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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best French Crime Film in Years.
Daniel Autreil and Gerard Depardieu are the heads of two rival sections of the Paris police. Both have been given the task of catching a gang of violent and ruthless armed robbers. The prize for whoever catchs them is that he will become the new Chief of Detectives. The problem is that both of the are as violent and ruthless as the criminals they chase. Neither of them...
Published on 6 Nov 2006 by steve b

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing policier all but drowned by monothematic scoring
Former cop Oliver Marchal's classy French policier has in its favour it has two great performers on top form in Daniel Auteuil and, especially, Gerard Depardieu (who gives surprising depth to what appears to be a seriously underwritten part consisting mainly of troubled glances) and the neatest set of moral bear traps to face a movie cop since the original Insomnia as the...
Published on 16 Sep 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best French Crime Film in Years., 6 Nov 2006
By 
steve b (Dudley England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Daniel Autreil and Gerard Depardieu are the heads of two rival sections of the Paris police. Both have been given the task of catching a gang of violent and ruthless armed robbers. The prize for whoever catchs them is that he will become the new Chief of Detectives. The problem is that both of the are as violent and ruthless as the criminals they chase. Neither of them minds breaking the rules as long as they catch the criminals. Auteuil however is still mainly concerned with catching the bad guys even if he has to break the law to do it. For Depardieu however the prospect of promotion has become everything, he is quite willing to sabotage Auteuil's plans if it will help him further his career. Also there is a hint that they were once rivals for the love of Auteuil's wife.

This film is one which drags you into it's milleu, in this case the underworld of Paris. I suppose that Auteuil and Depardieu are the top actors in France today and neither disapoints. For Depardieu however this is his best performance in years and proof of what a great actor he is. He can do more with one look than even the best actors can with twenty minutes of dialogue.

IN the past the French have made many great gangster films and while this may not be up to the likes of Bob le Flambour or Rififi it is the best French crime film in years.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 (Quai des Orfevres), 18 Oct 2006
By 
J. R. Marshall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The previous reviewer is correct that the film is not like its American cousins but thats about all he's right about. This is a proper dark cop/gang thriller that doesn't conform to the usual yank tosh and subsequently is all the better for it.

No there are no enormous explosions or flash motors tearing around all over the place but if thats what you want go and buy Bad Boys. If on the other had you are looking for a realistic and well made film you can't go wrong here. The film is made by Oliver Marchal who was himself a Policeman in Paris so he knows his subject and it shows. I haven't enjoyed a film so much in a long time.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb french film, 26 Oct 2006
By 
V. Hinde "foreign film convert" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
After being dragged kicking and screaming to the local arthouse cinema to watch this film by a French language student, I found myself spellbound for the entire duration of the film. The acting, the gritty realistic shooting and almost scarily believable plot made for one of the best thrillers I have seen for a long time. I have eagerly been awaiting its DVD release since I origianlly saw it. Buy this film!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing policier all but drowned by monothematic scoring, 16 Sep 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Former cop Oliver Marchal's classy French policier has in its favour it has two great performers on top form in Daniel Auteuil and, especially, Gerard Depardieu (who gives surprising depth to what appears to be a seriously underwritten part consisting mainly of troubled glances) and the neatest set of moral bear traps to face a movie cop since the original Insomnia as the two veterans compete for a promotion with disastrous consequences. Yet while the performances are strong and the script better than average for the genre, the musical score is a major problem that unfortunately works so strongly against the film that it ends up drowning many of its good points. It's not that the main theme is bad, but does it HAVE to be used without variation in almost every single scene in the last two thirds of the picture? Sadly, this is by no means an exaggeration, and the repetition does the film no favours.

A US remake with a no-doubt sleepwalking Robert De Niro is in the offing, but while you're waiting, Tartan's DVD boasts a decent subtitled 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with a good selection of extras, although Marchal's audio commentary, the 69-minute documentary and other extras from the more comprehensive French 2-disc DVD release (which only has English subtitles on the feature itself) are missing.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best drama I've seen for a while, 5 Jan 2007
This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Leading French actors at their best. Actors act as you would expect in a very decent movie, as opposed to cry, shout and shoot, like they do in Hollywood. Dialogues are crisp and emotions are genuine.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pitch black and beautiful, 7 Dec 2008
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Several reviewers have compared 36 Quai des Orfevres with Michael Mann's "Heat"Heat (2 Disc Special Edition) [1995] but in my view this is superior. "Heat" has a kind of writing-by-numbers quality that comes in so many Hollywood movies from the fact that screenwriters go to screenwriting courses at college and so get strait-jacketed by theories about "Three-Act Structure" or "Five-Act Structure". French films seem more concerned to follow character and character interaction, and have the gung-ho stuff take care of itself when it arises naturally. French audiences would entirely get the reference to Henri-Georges Cluzot's 1947 masterpiece, "Quai des Orfevres" Quai Des Orfevres [1947], and the film needn't fear any comparisons.

There is action aplenty in "36", some of it not when you expect, but the film is mainly concerned with the Grudge Match between two cops, Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) and Klein (Depardieu), fuelled by natural antipathy and the fact that Vrinks took Klein's girl. The obsessive competition leads them deeper and deeper into a moral mire. Directed by an ex-cop (Olivier Marchal), who also co-wrote, it is a film steeped in police culture, the cameraderie, the politics, the bureaucracy. It plays on the grubbiness and the moral compromises involved in using informers; both Vrinks and Klein touch pitch and are defiled. It has a devastating world-weariness, and it's pitch black.

