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A great surprise !!
ChevalierBayard25 November 2004
What a good surprise this movie has been ! I just had to let you know about it as soon as possible

As it might not rings any bell in foreigners' head, know that the Quai Des Orfèvres is the familiar name for the Criminal Investigations Division of the Paris Police, located at no. 36. In popular parlance, "Quai des Orfèvres" means to the French what "Scotland Yard" means to the British.

Indeed we are here in a thriller, a dark one. The director, Olivier Marchal is a former cop and the story of 36 Quai Des Orfèvres is from real facts from the life of Dominique Loiseau (who co-wrote the script), former member of the BRI (Brigade de Recherche et d'Intervention = Search and Action Squad, the "anti-gangs" squad) in the mid eighties.

In this movie we follow the struggle between two cops.

On one hand we have Vrinks, BRI's head. Daniel Auteuil, who is one of the most famous actors in France, offers the audience an amazing performance playing this cop who is found of justice, whatever it costs and whatever the methods are to take down the criminals. To reach his ideal of justice he uses to flirt dangerously with the "dark side" taking risks for his family, his life and his career. Anyway it seems his priorities are still in this order. Like the Vincent Hanna of Heat, he just has two lifes he tries to separate: the one at work and the one at home where he doesn't say anything about his work to his wife (played by the beautiful Valeria Golino), just because he's afraid that might make her run away...

On the other hand we have Klein, the head of the BRB (Brigade de Répression du Banditisme = Crime Repression Squad, taking care of big robberies and so on) played by a very well known actor, in France but also around the world after a few appearance in Hollywood movies: Gérard Depardieu who seems to have reminded the amazing actor he can be. Depardieu is indeed at his top, playing this ambitious and soured character who reaches power and power only.

Tensions exist between these two men who used to be friends. They really don't share the same goals regarding their professional life but it appears quickly that the problem is mostly located on the private front. We don't know exactly what has happened but it seems that a woman, who is now Mrs Vrink, has been between the two of them, breaking for good their friendship long years ago and creating a scare which is still very sensitive today.

Their boss Robert Mancini, played by André Dussolier (the narrator's voice in Amélie, here playing perfectly again a role quite similar to the one he had in Agents Secrets), makes these tensions get worse when explaining them that he is about to be promoted. As they are both equally qualified, they are in competition for his replacement. The one who will take down a gang of very violent robbers currently holding up to ridicule the police forces, will be the new head of the number 36, Quai des Orfèvres.

And here you know just the starting plot of this movie which benefits of a really really good script. In addition to this perfect script you have a great casting for the main roles but also for the "background characters" who are for most of them unknown actors who will surely be known in a few movies if they continue to play so well and have the luck again to play in such a great film.

The rhythm of the movie is also really good and, very unexpected for this kind of production in France, risks have been taken and ... it pays. This movie really takes you in its story and it's a great journey.

Olivier Marchal is a former cop yes, but more than that he is also a great thriller movie fans. I've used a reference to Heat earlier and, according to some interviews I've read after having seen the movie, it seems that Olivier Marchal totally agrees with me on the fact Heat is one of the best thriller ever shooted if not the best. He said he wanted to something in the same spirit, all things considered and I had indeed been surprised during 36 Quai Des Orfèvres to think a few times about Michael Man's work. We are far from a Collateral or a Heat but 36 Quai Des Orfèvres doesn't have to get redden in front of these masterpieces IMHO.

Fan, honest and humble, Olivier Marchal has delivered us a very efficient and striking thriller who deserves to be classified among the best of the genre.

36 Quai Des Orfèvres is letting me hope that maybe France will be back on the thrillers front, which had been quite deserted after a golden age in the 70's with great directors like Jean-Pierre Melville.

I really hope that this movie will be released in foreign countries and that most of you will have the opportunity to see it. An opportunity that I seriously invite you to not miss
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This was the BEST FRENCH FILM of last year!
bostonboy7 July 2005
This is like the French version of Michael Mann's "Heat." Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu are like the Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro of France.

These heavyweight actors really do a good job in this cop drama where they play former friends and colleagues who work in different competing departments at the French police. Depardieu plays a gutless immoral cop. Auteuil is the family man who is not perfect himself but is far more moral than his former buddy.

It shows the grit of Paris that people outside France don't usually see in French movies, like the mobs, the gangs, the corruption of the urban ghettos. Instead of pretty cafes and the Eiffel Tower, we get to see alleys and project housing.

Italian actress Valeria Golino plays Auteuil's wife. Auteuil's character tries to protect her from the ugliness of his job by not telling her anything. But circumstances beyond their control later on force her to get involved. The director brilliantly puts it all together.

