Loft (2008) Poster

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Engaging Belgian whodunit mystery
Davor-Blazevic-195925 December 2010
Highly recommended Belgian movie Loft (2008), proved to be a very engaging cinematic fare about five married men renting a state-of-the-art loft apartment as a playground for their extramarital affairs and a meeting point for encounters with their mistresses, one of them, eventually, becoming an object of a crime scene, so the initial story about five "allies", plotting together, united around their common gains and benefits, evolves into exciting whodunit puzzle about five "enemies" scheming against each other, divided by their individual excuses and vindication, a group of supposed-to-be friends now going through self-exposing, eye-opening exercise, with a number of revealing-concealing, (un)intentionally deceiving, mystery building flash-backs, leading to a numerous clever twists and turns.
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A more than worthy follow-up to 'The Memory of a Killer', reminds me of those great stylized keep you guessing thrillers of the '90s such as The Game.
Panterken30 October 2008
The movie takes a while to pick up steam but soon enough the director takes us on exactly the kind of roller-coaster ride we want out of a whodunit thriller. The story's very sly and just when you think you've figured it all out, it slips away from you, it's like trying to hold on to a wet bar of soap. Van Looy's greatest accomplishment is avoiding the sin most of the movies in this genre make: neglect the characters. Without losing pace, we manage to really get to know the pawns in our chess game, and as each one's motivations start to sink in, even the most unlikely become suspect.

We see here assembled a who's who of Belgian stars, the dream team cast, even the smaller roles are given to top class actors (Jan Decleir). The film's lighter on it's feet than Van Looy's previous, we (on first sight) get to deal with far less tortured souls, which makes some room for humorous intervals, I fear a lot of these will get lost in translation.

As in all stories, but even more so in plot-driven thrillers, the end's the most important part. It delights me that they didn't choose a ridiculous, nonsensical ending as so much postmodern thrillers shamelessly do these days. I can't give anything away of course, but I for one didn't see it coming at all and yet it adds up when you replay previous scenes in your head.

Go see it, it merits national and international attention.
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Whodunit (no spoilers)
tom-de-wilde24 October 2008
Storytelling is an art.

If you have a decent story to tell, there's a couple of tools one can use to involve the audience in this modern crime-mystery. The creators have carefully made use of a well proportioned amount of all sort of goodies at their disposal to make the movie captivating. It stings your interest, it bites your brainwaves and in a completely natural way it wakes up the hidden private detective in the spectators mind.

You're no longer watching the movie, you are in it yourself.

"Loft" is a well build-up whodunit-flick, both worth your money & your time.
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Loft - what can you expect when five men share an apartment?
Joyce Hauchart31 October 2008
What you can expect from this movie is a lot. First of all it's a thriller whodonit which last 2 hours. At the end of the movie you feel like is this over already??? That's a bloody good sign.

And then there's a lot more... five men share a loft where they meet their fancy women (read mistresses), they all have different personalities and that's a lot to take in a movie, but they are so well pictured and so well drawn in the script(Bart De Pauw) that they all become our friends sooner or later. Then include the wives and the mistresses, it's a real challenge to think who DID it.

Apart from that and without giving out any clues, it's so well acted, and the LOFT where most of the scenes are shot feels like a tremendous dangerous being. The LOFT has an extra role in this movie, believe me.

This movie, as a good friend told me, is not "The Usual Suspects" but it's close... very close. I thought about this a lot and then I think of course it is not the Usual Suspects, nobody wants a remake of that movie.

Loft is different but you will like the characters, not one second bores you except maybe the knife combat which takes a bit too long.

I especially enjoyed the Düsseldorf bar and the Casino scene. Great cinematography.

