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Acclaimed director Claire Denis's jagged, daringly fragmented and darkest film is a genuinely contemporary film noir inspired by recent French sex ring scandals involving men of wealth and power. Vincent Lindon (Denis's Friday Night) stars as Marco, a sea captain gone AWOL to avenge his brother-in-law's suicide and to rescue his estranged sister and his teenaged niece (Lola Créton, Goodbye First Love); Chiara Mastroianni (A Christmas Tale) is Lindon's married lover, who has sold her soul in exchange for the security of her young son; and the remarkable Michel Subor is her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An imperfect film but a perfectly mesmerizing one."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
""Bastards" is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"[Denis]'s story shards are so refracted there is no emotional stake to grasp onto"
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Claire Denis comes unstuck with this drearily angst-ridden tale of suicide, sexual violence and incestuous strife, which takes inspiration from Faulkner's Sanctuary and Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"It isn't there to be watched and understood in the conventional sense, but experienced or inhaled."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"This is a film so anxious to be taken seriously that it has evaded seriousness itself."
‑ David Thomson, The New Republic
"There's nothing wrong with dealing out a dense, noir-like plot in tiny scraps - unless, like "Bastards," the film remains flaccid and tensionless."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"Bastards is Denis' most eventful, impactful film in quite some time. But one couldn't warmly recommend it."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"Claire Denis' wonderfully murky, Paris-set film noir turns usual thriller conventions on their head. She pays far more attention to character than narrative or action."
‑ Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
"After one viewing you're not quite sure you fully understand what has happened, and you're not quite sure you want to."
‑ Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
"The movie ends where it might have begun, and merely states mysteries that remain unexplored."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Bastards skillfully deploys noir tropes-the alienated hero, the two-timing femme fatale, the ever-widening web of deceit-in the service of a larger political vision."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"It could be that genre fans or French cinema enthusiasts may be engaged, but the murky visuals and non-linear nature of the narrative left me cold."
‑ Padraic McKiernan, Irish Independent
"Bastards sees director Claire Denis back in her more polarising mode as the dark queen of French cinema, with a work of bewitching atmosphere that veers between the sensual and repulsive."
‑ Josh Slater-Williams, The Skinny
"I believed little. What I did believe I sought in vain to be moved or engaged by."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
More reviews for Bastards on Rotten Tomatoes