Le Petit Lieutenant
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A young, inexperienced detective is inducted into an elite Paris plainclothes unit in Le Petit Lieutenant, directed by Xavier Beauvois (Don't Forget You're Going to Die). Antoine (Jalil Lespert or Human Resources) is as gung-ho as they come, and eager to learn everything he needs to know to be a good cop, although he misses his wife (Bérangère Allaux), a schoolteacher who stayed behind in the country when Antoine took his new job. Antoine socializes with his new comrades, who seem to drink an awful lot, with the exception of the unit commander, Caroline (Nathalie Baye), an alcoholic… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A quiet powerhouse of a film, an implacable, uncompromising French police drama, both old-fashioned and modern, that underlines the reasons impeccably made crime stories do so well on-screen."
‑ David Germain, Associated Press
"The film's plot, revolving around a murder investigation that turns nasty, ticks along smoothly and efficiently. But it's ultimately more of a character drama, and a reminder that great acting often has little to do with words."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The rarely done genre of the French policier is alive and well in director Xavier Beauvois' dynamic movie"
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"To cut to the chase...this is a very French, understated, intelligent, slow, police procedural that ultimately engrosses and then surprises the viewer. If you don't see it in a theater, it would be a great rental."
‑ Emily S. Mendel, culturevulture.net
"Still mourning the end of Helen Mirren in TV's Prime Suspect? You might want to give Le Petit Lieutenant a whirl."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Le Petit Lieutenant shows how good French movies can be when they stay French and don't try to go international."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Le Petit Lieutenant looks at Antoine's life with lyricism."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"French version of upscale cop shows like NYPD Blue or The Wire."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"As a portrayal of the angst that permeates most police work...certainly a success. As drama, however, it's far from riveting."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Basically a vivid meal of characters, plus coffee and wine and one gin tonic, Le Petit Lieutenant keeps true to its brasserie menu."
‑ David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
"... you can sense Baye's struggling within the limits imposed on her."
‑ Leighton Walter Kille, Boston Globe
"Beauvois makes the milieu his own, too, showing us credible and affecting human beings caught up in a world that often reveals humanity at its worst."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Gives the audience a strong sense that you're watching how things really go down in a police station... only without all the action and excitement of a TV cop show."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"A hugely satisfying policier that delivers exceptional performances."
‑ Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
"... one that will likely earn more respect from viewers than it will passion."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
More reviews for Le Petit Lieutenant on Rotten Tomatoes