When Alice convinces her naive boyfriend Luc to prove his love for her by helping her murder a cocky classmate, the stage is set for a cross-country crime spree. While trying to dispose of the body the pair crosses paths w... more »ith and are ultimately trapped by a terrifying hermit who brings their fling to a not-so-happy fairy tale ending. In CRIMINAL LOVERS, acclaimed director Francois Ozon (8 WOMEN) weaves the story of a pair of lethal lovers-on-the-run with the fairy tale of "Hansel and Gretel", twisting together a story of psychosexual tension that is guaranteed to titillate.« less
Doctor Richard | Newton,, MA, United States | 12/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must defend this adorable, intelligent film from any pettiness that might keep people from it. A film school Prof. I know showed this to his students, and it was the hit of the year. The brilliant prologue set-up says more about sex and love than an entire Hollywood season. As the plot unfolds, the boy murders another boy at the girl's request; they are captured by a troll while hiding the body. The young man learns from his captor in the "Greek" style that there is more to love than pleasing a girlfriend; by the "end", Romeo/Hansel might be a "better man" -- or, he might just have fallen in love with his captor (another case of Patty Hearst capture rapture). The actors are gorgeous, ugly, and intimate. The psychology is Shakespearean in depth and ambiguity. Among the GREAT films, and a gorgeous DVD."
Tool of His Captors
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 09/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Criminal Lovers" shows a series of crimes committed in contemporary France with only minimal regard for the consequences. Alice (Natacha Regnier) is able to manipulate her weak-minded boyfriend Luc (Jeremie Renier) to avenge her honor against the claimed outrages of fellow student Said (Salim Kechiouche). Bloody revenge attained, they go on a small crime spree, later disposing of the body. Getting lost in the woods, they find the cabin of an unnamed trapper (Miki Manojlovic), who finds out more than Alice and Luc would like and who does not mind committing his own crimes on the others. Of course, Luc continues to think he loves Alice, but did she really prefer him to Selim, and what does Luc come to think of the trapper? The acting is pretty good. A number of strongly erotic segments help depict the motivations and move the film along. The film itself is fine, but the only extras are trailers for four other movies. There is no "making of", no commentary, no language choices, no info on the actors, and not even a hardcopy insert listing the eleven chapters."
This movie is amazing!!
J. Amedio | 08/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was my favorite film of last year. My one regret when I saw it was that it closed the next day and I couldn't go back and see it again. The movie may have some disturbing elements for some viewers, so if you are easily disturbed or offended you should maybe pass. But anyone who truely loves film, especially independent film, I think will appreciate it. I had never seen a François Ozon movie before, but now I plan to see every single one. Natacha Régnier and Jérémie Rénier give two of the best performances that I have seen recently and should be commended. The movie has a great dark look and feel to it.I think one of the main reasons I loved this movie was because it was kind of daring. While sitting there watching it, I though of a direction that I would have liked it to take but said to myself that it wouldn't go like that. To my complete surprise it did and I found that rewarding."
Coherent story, strong acting, fine camera work
J. Amedio | Chicago, Illinois | 01/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this film. It's a character driven film but the story holds up. The viewer has to determine how much is truth and how much is manipulation.
The directing, the cinematography, and the editing were all strong and all of the actors are believable and interesting. Jeremie Renier was totally believable as the young man caught between wanting to be what he thought he should be/what he's bullied into being by his manipulative girlfriend and what he discovers within himself. I like that the script doesn't use dialogue to blatantly speak all of the motivations and backstory of the characters. Only one small bit about the climax of the film was a bit confusing. I wasn't sure of the need to off a certain character. Otherwise, the film wraps up coherently and open ended enough to leave the viewer wondering what will become of the remaining characters. It's a very intriguing twist on the archtypical loss of innocence, unrequited love, Hansel and Gretel growing up, and coming out stories.
Salim Kechouiche is wonderful, as always. He's completly commited to the role he's playing and his acting is always very truthful, natural, and interesting. Whether or not his character was truly a bully or the object of unrequited lust is a matter of interpretation. I agree with the Wisconsin viewer above- Salim is stunning and there are never enough scenes with him. He is a talented enough and charismatic enough actor to carry a lead and it's high time he be given the opportunity. He shines in every film. He's simply wonderful in Three Dancing Slaves and Grande Ecole. Quite often, with some of the films he has appeared in, I've thought he should have had one of the leading roles instead of a supporting role. I wish I could see some of his other French films that haven't been released here along with filmed copies of his theatrical work. Salim - you have a strong American following; we'd love to see more of you."
This movie rocks!
J. Amedio | 05/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I haven't seen the dvd yet, I plan on purchasing it and would highly reccomend it based on viewing the movie at a film festival last October. The movie was at times both highly sensual and very disturbing. This was one of my favorite movies from last year's ImageOut (gay/lesbian film festival in Rochester, NY)."