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Le petit lieutenant (2005)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  16 November 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,865 users   Metascore: 71/100
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A rookie policeman from provincial Le Havre volunteers for the high pressure Parisian homicide bureau and is assigned to a middle-aged woman detective.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Commandant Caroline "Caro" Vaudieu
Jalil Lespert ...
Antoine Derouère
Antoine Chappey ...
Louis Mallet
Le juge Serge Clermont
Bruce Myers ...
Patrick Chauvel ...
Le lieutenant Patrick Belval
Jean Lespert ...
M. Derouère, le père d'Antoine
Annick Le Goff ...
Mme Derouère, la mère d'Antoine
Bérangère Allaux ...
Julie Derouère, la femme d'Antoine
Mireille Franchino ...
Mireille, la logeuse
Yaniss Lespert ...
Alex Derouère, le frère d'Antoine (as Yanis Lespert)
Nicolas Morbé
Philippe Lecompt ...
Pierre Aussedat ...


When a fresh young police academy graduate from provincial Le Havre volunteers for the high pressure world of the Parisian homicide squad, his schoolteacher wife is reluctant to go with him. He moves into a rooming house that caters to single cops as he embraces his fellow officers as an extended family. He becomes close to an Arab officer and his boss, a very professional but lonely, middle-aged female detective who is also a recovering alcoholic. Routine police procedure gives way to an intensive search among the city's homeless for an undocumented Russian immigrant who may be responsible for a series of violent crimes. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

16 November 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le petit lieutenant  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation en France #111314 See more »


Reflected in window as Vaudieu and Solo exit the church. See more »


Mireille, la logeuse: [after Antoine introduces himself as Lieutenant Derouère] These days, it's "Lieutenant" and "Captain." It's too much like the Army. Not that I don't like the Army, but "Monsieur l'Inspecteur"... It makes me think of Maigret...
See more »


References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Less said, less action, but more depth
11 February 2007 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

A young tough guy, eager to be a real cop solving real crime, and to be really cool. A middle-aged woman, alone, with personal problems but well organized and effective. Put these two together in a big city ("the jungle") in some cheesy office rooms, and you may expect to see another cliché cop-movie. But you're wrong.

First of all, this film contains not much action at all. The murder that things evolve around is not the main attraction, it is more of a catalyst for the development of the humans on screen. Furthermore, there is no music to "guide" us emotionally, and no extreme display of emotions (or overacting) as is so common. Instead we follow the characters at distance, but emotions are there, but like in real life, poorly articulated and often ambiguous. And the less glamorous work of attending an autopsy, and reactions to it, is also shown; just the sound is disgusting, and that scene of the film has for me a really artistic feeling to it: it highlights the "fleshy-ness" of the body, that it is not just an abstract piece in life, but something bulky, ugly, imperfect and vulnerable, which is quite a contrast to how the young tough guy probably considers himself.

These aspects together means that the film is more real. That does not have to be an advantage for a film - good film rarely limit itself to a display of reality. But to follow the development of the characters, their life and work, from a distance, sometimes with some police action added, as you do in a very precise way in this film, is very rewarding. This is a good drama with action content.

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overrated !!!! nothing good about the movie.. mirelm
english subtitles wima_wima
Terribly boring rikardswahn
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