Benoît Magimel's Films

Monsieur Magimel is my FAVOURITE actor! This list ranks Benoît's films according to his role/performance. The list will be updated as I work my way through his filmography, which will be a slow process.

Benoît started his career as a child actor and morphed into a talented adult actor. He is not as feted as he is talented. I used to feel sorry about this but having witnessed Vincent Cassel's move into English language films, because he is feted, I'm glad Benoît has not been encouraged to do the same; the film roles for Vinz have not been particularly good.

Benoît is a sensual actor with a strong emotional presence on screen that reaches through to my feelings. This is the quality of his particular personality and acting talent that I most value. Combined with his talent is a face beloved of the gods.
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1.
The Piano Teacher (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher. (131 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ An emotionally excoriating film in which Benoît plays a complicated and not particularly likeable character called Walter Klemmens. The role showcases Benoît's emotional range and sensuality and his pairing with Huppert works well.

One of my favourite films. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
2.
To Matthieu (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Matthieu and Eric are two brothers who work at the same factory as their father in Normandy. When his father is dismissed for smoking on the factory floor, Matthieu is incensed and tries to have him reinstated, in vain. His brother has just got married and, with a child and mortgage on the way, is reluctant to stir up trouble. Likewise, Matthieu's fellow workers refuse to get involved. Then tragedy strikes; Matthieu's father is killed in a road accident. Convinced that his father was driven to suicide, Matthieu resolves to have his revenge. His plan is to lure his boss's wife, Claire, into an affair and so make his boss a laughing stock. Seducing Claire proves easier than he could have imagined, but then the scheme goes awry. Matthieu and Claire fall in love. (108 mins.)
Director: Xavier Beauvois
“ A terrific lead from Benoît as the Matthieu of the title. He is on screen in virtually every shot playing a man of varied passions as he seeks revenge. This is the first screen outing between Benoît and Nathalie Baye and their pairing works although it's not as intense as his pairing with Huppert. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
3.
Crime Insiders (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A Parisian criminal gang fall apart after challenges to the gang's leader lessen his influence. (107 mins.)
“ Benoît plays an intelligent gun for hire named Franck; a criminal whose behaviour distinguishes him from the gang to which he is connected. Franck has the most complete character arc in the film allowing Benoît to steal the audience's attention. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
4.
L'ennemi intime (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A drama following a French platoon during Algeria's war of independence. (111 mins.)
“ A wonderful film in which Benoît plays Terrien a man of principle, who is undone during the Franco-Algerian war. Another compelling turn in which Benoît shows how adept he is at communicating feelings. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
5.
Errance (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
Three scenes from the marriage of Lou and Jacques as they wander around France. (95 mins.)
Director: Damien Odoul
“ This films get bad reviews; even Benoît has not wanted to speak about his time making this film. But I like it. Benoît plays another character whose actions make him unlikeable. Benoît portrays the emotional world of Jacques, who is a veteran of the Franco-Algerian war, suffering from what would be recognised as PTSD now. Once more the range of feeling Benoît imbues Jacques with means the character gets beneath my skin. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
6.
Traceless (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Etienne Meunier is a successful businessman who has money and a beautiful wife. But all is not well in Etienne's immaculate life. He is troubled by a secret that he has been hiding. (95 mins.)
“ A very good role for Benoît who, once more, plays a character that in many ways is quite unlikeable consumed as he is with greed and ambition. An intense and compelling performance that finds Benoît brooding and edgy throughout. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
7.
Déjà mort (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
An ambitious young woman meets a group of affluent and feckless guys and together they plan to break into the pornographic industry with her as their star. (108 mins.)
Director: Olivier Dahan
“ One of the films in which Benoît is so sexy and beautiful. Here he plays the doomed David who has more money than sense. As with many of his roles Benoit takes a tricky character and makes him a whole that is hard to dislike as completely as his actions suggest. This film is also very funny in parts and it is good to see Benoît in a tragi-comic role. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
8.
The King Is Dancing (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling... (115 mins.)
Director: Gérard Corbiau
“ I'm intoxicated by the film's visuals that include Benoît in different coloured body paints. Plus there are shots of his muscular body dancing and naked. There's more to the film and my enjoyment of it than this ... ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
9.
The Children of the Century (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand's torrid love affair with the decadent... (135 mins.)
Director: Diane Kurys
“ An incurably romantic film about two legendary French romantics. Paired with Juliette Binoche, his (then) real-life lover, Benoît plays Alfred de Musset who suffers through drink, drugs and sex to love George Sand. Benoît gives his all in a fine costume drama film replete with tumultous feelings. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
10.
Little White Lies (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart. (154 mins.)
Director: Guillaume Canet
“ Really like the character Benoit had to play - a married man who falls in love with another man - it allowed for some complex emotions and also moments of hilarity. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
11.
Headwinds (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Sarah tells Paul that she wants out of their marriage; the next day she disappears. A year later and Paul along with their children return to his childhood town to start anew after the loss of his wife and their mother. (91 mins.)
Director: Jalil Lespert
“ A worthwhile role for Benoît in a good film. He has a great role to play in terms of the emotional range as a father of grieving children. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
12.
For a Woman (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The story of the marriage between Michel and Lena, as told by their daughter Anne, with reflections on the mystery of abiding love. (110 mins.)
Director: Diane Kurys
“ This is a lovely film with good acting all round. Benoît's character, Michel, did not require as much from him as I imagine some of his other roles did and Benoît is such a consummate actor that he makes the part look effortless. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
13.
Life Is a Long Quiet River (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two babies are switched at birth. When the mistake is discovered 12 years later, it leads to complications in the lives of both families... (90 mins.)
“ Benoît's debut as a teen actor. He gives a natural and humourous turn as a scoundrel named Momo whose life is upturned when it is discovered he was one of two babies swapped at birth. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
14.
Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Pierre Niemans faces the threat of the apocalypse while investigating a series of ritual murders. (97 mins.)
Director: Olivier Dahan
“ A action hero role for Benoît whose physical feats are as implausible as the best that Hollywood has to offer. All played with tongue firmly in cheek. Benoît has better on-screen chemistry with Jean Reno than did Vincent Cassel in Crimson Rivers 1. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
15.
The Flower of Evil (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Three generations of a wealthy Bordeaux family are caught in the crossfire when Anne decides to run for mayor, thanks to a political pamphlet that revives an old murder scandal. (104 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
“ Really liked this film and recommend it for both Benoît fans and non-fans. As to Benoît: he plays a likeable guy with some nice moments that allow his sensuality to flourish. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
16.
Sky Fighters (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
While in an international fair of exhibition of airplanes, a French Mirage 2000 of the last generation... (102 mins.)
Director: Gérard Pirès
“ Handling another action role as jet fighter pilot Marchelli; Benoît looks dashing in his pilot fatigues and the pilot goggles set off his eyes.

