The Stronghold (2020) Poster

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8/10
I felt like a fly on the wall
patherwill17 September 2021
I know none of the actors in this film BUT I have to say that I never took my eyes off of the screen for the whole film, from start to finish. There are so many feelings, moods and sentiments going on all the time, happiness, sadness, empathy, fear, etc, often all together. That it almost overwhelmed me. The three protaganists in this are all streetwise cops working in a part of France with a very high crime rate. It is a no-go area where officers are told not to enter and which houses every type of criminal committing every type of crime. The crims ARE the law but when the opportunity arrives one day for our three musketeers to start avenging matters NOTHING goes to plan. It made me reflect back to a real incident I was on the periphery of decades before, so raw and realistic were the incidents portrayed. Excellent acting and direction.
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8/10
Leverages Plenty of Grip...
Xstal27 October 2021
... with violence, brutality and anarchy leading the police and gangs into ruthless, confrontational battles in the neighbourhoods of northern Marseille. Inspired by reality, with cinematography, direction and a great story forming a vicelike hold that's hard to escape - especially when compounded through several standout performances that bind, unite, brace and support.
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9/10
Wow, such a well done French film based on true events.
Top_Dawg_Critic19 September 2021
Don't expect this to be some huge Hollywood blockbuster film, it's actually much better than that... if feels real.

This film is newb French writer and director Cédric Jimenez's 5th notch on his resume, and did he ever hit it out of the ballpark. The (true events) story was so well done and felt so realistic, you'd think you're right there where everything is happening. You'll be on the edge of your seat for much of the film. It sure is a rude awakening when you see how different politics, crime and policing can vary by country.

The 105 min runtime flew by with spot-on pacing. The story was told really well and effectively. There were only a few questionable scene transitions and/or editing issues.

The cinematography was great, the score and soundtrack (I saw the U. S. dubbed version) were excellent, and the casting and performances outstanding. I've never heard of or seen any of these actors, but man did they bring their A-game.

I'll be certainly recommending this little gem to everyone and most likely will watch it again. It's a well deserved 9/10 from me.
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9/10
Not entirely a crime movie.
searchanddestroy-118 August 2021
I expected something different, a pure crime action gritty flick, closer to LES MISERABLES. But it is not on the whole film. It is a crime movie, very brutal, for the first part, but for the second one, it becomes a drama; it's not the same film. But believe me, this feature is an awesome film, pulled by outstanding performances. Gilles Lelouche has never been better. In his role, he is his character, he doesn't play, HE IS HIS CHARACTER. And Cyril Lecomte is also very good in the "rat" role, a very usual character for him, a nasty, disgusting guy. Remember him in TRAVAIL D'ARABE, where he played a crook cheating on an old widow. The perfect traitor. Inspired from a true story. Olivier Marchal could not have made such a film, for the second part, I mean.
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8/10
A solid French cop drama
teetoh66619 September 2021
Modern French films are often a let down, but this one did not disappoint.

There has been some buzz around it rcently, as some critics say it depicts people from poor districts in a cliché and humiliating way - do not believe these critics. It's never black or white, truth lies in the gray zone.

Media portrayed the real anonymous policemen (their names were not revealed) as villains, this films intends to provide a second point of view on the whole story - this film is based on true events.

It is filled with good action scenes, intense pace (at least the first hour), gripping moments, and food for thought.

How far would police officers go to either satisfy the politicians who pressure them into dangerous ops, or to really stop drug dealers ? This film shows you what a team of 3 of them did, and what it cost them. A recommended watch.
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7/10
Feel bad for french cops
danilo_marchiori19 September 2021
Face this kind of criminal organizations with no inteligence and no shots, really? If this is the reality of France, I feel so bad for the cops.
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7/10
Earthy ....grainy .....gritty
ambisai17 September 2021
It's not what you expect and it's unpredictable which is a good think !

