The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu)
The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu) (1939)

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,… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2004
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Its genius escaped many viewers at the time, but in retrospect, The Rules of the Game stands as one of Jean Renoir's -- and cinema's -- finest works.

David Denby
New Yorker

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.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

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.

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Total Film

This is cinema at its pinnacle: sublime humanism smiling through tears of frustrated sadness.

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Mark Chalon Smith
Los Angeles Times

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.

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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press

A disaster when initially released, the movie's reputation has only grown since.

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Peter Freedman
Radio Times

The film may not suit all tastes, but its insight and humanity is undeniable.

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Variety Staff

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.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

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.

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Renoir's satire is a sharp dissection of human nature and a glorious piece of art that lives up to its restored reputation.

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Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Concealing a lot of complexity in its apparently simple plot, this fabulous tragicomedy (which almost got lost in History) is a witty and clever commentary on… More
danny d
widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, this one falls a bit flat for me. i understand the commentary renoir was attempting, but the… More
Arash Xak
"The awful thing about life is this, Everyone has their reasons"
John Ballantine
I hope I managed to see the restored director's cut but even if it was not, I still appreciated the camera work in this film. The humour only serves to… More
Tim Sigur
Fantastic film. I hate the rich and this is a great fuck you to them. I love the style that the film was shot in as well, with wides as if watching a play… More
Chris Browning
Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game was a critical and commercial failure upon it's release in 1939 and it wasn't for another 20 years when it… More

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