The Assault
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On December 24, 1994, when four heavily armed terrorists from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group hijacked an Air France plane bound for Paris at Algiers' airport, the 227 passengers on board seemed destined for tragedy. After hours of tireless negotiations the plane was granted permission to leave only to head to Marseille for refueling. Mindfully avoiding politics and emphasizing only the events themselves, The Assault weaves together the violent and claustrophobic onboard drama, with backstories of the tough SWAT officer and father Thierry (Vincent Elbaz), the determined jihadist from the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"So gripping and focused that it easily bests Hollywood movies with 50 times its budget."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Only the overstylized, near-colorless cinematography offers any shades of gray (actually, nothing but shades of gray); everything else is rendered in the most black-and-white way possible."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"Shot in black and white, it is well made and helped by copious research."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Curiously lacking in tension."
‑ Ethan Alter, Television Without Pity
"A tension-filled dramatization of the actual hijacking of a French airbus in December 1994."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"In place of emotional stakes, we get gleaming, stylized, occasionally slow-motion violence, filmed in such extreme close-ups and cramped spaces that it's impossible to differentiate gunman and victim."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"The Assault is so tense, it seems to pass in a single held breath-so quickly, in fact, that you don't register its narrative flimsiness until later on."
‑ Mark Holcomb, Village Voice
"The kind of serious, adult action movie that the US and UK struggle to make."
‑ Phelim O'Neill, Guardian
"Exploiting film's visceral, kinetic and pummeling power to the max, this fact-based thriller about the 1994 Algerian terrorist hijacking of a Paris-bound flight is an outstanding achievement in genre entertainment."
‑ Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
"Julien Leclercq's The Assault works hard at finding its human factor, the thread linking the cold-blooded facts of the 1994 hijacking by Muslim extremists of Air France Flight 8969 and the people on the plane."
‑ Robert Tumas, Slant Magazine
"Brisk and technically efficient, The Assault is a dull film based on a real event that certainly wasn't."
‑ Alison Willmore, AV Club
"The staging is meticulous."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A very robust piece of filmmaking with subtle shades of moral complexity to boot."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Could have been better, had Leclercq resisted to urge to include the soap operatics ... It's solid - but it should have been gripping."
‑ Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
More reviews for The Assault on Rotten Tomatoes