Btw this film's soundtrack is fantastic: 10/10. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
17.
Special Forces (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A French journalist in Afghanistan is kidnapped by the Taliban. (109 mins.)
“ This film is really quite good and Benoît plays a charming character who is tragi-comic and romantic. It's not a taxing role by any means but it's very likeable. I rank this higher than some other roles even though they might demand more from him, but I like them less. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
18.
The Connection (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A French police magistrate spends years trying to take down one of the country's most powerful drug rings. (135 mins.)
Director: Cédric Jimenez
“ I love Benoît in this. He's the most interesting character because he's mad and bad but remains unknown. He looks great as a gangster and really suits the role of bad guy. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
19.
24 Bars (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Twenty four hours in the life of a prostitute and her encounters with people along the way. (85 mins.)
Director: Jalil Lespert
“ Benoît features in this for only about 15-20 minutes and turns in a very convincing performance as a psychologically disturbed man. It would have been great to have seen more of Benoît as this was a great role. As his appearance was so brief I can't rank this higher although it's one of his best roles.

A better film than expected from ratings and reviews. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
20.
The Girl Cut in Two (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A black comedy centered around a TV weather girl and the two very different men who pursue her. (115 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
“ Benoîtt plays a ridiculous fop who is mad and dangerous with it. Nonetheless he cuts a dash handling adroitly a tricky character whose surface the audience never penetrate. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
21.
Thieves (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In the middle of the night, someone brings Ivan's body home to his wife and his sad-faced, jug-eared son... (117 mins.)
“ Benoît's role, although central to the plot, is small. Had he been on screen longer then I would rate this more highly too because he plays a complicated bad guy who is likeable at times. Another film in which he's very attractive and sexy. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
22.
Duplicity (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The photographer and family man Matyas is married and has a happy life with his beloved wife Claire... (98 mins.)
Director: Harry Cleven
“ Benoît plays two roles as identical twin brothers. Naturally he's good as both. He also sports a pair of breasts in one scene - boobs not moobs! ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
23.
A Single Girl (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Early one morning Valerie has to tell her unemployed boyfriend Remi that she is pregnant. She has decided to keep the child... (90 mins.)
Director: Benoît Jacquot
“ Benoît does not have much screen time in the film but the little he does have finds him once more playing with different feelings as a feckless boyfriend who inspires frustration and sympathy in equal measures. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
24.
A Minute of Silence (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
In a dying French mining town near the German border, the last miners are preparing to strike. Marek and Mimmo, two young miners and friends, have different views on the impending strike. (88 mins.)
“ Benoît plays a sympathetic character conflicted in his loyalties. As usual the role calls for quite an emotional range and uses the softness in Benoît's personality well. He also speaks some Polish! ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
25.
Charlie Says (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
The seemingly separate lives of a group of men intersect entwining the fates of each of them over the course of a week. (140 mins.)
Director: Nicole Garcia
“ Benoît plays another interesting character whose detachment from people seems profound and yet he makes him someone to care about. This film has a criminally low rating on IMDb. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
26.
The Bridesmaid (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A hard-working young man meets and falls in love with his sister's bridesmaid. He soon finds out how disturbed she really is. (111 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
“ A dark, perverse and blackly humourous tale finds Benoît as an obsessed man who becomes himself an object of obsession. As ever, good in the role although his on-screen chemistry with Laura Smet did not work as well as his pairing with her real-life mother, Nathalie Baye, in Selon Matthieu. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
27.
Fair Play (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
There are rules for fair play in sport; these are not adhered to always. But there are no rules for fair play at work, in life or when faced with life and death. (103 mins.)
Director: Lionel Bailliu
“ Benoît has a definite talent for comedy as he exhibits here playing Jean-Claude, a brash sportsman. They've dyed Benoit's hair red (why??) and his character sports spectacles and luridly coloured clothing! A pretty good film. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
28.
On voulait tout casser (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Five long-term pals confront ageing and mortality as they enjoy their last weeks together before taking different paths. (86 mins.)
“ A pleasant film in which Benoît is gorgeous and vulnerable. There's a scene where four of the men have to look emotional; Benoît look like he cries glass so keenly does he convey pain. It is interesting to me that he has lost weight here and looks tanned and healthy. Strong comparison with some of his more recent roles where he is carrying excess weight and looks bloated.