Depardieu and Auteuil are superb, but to me the honours go to Depardieu. It's all to do with faces (there are a lot of close-ups in this movie). Depardieu has now in late middle-age grown into the face he was always meant to have. Brutal, haunted, full of pain. So he inhabits Klein in a way that goes beyond acting to being. Auteuil by contrast as he gets older seems to have problems finding his screen Face. His is more of an "Acted" performance, which is not to say it is over-acted. But I was moved by Depardieu in a way I wasn't by Auteuil.

What prevents me from giving the movie 5 stars is the way it slides out of moral ambiguity. For two-thirds of its length it lives in shadows, but from the moment Klein decides to destroy Vrinks we slip into more conventional Goody-and-Baddy emotions. On the other hand, the potentially stickly domestic scenes are well handled and essential to the plot.

A very fine policier indeed, and with two genuinely "Wow!" moments - one early on during a raid on some nasty thugs, and the other right near the end with a plot twist so simple, so right, and so entirely in character that you'll kick yourself you didn't spot it coming, so deftly does the director mislead you. I won't spoil it for you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who cares?, 13 Nov 2006
By 
Helen M. Wyld "clockwatcher" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Who cares whether or not it's the French equivalent of "Heat"? It's just an excellent film. If you love the crime genre - buy it!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant French police drama, 17 Mar 2007
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
36 has been called the French "Heat" which is enough to get any movie fan salivating as the French are terrific at producing taut cerebral thrillers, and "Heat" is of course a great movie. Whilst there is no doubt that 36 is a terrific film it's not as good as "Heat", though it's central premise of two adversaries pitting their wits against each other is eerily redolent of Michael Mann's masterpiece. It lacks that films visual verve, and kinetic grace but like "Heat" it does have two towering performances at it's heart.

The Parisian police district of 36 has been plagued by a series of murderous armed robberies and the police are under massive pressure to capture the gang. Within this swirl of turmoil Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil ) is up for promotion along with Denis Klein ( Gerard Depardieu) .Klein is the more eager for the job and when Vrinks makes the mistake of becoming involved in a murder perpetrated by a snitch on day release Klein is more than willing to use it against Vrinks , especially after his impetuousness costs the life of one of Vrinks closest colleagues during a carefully planned attempt to apprehend the violent robbers. Just how far Klein will sink in order to pursue his ambitions is revealed with devastating consequences for Vrinks.

Its not the first time movies or TV have portrayed the police as little better or indeed worse than the criminals they are supposed to bring to justice .36 doesn't make the point that that is indomitably the way the police have to operate in order to do their job effectively but it hints through Vrinks interaction with his superior that today's by the book philosophy is definitely more than a hindrance than a help. Curiously in a side plot development that echoes another great film "Carlito,s Way" Vrinks lack of ruthlessness at a key moment proves to be shattering for another colleague later on and leads to the small but satisfying twist at the films conclusion.

The film exerts a subtle emotional tug through Vrinks marriage and his relationship with his young daughter and there are sly hints that Vrinks and Klein once were rivals for the women that ended up as Vrinks wife. Klien treats his wife with almost alien disdain which contrasts starkly with the warm loving bond Vrinks shares with his family , thus highlighting further their diverse perspectives on life.

With tremendous lead performances, ( Auteuil and Depardieu are both manifestly crumpled and world weary)and excellent support this is one of the best thrillers released recently. It shifts from a gripping police procedural drama/thriller to a standoff of rare intensity before finally for the last quarter transmuting into a revenge movie far more understated and poised than most films manage and while it is I assert again , and I doubt I am alone here, that it's not as good as "Heat" this is a very good film indeed and it would be churlish for that reason not to endow this superb French movie with five stars ."Heat " meanwhile remains one of those very special films who deserve a six star category ( See also "Bladerunner" ,"Once Upon A Time In America/ The West", "Alien" , Manhunter" , The Exorcist" to name a few)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chaleur, 4 Dec 2008
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Often compared to the American film "Heat" 36 seems to me to be a direct descendant of "La Balance" with its violence and the interweaving of flicworld and the criminal world. Indeed, the crews of the two major characters are straight out of La Balance.

The plot concerns the rivalry of two (ageing) police commanders both being considered for the position of overall commander, a role occupied by one of those excellently spineless characters that we've hated since Inspector Harry Callaghan's time (played far too well by Andre Dusollier). One of them (played by a thinner Depardieu) is obviously a Bad Person because he smokes, drinks and isn't nice to his wife. (Ok, belay the point on smoking because everyone does it here.) But the other (played by Auteuil)is also not averse to a bit of extra-curricular vigilante stuff, and is trapped in a rather ingenious plot-device that requires him to place himself in hazard to get the bad-guys.

What follows is an almost Zola-esque parade of disasters for the Auteuil character, saved in the end by a deux ex machina (if you'll pardon the pun).

I don't think 36 has the depth of La Balance, and the plots are pretty ropey (what CSI would do with the evidence is anyone's guess)but it moves along at a fair clip. I am left wondering why anyone joins les flics as it seems that they all get murdered by vengeful gangsters upon release from the clink; a bad case of unstoppable villains (aka Terminator Syndrome).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding., 22 Dec 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 36 [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I watched this the other evening, and actually paused it half way so that i could look on Amazon,and buy the soundtrack(which i found).
Quite simply, this is one of the best foreign-language films that i have ever seen. Breathtakingly made, with a great soundtrack.
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36 [DVD] [2006]
36 [DVD] [2006] by Olivier Marchal (DVD - 2006)
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