Any preconceived notion will simply fall flat Just watch it for the pure energy exuded by the characters.
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9/10
Really good!
paraicm19 September 2021
Man-didn't know what to expect and it takes a while to get going but it is really well done. Su-perb performances all round. Gritty and captivating. Watch and enjoy.
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6/10
A tough-as-nails French cop drama...
tccandler18 September 2021
Also known as "BAC Nord", this French cop drama is a hard look inside the world of the poverty-stricken Marseille projects and its culture of drug crime and lawlessness. The film is well paced and very nicely acted by the entire cast. If there is one complaint, perhaps it is hard to find anyone to like or respect or admire amidst all the corruption.
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6/10
Raw but shallow
Nplus117 August 2021
Loosely inspired by actual events, the movie tries to show the image "behind" the headlines of a case related to the anti-crime squad in the Northern neighborhoods of Marseille (some of the roughest parts of the country). It has a certain "educational" value, allowing the general public to understand some of the complex aspects law enforcement has to deal with, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Although it has a good production value and manages to create a pretty authentic atmosphere, unfortunately it lacks depth. It raises some ethical questions, but does not insist too much (actually at all) on the social aspect, it doesn't search for reasons, it doesn't search for solutions, it just tells a story.

From this point of view I find "BAC Nord" less convincing and thought provoking than "Les Misérables" (Ladj Ly), which is kind of a shame because it feels like a missed opportunity.
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7/10
What an actor: Gilles Lellouche!
alfonsoponcho29 September 2021
Nice movie, nice storytelling, nice shots and great acting. We're not very used to see actors like Gilles Lellouche, whose performance is so powerful. Loved that there's no need of clichés like an alcoholic cop or a flash of insight that suddenly helps the main character to solve the crime. I just felt the ending a little bit hollow.
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8/10
The Stronghold Netflix movie a outstanding gritty brutal stylist realistic thriller movie
playtoyer20 September 2021
The Stronghold Netflix is a outstanding gritty thriller movie. This French thrillers has enough action, style, betrayals and a great scrip for plenty average Hollywood movies. A lot,s of outstanding actors and a great plot the pace of the movie is really nice with a couple of amazing scenes the climax raid scene being one of them. Great storyline and effectives direction, editing and storyline. The stronghold is a violent gritty realistic thriller for the first part but become a great Shakespearean drama in the second part of the movie. The Stronghold has great commited actors and interesting explanatory scenes because the movie plot doesn,t need any explanation it,s a cinematographic experience the story is part of it . There are gangs and cops some maybe corrupted and others rebelling against an unfair and failing system. Everybody pays the price because things get ugly and rough in the gritty French thriller. The Stronghold is one of the best movie produced by Netflix. It,s not a masterpiece but it,s a really great thrillers movie.
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8/10
Good movie 🎬
arshadnakeem19 September 2021
Must watch and interesting crime and action movie with based one true story..
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8/10
Good story well shot
supermellowcali20 September 2021
...French cops in hectic scenarios POV style with excellent directing, editing and acting. Thanks!
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9/10
Great movie
submariner-9966619 September 2021
Really enjoyed this movie great script and great acting started of a little slow, but on the whole excellent movie.
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7/10
two third very good, 1 third bad, cop movie
jjr-7647426 September 2021
This is a movie which has generated heated debates in France. Loosely based on a real case of police corruption, it prompted political siding of both critics and viewers, both police union and BLM equivalents. Depending on opinions the movie was either praised for its honest depiction of lawlessness in some urban zones or reviled as a racist caricature of same areas.

The truth is that it probably is both and that the movie doesn't have much to offer in terms of insight on these subjects. This is no "la Haine" or "les misérables". It is a cop movie, very much in the vein of french cop movies of the last 10 years, disenchanted and brutal.

The first 70 minutes are great, fast paced and good storytelling, but in the last 30 minutes when the focus shifts from urban cop work to individual fates, i don't want to spoil, it suddenly loses all rhythm and acting becomes caricatural. It's like the director had gone missing and the second unit director had to finish the movie. It is a pity as there are lots of good things in there.
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7/10
Style and no little substance.
mickclarke4817 September 2021
I enjoyed this movie and although I accept that alot of what it says has been said before it is a film that can be enjoyed on different levels.

Yes it's a cop procedural,yes it's a buddy movie, yes it explores corruption.

But it does do with some style and some good acting.

What for me was new and most interesting was the light it shone on the level of personal endangerment suffered by these policemen on a daily basis ,and all for we are told was 24k per annum!
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8/10
Tv movie, but it has got the quality of a feature movie. Good acting, disturbing story. Tough, true to life.
imseeg1 October 2021
In France some of the suburbs have become ghettos, in the truest sense of the word: places where even the cops dont wanna go. 3 cops try to survive the beat in any which way they can, legal or illegal...

