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      Detective

      1985 1 hr. 35 min. Drama List
      92% 12 Reviews Tomatometer 54% 500+ Ratings Audience Score Director Jean-Luc Godard's avant-garde drama/comedy follows Emile Chenal (Claude Brasseur) and his wife, Françoise (Nathalie Baye), as they lean on boxing manager Jim Fox Warner (Johnny Hallyday) to cough up the considerable sum of money that he owes them, with both the police and the mob circling the situation. In the same hotel, Inspector Neveu (Jean-Pierre Léaud) looks into a murder that took place years before, and his storyline overlaps with the arc of the Chenals. Read More Read Less

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      Detective

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (28) audience reviews
      william k Typical for its director, this overpopulated crime puzzle is made with brilliant style and has its moments of miniature intellectual insights and wit and is never boring, but on this occasion doesn't quite add up. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member The Jun-Luc Godard equivalent of a "hot mess" of scenes, music and dialogue meant to only sort get strung together on a metaphysical level; you would never expect Julie Delpy to be so compelling so young or Seignier to so inexperienced Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Jean-Luc Godard obviously loves film noir. In "Made in USA", László Szabó's character's name is Richard Widmark, and of course, he plays a tough guy. In "À bout de souffle", Jean-Paul Belmondo's "Michel Poiccard" idolizes Humphrey Bogart. So when I heard about "Détective", I knew Godard was getting the opportunity to prove his love to the genre, although from the beginning I knew that it wouldn't be a regular homage. And yet, "Détective" is enjoyable, even if it as abstract as any other Godard film. If you asked me, I couldn't explain the plot-- all I know is that all of the characters are connected with criminal activity, at least one of them being a "detective". Nearly everyone carries a gun, and any male character that has a female by his side will at some point have some misunderstanding. While none of the story makes sense, heck, if you fast-forwarded through the whole movie it wouldn't make a difference, somehow every minute is endearing, because Godard obviously doesn't want this to be a normal film. Rather, he gives us bits and pieces of noir, considering one of the main characters is a boxer named "Tiger Jones", and the Chanal couple (Claude Brasseur, Nathalie Baye) want to get their filthy paws on some loot. Has Godard truly grown as a filmmaker since his debut in 1960? Not really. But that doesn't really matter, because his filmmaking strategy is unlike any other, and without him, there wouldn't be "art house". Instead, we'd just have regular films that just happen to be French. His style is so distinct that I'm thankful that cinephiles everywhere get the chance to see a filmmaker doing what HE loves, not what the audiences prefers. Godard's ways of making a film often times can get a little bit irritating or pretentious for a certain film ("La Chinoise" anybody?), but with "Détective", it really works. Besides the fact that Godard's character move about in a world of sin, there's many more pieces in "Détective" that are even more interesting. As usual, Godard prefers to use jump-cut and close-up editing rather than the norm, and his use of music is classical rather than an original score. And I love it. It seems to me that the director enjoyed making this film, and it shows. "Détective" isn't a regular film noir homage. If you want that, look towards "Sin City" or "The Good German". But it's Godard, and it's great. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Almost completely action-less take on film noir by Godard (returning from self-imposed obscurity in the mid-80s) that uses stars and stars-to-be (like Julie Delpy, aged 14) to show how you might put together a very obtuse variation on the boxing-mafia-debt-last chance scenario. Jean-Pierre Leaud leads a comic team offering a comment on the possibilities of home videotaping whereas the other stars, particularly Baye, Hallyday, and Brasseur, talk talk talk through the main plot strand. Godard namechecks his favourite books (Lord Jim) and films (La Belle et La Bete) and throws some text around. Needs to be unpacked but I don't have the patience to do it right now. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member I will knock out Tiger Jones. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member I love Godard Movies and this one stole again my Heart such a Grotueske Story with such freaky Characters in Front of such Grandious Cinematography with so much Godardness i love it Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (12) Critics Reviews
      Nigel Andrews Financial Times Once or twice I thought I espied a theme, much as a birdwatcher after a long vigil in the freezing dawn might think he espied a rare bird. But either I was wrong or it flew away before identification. Jan 29, 2020 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Jean-Luc Godard's 1985 deconstruction of film noir has the lightness and comic zip of some of his 60s features, though the mix of elements isn't quite as rich. Apr 17, 2007 Full Review Vincent Canby New York Times You can't afford to miss it if you aren't afraid of a little hard work. Aug 30, 2004 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand They play with and deconstruct the clichés of classic crime thrillers while tossing in offbeat humor, philosophical asides, and literary quotes and references. Jan 6, 2024 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid Though it takes some effort, watching Godard's twisted, ricocheting batch of ideas is usually fascinating, or at least pleasantly puzzling. Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 7, 2019 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row Godard films are never anything less than fascinating, and the singular vision of societal rot in a building meant to represent the ultimate in glamour is not lost in the film's shifting perspectives. Rated: 2.5/4 Jul 28, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Director Jean-Luc Godard's avant-garde drama/comedy follows Emile Chenal (Claude Brasseur) and his wife, Françoise (Nathalie Baye), as they lean on boxing manager Jim Fox Warner (Johnny Hallyday) to cough up the considerable sum of money that he owes them, with both the police and the mob circling the situation. In the same hotel, Inspector Neveu (Jean-Pierre Léaud) looks into a murder that took place years before, and his storyline overlaps with the arc of the Chenals.
      Director
      Jean-Luc Godard
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      French (France)
      Release Date (DVD)
      Feb 5, 2008
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