I know some people didn't like the ending. I thought it was fine and I was not at all disappointed. The other supporting actors like Andre Dussolier who are all famous in France also do a good job. We really liked this movie and highly recommend it!
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A breathtaking rivalry within Paris
FrenchEddieFelson26 May 2019
As usual, Olivier Marchal offers us an excellent thriller with a Homeric duel between Léo Vrinks and Denis Klein, two Parisian cops coveting the same promotion, i.e. the office of their common boss. They know and despise each other, making the competition fiercer. This movie rhymes globally with excellency, thanks to a dark atmosphere, an excellent knowledge of the French national police, Olivier Marchal being a former inspector, and an ineluctable fatalism, ... and despite the caricatural character of Denis Klein who is a a well-known alcohol abuser cruelly lacking of dignity and integrity, conferring a poor image of the national police. De facto, the film's realism is diminished, at least I hope so. In this respect, the final scene between Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu is disappointing and disturbing, Denis Klein's soliloquy being surrealistic with a mix of madness and megalomania.

The whole cast, the script and the dialogues are globally excellent. Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu are awesome.
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Terrific policier
LGwriter4921 April 2005
I had the privilege of seeing this film at the Lincoln Center (NY City) Rendezvous with French Cinema in March 2005 with the director, Olivier Marchal, in attendance.

The film stars Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, and Valeria Golino. The two male leads play rivals for the position of Chief of Police in the same district of Paris. Depardieu's character is the heavy and the actor does a magnificent job. But so does Auteuil as the "good guy" and Golino as his wife. Marchal both wrote and directed this film, drawing on his former life as, in fact, a Paris cop and based the events in the film on some real occurrences from the 80s in Paris. There are drug dealers and corrupt cops, to be sure, but what gives this film tremendous power is the combination of the superb acting and a tough, smart script.

The current chief is in line to a promotion to commissioner and knows the personalities of the two rivals well--so well, in fact, that he engages in some devious manipulative actions to set them against each other. The resulting tension and conflict between these two is what gives the film its tremendous momentum. The plotting is perfect; this film does everything it's supposed to do, and a lot more, to grab the viewer by the throat and not let go until the end.

Upon conclusion of the film, the director was bombarded with questions. One of them was whether or not the film has American distribution. One would think that with two French mega-stars like Auteuil and Depardieu, no problem, right? Wrong. Marchal indicated that the film was picked up for distribution throughout the world EXCEPT in the US. It is my fervent hope that some American studio/distributor smartens up and then snaps up this film which is, without question, the absolute best policier in more than 20 years. The last great film in this genre from France was La Balance, directed, interestingly enough, by an American ex-pat, Bob Swaim. That was in 1982. Even Tavernier's L.627, 1992, is not a strong contender.

But 36 Quai des Orfevres is the real deal. The title refers to the street address of the district precinct station whose sign, in a nifty opening sequence, is ripped off by...well, you'll just have to see for yourself.