For people who enjoyed this I recommend the movie "Shades" with Mickey Rourke, I preferred this one a lot more than The Alzheimer Affair. But then, that's me...
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As the story unravels further and further the viewer gets a sense of events subtly being controlled by invisible manipulation...but who's manipulating??!!
MxRoland2 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
After the buzz flying 'round my ears for weeks and weeks already, I started to prepare myself for the worst-case-scenario; the nightmare come true: a mediocre by-the-numbers little thriller, about as unsatisfying as one of Stephen King's less inspired pulp scribblings. Luckily giant relief soon replaced my skeptic approach. Hollywood-style? Yes, but not an inferior copy.

One of the first scenes bring to mind the opening sequence of 'Inside Man', a man dead on his feet grilled by two unrelenting policemen, he stammers a fogy story, a story that makes less and less sense with each new sentence uttered; the intrigues spreads through the audience, let the games begin!

The gorgeous stylized look captured my attention immediately, cinematographically 'Loft' without a doubt means a new high for production values in Belgian cinema. The exploration of the murder-site with the camera's eye (not during the initial discovery of the dead body but a handful of minutes later) astonishes, impossible angles, a sensually swinging camera, death and sex captured in a few seconds of film. The cool, modern design of the loft, and just the fact that we're dealing with a loft here, symbolizes the decadence, of which every character's guilty of, beautifully, and the coldness buried in most of the characters. Predictability can rapidly transform a promising thriller with tons of A-scenes to a B-film beyond redemption (the anti-metamorphosis of the butterfly; from near-godly winged creature back to fat caterpillar). Predictabillity and plot randomness.- what I like to name 'the Perfect Stranger phenomenon (arrange for multiple plausible endings as a result of the vagueness of the plot, and then choose the one that test audiences prefer). 'Loft' is neither! The script is sly en never insults the audience's intelligence. You can see head writer De Pauw spent a lot of time perfecting a diamond in the rough into a three carat one.

I personally prefer this more minimalistic (less locations, less movement in the scenes), more plot-driven film over Van Looy's previous. But naturally, this is anything but an insult for 'The Memory of a Killer'. Now let's get to the acting department. There's loads to admire on the silver screen, Filip Peeters gets the most substance to chew on, Bruno Vanden Broucke descends deep into his character, one that heavily contrasts with his usual type of character, only Koen De Bouw pales in comparison to his performance in 'The Memory of a Killer'. Again, this is not an insult, that performance easily ranks among the best of 2003. The part of Filip Willems (played Matthias Schoenaerts) interested me the least, but his presence is unavoidable (for the plot).

Now, the small shortage of psychological depth is a minor blemish, certainly because the believability of the plot exists only by the strength of the believability of the characters' motivations. A few extra scenes possibly could be of use to solve this problem, but more than likely would mean a loss of some tension.

My heart rate went up, adrenaline pumping, and those icy looks of Bruno Vanden Broucke will not soon fade from memory...
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Get used to Belgium and enjoy a great thriller
wvisser-leusden18 June 2010
Although 'Loft's purely Belgian outlook and atmosphere may not appeal too much to Americans, one should not be deceived by this.

When looking through, it soon becomes clear that 'Loft' is a very good film. First of all, this thriller has an ingenious plot that keeps you on the tip of your seat from beginning to end. Considerable value is added by the play of an impressive number of Belgium's greatest actors and actresses. 'Loft's picturing is adequate at least, too, supporting its plot rightly by creating a tense mood.

Also pretty characteristic for this film is its very Belgian pace. Relaxed and unhurried, it allows you a fair amount of time to follow all its twists & turns.

The 100% Belgian 'Loft' no doubt will rank among the great films from the Low Countries. It certainly stands out in all their releases from the last ten years.
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Well written story worth watching.
Koendec27 October 2008
Well, this is my first comment, and no other movie made me write one, although i've seen a lot, believe me.

Good story, maybe a little bit over the top, but then again, you go to the movies to be surprised. And i was surprised. Belgian movie making budgets aren't big so what's achieved here is top notch. Bart, well written and Eric well directed. Also , the actors are very well casted, especially Filip Peeters, gave a very good impression. The only part where i was a little part disappointed is the part played by Veerle Baetens. I thought it was the only part where the script failed in the sense that it dropped the pace of the movie a little bit.