Anyway ... ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
29.
The Nest (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Laborie is a high-flying officer in the French special forces. Her mission is to escort Abedin Nexhep... (107 mins.)
“ Much like the role of Franck(y) in Paris Lockdown aka Truands, Benoît plays a criminal with a moral code that sets him aside from his fellow criminals. Another action role but with little emotional depth. Still good to see his versatility and screen presence.

Btw this is a very good film. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
30.
Mon pote (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The story of a friendship between Victor, owner of a magazine, and Bruno, a car thief. (105 mins.)
Director: Marc Esposito
“ A likeable film with a central pairing of Benoît with Edouard Baer. They make a good couple and their friendship felt real. In this film Benoît is light and humorous with odd moments of the darker side to his character.

I find it difficult and interesting to watch Benoît age on screen. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
31.
Strange Gardens (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
France under occupation by the Germans during WW2: Two men inspired by a free France radio broadcast perpetrate an act of sabotage with unwitting consequences for them and their fellow villagers. (95 mins.)
Director: Jean Becker
“ A minor role for Benoît played with his usual aplomb. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
32.
The Counsel (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A new lawyer, ambitious and eager to establish himself, takes on a difficult case and wins. Little does he realise that his win might destroy him. (102 mins.)
Director: Cédric Anger
“ I was a bit disappointed in this film as I'd read good things about it on other sites. Benoît is good, as ever, but he is constrained by the somewhat formulaic plot and characters. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
33.
My Way (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A biopic of French pop star Claude Francois, most famous for co-writing the song 'My Way'. Tracing his life from childhood in Egypt through success in France to his untimely death in Paris in 1978. (148 mins.)
“ This is a superb film in which Benoît plays a minor role. He piled on 40lbs for the role and wore facial prosthetics, which hid his dimple :( . I found the transformation disconcerting because it was both him and not him at the same time.

He spent most of his screen time smoking with very few lines. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
34.
Papa est parti, maman aussi (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A coming-of-age film: When Laurette's parents disappear following a row, Laurette assumes responsibility for the family. The initial fiesta of children alone gives way to abandonment and the pressures of responsibility. (104 mins.)
“ Not the best film and Benoît does not feature very much. But, given this was made when he was about 14 years old, his presence in front of a camera is astounding. He seems so at ease and comfortable. ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
35.
Seuls Two (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Everybody in Paris has vanished exept a clueless cop and the robber he's being pursuing for years. (94 mins.)
“ Very funny film but so little Benoît :( ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
36.
La Haine (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
24 hours in the lives of three young men in the French suburbs the day after a violent riot. (98 mins.)
“ Blink and you will miss Benoît as one amongst a bunch of rowdy lads on the roof of a Parisian tower block. It's a brilliant film but Benoît is just a face in a crowd albeit with a couple of lines of dialogue. Always good to see him though :D ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
37.
Inju: The Beast in the Shadow (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
The writer and college professor, Alexandre Fayard, researches and gives lectures about the gruesome... (105 mins.)
“ I think this is the worst film that I've seen Benoît in thus far. His character stops being plausible about halfway through. He was used for his looks on film and consequently wasted :( ” - PoppyTransfusion
 
38.
Putain de porte (1994 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Four young men try to gate crash a birthday party. (7 mins.)
“ It's hard to rate Benoit's performance in this short because he's there so briefly and you can't see his face much either. The film itself is very funny and is available on YouTube in French. ” - PoppyTransfusion