Very highly recommended. A great thriller--formidable! (French for terrific).
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Polar Bears
writers_reign25 December 2004
Cop turned director is a new one on me but there's always a first time I guess. One thing's sure Marchal has a lot of balls in titling his film as he has and so inviting direct comparison with the only other film to employ as its title the address of the Police headquarters in Paris, Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1947 classic called simply Quai des orfevres without the number which is superfluous. Clouzot's movie is well over 50 years old and featured a more sedate form of detection - Louis Jouvet was not exactly Monsieur Hard Man and, like the man said, the times they are a changing. Marchal, who began taking acting lessons when he was still a cop (so that's how they perfect the good cop/bad cop routine) and went on to play in several TV crime series, has based his story on a real situation, the internicine rivalry in the eighties between the BRI and the BRB, both working out of the Quai. Co-scriptwriter Dominique Loiseau was a player and this is partly his story. The film is dominated by two lions in winter, Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil recalling Duke Wayne and Bob Mitchum in El Dorado, two ageing pros if not yet over the hill certainly at the summit, so these two craggy bears, polar bears if you will, polar being the French name for gangster/caper/crime films, light up the screen no question about it as the respective heads of the BRB (Brigade de Repression du Banditisme, that's Major Heists to you and me) and BRI (Brigade de Recherche et d'Intervention (we're Gangbusters, Man). There's a history between these two, we're never QUITE told the full story which is a masterstroke, but it involves Vrink's (Auteuil) wife, who may have once been Klein's (Depardieu) girl. To sweeten the pot Mancini (Andre Dussollier) head honcho announces his retirement leaving his job up for grabs; both are equally qualified but it's an open secret that the first guy to nail a particularly violent gang will become the new chief. Auteuil is our Dirty Harry kind of cop, often worse than the villains he's after but he DOES usually get them in the end, Depardieu is a tad choosier but not TOO good to live. To say more wouldn't really add much, I found myself a little intrigued by the long, black leather coats worn by both Brigades, resembling nothing so much as the outfit of choice of the Stasi in East Germany and I HOPE this is an oblique comment on the fact that (England at least) is slowly becoming a Police state. All in all an enjoyable romp and well worth 8 stars.
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Powerful Movie – Probably the Best Police Story that I Have Recently Seen
claudio_carvalho25 December 2005
A couple of days ago I saw the trailer of "36 Quai des Orfèvres" and I decided to buy the DVD. What a powerful movie it is, probably the best police story that I have recently seen. The dramatic and amoral story is a contemporary film-noir, with action, betrayal, shootings and hooks the attention from the beginning to the end. There is a great duel between two titans: Gérard Depardieu, in the role of a scum detective, and Daniel Auteuil, playing a detective with non-conventional procedures, and they both deserved nomination to the Oscar for such brilliant performances. The music score, with the song "Don't Bring me Down", is also wonderful. The grandiosity of "36 Quai des Orfèvres" recalled me 1995 "Heat", one of the best police stories of the 90's. I really do not understand why there are negative reviews for such great film. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "36"
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Depardieu and Auteuil Excell in Gritty Police Drama
johnmbale19 November 2005
36 Quai Des Orfevres is a gutsy police drama, filmed with flair, the dark side of both police and criminals realistically portrayed. For me the best aspect of the picture is bringing together again those two giants of the French screen, Depardieu and Auteuil, remembered for their roles in the wonderful Jean De Florette, which was a period piece, now they are in a rather frightening present day Paris. The fairly complex plot involves the rivalry between two leading policemen, both vying to gain promotion by bringing to justice a feared gang of psychopaths. In keeping with the dark feeling of the story Paris has never looked so gritty and bleak as seen here. Once again the French demonstrate their skill in the crime genre picture of which this is a fine example, thanks to these two brilliant actors, with the fine supporting cast, and earthy rugged direction. Based on real events, with muddy politics of the French Police Force, lies, betrayals, and violent shootouts, it will keep you guessing until it reaches its unexpected climax.
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Two great actors give this film a gravitas it doesn't deserve.
rtiplady10 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First the good news, the first hour of this film is an enjoyable, if derivative, cops and robbers show while Depardieu and Auteuil do as much as they can to keep things afloat throughout. The second hour, sadly, is just a melodramatic soup which you will enjoy in direct relation to how readily you swallow the soap opera-style plot contrivances, which are rammed in without regard for logic, or the intelligence of the audience, in order to get Auteuil's character jailed and his wife slain. For example, can a senior policeman ( The "good" cop, highly regarded by his superiors and the hero of the moment for having just jailed a violent gang that had been terrorising Paris for two years) really be convicted solely on the uncorroborated eye-witness evidence of junkie hooker? That's what we are led to believe here, even though we see the crime in question and know there is absolutely no way she could have seen the cop's face when she was cowering on the floor of the car until they had driven off (Strange, however, that an apparent manslaughter, committed by the much less regarded "bad" cop later on, is rigorously covered up by these very same superiors, in order to give him the job that they had specifically wished to deny him in preference to the "good" cop!). Now let's observe the behaviour of the killer. He has compromised the "good" cop in order to provide an alibi for the murders, but the "good" cop is caught and blows his cover. He is on the run and desperate, so what does he do? - he rings up the cop's wife in order to give her a large sum of money, apparently as "compensation" for her husband being jailed - well he would, wouldn't he?! The wife, naturally, jumps at the chance, not only to put herself in mortal peril but to diminish her prospects of survival even more by allowing the ham-fisted "bad" cop, still harbouring a grudge for being dumped by her in the past, to set her up for the meeting - all in all, not the wisest of moves. Perhaps it's best not to think too much to enjoy this film but, even so, the second half drags badly and may have you falling asleep long before the end - just as well then that the director thoughtfully adds a flashback to explain the final "twist" that you could only have been unconscious not to have worked out well beforehand.
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A Nutshell Review: 36
DICK STEEL27 August 2005
The opening in 36 has got to be one of the more arresting (pun not intended) starters in a movie I've watched in some time, especially if you're a fan of Euro-electronica, where a catchy tune paces the multiple action happening on screen.

The French police is stumped by a gang of armed robbers whose fast and brutal methods leave no witnesses. Of course the politicians are angry and want immediate results in the capture of these criminals. The stakes are raised when a vacant seat in higher office is opened to the officer who manages to do so.