Overall, very well done. So therefore, my com(ple)ments.

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Murder they wrote
kosmasp9 November 2009
This is one of the best thrillers I have seen. It's so well written, so well acted and edited. The direction is great, the story is gripping, every little piece fits into the other, making this movie into a masterpiece.

For me that is, the tension that is built holds up from the very start until the end. And I'm pretty sure there will be an American Remake of this movie anytime soon. And when they'll do a remake, they can't actually do anything wrong (it's almost impossible messing this up), because the movie is just top notch. Unfortunately most people will only have a chance to watch it at home, although this deserves to be seen on the big screen. Look out for it, if you like intelligent and tension filled thrillers that keep you guessing until the end ...
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Too bad Dutch isn't a world language...
mathias-197 November 2008
because this movie would be world wide hit. I guess it's only a matter of months before Hollywood will start a remake of this movie, which -if properly filmed- WILL be world wide hit.

There's been a lot comparing with "The Usual Suspects", and I can get the point: the interrogation filled with flashbacks, the witty and clever plot and the unexpected end, when you believe all was solved. Still, these two movies are completely different. Someone who goes to "Loft" expecting to see "The Usual Suspects" will be disappointed, and that is not meant as a criticism. Simply, Loft stands on its own and apart from what I wrote above, has little to do with "The Usual Suspects". But someone who enjoyed Suspects (and Memento for that matter) will certainly like Loft.
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The apartment
jotix10015 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Vincent Stevens, the architect of a cutting edge modern building, has something to share with his good friends. He decided to convert the loft on the roof of the structure as a bachelor pad for himself and his pals, so they can have their fun in complete privacy. To that effect, when he gathers the men, he distributes one key to each one; there are no duplicates, so each person is responsible for his own key, which they must never give away, or even lend to anyone else.

This exclusive sort of club includes Stevens, and his yuppie comrades. Only one of the friends is a bachelor, but that soon will change when he marries a wealthy heiress. The men are all married, although not too happily, as it turns out. The friendship among all these men are put to a test when a woman is found dead on the huge bed that dominates the apartment. All of them are in some way connected. The truth about the slaying comes out as all the men are questioned by the police. Anyone of this group could have committed the crime, yet nothing is clear in the narrative until the surprise ending.

Eric Von Looy, the director of "Loft" has explored the kind of people at the center of the film before with his "Yuppies". This new venture proves Mr. Von Looy is a director with a great visual style in the way he presents the story about loyalty and betrayal. This film should be seen by a wider audience. We were lucky to have found a copy of this Belgian film, but we don't think it had a commercial run that we know of.

The director gets great acting from all the principals, Koen De Bouw, Filip Peeters, Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruno Vanden Broucken, and Koen De Graeve are all excellent as the friends that share the loft. Veerle Baetens is fine as well as Ann. Marie Vinck, who plays Sarah Delporte, impressed with her take on her character.

Of course, Mr. Von Looy was lucky in working with the fine Danny Elsen, a good cameraman that captures all the nuances of the action in vivid detail. Wolfman De Marco's contributed the soundtrack that plays well with the narrative. We shall be looking forward the next project of this talented director, and so will be the lucky viewers of his films.
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Loft...If you haven't already seen it , GO AND SEE IT !!
Homersan30 October 2008
Loft, yet another masterpiece sets its roots in Flemish movie history.

10 thumbs up for brilliant directing from Erik Van Looy, who proves himself once more as one of Belgians greatest directors! And let's not forget about the wonderful screenplay written down by Bart De Pauw, to whom i've been a fan of since "Buiten de Zone".

Everyone already knows the setting of 'Loft'... 5 guys share a loft to bring their mistresses to without their wives knowing. But like all happy songs, this doesn't last long. Pop quiz hotshot, what would you do if you find a dead woman in the loft one morning ?? What would you do ?

