reversed. I appreciated the stillness in the direction, the long takes, the cruising sub-culture, the action taking place in only one location, the repetition, the symbolism and juxtaposition of the detached, carnal acts with nature. Was so much hardcore sex required to make a point? The high-point is that long take of the drowning. Everything before that piked curiosity. Afterwards, it lost me until that tense final scene.


Super Reviewer

Stranger By The Lake (2013, France): consuming, intoxicating, and unapologetic portrayal of homosexual passion and crime. Sexually graphic, Stranger By The Lake aptly identifies as a powerful vision rather a pornographic mission. Stranger By The Lake is truly a Cannes Film Festival gold.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

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