Leo Vrinks is a decorated cop with questionable methods. Toeing the line that separates cops from thugs, his team of officers and himself are tasked to bring these criminals to justice. His rival, Denis Klein, also a celebrated cop, wants the case for himself, but unceremoniously gets his team and himself relegated to a support role in the sting operation.

Naturally, unexpected things happen during the operation because of Denis' callous behaviour, and lives on both sides are lost. But no, the show doesn't end there when the thugs are captured, as the rivalry between the men spill over and provides more than sufficient fuel for the second half of the movie.

I guess it's the same at most offices, where promotion's at stake, the struggles and intense rivalry may get into the way of the greater good in getting the objective achieved. Methods are questioned, where morality and ethics are put into the spotlight - does the end really justify any means necessary? Like memorable HK police thriller Infernal Affairs, it is the powerful relationship between the main characters that this drama explores and excels in, with excellent acting from Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu as the bitter men with ambiguous methods and morales.

It's a relatively tight storyline, and you'll have to pay close attention to the subplots in order to be able to piece together how and why the ending was as presented. Highly recommended stuff.
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Enjoy the suspense!
jesjes115 June 2006
This is an utterly brilliant movie. I highly recommend it. And that's coming from someone who usually *hates* cop movies. I get really easily bored of the typical over done American hero cop drama.

This a movie of substance, with symbolism, depth and a lot of action without becoming a movie that depends on action scenes to keep it going. And it doesn't end with a fluffy fairy tale ending the way most cop drama tripe does.

The actors are brilliant, which makes up for the times when there is slight confusion because there are so many characters to follow, its cinema that hasn't been dumbed down for an American audience.
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Half French miserablism, half Hollywood cop movie - disappointing on both counts
rainbird13116218 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
*mild spoilers ahead*

Two cops (Daniel Auteuil & Gerard Depardieu) with a long standing personal rivalry tangle over a string of brutal bank robberies ..

Despite the quality cast & slick production values it pains me to say that '36' is another disappointingly lame thriller. The plotting is incoherent (at one point Depardieu triggers a firefight between cops & baddies in direct contravention of orders yet why he does so is never explained) & the writer/director has clearly used Michael Mann's 'Heat' as a template. As in that superior movie the film kicks off with an armoured truck robbery, there's an emphasis on the personal lives of the two protagonists (Daniel Auteuil even looks like Pacino) & there's a shootout with automatic weapons much like the one in Mann's film. But the movie doesn't work for several reasons.

First, the cops pursuit of the robbery gang is frustratingly sidelined about an hour in once Depardieu's character frames Auteuil's & gets him sent to prison. Great emphasis is then placed on Depardieu's efforts to ensure Auteuil's character stays there. Yet the cause of this hatred is never explained so we don't understand & therefore don't feel involved. Plus what's occurring on screen - such as Auteuil breaking out to meet his wife & daughter, the fallout amongst the other cops when they lose Auteuil as their boss - is just not that interesting compared to the pursuit of a ruthless gang specialising in armoured truck robberies.

Second, events become increasingly unlikely. At one point Depardieu has Auteuil's wife's car run off the road (why, when he has both ends of the road already blocked off?) with predictably tragic results. In the last half hour the armoured truck gang suddenly reemerge for no other reason than to give Depardieu's character the comeuppance he deserves.

There's a potentially good idea here but the execution feels all wrong. '36' gets uncomfortably stuck somewhere between the vicarious thrills of a modern Hollywood-style action movie & one of those miserabilist French exercises where everybody's having a bad time. Not only that but there's an amazingly intrusive use of incidental music. Whenever the filmmakers want to let you know that something emotional is happening the music hits you with all the subtlety of a brick in the face.

'36' is apparently due for a US remake which is ironic for two reasons. Firstly because the film already owes so much to 'Heat' & secondly because the star being lined up for the American version is none other than ... Robert DeNiro! Perhaps they can find a cameo for Al Pacino while they're at it.
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Not the French "heat". more the french "weak"
arvy8 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The story is a story of 2 cops, both in the game for some time.

One who follows orthodox methods and politics, the other who is a tough-nut or rough diamond. They are effectively up for the same job.

The rough one appears to have the support of most of his team and this is all complicated by the need to catch a dangerous armed gang.

The opening is very enjoyable and avoids many of the Paris cliché's many French films fall for. However, the film is guilty of far too many other clichés, and for this reason alone should be avoided. The intrigue between the 2 cops is somewhat interesting but the music is plodding and after inevitable death of one of the team, the cliché count sores.