I'm not giving anything away about this movie, cause this would ruin the experience... but I'll just say that you will be amazed about the ingenious plot turns that this movie takes... you think one think, it goes another way , etc.

The reminds very much of "The Usual Suspects" in a way, and it deserves this praise!

Of course, for Belgian standards, this is top of the line cinema. You cannot go any better than this. Overall it's a lot better than Erik Van Looy's previous movie : 'De Zaak Alzheimer' although here you don't have the acting one man show that 'Jan Decleir' gave in that one.

Matthias Schoenaerts and Bruno Vanden Broucke show their talent in this one, as does Filip Peeters.

If go for International standards, this is still one of the better movies that you can go see in the theater. But for it to be totally perfect, it does has some flaws.. which are, realism.. some things happen so fast that don't think it's realistic anymore. Sometimes the acting is a bit off, but that negligible...

Overall, this is a great a movie and hope it will make the trip abroad to the states or what not, so it can be acknowledged by everyone !!

Best regards,

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Love is … Sharing a loft with friends so your wife can't find out you're unfaithful.
Coventry21 March 2010
Although it's still relatively recent, it's actually a huge disgrace that it took me until now to finally watch and review "Loft". This is the most acclaimed, both publicly and critically, movie ever to be made in my home country Belgium and it instantly broke all historical box office records over here. I don't really have a valid excuse for waiting so long (perhaps didn't want to jump into the momentarily hype?) but I'm glad to announce that "Loft" is a solid and suspenseful thriller that can easily compete with the large foreign offer of similar movies. The film deals with typical Hollywood themes (adultery, murder, conspiracy theories…) and implements the contemporary popular narrative structure of flashbacks and messed up continuity, but luckily enough the atmosphere and character drawings remain old-fashioned Flemish. Under the influence of the sleazy architect Vince, five men in their late 30's and with a typical yuppie mentality secretly share a luxurious loft in the center of Antwerp where they can go with their mistresses and/or prostitutes without having to explain hotel bills and Visa expenses to their wives. When one of them stumbles upon the barbarically butchered corpse of a young girl in the morning, they gather together in the loft to discuss the situation. There are only five keys to the apartment and the doors where locked when they discovered the girl, so logically speaking one of them has to be the culprit. Through a series of flashbacks and deeper character elaborations, the script illustrates that the five perhaps aren't the loyal and close friends than they might think and that their lies, unfaithfulness and deception will finally bring them down. The scenario, spawn from the creative and versatile mind of Bart De Pauw, practically unfolds like a mystery thriller with Giallo allures. The plot grows increasingly convoluted with each flashback and each new red herring, and just when you think all the revelations are made, there's another new and unpredictable plot twist. The final twist is perhaps even one too many, but then still the events remains plausible and very well-written. Numerous sequences in "Loft" are very powerful and display a genuine sense of craftsmanship. The roughly edited and fast paced sequence inside the casino, where all protagonists are gathered not only with their wives but also with their mistresses and personal opponents, is nail-bitingly tense and atmospheric. Some of the characters are stereotypical, like the lightly inflammable bad-boy Filip and the nerdy Luc, but those aren't obstacles. Despite of the easily exploitative themes, the amount of gratuitous sex and explicit violence is kept low in favor of suspense-building and intrigue. This is particularly praiseworthy for a Belgian film, rest assured.
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An excellent script and the prime actors
simonve9221 October 2009
The film starts very strange with a raining scene and it's only at the end of the film that it is obvious what happened there. The soundtrack is very good chosen by the genre of the film. The music enforces the story. The flashbacks clarify the different personalities of the five men. In fact, the friends aren't really friends. What surprises me was, when their wives found out that their men cheated them, they all react in a different way. I thought that every woman would give the same reaction, namely furious . It was remarkable that some woman even forgive their men. I really enjoyed the film, it is the best Belgian movie I've ever seen. It was very stirring. The end was really unexpected and surprising. I recommend every grown-up who likes thrillers to watch LOFT.
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Not one single scene makes you cry, shiver or laugh.
rubenm26 October 2008
In Flanders, there has been such a huge hype about this movie that it's almost impossible for director Erik Van Looy to live up to the expectations. If we are to believe everything that has been told about it, this is supposed to be the best movie ever made in Flanders, and a Hollywood remake would only be a matter of time.

