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3.8 out of 5 stars42
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell -- what's not to like? Both actors lift an otherwise inconsistent movie above its natural three-star slot.

The Crimson Rivers is a strange hybrid of Hollywood hyperbole and continental cnic, and the mix can be somewhat confusing. The plot isn't altogether clear -- at least not in the dubbed version. With sub-titles it's easier to follow especially if you can busk some of the French dialogue.

The film's preposterous ending suggests that the producers didn't quite know where to take it; the plot veers from noir detective to X-Files-esque neo-Nazi conspiracy to James Bond blows up the whole shebang at the end.

But hey, we had a good time watching it. There's an enjoyable film in here and a couple of great actors. I'll just echo what others have said: I'd be happy to rent this but a bit less happy if I'd paid 20 notes to own it. This isn't the kind of film you'll come back to watch over and again...
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on 7 January 2011
I bought this film largely because one of the main characters is played by Jean Reno who is a magnificent actor. I didn't really know anything else about it but it proved a worthwhile investment! The plot concerns the investigation of a serial killer, a theme that has been well covered by Hollywood with classics such as "Se7en" and "Righteous Kill" but it's good to see it given such stylish treatment in a European film.

The story itself is almost ridiculously complicated although the clues are all there for those with sharp eyes and ears. But don't worry if concentration is not your thing. Events unfold at a cracking pace and, despite the shock of the graphic crimes portrayed, there are plenty of humourous touches to balance things. All the uniformed cops ("flics") are portrayed as consistently lightweight (if not stupid) whilst the detectives are dogged, macho men who slog their way relentlessly through the epic twists and turns of the plot.

The interplay of the two main characters (Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel) helps to sustain interest throughout the film and Reno in particular illustrates well the tremendous toll that is exacted from anyone who takes on the task of investigating the depths of sheer evil to which human beings can occasionally sink. It's a rough ride, this film, but a journey that you will almost certainly want to make on more than one occasion, having been through it once.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 June 2012
I found this to be an excellent crime thriller with a relatively unique premise and setting. From ice caves to university halls two dogged detectives follow the clues to solve a particularly grizzly series of murders. The detectives are well worn characters but made appealing none the less by energetic performances from Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno. The director managed to infuse each scene with a depth of atmosphere you just dont see much anymore and the French style is present on screen, you're aware that this is a French movie but it has a mainstream Hollywood feel to it. I found the dialogue punchy and far less bloated than my previous exposures to French cinema. There's plenty of action on offer, sadly some of it used as character development to save time, and I found the story very interesting which is a major bonus in comparison to lots of US thrillers these days. All in all, a decent movie experience.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 October 2011
This is a film that I enjoy watching every year of two. It features two fantastic actors, Cassel and Reno, in what for them are fairly stereotypical parts. However the real star of the show is the fantastic setting and photography. This film looks stunning from beginning to end. From the bleak side of a motorway to the teutonic looking mountainside university. It runs along like an episode of the X Files, throwing in little disconcerting hints of things amiss. The plot is about two detectives, who end up working together to investigate a series of murders. But the murders are linked to a coverup, but a coverup of what?

The ending has divided viewers, I suspect that some people love the film so much, that they defend the ending, but to be frank it is a couple of rewrites short of coherence. I daresay the original book probably explains things better, and with ten minutes I could probably come up with an explanation for it all, but best to just accept the ending flawed as it is.

There are bits in the films of David Fincher, where you are just taken aback by how a scene is shot, pretty much this whole film is like that, stunning to watch.

The DVD comes with an DVD of extras, and last time I watched it it was in English with English subtitles which did not quite match what was being said, but probably just my ineptitude with remote controls.

Finally nice to see Francine Berge, who was the pert villainess in Judex back in 1963! There must be something in the French DNA that renders some actresses impervious to age.
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2008
I suppose the reason why i liked the original and the sequel is due to the fact both films have a strong leading cast. Sure you'll have seen the formula before which consists of an older, wiser cop partnered with a younger inexperienced one. But if you happen to be a fan of Reno and Cassell then you should find this enjoyable. The location and musical score certainly add something of a positive nature to the final product. Bodies show up and are connected to a prestigious university, a thesis on eugenics and a dark secret which is being protected by one of the locals. Turn your brain to stand-by, sit back and enjoy.
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on 27 November 2001
An interesting movie which has good acting for a change, the movie centers around a perstigious college in France and how people are being killed there. There is a link to the idea of the "Superman" in a philosphy which does make the movie even more intersting than it already is. It is a similar to the movie se7en with murders everywhere and crimson is a good indication of what happens. The two actors do capture the screen Cassel as the young cop and Reno as the experienced one do work very well. But the ending is somewhat of a copp-out which is such a shame. But it still worth a look.
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Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell -- what's not to like? Both actors lift an otherwise inconsistent movie above its natural three-star slot.
The Crimson Rivers is a strange hybrid of Hollywood hyperbole and continental chic, and the mix can be somewhat confusing. it tries to be a tense, serial killer thriller but the plot isn't altogether clear -- at least not in the dubbed version. With sub-titles it's easier to follow especially if you can busk some of the French dialogue.
The film's preposterous ending suggests that the producers didn't quite know where to take it; the plot veers from noir detective to X-Files-esque neo-Nazi conspiracy to James Bond blows up the whole shebang at the end.

But hey, we had a good time watching it. There's an enjoyable film in here and a couple of great actors. I'd be happy to rent this but a bit less happy if I'd paid 20 notes to own it. This isn't the kind of film you'll come back to watch over and again... and it doesn't benefit particularly from being a Blu-ray edition. There are much less expensive formats to purchase or hire.
6/10
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on 6 February 2010
First and foremost, watch this movie in the original french language, with the English subtitles. This will give you a much better experience, as the English dubbing is not that good. That is my only 'gripe' about what I regard as a 'French masterpiece of the cinema'

Most French Masterpieces (Jean De Florette, Jules et Jim, Les Enfants du Paradis, etc) are dull, over long, boring and hard to follow. This movie isn't. Like a lot of movies now-a-days, you have to leave your reasoning at the door and suspend belief for 101 minutes, but if you can do that, this is as rewarding as French Cinema is ever going to get for the average UK cinema Goer.

There are enough reviews here to explain the general plot of the film and I won't bore you with my version, just to say, Jean Reno is Brilliant as the world weary detective. I've yet to watch The Crimson Rivers II, but if its only a quarter as good as this one, I will love it.

Treat yourself, buy this movie!The Crimson Rivers [DVD] [2001]
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on 20 January 2006
2 cops, investigating 2 separate cases that are unknowingly connected, end up helping each other out investigating some bizarre murders in a small university town, which hides some dark secrets. Well acted by Reno and Cassell, this film is exciting, interesting, and at times funny (particularly Cassell). Whilst the twist at the end wasn’t too hard to predict, and was a bit over the top, it’s a really enjoyable film (though I doubt any awards were ever given.) I would say its very 'French-Hollywood'. I doubt it would stand up to a 2nd viewing however, so I would suggest a rental as opposed to a purchase.
NB: The extras on the 2nd disc are excellent!
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on 5 September 2010
Great story which will keep you guessing until the end, even if some parts do not always ring true. This is a thriller, not a French Art house movie.
A good performance from Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel in a breathtakingly beautiful and atmospheric location. Highly recommended for lovers of the genre. The English subtitles are very accurate.Fans of Jean Reno especially will appreciate his typical tongue-in-cheek character with quite a few laughters here and there.
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