Watch "Infernal Affairs" if you like your cop dramas/intrigue. Or even just "Heat" if you want a bit more action. but give this one a miss.
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Great Thriller
Luigi Di Pilla5 June 2006
I discovered this one in a cinema magazine where 36 Quai Des Orfèvres was presented as a hot thriller coming out on DVD. I read first the reviews on this site and the rating and then I didn't hesitate to order it. Wow, I am happy I bought it because I spent a wonderful entertaining Saturday evening watching a big thriller with my wife. I will add it no doubt to my best of DVD collection. My congratulations to all the stuff for this super job with lot of plots, intrigues and twists. The main characters were well developed and played by the great actors Daniel Auteil and as usual Gérard Depardieu. I am surprised what the french film scene presented recently to the audience with good thrillers as for example CRIMSON RIVERS I and II, L'EMPIRE DES LOUPS and the funny ones L'ENQUETE CORSE and TAIS-TOI. Standing ovations and I have my great respect for all. These movies are much more better than the last thrillers I saw from Hollywood. The running time was not long in respect of the similar US-thriller HEAT that was too long and not so hot as 36 Quai Des Orfèvres. For all theses reasons I give with my wife a solid 7/10 that matches nearly the actual vote of 7.2 on IMDb. Don't miss it, you won't regret.
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ordinary plot told in a pretentious way
troifrer25 December 2004
Overflowing with elevator music, "36 quai des orfèvres" is an awkward attempt to revive the French "polar" genre. Writer director Olivier Marchal is a sensible creator, and sincerity transpires from his film. Unfortunately he was given much too much means (budget, superstars) for what should have just been an okay B-movie, and Marchal never seems completely in command neither of his actors nor of himself. Action sequences always seem to take place in depopulated areas. Dialog sounds like a catalog of "cop slang"; instead of making the scenes sound real, it makes actors Auteuil and Depardieu sound like children playing at being cops. Artificially dark and humorless (to make it look "serious", just like the largely overrated TV series "Police District" which starred Marchal himself), the film also suffers from clumsy writing, particularly in its final act, with unbelievable coincidences leading to a laughable climax.
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JoeytheBrit29 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Gerard Depardieu gives a great performance in a film that, for my money, is more than a little over-rated. There's a decent story here and, in the right hands, I think it could have made a riveting film, but for some reason it simply fails to engage. Perhaps it's because too much is left unexplained. It's clear that Depardieu and Auteuil's characters were once friends but are now no more, and it is obliquely hinted at that Auteuil's wife is the reason, but that is all. So the reason for Depardieu being the gruff dislikeable bear with a drink problem is a mystery that makes it impossible to get under the skin of his character.

Too often the reasons for a character's behaviour are too sketchy, and the repercussions of those actions unrealistic. When Depardieu inadvertently causes the death of a colleague he is not reprimanded because the evidence of Auteuil is compromised by his own internal affairs hearing. And yet Depardieu's faux-pas is fuelled by a half-bottle of scotch he sinks in his car immediately before acting. Considering the degree of enmity felt for him by half the cops there I can't help thinking this would surely have been picked up on by his superiors. Things like this, occurring in films that are supposed to be grounded in reality, spoil a film for me and diminish the good work from the principal members of the cast.
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Just dire.
morna-226 June 2006
The worst movie I have seen in ages.

Only the hope that is was surely soon about to end ( a hope dashed several times) and the fact I was sitting in the middle of a row made me stay until the end.

Hideously loud melodramatic music ( here comes a sad bit, here comes a tense bit, here comes a sexy bit), leather jackets flapping in the wind-machines, uniformly tattooed balkan-looking baddies and risible "cinematic" action scenes make me think that the director was pretending he was making "hard Boiled". Pretending like a 12-year old.

By the time we returned to Daniel Auteil sobbing in his prison cell, I too was begging for release.

Ludicrous. I hated it.

cheers! M
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Where honor meets decadence and gentleness brutality...
marcin_kukuczka18 December 2005
The film by Olivier Marchal has recently been released in Polish cinemas under quite a misleading title, 36, which does not indicate much to an average movie goer. And the same was as to me. I went to see it not because it is based on true facts (no handout said it), nor because it is a thriller (I am not a particular fan of such films) but because of two main actors, Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, both remarkably popular in Europe. The movie surprised me, not only due to the performances of the above mentioned persons, but because of the content and the way it is presented.