Let's face it: Loft is a run-of-the-mill thriller. Not bad, but not excellent. It looks very stylish, and that is perhaps also the problem: apart from style, there is not much else. The whodunit-story is OK, but twists and turns just a little bit too much for my taste. The acting is all right, but not world-class. The cinematography is good, but not imaginative. The characters are flat - we don't know why they do what they do.

The movie lacks a little bit extra that could have made it really good. There is no theme, no emotion, no message. There are no scenes that stand out. Not one single scene makes you cry, shiver or laugh. That's OK - you can't expect every movie to do that. Loft is good, but not great.
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Good Stylish Look, but Over-Reaching Script
3xHCCH2 November 2009
My friend from Belgium recommended this movie back in November 2008. And now one year later, I have finally seen this Belgian movie entitled "Loft." I do not know any of the cast, but she mentioned that these are some of Belgium's greatest actors, and that was enough for me.

"Loft" tells the story of five male friends who each have a key to plush penthouse loft in a snazzy apartment complex. They use this loft to consummate illicit romantic affairs away from the prying eyes of their wives. But one day, their neat little arrangement gets a wrench thrown into it. A dead girl was found handcuffed to the bed one night. So the movie delves into the cover-ups, lurid secrets and double-crossing that are revealed as the friends try to extricate themselves from their tight situation.

The look of the movie is very stylish, very Hollywood-like. This is the same loft we see in American movies like "Sliver" or "Basic Instinct". Same is true with the editing, music and cinematography. However, I felt that the scriptwriter tended to over-reach towards the ending. The plot could have already ended neatly, but still he decided to push for another one, making matters too convoluted.

Overall, this movie is good to watch, exciting and tense as it went along. But do not try to analyze too much watching it, as this would cause you to discover a lot of questions about the plot and its various holes, especially when it comes to the sequence of events.
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great movie but as most great movie the ending disappoints(in my opinion)
jojo_dbz129 July 2009
one of the greatest Flemish movies ever made without a doubt. the story keeps you curious till the near ending that's tho (in my opinion )when the movie goes too far. don't want to give too much or anything away. but if you go see the movie i think you can understand my opinion. for the rest it's a very entertaining movie indeed a shame that Dutch isn't a world language else this one would have been a big global success whit-out a doubt.

i truly recommend even for those of you who don't understand a word of dutch (like 99,97% of the world population :p ) but it is truly a magnificent film
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an engaging thriller
Fatima_M10 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Loft is recommended for all lovers of murder mysteries. Here, Each character can have several motives, but not necessarily those you may think… the film will have you in its grip the whole time as you will keep guessing, and of course most of your guesses won't come true!

As in many other murder mysteries, one of the themes here is that NO ONE can be trusted. Another is that nothing is absolute. It may even remind you of Rashomon in a way…

I especially enjoyed the lighting and set locations, and I won't forget Flip's naughty looks at his wedding when he is presented with his key! if I am not mistaken he's the one that says: "now we must look for someone to take to the loft!"

the film has a well-developed plot. Every piece of it seems to fit into the other well, but by this I don't mean that we can't find holes. with all those short cuts, The film moves so fast that at some points, you may not even have the time to think about the plot itself!! and maybe that's one of the reasons that most of the viewers praise the plot. In fact, it has so many details that a week after watching the film, you will probably forget half of them and what you will remember of it is the feeling of thrill that made you enjoy it. Now that I think about it, I understand how those friends lost trust in each other, but I don't know why they trusted each other in the first place!

