District B13


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's great to see action stars cast for their moves -- their grace in motion is thrilling -- but they also have the charisma to pull off the characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Makes everything Hollywood has lately done in the action genre look clumsy, dull and stale. It is a short, nonstop stuntfest that, by going back to basics and placing them on the screen with simple, breathless stylishness, turns what is essentially a lowlife movie form into something one is not embarrassed to call "pure" cinema--all energy, movement and high kinetic wit.
  3. 90
    Think of "Escape from New York" starring two French Spidermen on speed, and you've got District B13, a snazzy, sensational action ride from big-bang guru Luc Besson.
  4. 88
    Like its stunt work, the movie is both ridiculously hyperactive and a muscular feat of absolute confidence. I don't expect to have a more adrenalizing time at the movies this summer.
  5. It may be subtitled, and the faces may be unfamiliar, but District B13 is the best buddy action movie around.
  6. 80
    Spread the word: This delirious import is the most (maybe the only) fun action movie of the summer.
  7. 80
    With backing from the film's producer and co-writer, Luc Besson, the director, Pierre Morel, mounts a breakneck B movie inspired by Hong Kong action extravaganzas, the gritty genre classics of John Carpenter and the Thai neo-kung fu parable "Ong Bak." He hasn't reinvented this particular wheel, but he gets it spinning with delirious savoir-faire.
  8. This French import is a worthy entrant into the adrenalized cadre of action films like "Run Lola Run" and "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior" (which Besson produced). What District B13 lacks in story development it compensates for with stunningly realistic action.
  9. The big innovation here is that the two nimble leads, stuntmen-turned-stars, are devotees of parkour, a fancy French word for the fluid use of urban environments as jungle gyms.
  10. What you're seeing isn't wire work or CGI -- it's stunt choreography, beautifully executed, flawlessly cut together and brainlessly thrilling.
  11. Besson takes a few clumsy stabs at political relevance, but it's clear that grand themes are not his priority. That's okay: His charismatic leads are martial-arts masters, and their breathtaking stunts smoothly lift the movie every time it stumbles.
  12. 75
    For better and worse, the entire film goes by like a theme-park cyclone ride. It makes as much sense as it needs to when you're on it. All it leaves in its wake is a residue of vertigo and speed.
  13. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    If you've been disappointed by the recent rash of mediocre blockbusters, District B13 may provide some of the mindless fun you're looking for.
  14. 70
    Go for the dazzling, if repetitive, human stunt work. Endure the appallingly simplistic politics.
  15. By most standards, District B13 is a fairly routine summer action movie, albeit one in French. But what makes it unique are the truly amazing and kinetic action scenes featuring Parkour pioneer Belle and co-star Cyril Raffaelli.
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Real-life events have overtaken District B13, and they give this feverish, yet oddly flat French action adventure a whiff of substance to go along with its spectacular stunts.
  17. This is every bit as silly and adolescent as you'd expect from Besson, and about as contemporary as "The Perils of Pauline." But I was delighted by the balletic and acrobatic stunts, some of which evoke Tarzan.
  18. 67
    Morel tries to keep the energy up for 85 minutes straight, but the film never manages to top itself, and in spite of the political overtones, it doesn't provide much thematic sustenance.
  19. 67
    As a brief introduction to Belle and his amazing gifts, District B 13 is a treat. But as a movie its feet are dully planted on the ground.
  20. A ridiculous but exciting action movie.
  21. 63
    District B13 is action porn. It's a series of amazingly choreographed, kinetic action sequences tied together by a laughably bad script and worse acting.
  22. Flashy camera work, a clattering techno soundtrack and impressive synchronized stunt work fill where the plot goes AWOL.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Sep 8, 2014
    Much like Dredd or The Raid, two of the best action movies in recent memory, this movie succeeds part in because of it's awesome setting. AlsoMuch like Dredd or The Raid, two of the best action movies in recent memory, this movie succeeds part in because of it's awesome setting. Also like those movies it provides an interesting take on the action. In this movies case it's high-flying parkour. It doesn't have much in the way of traditional action movie shoot outs or fist-fights (there are a few), instead it's got insanely fun chase scenes that feature some crazy awesome stunts.

    Even better is the fact that it's got a great plot and awesome leads in Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle, who just work great together. Don't let this movie's age trick you into thinking that all it's tricks have already been used in so many more recent action films. I'm actually shocked to say that it's content is still very unique, and even today feels like a fresh face in the action movie crowd. A must watch.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 23, 2014
    Wow just perfect . i dont care if critics dont like it or it not being nominated i love action movies every second of this movie made me dontWow just perfect . i dont care if critics dont like it or it not being nominated i love action movies every second of this movie made me dont look away didnt get boring like THE goddamnFather movie every time i watched got asleep Full Review »
  3. Mar 3, 2013
    This movie is amazing. Just wow. Enjoyed every second it's so fast paced, you won't be able to look away!! They need to make more movies like this.