MESSAGE AND REALISM: It would be silly to present now the content of the film. Many before me have already done it. All I would like to say, or in other words, all I would like to draw viewer's attention to are two factors: what the film generally wants to convey and why it is so natural. Marchal's film IS (I do not deny) filled with violence. It shows the methods of the worst criminals. A particularly disgusting moment was beating of a woman in a bar, close friend of the cops. However, the main idea and focus is not directed towards the criminals that much as rather towards two cops who can also be influenced by decadence and brutality. Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) is definitely a good man, attached to his family and striking for justice indefatigably fighting against the pack of bandits. His former friend, however, Denis Klein (Gerard Depardieu) moves his goals in a different direction... Therefore, the end shows that they get what each one deserves... Therefore, the movie is a wonderful message of how people stir their goals in life. At the same time, it is a very natural presentation of the world of the cops, how risky their lives are, how they really have to deal with most serious crimes. But here, it is important to state that by showing violence, the film IN NO WAY tries to promote it, but aims at a realistic image of the main characters' reality.

CAST: The performances are great. Most people play very naturally, which makes the film a true adventure. There are such moments in which you feel that you are there with Vrinks. The director wonderfully manages to lead a viewer to the action, to be controlled by it, to sink in it. And that proves the fact that the film is a very talented piece of work.

EMOTIONS: I was very, very surprised how many gentle moments the producers entailed in a thriller. On the one hand, we see the corruption and decadence of the criminal world; on the other hand, there is love and gentleness. I will never forget the moment when Vrinks is in a jail and does all he can in despair to see his wife, Camille Vrinks (Valeria Golino). Their delicate kiss and gentle words "I love you" later occur to be the key aspects of their last meeting in this world. And the sequence of Vrinks and his 17 year old daughter, Lola (played by Auteuil's real daughter Aurore Auteuil). He is showed as a man who has never been spoiled by the world he dealt with. The emotions that the movie shows are really worth attention - no kitsch, no tearjerker, but real life!

To sum up, I have to say that I liked the movie. Not many French films are released in Poland, not many of them are famous in the world (pity), but after seeing Marchal's film, I consider it one of the best of its genre. Really, honor meets decadence and gentleness meets brutality. Isn't that realistic?
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French Intense
billion_mucks1 November 2007
It is nice to be surprised by foreign films. Olivier Marchal's film takes its rhythm to be very intrinsecal, quite personal. The story runs in the french police "hampa", where the phsycological fight orbits for the chief command of the district "36 Quais des Orfebres" (36 docks of the gold-treaters). This movie adapts more if you are over 30, if you consider yourself capable of hearing and judging. Because it is never pointed at to whom is the "good" or "bad". Both have their angels and devils. Auteuil and Depardieu really give shivers to those formed in the cinema lounge. Their acting, especially Gerard, with that classy, penetrating look. Dark moments trapped throughout the film, Paris portrayed in its always elegant way. A story which focuses on the grey clouds that cover a hand-by-hand conflict. No John Woo action, expect a fight with emotions and stabbings in the back: a Montecristo story, maybe. Currently, a masterpiece.
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Violent and amazing crime thriller jammed with intense drama , top-drawer performances and spectacular action scenes
ma-cortes4 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Thrilling and intelligent cop thriller about police world , corruption and delinquency ; revolving around two detectives who try to solve a series of armored car robberies in the hopes of landing a promotion promised to whoever catches the perpetrators . A stylish , complex movie driven by two main characters . This exciting film contains action , violence , thrills , treason , suspense and plot twists . Top-notch thriller in which nothing is the way it seems , the atmosphere is already tense and the twists and turns are the best part of this movie . In other ways , it feels like a tribute to ¨Polar¨ genre or French Noir Cinema , full of attractive roles and edge-of-your-seat intrigue . The Police is frustrated by a dangerous band who carries out bold robberies , they are the most famous armed thieves of Paris . But their irresistible rise and sudden fall to be ended with a surprising arrest by a denouncement proceeded by an informer . Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) and Denis Klein (Gérard Depardieu) are two cops who take on a strong battle of wits . Both , Vrinks and Klein , seeking promotion , and the imminent departure of the superior boss (Andre Dussollier) sets the scene for them to compete for the vacant job . Klein , married to wealthy mistress called Hélène (Anne Consigny) , wishes a rapid work advancement and at whatever cost . Vrinks , encounter with a source , Hugo Silien (Roschdy Zem) , becomes involved with a killing . This meeting to be aware Klein , he then seizes the opportunity to up and manages for the detention of Leo . When Klein viciously involves Vrinks' spouse (Valeria Golino) the happenings go awry . Vrinks returns from prison and he has disowned nothing of his past , as he comes back into his former life and then emerges violence , chases , betrayal and relentless as well as inevitable vendetta .