And I should also admit that the ending did not satisfy me as it did not match the dynamic plot of the film… But overall, I enjoyed the film and look forward to learning more about Belgian cinema…
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Lots of intrigue, little investment
info-541-80279728 September 2009
Loft has great casting, solid photography, and locations straight out of an interior design magazine. But there is little below that spectacular surface.

Most of the movie is spent illustrating a version of the upper strata life that caters to the Flemish inferiority syndrome. Resplendent garden parties, model-studded casinos, incredibly hip interiors, expensive call girls and shady business trips mix to create a capitalist version of the good life.

Against this background five friends shout their way through meaningless affairs, plotting and counter-plotting. There's no time for character to show, let alone develop. Few of the characters are really likable; the men are sexist bastards save for a repressed slob, the women in the plot get little screen time and spend that being sex objects or sharp-tongued hags of wives.

In short, the movie piles on the clichés, and so it's exhaustive location scouting delivers the death-stroke. A little bit of grime might have saved this movie. Instead it's magazine people living in a magazine world.
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An awful mess
jangowu23 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Let me first start with the look of it all, the short cuts make this film try to be more of an action flick which is not helpful because it tries to be a thriller. It's the terrible acting that more than likely is the cause. The plot has more holes than swiss cheese and while i have accepted such plots in many other films is because of the characters, interesting ones that is. This thing has none. Why are they friends, why do they trust each other? In a thriller that only relies on the characters and their relationships between them we are left very dry indeed. Watching this i just felt very bored cause i cared for no one, how can you attempt to make suspense with this ? The ending is so obvious that it would only surprise you if you've never ever seen or read a story before. Now this film was very successful is belgium, why? Because of full frontal nudity (not needed anyway) of a famous young actress. In short this an awful mess...
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Well-Crafted But Weakened By Its Own Premise
Muldwych12 August 2010
Late one evening in a quiet corner of a Brussels suburb, a body suddenly plummets from the top of a residential tower block onto the roof of a parked car below. Earlier that same day, five friends sharing a loft apartment for their extramarital conquests discover the bloodstained body of a woman sprawled across the bed where the affairs take place. Is one of them responsible or are they being framed by a jealous lover? So begins 'Loft', an exploration into the uglier side of sex and the psyche. It is as much a commentary on male attitudes to infidelity as it is a murder mystery, where the joys of conquest reign over reason and consideration for anything other than animal lust. While the championed phrase 'It didn't mean anything' is employed as the clichéd band aid over the wound of trust, the five protagonists who cling to it are not equal in their desires for inconstancy. When architect Vincent Stevens hands his four friends the keys to the sky parlor through which they may indulge themselves in secret, it is here that the unraveling truly begins and we discover whose declarations end at posturing bravado and who truly believes that adultery is an honest acceptance of male desires.

All of which give 'Loft' its light and shade. With the story told out of sequence, we flit back and forth across the lives of the five men, the choices they made leading to their current predicament, and the way in which they deluded themselves so as to justify their actions. The placing of the murder inquiry in the pre-credits teaser makes it clear that the slaves of lustful extracurricular activity cannot escape their fate, but the real intrigue lies in precisely how the drama plays out and whether or not the man sitting in the interrogation room really deserves to be there. The out-of-sequence intersections spanning several months add layers of deceit – both within the group, not so tightly-knit as they try to believe, and to all who come within their orbit. The grotesque parody of civilization held together by expensive suits and champagne cannot disguise the descent into carnal imprisonment.

