The Rules of the Game
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Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: audiences at its opening engagements in Paris were openly hostile, responding to the film with shouts of derision, and distributors cut the movie from 113 minutes to a mere 80. It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during WWII. It wasn't until 1956 that Renoir was able to restore the film to its original length. In retrospect, this reaction seems both puzzling and… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The word "Mozartean"... gets thrown around a little too eagerly by critics, but one movie, as almost everyone agrees, deserves this supreme benediction -- Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"The mobile camera seems to be a member of the party, as it follows the almost balletically choreographed movements of the cast. The effect for the audience is transcendental. We are watching life at its messiest, unfolding at its most beautiful."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"This is cinema at its pinnacle: sublime humanism smiling through tears of frustrated sadness."
‑ , Total Film
"...has an attitude of empathetic enlightenment that remains a rarity."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"[VIDEO]...a scathing satirical dissection of bourgeois mores and the use of manners to mask its frequently adulterous, and sometime lethal, sins."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"On the surface, a lace of flirtations, insinuations and rejections compose the basic plotting. But Renoir uses flashes of accelerating drama to amplify his bigger points."
‑ Mark Chalon Smith, Los Angeles Times
"A disaster when initially released, the movie's reputation has only grown since."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"The film may not suit all tastes, but its insight and humanity is undeniable."
‑ Peter Freedman, Radio Times
"... at once savage social satire and a compassionate comedy of manners with a sour undercurrent."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"A scathing attack on the show of feeling by a murderously superficial elite . . . the more you watch it, the more Renoir's masterwork reflects the cold, hard truth%u2014The Rules of the Game still apply."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Jean Renoir, who directs, wrote the scenario and dialog, and takes a leading role, has made a common error: he attempts to crowd too many ideas into 80 minutes of film fare, resulting in confusion."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"There are about a dozen genuine miracles in the history of cinema, and one of them is Jean Renoir's supreme 1939 tragi-comedy The Rules of the Game."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Renoir's satire is a sharp dissection of human nature and a glorious piece of art that lives up to its restored reputation."
‑ , Film4
"A film that I adore and worship with religious fervor, one of the small handful of movies that I have never been able to exhaust."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Welcome to The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir's delightful, frothy, bittersweet masterpiece about romance, class and manners."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
More reviews for The Rules of the Game on Rotten Tomatoes

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