Formula thriller filled with gritty intrigue , crisply edition , tension , suspenseful and lots of violence . It is a flick of interwoven lives structured in two protagonists , crossed by a web of suspense that is resolved in the last story in a surprising finale . Furthermore , a real description about the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world , including a ruthless gang committing a series of violent robberies . The flick revolves around tragic events become complex throughout the movie . The competition between them becomes increasingly hard and blurs the usual lines of ethic and morality , until there seems no difference between police and delinquents they pursue . This serious and truly original film with groundbreaking narrative results to be a fantastically intriguing story of ambition , corruption , deceiving and killing , being very well done , swiftly paced and including a twisted screenplay . The film was noteworthy for casting some of the finest actors in France . Exceptional acting by Daniel Auteuil as an unfortunate cop who executes a merciless vengeance and nice Gerard Depardieu as ambitious police with dark purports . Support cast is frankly good , such as Valeria Golino , André Dussollier , Roschdy Zem , Anne Consigny , Mylène Jampanoï and Daniel Duval as Eddy Valance , a good French actor who played several Noir flicks . And special mention for Mylène Demongeot who long time ago starred several films of all kinds of genres . The picture achieved big success , whose visa d'exploitation in France was #104874 , and it was nominated various prizes César and considered to be one of the best thrillers of the year in which you'll leave the cinema shaken and moved . Thrilling as well as evocative musical score by Erwann Kermorvant and Axelle Renoir who have composed successful films , both of whom elevate the emotion and the intensity of the scenes to new heights . Colorful as well as dark cinematography by Denis Rouden .

Olivier Marchal did a formidable job with ¨36th precinct¨ . Olivier then wrote the first draft of the interesting screenplay himself , and so on ; being helped by Franck Mancuso , Julien Rappeneau and Dominique Loiseau . Olivier is a notorious writer/director and he formerly was a police officer . As Olivier Marchal started taking acting lessons when he still was a police officer . He began his career in televisión , appearing in supporting parts or writing scripts for detective TV series . In 1989 when Yves Rénier resurrected his TV series Commissaire Moulin (1976) he became his partner as scriptwriter , series supervisor and sometimes actor . In 2000 he starred as Commandant Pierre Rivière in his own TV series "Police district" (1999) , written by novelist Hugues Pagan , himself also a former police officer . His films are usually played by same actors such as : Gerard Depardieu , Daniel Auteuil , Daniel Duval , Francis Renaud and Catherine Marchal . Olivier Marchal , a great actor/writer/director has directed sensational French thrillers , just like "36th Precinct" , ¨Gangsters¨ , ¨Diamond 13¨, ¨Mr73¨ and ¨Les Lyonnais¨ (2011) as good as this "36 Quai Des Orfèvres" (France original title) also titled "36th Precinct" (international title).
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Big disappointment
DavidBjerre22 October 2005
This taut cop-thriller would have been a masterpiece if it had only been the opening of a film, twice as long. The whole set-up is here - two cops pitted against each other, in the search for a gang of armed robbers.

The corrupt cop managed to frame the good cops, who's thrown in jail and loses everything. And that's pretty much it. What should have led to a big revenge finale, slowly vaporises into thin air. Everybody you care about die, all the good guys lose, the bad guys get away with it all, and our hero takes it all face down without objections.

Watch "Heat" instead, if you're looking for a good cop film, or the Korean film "Bittersweet Life", if it's revenge you're in the mood for. This will only leave you with a profound lack of satisfaction, and a desire to take a shotgun and go out and kill something.
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A Tony Scott film...wait a minute..no it's not!!!!
nomoons1120 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After watching this you get the idea that the director or someone involved watched a few Tony Scott film's. This has that same fast paced/jump to scene/only scratch the surface typa drama/action. This one has very little depth. I'm no fan of Tony Scott films but this one seemed to borrow right from his template.

I paid attention to the IMDb description and boy was it a mistake. By the first half of the film the criminal gang mentioned in the synopsis was already apprehended. What I was left with was another 50 minutes of drama that wasn't needed. Why they couldn't have just focused on the hatred of the cops amongst each other is beyond me. There are so many plot points and characters it gets confusing. These typa films try to make things flashy by throwing in some ultra violence and quick camera movements to distract you from the reality of what it is, one of a 100 films I've seen many times before.

Since this is only a film I won't get too philosophical but can you imagine if anyone believed that things in Paris/France were this bad with the criminal element or even the Police department? I mean by this film you'd think that this was the most corrupt Police department on the planet.

