Criminal Lovers (1999)
"Les amants criminels" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,082 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 43 user | 28 critic | 13 from

The movie begins with an explicit murder scene. We later learn high school student Alice (Natacha Régnier) convinced her lover... See full synopsis »



(scenario and dialogue), (scenario interventions), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
L'homme de forêt (as Miki Manojlovic)
Salim Kechiouche ...
Yasmine Belmadi ...
Bernard Maume ...
Le professeur
Jean-Louis Debard ...
Le gardien de nuit
Catherine Vierne ...
La vendeuse de bijoux
Marielle Coubaillon ...
L'hôtesse du supermarché
Olivier Papot ...
Le policier
Gil Demurger ...
Le GIGN (as Gil de Murger)
Agnès Accaria
Ranzi Adjeri
Brigitte Albuquerque
Martihino Albuquerque


The movie begins with an explicit murder scene. We later learn high school student Alice (Natacha Régnier) convinced her lover... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Their idea of foreplay was murder.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 August 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Amantes criminales  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,483 (USA) (21 July 2000)


$50,470 (USA) (23 February 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


References The Quest (1996) See more »


Performed by Lamb
Written by Lou Rhodes (as Louise Rhodes) and Andrew Barlow
© Warner Chappell Music Ltd
( Droits pour la France et territoirs Sacem, Europe no1 et RTL programmes français : Warner Chappell Music France S.A.)
(p) 1996 MERCURY LTD. (U.K.)
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User Reviews

Interesting, but not entirely satisfying
14 January 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I like François Ozon. Or at least, I like the idea of François Ozon. I like his challenge to bourgeois morality in Sitcom - I like his attempt to integrate this challenge into a technically limiting format. However, when it comes to committing his ideas to celluloid, I don't think that Ozon's ideas quite work. Be it in his shorts for Gay Majorettes in Space or See the Sea, his pieces always come off as half-arsed, as if they'd been good ideas in his head but not on film. Les Amants Criminels/Criminal Lovers goes half way to resolving this problem. In it, we see three rather brilliant leading performances, from Natacha Régnier (La Vie Rêvée des Anges) and Jérémie Renier as the two amants and an utterly remarkable (and disturbing) one from Miki Manojlovic (Underground) as the man who traps them in the forest. Hence, the film has been described as twisted Hansel and Gretel, and that it certainly is. Whether or not it was Ozon's intention to write a modern-day fairy tale (or whether or not this comparison/allusion is important) is not clear. However, what is clear is that, on some level, he finds this funny. Therefore, the whole thing rests, to a certain extent, upon whether you share Ozon's sense of humour (remember, in Sitcom we had a rat providing the apparatus for Ozon's exposition of middle-class morés, thus introducing S&M and masturbation to the sitcom genre ... and thus attacking his whole sitcom allusion with it). I found myself laughing ... nervously, maybe, but I found it very, very funny. Chilling? Not particularly. Unsympathetic? Certainly - in fact, Regnier's character is brilliantly drawn as both repugnant and seductive. But this is also my main problem with the film, because, while it is very clever, with a great use of music and some lovely visual touches, on a human, psychological level, Ozon's film doesn't rise above the insight afforded to us by an average TV movie-of-the-week. Yes, the oppositions of the characters are clearly defined, but they're clearly defined in tabloid black-and-white. Alice may well represent the 'other' of Luc, but we are never invited to speculate (although speculate is all that we can do, given the lack of information). Luc is seduced; Alice is a neo-noir anti-heroine. But that's as far as it goes, and that's why 'Les Amants Criminels' can be no more than an interesting sideline, a piece of fluff, rather than anything more profound. Nevertheless, Ozon shows considerable visual flair, and great talent for a certain tension, and he always has that pretty sick sense of humour to fall back on should everything else fail.

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