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Mesrine: Killer Instinct(L'Instinct de mort)

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France, Canada, Italy · 2008
Rated R · 1h 53m
Director Jean-François Richet
Starring Vincent Cassel, Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu, Gilles Lellouche
Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

The story of how loyal soldier Jacques Mesrine became the most wanted man in France during the 1960s and 70s and became the country's most notorious gangster. No safe is uncrackable, no jail is inescapable, but fate is unavoidable ---even for Jacques Mesrine.

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What are critics saying?


The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

Mesrine was no more a movie star than John Dillinger was, but both men could dream, and Cassel catches the folly of such dreaming, with its blasts of thuggery and its rare flashes of style, as neatly as anyone since Warren Oates took the title role of "Dillinger," in 1973.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

As biographical crime thrillers go, Killer Instinct is a worthy entry to the genre, although the incompleteness of the story makes it difficult to evaluate on its own. The movie needs to be seen in the context of a greater whole for it to be fully appreciated.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

This disappointing dramatization, mounted with generic blandness by Jean-François Richet, makes no case for the man's larger significance, nor does any emotional digging at all. Such detachment was no doubt considered artistically shrewd-it's a big mistake.


Empire by Kim Newman

Instantly gripping, with a powerhouse star performance, it'll make you want to speed through the weeks to get to part two.


Movieline by Michelle Orange

Mostly it's frustrating; the film is an episodic jumble that runs hot and cold not in some implied thematic synchronicity with its subject's character but as part of a misguided approach that assumes the audience will find whatever Mesrine does, in whatever order and with whatever emphasis, inherently fascinating.


Village Voice by Nicolas Rapold

Richet proves maddeningly loath to edit his material, and his charismatic star, Vincent Cassel, does not delve deep into the character.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The acting is macho understatement. Mesrine is a character who might have been played years ago by Gerard Depardieu, who appears here as Guido, a bullet-headed impresario of larceny.

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