The casting was OK but that can't make up for what's actually here. If you wanna see a decent french film with this typa action but has actual depth try Le Deuxieme Souffle(1966) or La Femme Nikita. These are far superior than this one. For a general film about cops with this kinda action try Heat or Ronin. You can't miss with those.
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Very Solid Performances By Two French Heavyweights
JoeKulik13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
36th Precinct (2004) is a very good crime narrative. Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, two premier French actors, both deliver solid performances as great cops who both cross over to the wrong side of the law when they think that's it's to their advantage to do so. This film has a very complex storyline that is nonetheless well thought, and executed in perfect detail. No unbelievable coincidences, or unexplainable "holes" in the storyline. This film, therefore, has a very "tight" screenplay. The cinematography is great. The whole supporting cast gives excellent performances. This film left me wondering if strictly obeying the law is always the right thing to do. Hence, at least for me, this film is morally ambiguous in some ways. There is actually a number of different subplots in this film, but they are all well coordinated into portraying an overall consistent and believable film. There is some violence in this film, including a big shootout between the cops and the bad guys right in the middle of the street. However, none of the violence is in anyway gratuitous, and is very much integral to the storyline. This is definitely a good cops versus bad guys film, although sometimes it's hard to tell who the real bad guys are. This is a film that I'd like to view again just for the sheer enjoyment of it, and because it has much artistic merit.
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Not Bad
mdefranc11 February 2005
I saw this movie on an Air France flight four days ago and I must say that, although Auteuil and Depardieu are my favorite French actors together with Tcheky Karyo, I was a bit disappointed with regards to some cut and paste work done with the plot. Everyone who saw "Heat" (1995 De Niro/Pacino) will agree with me with regards to the fact that the hold up scene at the beginning is basically the same as the one in the American movie (C4 explosive to blow the truck's door open and the Molotov cocktail inside the same van at the end of the robbery); the gunfight with the foes was also "rather" similar to the one outside the bank in the movie Heat and that to me was somewhat cheap. Although there were a few flaws, the general story in itself is interesting and French movies are usually very good, especially when it comes to drama.

Gerard Depardieu is very good at playing the rough man's role however I was rather impressed by Daniel Auteuil's interpretation of Vrinks (Certainly not the same kind of cop he portrayed in Les Voleurs-1996). My positive reaction to his interpretation comes from the fact that he has a not-so-common ability to sway from character to character, a trait I don't easily see in Depardieu. I recently read about Ron Howard's cast of "The Da Vinci Code", based on the book by Dan Brown. I have a hard time seeing Jean Reno as Bezu Fache, the chief of the French Judicial Police, while I see Depardieu as a perfect fit for it instead.

I am not sure of the release date of this movie in the U.S. but I'd keep my ears and eyes open for it.
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A French action film which has traces of dramatic elements.
FilmCriticLalitRao30 November 2008
It is true that French cinema has failed to make Die Hard type films which have shown one man's crusade against heartless criminals but action film genre has been seen in Taxi series.One positive thing that can be said about 36 Quai des Orfèvres is that it is a brilliant action film.All credit must go to its director Olivier Marchal who has proved that French cinema is as energetic as American cinema as far as action cinema genre is concerned.Action scenes have been directed with perfect agility as they show how main actors like Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil and Daniel Duval display their best acting talents to tackle reckless criminals.In 36 Quai des Orfèvres we are shown that criminals are elegant,slick and vigilant.They are showed as nasty elements who are constantly on move.The presence of a female member in their midst goes to prove that they want to achieve beauty and the beast effect.As a film cannot rest on only one genre Olivier Marchal has steered this film into the realm of drama too.This is where things go wrong for him as there is absolutely no coherent element between fight scenes and dramatic elements which helps in uniting the narrative structure of this film.Dramatic elements of this film are so badly filmed that they offer only a myopic vision of corruption in police units and how family lives of police forces are ruined due to intense pressure.
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Excellent French Film-Noir
jcanettis28 June 2006
France has a well-established tradition in producing very good movies of the crime and film-noir categories. "36 Quai des Orfevres" follows loyally the atmosphere and style we have been attracted to since the years of Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, adapted to today's environment.

The story is about two cops, Leo Vrinks (Auteuil) and Denis Klein (Depardieu). They work under the same police chief but in different divisions, and they both compete for the top-job which is about to become vacant. Their opportunity arises when a "van gang" is terrorizing Paris, and the outgoing chief tells them that whoever manages to neutralize the dangerous gang will be eligible for his post. Both men employ all means possible to achieve their goal, and at some point the line between crime and their methods begins to blur...

Olivier Marchal, who is a former police officer himself, captivates us with his excellent way of portraying the machinations that are happening behind the scenes of law enforcement. In this task, he is greatly assisted by the excellent performances by all the actors involved. Of course, Depardieu is first among equals, showing his great talent once again.

Excellent Film. 9/10.
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