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Cortex (2008)

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A retired police inspector is stricken with Alzheimer's and decides to move into a residential clinic where he is puzzled by the sudden deaths of several patients.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Boyer
Carole Rothmann
Thomas Boyer
Chantal Neuwirth ...
Claire Nebout ...
Claude Perron ...
Béatrice Monnier
Laure Salama ...
Pascal Elbé ...
Docteur Chenot
Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus ...
Louis Brunet
Serge Renko ...
Elisabeth Macocco ...
Anne-Marie Faux ...
Philippe Laudenbach ...
Olivier Lejeune ...
Martin Chaffour


After realizing he finds it hard to manage alone and not to be dependent upon his son Thomas any more, retired police inspector Charles Boyer, who suffers from Alzheimer's, decides to leave his apartment and move into The Residence, a clinic treating neuro-degenerative illnesses. But he is puzzled when several patients around him die unexpectedly. Is it a delusion of his disturbed mind or are murders really being committed? This will be the object of Charles' most difficult investigation ever. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:



Release Date:

30 January 2008 (France)  »

Box Office


€4,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guillaume Canet was considered for the role of Thomas, finally played by Julien Boisselier. See more »


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Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
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User Reviews

A thriller that doesn't thrill
7 February 2008 | by (Lomé) – See all my reviews

It's not easy to do a good movie. And it's even more ambitious and difficult for a director to escape a given genre. Unfortunately Nicolas Boukhrief failed in both exercises.

On paper Cortex looks promising. In fact the scenario seems in the same time strong interesting and original with potentially great characters to be developed

A retired cop name Charles Boyer who suffers from Alzheimer goes in a retirement clinic but starts to suspect murders. Who would believe him, is he delirious?

Unfortunately none of the promises were fulfilled. André Dussollier is a great actors, he portrays quite well this lost retired cop but never manages to be convincing as an Alzheimer. Nicolas Boukrhrief chooses to film none pertinent scenes and never give the supporting cast a chance to develop their characters. As a result they all appear as filler instead of backbone. Even the role of Charles Boyer's son is underdeveloped.

We witness a succession of emotionless scenes exploring myriads of themes. Nicolas Boukhrief talks about many subjects as a way to escape the Thriller genre. Retirement, Alzheimer, Father & Son relationship, Professional Relationship in a medical environment etc…all those themes are touched upon. The problem is none of those themes are explored in depth; they are all superficially thrown in.

The result is a thriller that doesn't thrill. A too fast ending raps up the main intrigue without providing the audience with a sense of progression and closure. And from an Alzheimer point of view the ending is at the very least naive and unrealistic.

I salute Nicolas Boukhrief 's Audacity. I am no film director and I am incapable of making a film. But I do prefer the characters to drive a story rather than the story to drive the characters. It's more difficult but it's the only way to escape a genre.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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