The good: decent acting performances and a true to life story about the uselessness of the "war" on drugs...

Any bad? There was a lot of discussion about this movie in France because of it's focus on the violence, which would further stigmatise the ghettos...
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10/10
Wow! You've to watch it
FabianVelazquez823 September 2021
Just amazing, a real diamond. It's a short movie (less than two hours) but dude, it really plays with your feelings, I assure you that you'll be amazed, shocked, sad, furious, and excited during the film. Do yourself a favor and watch it!
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9/10
Damn If You Do, Damn If You Don't
albertval-6956023 September 2021
This is a taut and gritty film. Pacing is just right. The viewer feels for the team. Were they overzealous in performing their job considering the odds they were up against?

Greg, Antoine and Yass had to do what they did for a bigger goal. In this case, the end justifies the means.

It's also a story of betrayals. The characters make hard choices and there are consequences.

Director Cedric Jimenez does a good job in presenting a story fraught with dilemmas. It makes for a great film.
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8/10
what happened to Amel?
rvin-4710720 September 2021
Like most French movie, this is also a nice movie. Very realistic storyline and actions.
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8/10
Good acting and film
laduqesa8 October 2021
I was really impressed about how the actors playing the three cops interacted. I actually wondered if some of their banter and conversations were improvised. So much of it was so rapidfire and quick that what I could catch of it was absolutely true to life. I speak fluent French, but I needed subtitles here.

There was an interesting moral dilemma presented by the film. In order to vanquish the dealers, the cops themselves had to break the law. It's the old question, do the means justify the end? If the portrayal of the cités (ghettos) in Marseilles is true, and I have reason to believe it is, then I plump down on the side of the team of cops. What I found less palatable, however, were the petty favours they got from minor criminals or stallholders - free kebabs here, a carton of 200 cigarettes there.

I can understand how and why the film provoked controversy in France with its uncompromising view of the council estates as havens and hotbeds of crime. It's a self-perpetuating cycle as the youth are trapped there - no one will employ anyone from the sink estates so there is no way out but crime. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to tackle this situation but those are outside the scope of this review.

There were a couple of loose ends. I wanted to know what happened to Antoine's grass. Is there a witness protection programme in France? Was the family in whose flat a cop hid victimised afterwards? Did the police chief get into difficulties after the examining judge interrogated the grass who conformed the team's story?

I was flabbergasted that French prisons do not have an isolation wing for vulnerable prisoners and that the only solution for them is to be kept in solitary confinement on the main wing. I worked in the UK prison system in the early 70s and these were an established part of the prison estate. This might have been deficiencies in the research done for the film as I noticed several other glaring breaches in security that would never have been allowed in an English prison. Although French prisons might be harsher and more austere than those in the UK, I can't imagine that they are any less security conscious. That's something for the producers and researchers to look at another time.

One thing I disliked was the epilogue that charted what happened to our three heroes. But apart from that, this was an excellent film that kept me glued to the TV set throughout.
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8/10
Exposes the dilemma of modern policing
imranahmedsg30 November 2021
Great film inspired to real events.

The movie exposed the dilemma police officers in many countries must deal with daily, ie violating the law ostensibly without harming others in order to enforce the law.

The film also reveals the extent to which income inequality exists in wealthy European societies like France. These banlieus are lawless estates run by local walords (aka gangs). These gangs seemingly operate with impunity and there appears little economic activity for the area youths.

Anyway, the movie is entertaining. The raid scene is gripping and has one biting fingernails! A must watch if you enjoy crime thrillers with a slight intellectual bent.
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7/10
Gritty
dierregi25 November 2021
Realistic enough story of three cops working in one of the worst areas in Marseille, who try to do the right thing using wrong methods and end up betrayed by their superiors.

Friends working in the police told me the plot is extremely realistic, since cops risk their life for a pittance and not only they are not thanked, but are reviled by society at large and humiliated by their hierarchy.

I watched this in the original French version and I heard some of the worst French language ever... but still, an interesting anthropological experience.
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8/10
A king of Biography/Documentary
scharhon10 November 2021
I saw this movie in cinema and I quite enjoyed it, it describes about the whole thugs/police conflicts in Marseille .

It really shows what you should see instead of what you think. It makes you really hate the characters that « represent » the thugs but not only that it also makes you realise the quantity and the danger of these conflicts .

Read more of my reviews to get better advices on Movies and TV programmes .
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