Indeed, if grotesquerie is ultimately the point of the film, then 'Loft' succeeds with flying colours, for I found myself struggling to sympathise, let alone care about any of the poor fools and the fact that their clandestine infidelity had at last come to haunt them. I certainly can't fault a single character on the grounds that he is depicted unrealistically, for the overconfident Lotharios before the camera will easily remind any viewer of the expert seducers we've all met at some point whose undisputed skill at drawing women to them like moths to a flame is matched only by their deep vainglorious neglect of empathy. If redemption is on the cards, 'Loft' is not concerned with winning the audience over to their side and in the end, this is my biggest problem with it – not a desire for some tired, shoehorned play for morality before the end credits as Hollywood typically insists so as to keep the audience's fantasy of human virtue intact, but simply the fact that in human drama, a cast of unlikable characters is the true act of murder for the audience, their empathy dead and buried for the duration of a film that demands two hours of attention.

Doubtless, there are many fans of the modern crime thriller who revel in the self-destructive anti-hero, seeing him or her as the truly honest figure driven to be nothing more than earnestly human in an uncompromising world. The fun lies in watching their raw emotion explode onto the screen in a celebration of chaos and drama. Perhaps 'Loft' has simply failed to bring out the best of this premise. I admit to not being a devotee of crime fiction and my Tarantino is rusty.

There is still the mystery element, however, and in that arena, 'Loft' is compelling. As we peel the layers from our five anti-heroes, so the plot shifts and twists as expertly as the men themselves wriggle through their double-lives. Revelation follows revelation, and the final sequence is almost amusingly that last desperate attempt to redeem those still battling their consciences. Remorse sails in like a charging cavalry whose alarm clocks failed to sound on time. It feels tacked on as a last desperate twist, yet given what carnal descent into hell writer Bart de Pauw has presented beforehand, better to let the film remain in that melancholy storm of Dante's second circle where it can at least stand with its own self-prescribed dignity.

Of director Erik Van Looy, I would praise his creation of a suitably dark and forebodingly-lit story. The cold light of day has no place here and Looy confines his characters to the shadowy realms in which they belong, and yet one of the stand-out scenes takes place at a daytime wedding where the men's egos are in full flight. He also chooses a fine cast, from the confident presence of Filip Peeters as suave seducer Vincent Stevens to Bruno Vanden Broucke as the nervous Luc Seynaeve – Broucke creating within him a man whose face tells far more than his lips will. Wolfram de Marco's tense soundtrack reminded me in places of Hans Zimmer's score for 'The Ring', punctuated by earnest strings and softened by echoing piano, never overused but doing much to set the tone.

This then is 'Loft', a shadowy discourse on what happens when one succumbs to their desires and the way in which one lie compounds another. Within, all bright lights are diffuse, leaving only shades of grey, misery clawing desperately at excuses and no real victors. In amidst this gallery of the fallen stands the film itself, aiming high in terms of plot twist and drama, but sinking slowly through the ground for failing to engage the viewer on the most fundamental level: empathy.
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Has the Charged Tension of A Hitchcock Thriller.
CinemaClown4 February 2014
Full of twists & turns from start to finish, Loft concerns a group of 5 friends, all of them married, who share the ownership of a secret loft together where they meet their mistresses. One day, they find a woman's dead body lying in the room but there are only 5 keys to the apartment, meaning that one of them is probably involved in what appears to be a cold-blooded murder. And thus begins the blame game where each person begins suspecting the other one of committing the crime & collectively try to solve the mystery before police come knocking at the door.

Directed by Erik Van Looy, the film smartly intertwines present with flashbacks to give viewers the backstory of each of its characters & create fresh doubts in their minds about who could be the real suspect among these. The writing is equally good too as each character is presented in a grey shade, thus making it difficult for the viewers to converge on a single suspect until the film reveals all on its own. The acting is quite convincing by its ensemble cast, cinematography makes great use of lighting, editing is brilliantly carried out & the music is a big plus here.

There is no denying that viewers will try to solve this mysterious puzzle as soon as the film begins since no time is wasted in taking a linear approach and yet, the film will be able to surprise most of them not once but multiple times. On an overall scale, Loft is an amazing mystery thriller that is cleverly plotted, has an atmosphere of tension & suspicion from the very beginning, is perplexing but never confusing to the extent that makes the viewers reject it outright & didn't put a foot wrong until the film's third act, which is the only part that disappointed me though not majorly & will even work for most.

