When I first watched it, in 1994, in a small french city movie theatre, I shouted: "F...! What a movie!". But days, weeks and months after, no one seemed to think like me. The critics I read were all bad (Then I started to cancel my subscription to a famous french movie magazine)and condemned this movie to death. However, I had seen it three times on screen. This movie is for me of the same blood as the spy movies from the 70's, where spies were not heroes any more, but particles of giant machines, and desperate men, seeing other people apart. "The days of the Condor", "Scorpio", "la 7eme cible" etc. were that kind of movies. with "Les Patriotes", Eric Rochant took his time (24 weeks of shooting)and his producers hired a tough cast (Richard Masur, Nancy Allen, Yossi Banai)to support local actors and a wonderful Yvan Attal who acted perfectly the young, experienceless, and tormented french Jewish spy who went to Israel by love in order to serve and protect his new home. But unfortunately, dreams are not reality... and protecting a country is not as rewarding as it seemed in James Bond movies. This movie is also worth to be seen because of the interest of Israel's concerns, the realistic (and dispassionate) way it is depicted. But the main topic is neither Israel, nor the Mossad, but being a spy and doing wrong to make good.
The Patriots (1994)
User ReviewsReview this title
23 December 2001
There are a couple of fine performances here: Yvan Attal is very good as the Mossad agent who must use dirty tactics to achieve political goals yet who falls for a hooker, which does nothing for his esteem with his superiors, and Richard Masur is superb as the Jewish-American scientist (cf Jonathan Pollard) who talks himself into betraying his country because of emotional commitments to Israel. This really ought to be seen by all lovers of John le Carre's works, since it is in the same vein of violence and melancholy.
Excellent spy story
5 February 2000
Les Patriotes tells the story of a young Jewish Frenchman who decides to emigrate in Israel in order to join the famous Mossad. I don't think the scriptwriters intended to reveal us the truth about the world's most secret service (who can claim to really have solid informations about that?). Yet they wrote an excellent screenplay, worth the best spy movies. Les Patriotes is an exciting description of the daily work of the spies. It is a beautifully-acted movie that doesn't show off and in the same time tells us a lot of things. It is a captivating vision of what a state manipulation is. So, if you have the chance, see it!
When you're in too deep to get out...
8 October 2006
I picked this film out of the hundreds of foreign DVD's in Toronto's best video store - Bay Video. I thought it was a recent Israeli production and it wasn't until I got it home I realized the film was a French production made in 1994. However, I wasn't disappointed at all and consider this wonderful film one of the best spy 'thrillers' I have ever seen. Understated like the profession of spying and subtle to the point of seduction this film doesn't fudge the issues surrounding the necessity for such a service to exist in modern Israel nor does it gloss over some of the hard facts when innocents become collateral damage. The acting, the sets, the writing are all first rate and it's probably one of the best reasons to watch this film. I guarantee you won't want it to end without finding out what happens to all the characters.
frighteningly realistic, it looks like a true story,
31 July 2001
the film is very good, frighteningly realistic, and it looks like a true story, with a few of the names changed, but the association is clear (see the character of Jeremy Perlman), the connection between the main character and the prostitute is masterfully acted, the end is excellent... must see it to believe it
Excellent and powerful
18 February 2005
This movie can serve as a gold standard for the spy-movie genre. It depicts in unglamorous ways, the life, the torment and catharsis of an intelligence officer. The cast is superb, but it's really director (Rochant) and lead actor (Attal) who are making the powerful and excellent case of what does it mean to work for the state. This case done in subtle tones(Yvan Attal's character rarely speaks), in demonstrating the complex political situation Israel finds itself in constraint manner, and by introducing such a vivid female character, that the viewer (at least male's half) can understand the inner battle of Mossad's officer soul
A realistic look at a major spy agency
16 August 2013
This excellent thriller and character study of a young Israeli spy was produced in 1993-4. It plays as well as any memorable films of the same milieu, e.g. "Three Days of the Condor", "The Company", "Bourne", "Marathon Man", etc. That is pretty lofty company. I refuse to give away the plot but know that for two hours it will take you on a thrilling mystery ride. The casting and directing compliment a terrific script. Shot in Paris, Tel Aviv, Washington, D.C. and New York City it moves along without the gimmicks (CGI) or insane editing and music that so many films depend on today. Finally, the international cast of French, American and Israeli actors are in perfect harmony. Always good to see Alan Garfield in anything..