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Inspired by the tragic school shooting that took place at Montreal's Polytechnique school on December 6, 1989, director Denis Villeneuve's melancholy docudrama portrays the events as seen from the perspective of two students, Valérie (Karine Vanasse) and Jean-François (Sebastien Huberdeau). When an armed madman enters the school with the intention of killing as many females as possible, the lives of every student involved are forever changed. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Nicely anticipates Villeneuve's 2010 masterpiece, Incendies, another story of forgiveness in a cruel, cold world."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"The tragic art of Polytechnique isn't what it shows or reveals but rather the contemplation it inspires. There are moments in life when nothing makes sense and sadness descends; this is one of them."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Denis Villeneuve's unnerving abstraction of the subject matter daringly relays his view of the human cost of gender warfare."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"Almost from beginning to end, we're filled with dread and, I must say, a morbid sense of anticipation."
‑ Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal
"The virtue - and also the limitation - of this movie is that it confronts senselessness and insists on remaining calm and sane."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Lensed in black-and-white, the 77-minute film is plenty arty and only arguably constructive in its tasteful fictionalization of a violent tragedy."
‑ Rob Nelson, Variety
"Villeneuve does a superb job of slowly-but-surely building the tension in the time frame before Lépine begins his assault..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"S'il ne parvient jamais à prouver sa nécessité, Polytechnique s'impose à tout le moins comme une oeuvre cinématographique tout ce qu'il y a de plus pertinente"
‑ Jean-François Vandeuren, Panorama
"Polytechnique smartly exposes the spectrum of misogyny without overplaying the connection between the two incidents. Which makes the concluding flash-forward scene all the more disappointing."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
"Filmed in black and white, the French-language film does not set out to comprehend the crime other than to suggest that the shooter (played with a vacant stare by Maxim Gaudette) was a pathetic loser who chose to blame women for his empty life."
‑ Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"The pure emotion and the truths layered into the film Polytechnique are raw, real and devastating."
‑ Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies
"Polytechnique is a sharply-observed piece of cinema if a simplistic exploration of the gender divide."
‑ Denis Seguin, Screen International
More reviews for Polytechnique on Rotten Tomatoes