Out of the very few Belgian films that I've seen so far, this one is arguably my new favorite as of now. And I've no problem in recommending this film to anyone for it has the charged tension of a Hitchcock thriller & really deserves a wider audience. So, give it a try before Hollywood comes up with a remake, which actually is coming out later this year, probably in August, helmed by director Van Looy only.
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Dark thriller with lots of twists
runoson5 December 2013
Some of my favorite films are "The Game", "Seven" and "Fight Club". Dark mystery films with a lot of twist. "The Loft" follows the same pattern and does so successfully.

The themes of the film are friendship, love and cheating in a twisted plot that repeatedly keeps the spectators on their toes. Don't read the summary of the film at IMDb as it gives away a bit too much. Actually, you should never read the summary of a film 'cause they always give away too much.

Even though I don't understand the language in the film the actors manage to convince me and entertain me. The female lead character, Veerle Baetens, is especially enchanting. I first got a glimpse of her in another great film called "The Broken Circle Breakdown", where she was equally electrifying. Matthias Schoenaerts is perfect as a simple brute, a role which he has to some extent repeated in other films like "Bullhead" and "Rust and Bone".

"The Loft" is shot beautifully with lots of different lenses, crane cameras and lighted in a way that underlines the tension and the feelings of the actors.

I had a good time watching this one and I believe you will too.
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lots of plot holes
chenqingg17 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
i feel the biggest holes is that why they need to pretend they know nothing, when they already called Vincent in? all they need to do is to bring him there and give him a drug-ed drink, which only take 5 minutes but instead all these actors played one hour to figure out what's going on is just to confused audience and suspending audience.

It's kind of trying to be smart when u r not really smart.

then some others minors:

Why Luk tried to sell the place under the dead girl's name? Why Luk was back that place again at the end, and how did Chris know he would be there and called the police?

the plot seems just not working? or did i missed anything from the English subtitle?
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Unnecessary and absurd moral tale that has been remade in USA too
abisio22 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First let me clarify that I love European movies; simple because they are free of the political correctness in USA. Second because they do not care about sex but they REALLY care about violence; which is healthy (no sex = end of humanity so do not be moralist ).

Well loft is exactly the opposite. A very moral tale about friends sharing an apartment for sexual adventures; that one day find out a dead woman body in the bed and try to find out who did it.

Obviously was one of them and in a things has an unexpected twist in the third act (and another one in the fourth ); but the first one is absurd and the second even worse. By the epilogue; everybody but the killer has done the right and morally correct thing.

To be sincere; the first half of the movie; is intriguing; but as things start to clarify, events seems forced and without any reasonable logic.

In brief; do not lose your time with this. It could happens the American remake is better; but with this original it should not going to be any better.
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both intelligent and too intelligent
myriamlenys23 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A movie about shifting allegiances, secrets and betrayals.

One has to admire the originality, ingenuity and clock-work precision of Bart De Pauw's screenplay : it's a work of art. De Pauw, an asset to Flemish comedy and thriller writing both, has done some excellent work and "Loft" is one of the highlights of his career.

The movie is characterized by an admirable unity of artistic vision : it is "Loft" from the first second to the last, without tonal shifts or missteps. It is also notable for breathing claustrophobic and disillusioned noir, a rare achievement in Flemish film.

Sadly "Loft" didn't grip and involve me as much as it should have. In a certain sense it was too well done - too cerebral, too clever, too coldly abstract. It also struck me as over-convoluted, with too many people whose secrets had secrets, whose agendas had agendas and whose lies had lies. (In fairness it should be noted that I have watched the movie with other viewers, who were riveted to the point of sitting on the edge of their seats and failing to breathe.) Still, the movie was deadly accurate in pointing out that there exist "friendships" which are nothing else than egotism or rivalry turned inside-out.
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