The Ax (2005)
"Le couperet" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,911 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 28 critic

A chemist (Garcia) loses his job to outsourcing. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to genuinely eliminate his competition.


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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geordy Monfils ...
Maxime Davert
Raymond Machefer
Etienne Barnet
Inspecteur Kesler
Olga Grumberg ...
Iris Thompson
Préposée poste
Dieudonné Kabongo ...
Quinlan Longus (as Dieudonné Kabongo Bashila)
Jean-Pierre Gos ...
Vanessa Larré ...
Serge Larivière ...
Inspecteur Police
Jeanne Savary ...
La présentatrice TV


Bruno Davert, a chemist working for a paper company, is fired. After three years he's still unemployed, too much competition for the few job position he could fit in his sector. He sent tons of resumes, he attended many qualifying courses, he tried everything but there is nothing to do: no job for him in the industry. The only healthy company in the sector is "Arcadia", but joining it is just an impossible dream. At this point Bruno is desperate. What he could do: to kill all the competitors? Could he? Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some people would die to get (him) this job. [Scandinavian DVD.]


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Release Date:

2 March 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Ax  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,428,352 (France) (4 March 2005)


$13,795 (Chile) (30 June 2006)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Donald E. Westlake:  old man in employment office. See more »


Gérard Hutchinson: Vous savez, au bout de cinq ans de chômage on est devenu... non, comment on dit en français?
Bruno Davert: Has-been.
Gérard Hutchinson: Ah oui, voilà, has-been.
See more »


Version of A Shock to the System (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

A frightening reality
26 February 2006 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

People who characterize this film as a comedy obviously haven't got it. The comic element is just a thin surface. This is a tragic story and a very strong political statement. Obviously Bruno's decisions and actions are absurd, but his circumstances are not. The movie offers an incisive look at the dark reality of chronic unemployment. Corporate greed leads to story after story after story of desperation. Westlake and Gavras know that in order to pass the message you have to lighten up the atmosphere (a la Truman Show), or else the viewer won't sit the whole movie. In order to appreciate the film you have to marginalize the main plot element (the murder story) and concentrate on all the subplots.

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